Ifly gps?

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by CharlieD3, Dec 18, 2020.

  1. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Pattern Altitude

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    To avoid a necro post...
    Has anyone used ifly gps? Any version, in its own tablet, pc, android, ios?

    Compare to others if you are able.

    I currently use Avare and am happy with it for my limited use. I mean, I'm only flying 2+ hour round trips at most. In a 172 (so a 80 - 100nm trip).

    But, the functionality of using a more sophisticated app for longer flights (should I ever have the occasion or ability) might be nice...

    I've also loaded Fltplan Go... And, am just perusing that...

    So, let's talk inexpensive EFBs... And Foreflight is NOT an option... I don't do Apple anything.
     
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  2. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    iFlyGPS is my primary backup EFB. I have a backup because I fly IFR and like iFly it enough to pay for it even though I am paying for my primary EFB. I have, btw, run it in iOS, Android, and Windows. It operates identically in all three and, from reports, also in their dedicated hardware.

    I have used about a dozen different EFBs about evenly divided between iOS and Android. IMO, it is the best choice for Android. Very feature rich and does almost everything I want. Although it is a backup, I have used it on longer flights as primary (and even once as a backup when there was a ForeFlight bug). It is rock solid.

    The catch of course is what your needs are and what you think is easy to use. Best I can suggest is grab a trial and see.

    I will give you one downside. I think the reason it works identically on all platforms (unlike Garmin Pilot) is because it sits on top of the OS rather than being fully integrated into it. So that means certain OS functions, such as copy and paste, are not available.
     
  3. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I used the Android app for a couple of years before buying a 740b.
    I made multiple cross country flights of 1500 miles using the app.
    The only downside of the phone app is that your phone is dead at the end of a long day of flying, and using your phone as a camera gets to be more of a challenge.
    The 740 is very readable in bright light. I like that the display is identical to a sectional chart. Button presses on the touch screen have to be very deliberate (by design). I wish there was a way to increase sensitivity but you adapt.
    My Stratus ESGi sends ADS-B "in" to it.
    Flight planning is quick and intuitive for me. Some people don't agree, so YMMV.
     
  4. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    We replaced the Garmin 496 in our plane with an iFly 740B. We're very, very happy with the bigger screen, easier flight planning, and display of weather and traffic from our ADS-B box (uAvionix EchoUAT). We chose the 740B because it provides serial output (with a USB to serial adapter) to provide GPS position and AP guidance to the Dynon D180.

    I was an Avare user, and now run the iFly app on my tablet. Both are good; I like iFly a little better, and it's identical to the interface in the plane. Plus, I can do my flight planning on the tablet (including the awesome RealPlan) and transfer it to the GPS in the plane.

    We don't miss the 496, and I don't miss Avare. Cost is pretty reasonable; we get a 4-device subscription and split the cost 3 ways, that way we have the GPS in the plane and an app license for each of us.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
  5. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    Ifly’s business model is to put their software on a cheap tablet they source and label.

    I’d rather put WingX or another good piece of software on a quality tablet or phone.

    I had an iFly years ago and it was buggier than month old leftovers.
     
  6. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think you are living in the past. I know that at one time, in the days of the small Garmin handhelds, iFly was new and only on its dedicated hardware, competing with the likes of the Garmin 396 and 496.

    But things change in 15 years. iFly is multi-OS and multi-device. I'd guess their dedicated hardware user base is comparable to the user based of dedicated Garmin handhelds compared with tablet users. If you are referring to WingX as a "good piece of software" for an Android tablet, you are unfortunately referring to something which, sadly, has never existed. Compared with it's iOS version, it was basically crippleware.
     
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  7. Flybuddy

    Flybuddy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I agree...I was one of the original IFLY betas when they sold their first 100 IFLY 700 units. The 700 and 720 were cheap boxes with poor graphics, low brightness and very slow speeds. The 740 is much improved BUT still a poor piece of equipment compared to any other proprietary portable unit. Apparently the bulk of their profit is based on subscription renewals and software for tablets. The software and app are fairly good but they have a sore need for improved hardware (they can always keep the less expensive units also).
     
  8. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I don't care for ipads either. I also didn't want to pay $600 for an ipad mini when I can buy a Lenovo 8" tablet with similar specs for $100. In fact I have two of them now, as well as my 10" Samsung I use for everything, and yes i take all three when I'm traveling....ever tried to use a phone to view an approach plate?....F that.

    I do have a 10" ipad courtesy of a board that I'm on, and the only time I touch it is to charge it before the monthly meetings. After I got my certificate, I used it to try FF, and the aforementioned Samsung to try Avare, iFly, Droid EFB, and FltPlan Go. I didn't try GP at that time because i had decided on a Stratux for ADSB in, and GP doesn't support it. iFly was my favorite, and it wasn't even close.

    So now I've bought my own airplane, which came with a GTN 750 and GDL 88. iFly can't talk to Garmin. Garmin uses the Apple-esque walled garden approach, and will only share data with FF & GP. Since I still don't like iPads, I switched to GP. I sorely miss iFly. Like FF, GP has a lot of 'stuff' that tends to get in the way.

    Other things that I took for granted with iFly include big easy to hit 'buttons' and lots of customizability. iFly has satellite images of AP's that don't have a diagram, which is super handy, and a very nice vertical navigation feature. The biggest thing it has over the freebies is georeferenced approach plates. I used it throughout my IFR training and got along great with it. It also allows you to add approaches, sid's and stars to your flight plan and calculates time & fuel to fly them, which seems like a fairly basic feature, but if you can do it on GP, I can't figure out how.

    The only thing I prefer about GP is the nice W&B app (which iFly doesn't have at all yet, and is pretty handy with the lance's 6 stations). If it weren't for the ADSB issue I'd go back to ifly, and I'm tempted to stick the Stratux on the dash. The GDL seems to pick up the signal much more reliably though, as you would expect considering the belly antenna. I hear that GP is better on the ipad, so i may have to break down and buy a mini and do the FF vs GP thing again. I'm going to live with it for a year and see if it grows on me.

    GP will occasionally hang or crash on my cheap tablets, something iFly never did to me. I did have an occasional issue with updating data on the oldest tablet that had an older android version. I think in the last year I had to re-install 3 times on that tablet, but the newer ones worked fine. That is a limitation of Android of course in that older hardware gets abandoned by the manufacturer and never gets OS updates.

    I had it loaded on my desktop as well. One other complaint about iFly is that flight plan sharing between devices is poor. Usually it was easier just to type it in manually. I didn't use the desktop version much, but it was handy occasionally and worked fine.
     
  9. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Another rabid iFly fan boy. I've owned a 720 which was a good device but the 740b I upgraded to has really upped the game with a really well lit screen (1100 nit), built in back up battery, and a faster speeds. It won't shut down in the heat.

    I was using a Raspberry Pi version of the Stratux for ADSB in (traffic & weather() to the iFly 740b and it worked well. Currently in the process of installing the EchoUAT unit with ADSB in & out. Adventure Pilot (iFly) says it is compatible.

    As to their customer service, I hear it is spectacular but I can't give any first hand experience as my iFly units have never caused me any problem at all.
     
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  10. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    It is. We're using that combination now. I mis-typed earlier, we have an EchoUAT/SykFYX, not the SkyBeacon.
     
  11. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks for the confirmation. I mounted the "all-in-one" SkyFYX-EXT on the top of the turtle deck and the EchoUAT on a bulkhead at the back of the baggage area just behind the seat. Pretty simple to install. I'd be done except I'm waiting for my RG400 coax to finish the deal.
     
  12. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    It was 2013 in my case. I hope they have improved since then. All I can tell you is it was bad enough that I eventually returned it through Aircraft Spruce over a year after I got it. I'd even altered my panel to flush mount it. If it had worked decently, I was far enough "in" that I'd have kept it. But the string of problems and e-mails between me and iFly was a mile long and showed that A) There were numerous problems and B) I'd worked with them time and time again in good faith trying to make it work, and we couldn't get there.

    I can't speak to WingX or any other software on Android, but I'd find an appropriate app and install it before buying a dedicated device from iFly. If iFly has a good android package, it might be worth a try. Or it might not. User reviews should be a good indicator.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
  13. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Pattern Altitude

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    Seven years in software development= 100 "dog years." Garmin, FF, and all of them are exponentially better than they were 7 years ago, or ought to be (else they're resting on laurels).
     
  14. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    My iFly didn't *work* 7 years ago, despite hours of troubleshooting in the airplane, out of the airplane, and when I sent it back to iFly twice for "fixes". It is easy to improve on that baseline. ;-)

    No doubt I had a "bad end of the bell curve" experience with them and others have had better experiences. Still, my experience and other similar stories I've been told have forever tainted my opinion of the product line.
     
  15. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Pattern Altitude

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    Oh, I understand... I had the same experience with Panasonic back in the day....

    I trust they (ifly, and even all the others) have done all they can to improve over the years... Thanks for your candid review.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
  16. Jim_R

    Jim_R Cleared for Takeoff

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    I think it's worth pointing out that the 700 came out before the iPad (just to put the technology in perspective). Its screen technology was easier to read in direct sunlight than many other similar devices. I had a 700, and traded it in for (I think) the first production 720 iFly device they sold, and used both with great satisfaction for years before transitioning to an Android tablet.

    Once tablets came on the scene, the primary benefits of the dedicated iFly hardware were generally better sunlight-readability (at least at the time they first came out), plus the ability to output NMEA info to drive experimental autopilots. When the original 740 came out, its 1300 nit display was brighter by far than any tablet available, but that's not true with the 740b today. If those features aren't important, then you can use your favorite tablet. I am pretty sure a large majority of iFly users today are tablet users, not iFly hardware users.
     
  17. Jim_R

    Jim_R Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've been a happy iFly user for ~10 years. They are very responsive to user feedback, and I think kyleb's experience is definitely on the bad end of the bell curve. Despite his inability to get it to work, I think their willingness to engage with him for "miles and miles of emails" to try to address his issues says something positive. Their interactions with customers on their message forums and responsive customer support is something you don't get from a lot of companies.

    I've never had a reason to use anything else, so I can't compare. I originally chose iFly because of their hardware solution before I had a tablet. Once I got an Android tablet, I kept using iFly because it was a seamless transition.

    For a long time, the experience was 99% identical across the iFly hardware vs. Android vs. iOS vs. Windows. For about the last two years, there have been some features added to the tablet versions that simply weren't possible to implement on the older hardware due to CPU limitations. Aside from those missing features on the hardware devices, everything else is still essentially identical across all platforms.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020
  18. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Pattern Altitude

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    Reading the reviews on Google play store are mostly positive....

    One "Sucks" review with no more info.... Leads me to believe it might have been a Boeing (owners of FF, I think) software engineer... But they've had some software issues of their own, I heard....

    Couple of things that I read concern me. A long download time for updated charts.. from someone with "super fast" wifi at work... I have had issues with Avare in that regard... But only if I download all my updates the day they're available.

    I'd like to have ete to next waypoint... And don't think I have that in Avare either... But the truth is I don't look at the data strip when flying.... I'm too busy trying to stay on my magenta line, hah!

    I would also like a w&b, Avare gives me that after inputting the w&b from the actual aircraft....

    It still may be worth a go... If ever I'm gonna fly more than an hour away from home drome... Sigh... That's on me and the budget... Not ifly...
     
  19. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    I guess I have tried all the products, IFly is a very easy App to learn and use. If ai were paying for a service I would likely go with IFly. In the end it’s what the user likes.
     
  20. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The data fields you see on the iFly map are user customizable. Add all, remove all, have some, have many, change sizes, change colors, change location on the page. More choices and more customizable than any of the others I've seen.
     
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  21. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    @CharlieD3 , FWIW, here's my setup. Leftmost column is next waypoint information. Rightmost column (black on white background) is destination information.

    upload_2020-12-21_8-37-25.png
     
  22. German guy

    German guy Cleared for Takeoff

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    My wife and I have been using iFly for years, first on an Android tablet, now on two iPads. Rock solid, never had an issue.

    We also tried pretty much everything else that is on the market, overall we think that it is the most intuitive, easy to use EFB.
    The team behind iFly was also super nice when we met them at the last AirVenture.

    The only downside, from my perspective, is that Garmin transponders with ADS-B In will not talk to it. We therefore use a Stratux for in-flight weather and traffic information.
     
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  23. German guy

    German guy Cleared for Takeoff

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    This is how I have iFly configured on my iPad mini. An yes, we are planning to fly to Florida and then continue on to the Bahamas! :D
    IMG_0105.jpg
     
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  24. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes, one of the two reasons it's my backup rather than my primary.
     
  25. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Your Garmin issue is why I wouldn’t own a Garmin transponder. Being locked into 2 EFBs is BS. I expect FF users will see a descent price increase since Garmin has the FF user held hostage.
     
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  26. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Pattern Altitude

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    I feel the same way... Apple locks you in... Garmin follows the same model.

    The result is higher prices to a "captive audience."

    Does Apple do better at some things than Windows/IBM, yes. Garmin likewise. But they don't do all things better....

    I prefer open architecture, sharing... Etc.
     
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  27. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Funny. You blame garmin for the fact that 3rd party software doesn’t integrate to their hardware.
    I blame them for their software (garmin pilot) not integrating with other hardware, but it’s not entirely* their fault if software developers aren’t supporting their hardware.

    *i don’t know how receptive garmin is to providing the specs to integrate to their hardware, so it may be partially their fault.
     
  28. belbert

    belbert Pre-Flight

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    Proud iFly VFR and IFR customer. Works awesome on my 10" Galaxy Tab. No issues, love the realplan beta.
     
  29. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Pattern Altitude

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    I think the blame goes to Garmin... It's like back in the day, you couldn't be an HP (printer) dealer without $10K in inventory.. But the engines were Canon.... I sold Cannon.

    Proprietary hardware stinks.... When it's productivity based... I care less about game platforms for example....
     
  30. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    This comes up all the time in the ifly forum. They say they've asked garmin repeatedly to allow them access and were told that garmin didn't see any benefit to doing so. I'm sure they only support FF because it's bigger than GP.
     
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  31. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Their software works, Garmin has a copyright on the code and won’t allow its use. That’s why the the apps all work on the other companies.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2020
  32. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    When looking for an inexpensive ADSB out unit for my experimental aircraft I seriously considered the Garmin GDL82. uAvionix was in the game but many were afraid they would be trounced when the Garmin lawsuit came against them (Many will also remember the NavWorx fiasco):

    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2019/october/17/uavionix-garmin-settle-suit

    When that was settled I looked again at uAvionix as it was less expensive, easier to install, and the EchoUAT unit gives ADSB "out" as well as ADSB "in" that is compatible with my iFly 740b unit bringing me traffic (1090ES & 978 UAT) & weather.

    Seemed a no brainer to go with the EchoUAT unit. I do have Garmin 320A transponder that seems to be robust and very accurate ... if that counts for anything!
     
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  33. MrPutz

    MrPutz Filing Flight Plan

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    I purchased an iPad & ForeFlight against my will as I'm a PC guy by trade, use Android phones, and hate Apple. So after a year of that damn iPad shutting down all the time I let it all expire and purchased iFly & a 740b. I got tired of using the dash mounted Stratux with antennas, wires, and running hot in the sun so purchased a Stratus ESG Transponder ADS-B in/out w/3i. It worked with the ForeFlight but I'm unable to get it to work with the 740b? I tried the ADSB auto detect, Stratus v1 & Stratus III without success. Although the ForeFlight does have a much better, mature App, the hardware sux! I'm getting used to the simple easy iFLY setup and coming from a PC background sure seems much more intuitive. But if it won't work with my ADSB-IN then I'm really not happy... I'm still upset you can't print out a flight plan with it. Any ideas on the ADSB?
     
  34. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Don't forget that the iFly has to be set to accept the Wi-Fi signal from another source. If you haven't done so be sure to go to the network screen (it's after the settings screen) and hopefully you will see a link for your unit. Click on it and let the unit connect to it. Once you allow it then it should connect automatically when it's in range.

    I just set up my Echo UAT unit and couldn't get the iFly to connect to it (I didn't even see a tab for the echo unit) until I remembered this step.

    Edit: This video may help ...

     
  35. MrPutz

    MrPutz Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanx Dale, I did do that and got it on my Wi-Fi network at home. The issue I'm having is it won't sync with my Stratus ESG w/3i ADSB in/out Transponder. The iPad with ForeFlight worked ok with the Stratus but I cannot get the iFLY 740b to work. The options are Auto-Detect, Stratus v1 & Stratus III and I've tried them all. iFLY ADSB - Auto.jpg
     
  36. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There's a trick to it. I'll be back to explain

    Edit. So there's a step you need to perform before the Stratus ESGi will talk to your iFly (or any Android device). It's dumb but here goes.

    You need to load the app "Flight Plan Go". You'll need to set up an account.
    Next, set up your phone (not the ifly) to look for the Stratus Transponder when you're at the plane with power on.

    Back into Flight Plan Go:
    Select GDL90 mode button near the top.
    Now look at the left side of the screen for an arrow that pops out the menu. Click on the "External" icon. Click on the Device tab at the top. Click on the Stratus 3.
    It will show a status window on the left saying "Connecting". If today is a good day it will connect and you will see fields start populating. A bad day is when it just stays on "Connecting".

    Your Stratus is now speaking Android. Close the FP Go app, you won't need it anymore.

    Set your iFly 740 to look for the Stratus Wifi. Once it is connected it has a status box on the iFly screen that will indicate success.

    The only time I've had to run FP Go again is when I let a hangar neighbor fly my plane and he had an iPad with Foreflight. He was able to set that up in seconds and it wouldn't speak to me again until I performed the above steps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2020