IPad Mini 6 for Foreflight

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Scott Mitchell, Nov 6, 2021.

?

iPad Mini 6 or 5 ForeFlight?

  1. 6 with cellular

    26 vote(s)
    47.3%
  2. 6 WiFi only

    13 vote(s)
    23.6%
  3. 5 with cellular

    12 vote(s)
    21.8%
  4. 5 WiFi only

    8 vote(s)
    14.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Scott Mitchell

    Scott Mitchell Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2020
    Messages:
    53

    Display name:
    Scott Mitchell
    I’ve never owned a Mini before but am realizing that it’s the best size balance for GA flying. IPhone 13 pro is too small, full size iPad I use for work is big enough to be awkward. With the new iPad mini 6 out in late September this year, should I spend for that- or just buy a 5 that might get discounted on Black Friday or Amazon day?

    what’s your experience?

    I have a ForeFlight Sentry. Is it still recommended to get a cellular version of the IPad mini for increased GPS capability?
    Any info is appreciated. Take me to ForeFlight mini school

    thank you in advance!
     
  2. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    10,608
    Location:
    Colorado

    Display name:
    murphey
    The 6 is already out. Been out for weeks. This note is being written on a 6. You don’t need to set up or pay for cellular with the cell/gps version.
     
    Tantalum likes this.
  3. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,974

    Display name:
    GeorgeC
    The 6 is really nice, but I just picked up a refurbed 5 with cellular for half as much.
     
    Rgbeard, Scott Mitchell and murphey like this.
  4. Joe_D

    Joe_D Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2021
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Western New York

    Display name:
    Joe_D
    I just got the 6 with wifi. Haven't used it yet in the plane, but it seems like it will work very well.
     
  5. Kent Wien

    Kent Wien Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2019
    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    New York

    Display name:
    Kent
    The reason the iPad mini 6 is the perfect device for the cockpit is that it has Touch ID on the power button. You don’t have to look straight at it or put your thumb over the button on the front which used to take up screen real estate.

    I love my mini!
     
    Scott Mitchell and Joe_D like this.
  6. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,706

    Display name:
    woodchucker
    I have a mini-5 w/out cellular. Works fine with my Sentry.
     
    Scott Mitchell likes this.
  7. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    1,910
    Location:
    Bryan, Texas

    Display name:
    Mark
    Get the cell version so you get internal GPS. You don’t have to pay for the monthly service.

    bluetooth only units will not have internal gps activated…so no little blue plane on your charts.
     
    Scott Mitchell likes this.
  8. Scott Mitchell

    Scott Mitchell Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2020
    Messages:
    53

    Display name:
    Scott Mitchell
    Little blue plane is half the point! Lol
     
  9. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    13,446
    Location:
    Chapel Hill NC

    Display name:
    Mark
    The choice between cellular and non-cellular is personal. The difference, other than the ability to pay for and use a mobile data connection on the ground when wifi is not available, is that the cellular model has an internal GPS. If you go non-cellular, you need an external GPS connection - an external wifi or Bluetooth GPS such as a Dual XGPS or Stratus (which also provides ADS-B traffic and weather); a feed from a panel ADS-B In transponder such as a Garmin 345.

    Some prefer the former. Some the latter. Personally, in January it will be 11 years since I started using Foreflight on an iPad. All of my iPads, including my new Mini 6, have been WiFi only. Perhaps obviously, I haven't missed the cellular model. Others won't leave home without it.
     
    wayneda40 likes this.
  10. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,390

    Display name:
    Hang 4
    1 vote for wifi, unless you need cellular for connectivity. Use the money you save to get a stratux that gives you GPS plus a rudimentary AHRS as a last chance back up. The 6 can use the good Apple Pencil, which as some use for marking up approach plates and such.
     
    Scott Mitchell likes this.
  11. Scott Mitchell

    Scott Mitchell Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2020
    Messages:
    53

    Display name:
    Scott Mitchell
    I understand the 6 is out, but there are still plenty of 5’s on the market.Just trying to decide if I need to spend on a 6, or since I have a good full size iPad and iphone -and the mini is just going to be for ForeFlight- is a 5 just as good. That said, I don’t need to pinch every penny- if the 6 has features that are worth it, I’d consider it.

     
  12. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2020
    Messages:
    464
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Display name:
    Challenger1
    I am still using my mini 4 that I got in 2016 when I started using FF. It is also just wifi and gets it's GPS and internet from my phone and GTX 345 in the plane.

    I have a spare mini 5 but don't use it or have needed it. It has FF on it and I keep it current but don't really use it. I was too cheap at first to get cellar cause it cost a bit more. Then came across a deal on another wifi 5 to keep as a spare.
     
    Scott Mitchell likes this.
  13. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    10,608
    Location:
    Colorado

    Display name:
    murphey
    I went with a new 6 because the 4 I had was not going to work with other apps I need. I use the iPad for more than flying.
     
  14. Scott Mitchell

    Scott Mitchell Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2020
    Messages:
    53

    Display name:
    Scott Mitchell
    Cool- do you mount it? Kneeboard? I’m finding there’s not a lot of accessories yet bc it’s new

     
  15. dennisc172

    dennisc172 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2018
    Messages:
    92
    Location:
    Amsterdam, NL

    Display name:
    Dennis
    Keep in mind that it will not fit some of the expensive older "aviation" accesoires like X-naut for ipad older minis.
     
  16. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    13,446
    Location:
    Chapel Hill NC

    Display name:
    Mark
    I mount my 6 with the same hardware as the 4 and 5. I owned one of those form fitting cradles with my very first iPad and, of course, it became obsolete with my second. That's ridiculous. I'm using a RAM X-Grip. In addition to every Mini, it also fits my Android backup tablet. (The RAM Tab-Tite is another good option.)

    I think a used 5 remains a decent option, recognizing that it will be time limited. My 4 was starting to show its age - especially with Foreflight. When the rumors of a 6 last spring didn't come to pass, I decided to buy a used 5 and buy a new 6 when it became available. The 5 for me was a planned interim purchase. (It goes on sale on eBay next Thursday)
     
    murphey likes this.
  17. Country Flier

    Country Flier Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2019
    Messages:
    266

    Display name:
    CFL
    I've got a mini 5 WITH cellular. It was an upgrade for my old mini (4?) cellular that was getting slow. I made the mistake of buying the mini 5 with a smaller memory, and I get warnings whenever Foreflight tries to upgrade that I'm running out of memory, so I think I'm gonna upgrade to a 6 with a bigger memory WITHOUT cellular. I've never had an iPad without cellular...is it at all a handicap? I figure I could always just hotspot my iPhone.
     
  18. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    13,446
    Location:
    Chapel Hill NC

    Display name:
    Mark
    I've never found it to be a handicap or I can guarantee I would have one. Others would, though. If you are used to having g internal GPS and mobile data, I would expect to miss it.
     
  19. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2017
    Messages:
    3,191
    Location:
    hopefully not at work

    Display name:
    Meet the Fokkers
    if I remember correctly...Mini 6 had larger screen with smaller frame size, better specs/performance, (to ward off the inevitable slow down a while longer), and usb -c port.
    They moved the volume buttons, so if you have existing cases, they may/may not work for you, depending on your preference.
    Those would be deciding factors for me. Everyone has a different threshold on thoughts of whether it's worth the step up or not though vs the the money. Probably own it 4 or 5 years at least, so for a couple hundred more I'd go for speed, big screen, and usb.

    Says the guy flying a 172

    Hmmm...for just 80,000 more I could get speed, newness, and convenience of experimental.

    Edited to add:
    Also as mentioned in previous threads/posts, for wifi only, there is also the option to hotspot your cellphone. Which, due to poor planning on my part, I have done even at 3000 ft. to download missing charts... so yes, it does work. Although it was slow, I believe it would have been the same with it's own sim. Just a bit too high for good signal.. plus it was Tmobile in a remote area, so there's that.

    Additional input: I upgraded my mini 4 this weekend to IOS 15.1 and noticed it stuttering a bit for the first time during flight yesterday. This was running FlyQ not Foreflight.

    That alone would probably send me toward the mini 6 vs. the 5 for the performance\longevity.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2021
    Scott Mitchell likes this.
  20. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,880
    Location:
    Alameda, CA

    Display name:
    Mike Brannigan
    my mini6 is still on backorder. when it finally arrives, ill be selling my mini5/256/cellular if you prefer a cheaper option.

    Given the poll and no other info, why wouldn't someone vote "latest and greatest" ?
     
  21. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,219

    Display name:
    Silvaire
    As the owner of an older mini that I use only for Foreflight the only thing that could possibly interest me in a 6 would be if it had a brighter screen. Does it have a brighter screen?
     
  22. wayneda40

    wayneda40 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2017
    Messages:
    407

    Display name:
    waynemcc
    I updated to the iPad Mini 6 a month ago. Very happy with it. An unexpected benefit... seems it's much more "oleophobic" (had to look that up) than its predecessors, i.e. it does a great job at rejecting my greasy fingerprints/smudges. To be quantitative, I'd have to clean the screen on my Mini 5 every couple hours... I've flown with the Mini 6 now for ~10 hours and it has stayed smudge-free all by itself :).
     
  23. Scott Mitchell

    Scott Mitchell Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2020
    Messages:
    53

    Display name:
    Scott Mitchell
    A new word!

     
  24. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    13,446
    Location:
    Chapel Hill NC

    Display name:
    Mark
    I'll try to remember not to shake hands.
     
    wayneda40 and JOhnH like this.
  25. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    13,089
    Location:
    Florida

    Display name:
    Right Seater
    There is only one real answer to this question: The six is better but it costs more, but how much that difference makes is totally up to you. Will you have to sacrifice something else if you buy the six?
    Lots of people save a few dollars by not getting the gps version though. Personally, I don't understand that. Why buy a device to help navigate and not get the most effective navigation component.
     
    Scott Mitchell likes this.
  26. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    13,446
    Location:
    Chapel Hill NC

    Display name:
    Mark
    Just to show how much personal preference fits in to this, that was exactly my original reason for WiFi only. I figured spending the extra $100-$150 bucks on an external GPS which I could put on the dash or hang in the window would be a better choice for an effective, reliable, and continuous signal than one in a tablet which might be blocked from time to time by the tin can of the airplane. YRMV but 10+ years and 4 non+cell iPads later, I've never been disappointed by that decision. As it turns out, my external now plays the role of rarely used backup since most of the aircraft I fly have an on-board ADS-B In solution.

    i did once consider the cellular version when I began to use my iPad on the job, but that would have been for mobile data not GPS.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2021
  27. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,390

    Display name:
    Hang 4
    :yeahthat: The ~$100 extra for the GPS module in an iPad will pinpoint you in 2d space. ~ $120 for a Stratux will get you; GPS, ADSB in, Altitude (non-certified) and if your entire panel goes to crap, Attitude from a very basic AHRS. In addition, if you have ADSB in from your panel and either bluetooth or wifi connectivity, you can get all that as well.
     
  28. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    1,910
    Location:
    Bryan, Texas

    Display name:
    Mark
    My little blue airplane shows up reliably (99% of the time) via internal gps just fine in C150, C172, C182, C170, C162, PA28-180, PA28R-200, BE-76, C90A, CE550 aircraft up to FL400.

    It also gives me GPS altitude. If you want an external for when your panel goes to crap, then get an iPad with internal for when your external goes to crap. And double knot your laces ;-)
     
    woodchucker likes this.
  29. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    28,824
    Location:
    Land of Savages

    Display name:
    steingar
    I'm flying with an iPad mini of some variety (I'll never forget all the jokes you guys made when the iPads first came out, you know who who you are). I can't recall if its a 3 or 4, but it still works just fine for Foreflight. I'll keep using it for aviation until it breaks or goes obsolete, and I'll likely replace it with a mini. Fits nicely on the yoke of my aircraft. Get one with cellular and pay for the plan, it can really come in handy since it has a far better GPS chip. That, and the cellular can really come in handy for preflight and stuff.
     
  30. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,706

    Display name:
    woodchucker
    Couple other thoughts:

    1) Buy the max memory available (unless you know for a fact that you won’t ever need it)

    2) I bought my mini-5 refurbed through Apple. Comes good as new while saving a few bucks.

    3) The mini fits perfectly on the yoke
     
    Scott Mitchell likes this.
  31. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2017
    Messages:
    3,191
    Location:
    hopefully not at work

    Display name:
    Meet the Fokkers
    No.. both 500 nits.
     
  32. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,880
    Location:
    Alameda, CA

    Display name:
    Mike Brannigan
    Just like the 5 was better than the 4 but cost more... :D I'm on the apple treadmill like everyone else.
     
    Scott Mitchell likes this.
  33. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,219

    Display name:
    Silvaire
    I think most people who use it for Foreflight want to have weather and traffic so are going to be using a Stratux or other external gps source anyway so there's really no point in paying extra for a cellular ipad just to get a superfluous gps that wouldn't be of any use.
     
  34. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    10,608
    Location:
    Colorado

    Display name:
    murphey
    The "larger screen" really isn't. Perhaps 1/4 inch all the way around. Size difference is just enough to make you bonkers because none of the existing cases (except Apple's POS) fits, altho I have made my 5 Targus work well enough for the time being. Holes for camera are same but none of the buttons are in the same place.
     
  35. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    3,151

    Display name:
    Ari
    Props to you for taking a Cessna 150 up to FL400. :)

    I want an iPad Mini 6. I have the second generation Apple Pencil and an iPad Pro. I previously had an iPad mini 4 and the only thing I didn’t like was lack of a palm rejecting stylus for it. I had a first generation Pencil and also didn’t like the charging methodology which led to it never being charged and eventually breaking.
     
    Scott Mitchell likes this.
  36. Scott Mitchell

    Scott Mitchell Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2020
    Messages:
    53

    Display name:
    Scott Mitchell
    The pencil is one of the reasons I’m leaning 6. I’ve never used one on any device. Can you tell me more? Useful in flight? Clearances, etc?
    or will I lose it in a week?

     
  37. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    13,446
    Location:
    Chapel Hill NC

    Display name:
    Mark
    I can't tell you whether it not you will lose it :D

    I can tell you (1) an Apple-specific pencil beats the crap out of your finger and the more universal styluses out there, (2) less expensive but still Apple specific alternatives work well for the basic writing and drawing tasks (palm rejection, yes; pressure sensitivity, no), and (3) personally, I still prefer paper and pen for most in-flight note taking.

    BTW, on the losing it front, I've put pencil clips on mine. While the naked pencils stick nicely to the magnetized side of the Mini 6, most mounting cradles will interfere.
     
    Scott Mitchell likes this.
  38. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,390

    Display name:
    Hang 4
    Marking up approach plates in color as a briefing aid is one thing I can think of. I do that on my 4 at an unfamiliar destination. Would work better with the Gen2 pen that works with the 6. Got the idea from https://bruceair.wordpress.com/2020/07/01/annotating-ifr-charts/
     
    Scott Mitchell likes this.
  39. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    28,824
    Location:
    Land of Savages

    Display name:
    steingar
    I can only relate my experience. I have an iPad mini with cellular and a larger one without. The mini always works and always shows me where I am. The larger one sometimes shows me where I am, and sometimes it doesn't. It is synced with the stratus I have in the airplane, so it should get the wifi signal. On the unhappy day I replace my mini it will be with another mini with cellular.
     
    NoHeat and Scott Mitchell like this.
  40. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    3,151

    Display name:
    Ari
    It does sometimes fall off the side of my iPad but only when I'm jostling it around. I bought a box of replacement tips because I dropped it on pavement once and the tip was damaged. It still worked but bothered me. I find it useful in flight for the CRAFT and ATIS scratchpads on ForeFlight, and on the ground if I'm going to a complicated airport I will mark up the airport diagram with the FBO I'm planning to go to as well as going through NOTAMs to mark the closed taxiways ahead of time.

    It's generally easier to jot things like clearances and ATIS down on paper. But it's also easier to keep the iPad handy than to keep the iPad and paper both handy.
     
    Scott Mitchell likes this.