Ipad Mini 4 for Flying

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by TRocket, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. TRocket

    TRocket Line Up and Wait

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    I'm not a huge tech guy (though I am an engineer by profession) so hopefully you guys can help me out here. I am looking to buy an ipad mini for flying. I am not an apple person and have always had android phones. HOWEVER, ForeFlight (which seems to be the way to go if you ask a lot of people) is only for Apple, so, I guess I am stuck. Plus they have Garmin Pilot for Ipad too so that just keeps my options open.

    All this being said, based on my research, there is pretty much no difference between Ipad mini 2 and Ipad mini3, so it's Mini 2 vs Mini 4. The 4 is a little slimmer and lighter (who cares) and a little bit faster but is that really necessary just for ForeFlight? The only real difference I have seen that might be worth the extra money for and ipad mini 4 is that it has some sort of non-reflective screen which I can see being worth it. Anyone have experience with the new Ipad mini 4 that could shed a little light?
     
  2. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    First, there is good pilot software for Windows based devices, plenty of people use them. You are in no way "locked into" Apple products.

    Second, I am running an iPAD cellular mini with the retina screen. I have been quite pleased with the device. It is completely daylight readable, which is far more than I can say for my wife's previous generation iPAD. I think mine is a 3, and my only complaint is it is just a tad bit slow.
     
  3. Gsxrpilot

    Gsxrpilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The iPad Mini is the sweet setup in the cockpit. I don't think the 2 or 4 makes too much of a difference. Just be sure to get one with the Cellular capability. You don't have to buy a data plan or even get a sim card. But having the Cellular feature also gives you the built-in GPS. Of course, not all that important if you'll have a Stratus 2.

    I'd get the Mini 4 just to be as "future proof" as possible. You'll love it.
     
  4. dukeblue219

    dukeblue219 Line Up and Wait

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    It sounds like you're on the right track. I fly with the Mini 2 (cellular 32GB), and use the free 250MB/mo of data from T-Mobile for filing at the airport. I have everything updated (iOS 9, latest ForeFlight) and it runs smoothly, so I see no reason to make this particular upgrade (and you're right that the Mini 3 is a non-factor). Bottomline, it's a great setup and the mini size is perfect for a cockpit in my opinion.

    The Mini 4 will age better and 3 years from now will probably be more useful than a 2. So, if you can easily afford the 4, you should get it. If the money is at all a factor, then the 2 is an excellent buy, especially since you'll probably want the cellular version (for GPS) and at least 32GB memory.

    Apple's refurbished store (new battery, new casing, full warranty) has mini 2, 32GB, cellular for just $369 which is a great deal in my opinion.
     
  5. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ALWAYS get the fastest available when buying. The software will NEVER get smaller and quicker, so buy yourself some longevity by getting the fastest processor available.
     
  6. Gucci Pilot

    Gucci Pilot Pattern Altitude

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  7. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Mini 3 retina 32gb with GSM, no SIM card, foreflight pro SV with the whole US downloaded, still got plenty of space.

    Works great, prefect size and the onboard GPS has held true on my GNS GPSs from the flight levels and 250kts, to down low and slow on the backcountry lakes.
     
  8. Xscaliber

    Xscaliber Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I used to have the regular size iPad in the cockpit until I received a Christmas present of a iPad Mini 2 off my wife, I never realised until I got the mini just how cumbersome the big iPad was in the cockpit !

    Anyway to the OP's question...
    My iPad Mini 2 is 16gb wifi only, so I've invested in a Stratus 2, I don't have any other apps loaded except for Foreflight and a weather app, 16gb just about copes with the Forefight US charts that I have downloaded.

    I'm already dropping hints to my lovely wife that I'm thinking of upgrading to a more gb iPad mini at year end....maybe she will be sending a letter to Santa if I'm lucky ...:D
     
  9. Indiana_Pilot

    Indiana_Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    I have the mini 3 128GB wifi/cell I am waiting for the mini 4 128GB wifi/cell Space Grey to become more readily available..

    The A8 chip makes a difference when rendering the map at times and playing music..
     
  10. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There are other options besides Foreflight.

    WingXPro, for instance, will run fine on your Android tablet. So will Garmin Pilot (but it's not exactly the same app).

    There is a lot more free stuff for Android, too, including a moving map (Avare). And Android actually has a sensible filesystem. More importantly, if you run out, you can put an SD card in one. You also have USB.

    The drawback of a small form factor is that you have to do a lot of pinching and scrolling, which can become a distraction. This is especially problematic on instrument approaches, where you need to move constantly between plan view and profile. The paper form is about the same size, but is substantially easier to read all at once.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  11. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Don't limit yourself to Foreflight. WingX is also a great product.
     
  12. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    As has been said, the 4 will age better, if you can afford it. I used a 32GB iPad 2 WiFi only and a XPS 150 external GPS. With all my music, etc I ran out of room for all US charts. Not that I fly that far, but still, I can dream, right? I replaced it with an 64GB iPad mini 2 cellular which I use with WingX Pro. Works great and has plenty of room.

    Check out WingX if you haven't. I've used Foreflight. It's very nice but I switched to WingX because they had split screen and Firelight did not (when I switched). Both work well. Garmin Pilot's big advantage is it's compatibility with Garmin panel mounted GPSs. It uses the same basic UI as the newer GTN650/750 stuff and can be connected to the older 430/530 vi an external box allowing flight plan entry and updates wirelessly from the iPad to the unit.

    John
     
  13. bullwinkle

    bullwinkle Pattern Altitude

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    I prefer a full-sized iPad, I'd get the Air 2 if it will fit in your cockpit. Unless it just won't fit you'll never find yourself saying "gosh, I wish the view was smaller so that that radio freq was less easy to read"... ;)

    I am ready to upgrade my older iPad 3, and was hoping for a new full-sized iPad at the latest launch. Now I have to decide if I should upgrade now to the year-old Air 2, or wait until the next full-sized model comes out. :dunno:
     
  14. DeckardTrinity

    DeckardTrinity Pre-Flight

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    I've been flying with an iPad Mini 2 32GB w/ cellular for the past two years in our club 172SPs. For me it is the perfect size, very easy to set up, and never gets in the way during flight. Since I started with that setup I've added a Stratus 2, so when upgrade time comes, I'm planning on a 64GB iPad Mini 4 w/o cellular... I figure the iPhone 6 in my pocket can act as a GPS backup (but it's already redundant as the planes have the KLN-89B GPS).

    The one thing I would like to see is for Foreflight & Sporty's (checklist app) to add split-screen multitasking support to their respective apps. Right now I have to flip between each app before flight, and I don't even bother with the checklist app after I start the takeoff roll.
     
  15. Scrabo

    Scrabo Pattern Altitude

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    >> HOWEVER, ForeFlight (which seems to be the way to go if you ask a lot of people)

    Download the demos and try them for yourself, FF is not the only player out there and is not to everyone's taste.

    Play with them all.
     
  16. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I used to have a full size ipad 3, now using a mini 2. The mini is better for cockpit use IMO, the full size ipads are too big and get in the way. Currently with the mini 2 and all the latest updates I'm happy, no performance issues. I'd always buy the newest with apple though, as others have said their stuff tends to age.
     
  17. Mopauly

    Mopauly Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I use the iPad mini on a kneeboard with Foreflight, paired to the X150 GPS receiver. Works wonderfully, other than battery life, which I supplement with onboard charging or battery packs. My iPad mini is just under a year old, not sure what production version. As always, never upgrade firmware until Foreflight has blessed it for approval, the one prior to last broke a lot of bluetooth GPS units from connecting so I held off.

    For me, there is nothing better in the cockpit. Foreflight is the creme da la creme. I still fly with current paper charts as a backup.
     
  18. Turningfinal

    Turningfinal Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Get yourself an iPad Mini 4 with Foreflight and build yourself a Stratux
     
  19. arnoha

    arnoha Cleared for Takeoff

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    I moved to iPad when ForeFlight was really the only game in town. That's not true anymore. The other apps, most available for Android, have caught up. ForeFlight keeps adding features, but they are now somewhere between "interesting" and "that's a nice feature". They no longer seem to be adding features that are dealbreakers for other apps.

    That said, get the most horsepower you can get. Map renders, especially if you're overlaying radar and traffic and/or recording flight will tax any processor. Also, 32GB is the absolute minimum. 64GB is better. 128GB if you plan to also use it as a general purpose iPad with photos and vids and music and the rest. But I don't recommend that. If you can swing it, dedicate your device to flying. It will be more reliable and you can configure it just for flying. Always sucks to be in a critical phase of flight and having a notification pop up over everything.
     
  20. RudyP

    RudyP Cleared for Takeoff

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    I just upgraded from an iPad mini 2 to a mini 4. It is a bit faster, the screen is nicer, etc..

    If you are interested in a good deal on a mini 2 with 64GB and Verizon data, let me know. I would like to sell it.
     
  21. flhrci

    flhrci Final Approach

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    That Stratux is pretty cool. Only ADS-B correct? NO GPS position? Just making sure.

    David
     
  22. Turningfinal

    Turningfinal Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Many individuals have added GPS and AHRS modules to the Stratux. Not sure they're out of the "beta" testing phase right now, but people have them working.
     
  23. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    iPad vs Android tablet... probably yes, and iPad.

    Foreflight + Stratus vs Garmin Pilot + GDL 39.. now we're into a religious debate :)

    Note: I do own a shirt that says "Keep Calm and Fly Garmin" so I have some bias
     
  24. Mopauly

    Mopauly Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Apple OS is historically more stable - to another posters point, dedicate the device to flying above all else if you can. I do other things with my mini but it's primary function is being an inflight GPS. I know a few folks that have home built the ADS-B in device with good results.
     
  25. Rykymus

    Rykymus Line Up and Wait

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    I loathe Apple. But after trying pretty much everything on the market, I always come back to Foreflight. I now have an iPad velcro'd to my console (in the empty space in front of the copilot's yoke) with a Stratus 2, an iPad Mini to pull out and look things up, and an iPhone 6+ as a 3rd backup...all of them running Foreflight. Gotta say, I'm digging the situational awareness.

    I still loathe Apple. I just choose to use their products because of Foreflight.
     
  26. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    Just two days ago, I just picked up an Ipad Mini 2 and I downloaded Fore flight just to see what the talk was all about. The program is awesome.
     
  27. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Whatever you get will be cheaper and less annoying than a Jepp subscription. Welcome to the new tech age.
     
  28. TRocket

    TRocket Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks for the advice everyone, I think I am going to go with the ipad mini 4 (though I have been anti apple for years) and use it for flying only. Since 32 Gig isn't an option anymore, guess I will have to go with the 64, just don't want to come up short. I plan to get an external GPS receiver, though I am still on the fence whether or not to get the cellular model so I can have a built in GPS receiver as a back up. Just not sure if it's worth the extra $120
     
  29. asgcpa

    asgcpa En-Route

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    I had a mini 3 and just got the mini 4. Noticed a speed increase. Been busy with work so havent had time to explore.
     
  30. arnoha

    arnoha Cleared for Takeoff

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    It's definitely a nice-to-have. It's also nice to have the option of adding a data plan. I didn't think I would, but I have. I ran my old iPad (no GPS, now have a dedicated iPad mini retina) with a Garmin glo. I now have a Stratus 2. The glo was annoying, the Stratus less so. I don't like the dongle styles, as they make a bulky tablet bulkier, more delicate, eat the battery, and don't place the GPS antenna well. Either way, it's nice to have the backup of the built-in GPS. I think it's worth the extra, but you'll have to make that choice yourself.

    And, yeah, I'm not an Apple fan. $100 for 32GB of memory? Really? $129 for the radios? Are you insane? But...once you're using something, you get locked in. Maybe I'll switch someday. Android tablets are really cheap, so may be worth just experimenting.
     
  31. orange

    orange Line Up and Wait

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    I use the 32GB Ipad Mini 2 with cellular capability. When buying from Apple, you select which cell carrier you want. T-Mobile gives you 250MB of data per month for life free. And if you need more, you can pay $5 for a day subscription, if going on a long cross country or something. You don't need it, the GPS will work, but if you want up to date weather, ceilings, etc you need a signal.

    The only complaint is that on very sunny days, sometimes the glare gets bad.

    Also, if I had to do it again, I would get the 64GB. 32 is enough for Foreflight but when you start downloading different maps, etc it runs close to being full.
     
  32. Croomrider

    Croomrider Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you get the iPad from Verizon and add it to your account with a data plan, they will give you a $200 discount on the iPad, for signing a 2 year contract. If you want the data package anyway it's a good deal. If you weren't planning on getting the data package, it's almost like getting that for free!

    I just upgraded from an iPad-3 16gig cellular to an iPad Mini-4 128gig cellular. I think the mini will be a better fit in the cockpit, and is easier to carry around for everyday use. The -4 is also faster than my older iPad, and 16gigs is really not enough. I don't know how anybody could deal with paper charts in this day and age!

    Mike
     
  33. ifly4fun

    ifly4fun Line Up and Wait

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    Traffic/weather/GPS/AHRS All working on stratux. in addition to the original shopping list, add a second receiver and the GPS/AHRS chip. good to go.
     
  34. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Trust me, it's worth it. Having data on the iPad is much handier than I ever expected. Plus I use the internal GPS more than the Stratus, which is only pulled out for longer XC when weather is an issue. Otherwise the internal is just fine.
     
  35. Indiana_Pilot

    Indiana_Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    I couldn't take it... I am horrible about electronics when something new comes out :mad2:

    My new iPad Mini 4 128GB wifi/cell just arrived today.. I can't wait to try it out! I can already tell I like it better.. much snappier than my mini 3 and the screen looks as good as the Air 2 that I had (anti-reflective)
     
  36. Mopauly

    Mopauly Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've found the internal is no where near as accurate at my 150 receiver - at times I fly close to some restricted and class B airspace, I like to know that with my receiver I'm within 15 feet of where my GPS says I am.
     
  37. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    But I'll bet it says it's that accurate….

    I've seen similar issues, even once verified photographically (two symmetrical cameras on wing struts). Error got up to 0.3 miles at 1500 AGL, but it never said it was any worse than 30m. This was on a Mini 2 with Foreflight, using the internal GPS.

    It looks to me like an uncorrected systematic. The error varies slowly, on a timescale of minutes. If I had to guess, reflections. Or else it's augmenting incorrectly with cell towers (even though I don't have cellular service on it), perhaps by assuming they are at the same altitude as the aircraft.

    I routinely compare it to the G1000. It routinely claims 5-10m accuracy, but it doesn't correlate well with all the other GPSs in the aircraft, or with the downward-looking photographs. At least, not on the scale it claims.

    The worst error I've seen is 3-5 miles at high altitude. Once again, slowly varying.

    But be prepared for the "experts" on this board to claim you're FOS because they never looked.

    I wouldn't suggest getting that close to a critical boundary, as ATC's radar may not be that accurate. And that one wins.
     
  38. RudyP

    RudyP Cleared for Takeoff

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    Wow, I'm really surprised that it's that much. I believe you because I have a Stratus 2 so I haven't used the internal GPS in a long time but I am surprised. On the ground, in day to day use, the iphone/ipad's accuracy is quite good.

    The Stratus GPS appears quite accurate to me even when taxiing around an airport or using Synvis. Has that been others' experience?
     
  39. TRocket

    TRocket Line Up and Wait

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    Well, I got the 64 gig Ipad mini 4 with cellular today. I'm in Delaware for work so.. no sales tax! Downloaded fore flight and garmin pilot, will try them out on the ride home. Planning an evening ride with the girlfriend this week. Planning to use Fore Flight on the way out and Garmin Pilot on the way back. Hopefully next week Ill try out WingX Pro and see what is best for me. Thanks everyone for the input, it has been really helpful!
     
  40. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    Let us know which one you end up using and why. Congrats on the purchase!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk