3.0-Beta is Cruising – and AirVenture

CloudAhoy 3.0-Beta continues to be stable, and we are happy to see an increasing number of pilots who switch to it.  Many thanks to everyone who sent us feedback (including bug reports…)

Sharing with Groups works well now, I fixed the slowness problem which I reported last week and re-enabled the feature.

Also, as promised, the new and improved Forum is now live, and welcomes discussions.

Screen Shot 2013-07-27 at 12.41.22 AMWe have a new area on our blog (accessible from our site) for Sample Flights, contributed by CloudAhoy users.  Check it out. Thanks to the pilots who shared their flights and stories.  If you have a Flight & Story that you would like to share, please send it to me.

 

And now – Oshkosh 🙂  Reminder:  see a previous post.

I will depart en route KOSH soon, with my friend Etan who is also a CloudAhoy team member.  For those of you who will be there, I hope to meet you face to face.

Informal CloudAhoy Users Meeting at AirVenture
Wednesday 7/31  2:00 -3:30 PM
Thursday 8/1       2:00 -3:30 PM
Place: International Marketplace South food court, K-12 on the map,
located between the tower and the EAA Member Square
My cell phone: 617-538-4276

CloudAhoy 3.0-Beta, Status

To all the pilots out there who have been using CloudAhoy 3.0-beta and sending us feedback and bug reports – thank you, thank you!

We have fixed some bugs, and some will be fixed soon. The 3.0-beta software is stable and a good number of people are running it, in spite of some rough edges here and there (as is to be expected from beta software).

The biggest known issue right now: I have disabled the Groups mechanism because it slowed down the flight list. Expect a fix next week. All the other sharing mechanisms (pilot/co-pilot, Buddy, link) work well.

Another thing coming up next week: an improved forum. Until it is available, feel free to share your experience by adding a comment to this post.

– the CloudAhoy team

CloudAhoy 3.0 Public Beta – Starting Today

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Good Morning, World,
CloudAhoy 3.0-Beta is out, and you are cordially invited to join the public beta program.

We are excited, and are eagerly awaiting your feedback! Please share with us your experience.

So – start using the CloudAhoy 3.0-Beta now by clicking the link in your CloudAhoy 2.x

screen-shot-2013-07-16-at-12-33-09-am

 

How is 3.0-Beta compared with 2.x?
Everything that used to work in CloudAhoy 2.x works in CloudAhoy 3.0-Beta. If something that you are used to do is not working, it’s a bug. Please let us know about it ASAP.

What’s New in CloudAhoy 3.0? It’s Sharing, and more…

  • Sharing: Flight Sharing is the the big thing about CloudAhoy 3.0. There are new ways to share flights, without having to send a link. You are invited to check out the Buddies and Groups tabs. Flights which are shared with you in that way are included in your flight list, and there are selection options in the Flight tab to manage what you see.You can use the new ways of sharing with all your existing flights. Read more…
  • Full Debrief capability on the iPad: The iPad app’s Debrief tab now has the same functionality as on the desktop, except for 3D debrief.
  • Debrief on any computer. CloudAhoy 3.0 allows you to login to your account and debrief your flights on any computer system, including iPad, Android, Windows, Mac and Linux.

We hope you will find it useful and enjoyable, we are looking forward to hearing from you.

Chuck and the team
Contact: info@CloudAhoy.com

CloudAhoy 3.0 Public Beta – Starting Next Week

We are very excited to let you know that CloudAhoy 3.0 is almost ready for public beta, after being in pre-beta for a couple of months already (thank you very much, dear pre-beta testers, you know who you are!). At the same time a new CloudAhoy website will go live, with a whole new look including our new logo. Ahoy! CloudBox3

The big thing about CloudAhoy 3.0 is: sharing. That’s a capability that many of you have asked for, and we designed and implemented it to make sharing of flights easy and pleasant (without compromising privacy and security, of course). Some examples:

cloudbox3When a CFI and a student fly together and one of them records the flight, it will appear automagically in the flight list of both. Same for any pilot and co-pilots flying together.
Any user can invite another user to be his or her buddy. A pilot can have any number of buddies, and can share each of his or her flights with any of the buddies.
It is possible to create groups, and define sharing policy within the group. For example, a pilot of a Civil Air Patrol squadron can share a flight with the entire CAP group.
You can display only a subset of the flights, e.g., only flights shared with you, only flights flown out of a given airport, or only the flights with a specific pilot.

To start using CloudAhoy 3.0-Beta all you will need to do is to click a button, and if for any reason you will want to go back to using CloudAhoy 2.x there is a button that will switch you back.

We hope to see many of you on CloudAhoy 3.0-Beta and we are looking forward for your feedback. Stay tune for 3.0-beta arrival early next week!

External GPS devices and iOS 6.1.2 / 6.1.3

NOTE: The original post, below, was published on 3/10/2013.  Since then, the best workaround I know of is the one suggested below, to turn off “time zone” support in the iOS device’s Settings’ Privacy->Locations, and reboot the iDevice .  If you are on iOS 6.1.2 or 6.1.3, I highly recommend doing this before using an external GPS.

In iOS 7.0 and above the bug is fixed.

 

3/10/2013
A week ago Scott Lindsay, a CloudAhoy user, reported a problem: after upgrading to Apple’s iOS 6.1.2, his Dual XGPS150 stopped working with both CloudAhoy and with ForeFlight running on his iPad (Scott’s name is used with his permission).

I did not succeed in recreating the problem on CloudAhoy’s devices using a variety of external GPS devices under iOS 6.1.2.  All my GPSs worked just fine with CloudAhoy.

Then several other users reported a similar problem with their external GPSs after upgrading to iOS 6.1.2.

It appears that iOS 6.1.2 may have  a new bug which affects some users.  The symptoms according to Scott: CloudAhoy correctly displays the name of the external GPS, and Dual’s Status Tool app shows good reception, but no GPS data arrives at the app.

If  you have not upgraded yet to iOS 6.1.2, I suggest not to upgrade.  Stay with 6.1.

If you have already upgraded, pre-flight your configuration on the ground as follows, to check whether you are affected by the bug.

  • Set Airplane Mode, to disable the internal GPS.
  • Enable Bluetooth.
  • Turn on your external GPS, let it run for a minute or two so it locks on satellite signals.
  • Start CloudAhoy and verify that the GPS is listed in the GPS field.
  • Tap START and check whether you get a green light.  If you do, you are not affected by the bug.

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The following seems to fix the problem.

  1. Open the device’s Settings.
  2. Tap General, scroll down and tap Reset.
  3. Select Reset Location & Privacy.  Tap Reset.
  4. After this reset, each app using the GPS (CloudAhoy after tapping START, ForeFlight, etc.) will ask for permission to use your current location. It’s a one-time only thing.
  5. Check  whether the problem is solved.  If you like, share your experience here in this log.

 

5/5/2013
A user published the following workaround on CloudAhoy’s Facebook page .  See the Facebook page for the complete message.

…  they sent me an email saying that I should turn off “time zone” support in the Privacy/Locations tab and reboot the iDevice.  So far, this seems to have worked!

———————-

A brief history of iOS problems with external GPSs:

  • Apple’s iOS 5.x – no problem, works perfectly.
  • Apple’s iOS 6.0, released in September 2012, had a bug that adversely affected the use of all external bluetooth GPS devices.  This blog reported  the problem.
  • Apple’s iOS 6.1, released January 28 2013, had a fix to the external GPS problem.  Works perfectly.
  • Apple’s iOS 6.1.2, released 2/19/2013, may have a new bug related to bluetooth GPS devices.
  • Apple’s iOS 6.1.3, released 3/19/2013, seems to have the same bug as 6.1.2.
  • Apple’s iOS 7.0, released 9/26/2013, seems to have fixed the bug.

What’s Cookin’ ?

Some updates from the CloudAhoy kitchen:

° Two new analysis modes of CloudAhoy have been released after beta testing:  glider flight analysis and rotorcraft flight analysis.  Like in previous beta programs, I was fortunate to receive excellent feedback from the beta testers.  THANK YOU!   And talking about beta testers, several helicopter pilots liked the new analysis mode, but hated the fixed-wing icons which represented the helicopter’s position. As of today, these icons are replaced by helicopter icons.

° The profile graphs have been improved and extended,thinkgs are cookin' at CloudAhoy! both in the Flight Profiles and in each “segment information”.  A new ground profile has been added to the Altitude graph, allowing you to see both the MSL and the AGL altitudes in one graph.  The ground profile is currently available only in the “entire flight” segment.  Also, we fixed all the known graphs bugs in Internet Explorer.

° It is not necessary any more to manually add aircraft to “My Aircraft”.  When you use a tail number of a new aircraft, its information is added automatically to “My Aircraft”, including its type and make.

° Per popular demand, I have increased to 8 the max number of devices per user.  BTW, this limit will be eliminated in the next major release which we are now hard at work on, expected in early 2013.

_____
And hot off the press: the fix for the external GPS not working bug may be in sight!
As you recall, the problem is in iOS 6.0 handling of the communication with an external GPS. Two days ago Apple released to developers iOS 6.1 beta 3, and it’s the first beta of 6.1 which seems to have fixed the bug .  I will update you as more information is available.  Right now I believe that as soon as Apple will release iOS 6.1, hopefully soon, you’ll be able to dust off your external GPS and use it with CloudAhoy and all your other aviation apps.

Helicopter pilots needed: CloudAhoy beta

Call for Beta: to all the helicopter pilots our there – the long-anticipated rotorcraft analysis is ready for beta testing.

How it works;
The rotorcraft flight analyzer kicks-in automatically when the flight being debriefed has a tail number of a rotorcraft. It will help you debrief your traffic patterns, your approaches and your autorotations. The cockpit view is now better suited for helicopter flights.
The new analyzer will kick-in also if you debrief an old helicopter flight.

Acknowledgment:
Several CloudAhoy users helped educate me on helicopters and were very kind to try earlier versions of the software. I never met any of them, yet they contributed their time and wisdom. Thank you! Special thanks to Thomas Hirsch, who graciously shared with me his wealth of knowledge and expertise in flying helicopters.

How to participate
> Login to the beta site.
> If needed enter the tail number in the debrief page.
> Debrief your helicopter flights.
> Email me your feedback.

I am looking for any comments and ideas you may have. What did you like? What didn’t you like? Which additions would you like to see?

And thanks!

Call for beta: glider pilots

Those of you who have been using CloudAhoy to debrief glider flights know that sometimes the analysis has been lacking. The reason: CloudAhoy has a rule-based analysis engine, and its rules thus far have been focused on powered fixed-wing airplanes.

I am now in the process of extending the rules to analyze other kinds of aircraft, starting with gliders (helicopters will soon follow).

If you are a glider pilot I am looking for your help.  Here’s how:

> Login to the beta program

> Debrief your glider flights.  Make sure that the glider’s tail number is correct.

> Email me at support@CloudAhoy.com and tell me what you think.

Was the debrief useful?
Was the flight segmented correctly?
How accurate was the track and altitude?
Are the Profiles useful?
Are the (i) buttons in each segment useful?
What other analysis would you like to see?  New segment types?  New graphs?

And thanks!

External GPS devices and iOS 6

I received a number of inquires from CloudAhoy users asking whether there would be any impact on CloudAhoy after upgrading to Apple’s iOS 6.

The answer: it depends on whether you are using an external GPS device or not.  If you use an external GPS I would advise against upgrading to iOS 6.  There seems to be a bug in Apple iOS 6  related to communication with external GPS devices.

I have tested CloudAhoy running under iOS 6 with these external GPS devices: GNS 5870 MFI, Dual 150, Garmin GLO and Garmin GDL-39.  I have used iPad and iPhone devices.  With every one of these devices there have been cases in which the flights were only partially captured.  The symptom is that after tapping the Start button with an external GPS, CloudAhoy displays a green GPS light indicating a good GPS signal, but sometimes the accuracy deteriorated in flight, e.g., displaying a yellow light, and the data is not captured.

If you are using iOS 6 with CloudAhoy and with an external GPS device, the following workaround seems to work, but I don’t have enough statistics to tell whether it always does.

Before a flight:
– Close all the apps
– Settings –> General –> Reset –> Reset Location & Privacy
– Make sure the external GPS is connected via bluetooth.
– Start CloudAhoy.  Tap “Start”.   Then tap OK to “CloudAhoy would like to use your current location”.

If you are using your iPhone or iPad’s internal GPS, CloudAhoy will work equally well in iOS 6 as it did in iOS 5. Specifically, CloudAhoy is not affected by Apple’s new Maps program – it still uses the same mapping technology it used in iOS 5.
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10/17/2012 addition:
The workaround above does not always work.  Other aviation software vendors have published their own workarounds (e.g., ForeFlight, WingX), but it’s my understanding that these workarounds are not fail safe either.  As I have indicated in one of the comments, I am now flying without an external GPS, and waiting for Apple to fix this.

CloudAhoy app 2.2 was released yesterday

This release includes:

o  support for iOS6 and iPhone 5,

o   support for two new external GPS devices from Garmin: the GLO and the GDL-39,

o   A fix of a communication problem.

Interesting inside story about the GDL-39: after returning from Oshkosh I have asked Garmin to send me a unit for evaluation, to benefit the users of both companies.  A Garmin rep replied with a an official “No”.  Meanwhile several users wrote to me about GDL-39 support, and I had to reply that it’s not coming any time soon because I don’t have access to the $800 unit.  As it turned out, Garmin started receiving calls and emails from these users.  Richard Yerian, a CloudAhoy user (name used with his permission) contacted a Garmin sales manager whom he knows, and a week later I received the GDL-39.  Thank you Richard and other CloudAhoy users for your help in making CloudAhoy better!