There were some reports of FlightMap crashing if the “gps” button was selected when FlightConnect does not have the complete flight plan from the simulator. This can happen if FlightConnect is not running when the flight plan is loaded. This issue is now fixed. If users want to see the full flight plan mapped in FlightMap, FlightConnect must be running when it is loaded. FlightConnect is written to function as a service so it can remain running at all times. It uses very little memory.
I had already started work on new features when this issue came up. Because of that a new feature did get released with this update. FlightMap now no longer requires the user to select between GA or regular Air Speed Indicators. FlightMap will automatically select the best indicator based on the aircraft that is loaded in the simulator. Because of this I have added a number of new air speed gauges. These include 100, 200, 360, 450, 540, and 900 knot variants. FlightMap will select the best one so the selection on the launch screen has been removed.
FlightMap 2.6 has been released with Gauge support for smaller tablets. Just pull down or tap the top of the screen to show/hide them. This version also includes much better graphics and layouts for all tablet sizes. It was a complete rewrite of the layout code. There are also improvements to the FSX/P3D flight plan support for Approach vectors as well as 10 more airplanes to choose from for a total of 28. Lots of great changes in this version. I hope you all enjoy it.
The final beta is about to go out to my test team. This is a really big update so here’s what has changed:
- Gauges are now available for 7 inch tablets via a sliding window at the top of the screen
- All new graphics and layouts for all supported screens with improved display on most devices
- Added support for 9.7 inch Android tablets with iPad Retina resolution.
- Better support for approach vectors when enabled in FSX or Prepar3d
- Added 10 more aircraft selections
- Simplified and improved the initial communication with FlightConnect on start
- Various performance enhancements and improved airport loading
I’m still working on finalizing the new Gauge drop down. My beta testers don’t like how much space it eats up when it is down so I’ve been playing with different ideas to resolve it like sliding the map down, using transparencies, tilting the map, etc. None of the changes worked very well due to such a small amount of area for the map view when the gauges are visible. Below is a screen grab of how it currently looks. One of my beta testers has a really good idea that I’m going to try tho. Will see how that works out. Over all the beta tests are going really well and as soon as I work out the design for the gauge drop down I should be releasing the update.
The next release is a huge release from a bug fix and device support standpoint. I have completely rewritten all of the networking code from the launch page. I finally have it a way that I like and it should be much more user friendly. It should also resolve some of the confusion that some of the dialogs have caused.
The biggest change to the app though has to do with screen layouts. I have completely redone from scratch every single screen layout that FlightMap supports. This was a huge undertaking and is taking a while to test but this change will make FlightMap far more resilient to custom roms and different device hardware. It really is amazing how many configurations there are out there for android tablets. This change should also make it much easier for me to add support for more unique tablets should they come up. Instead of being unusable now they should be mostly usable with minor layout issues.
A big feature request for FlightMap is to support the flight gauges on 7 inch tablets. It became clear early on that there is just not enough screen available to have it look like the 10 inch version of FlightMap so I targeted the first release to be the main navigation features of the app. I under estimated how much people liked the gauges. With that in mind I’ve come up with the following option that I think works pretty well.
Now at first glance it doesn’t look like much but if you look right at the top of the screen there is a grabber bar. Swipe down from the top of the screen and you get the gauges like so
A swipe back up will close the gauges. This is not the final look. I’m still working on it and this is very preliminary but I think it is looking pretty good.
I am also working on refactoring how all of the tablet sizes are laid out to be far more resilient to things like tablets that don’t have the software buttons and things like that. The gauges for 7 inch tablets will likely be the big feature update for this next release.