Google Nexus 7 (2013) Review

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In my quest to test FlightMap on as many devices as I can I just had to pick up the latest Nexus tablet. My previous 7 inch tablet, an early Archos 7 tablet with Android 2.3, was not a fun form factor to use. The resolution was so bad that browsing the web was painful and Android 2.3 was just not ready for tablets. Due to that experience I thought 7 inch tablets were not for me so I’ve stuck to 10 inch tablets until now. Boy was I wrong.


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Features for the next release

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I’m starting to nail down the features that will be in the next release. At this point these are known for sure:

  • Prepare3d support in FlightConnect. This will support all features of FlightMap
  • Added ETA to the adhoc flightplan mode
  • Display of the full GPS flightplan from FSX and P3D when the flightplan is loaded while FlightConnect is running.
  • Simplifications to the launch page

Things I’m working on that may not make it. We’ll see if I can get the performance level to where I need it to be:

  • VOR/NDB’s overlaid on the map
  • All airports FSX knows about in the current region overlaid on the map. This will replace the current airport database.

I have started work on the 7 inch tablet version but I do not yet have hardware in my hand to test against. Rumors are now suggesting a July release of the new Nexus 7 so I’ll be holding off on purchasing one until then. Hopefully by the time I have the hardware in hand I’ll have most of the layout, design, and feature set nailed down. Right now it’s looking like it’ll be such a departure from the 10 inch version that I’ll be doing a separate app. I’ll likely call it “FlightMap 7” and sell it for a dollar less. I may re-brand the current FlightMap to “FlightMap HD”

I hope to have some screenshots of the new features of FlightMap 1.8 soon.

FlightMap Update

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I just wanted to give a quick update on the next version of FlightMap and some information on the 7 inch version.

I’ve figured out how to load in the full flightplan from FSX in FlightConnect. FlightConnect must be running when the flightplan is loaded in order for it to detect and find the file but once that happens it can load in all of the waypoints. I’m now working to open that information up via an API that FlightMap can request. Being able to show the full flightplan has been an often requested feature so this will be in the next version.

I’ve also been toying with changing the way the current “apt” or airport feature works. Right now I load in a database of airports and it’s pretty static. I’m not sure how helpful that feature is as I generally don’t care about airports on the other side of the world when I’m flying. I’ve found a way to pull the airports in the immediate area around the aircraft and update them as you fly and enter new areas. I believe it populates a roughly 200 NM area around the plane so every single airport that is available in FSX would be plotted on the map.

I am also able to pull VOR and DME locations in the same area around the plane. I’ve been testing this in FlightConnect for about a week and it’s working pretty well. The big problem I have right now is the performance of FlightMap when around 1000 items are placed on the map. I need to find a way to limit the data that is plotted as the current map api is a little slow with that many. It’s something I’m playing with. It may not make the next version of FlightMap

Finally an update on the 7 inch version. I’m extremely happy to say that I’m only a few sales away from being able to purchase a Nexus 7. Thank you so much to everyone that has supported the application and purchased it. After the next version of FlightMap is out I will hopefully have the Nexus 7 in my hands and will be able to immediately start development on it.