CloudAhoy app 2.1: fixes a bug affecting iPad 1

Immediately after app 2.0 was released, I started receiving reports that CloudAhoy does not recognize the internal GPS in iPad 1.  Wayne Smith (name used with permission) was the first to report it.

The bug was fixed the next day and uploaded for Apple’s review.  Today Apple approved the fix, and it’s now in the app store.

CloudAhoy 2.0 Released!

Version 2.0 of CloudAhoy is a major release.  It includes native support for iPad, and supports retina displays.

The iPad version includes two new tabs: Debrief and CFI.

I will post more information in the coming days.

I received a lot of super valuable feedback from the beta testers.  People who I never met volunteered their time to tell me about bugs, missing features, usability and aesthetics.  The app would not have been what it is without this help.  Thank you very much, dear beta testers!

Off to AirVenture 2012 this Tuesday

In two days I’ll be doing a pilgrimage  to Oshkosh.  From Tuesday 7/24 through Saturday.

I’ll be there as a flight enthusiast, not as an exhibitor.  But I would love to meet face-to-face with anyone interested.  Contact me via CloudAhoy’s email, or call  781-269-1138.

Looking forward!

Chuck

Facebook “Like” is operational again

Recently the Facebook “Like” button in the Flight Sharing dialog box stopped popping the comment box.

It’s fixed now.  You can share your flights, fully annotated, on your Facebook wall.  Plus you can  send them to specific Facebook friends.

the Share dialog box

The 2.0 Beta Report

As planned,  the beta testing of  CloudAhoy app version 2.0 had started on June  5th. There are over 20 testers right now, and most are rather active.  The majority own an iPhone and an iPad, and run the app on both.  I have received tons of good advice and problem reports. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, DEAR TESTERS ! ! !

At this point most of the planned features have been implemented. They include: a universal app with native iPad support; In-app debriefing (2D) of the recent flights, and a special CFI tab.

The app is mostly done, but there are still some odds and ends that need addressing.

I can almost hear you asking: hey, that’s great, but what about 3D briefing on the iPad?
The answer:  iPad-based 3D will be available as well. Initially more limited than what’s currently available on Windows or Macs, but hopefully the gap will be narrowed over time.

I expect the CloudAhoy 2.0 app to be in Apple’s app store towards the end of this month or in early August.  Again, many thanks for all the excellent feedback!

A Call for Beta Testers – App Version 2.0

I am looking for volunteers to beta-test CloudeAhoy 2.0 on iPhone and/or iPad.

CloudAhoy 2.0 is a significantly improved app. It works natively on iPads, and the iPad version includes several interesting additions. I am looking for feedback on the user interface, shake any bugs, and perhaps most important, any unsolicited feedback from you.

I plan to start beta testing in about a week. If you would volunteer, it would be fabulous.

To participate:

  • Get the Unique Device ID (UDID) of your iPhone and/or iPad devices. I found clear instructions on getting the UDID from iTunes here.
  • Email these UDIDs to me, or to support@CloudAhoy.com

And Thanks!

App version 1.9

The symptoms: sometimes Auto Stop is not triggered at the end of a given flight, and/or the next flight gets concatenated to the previous.

The first CloudAhoy user to report the flight concatenation bug was Abram Dancy, back in March 2012 (the name is used with his permission).  Abram’s bug reports, and other users’ reports, resulted in app version 1.8. But it turned out that another fix was needed. Hence app version 1.9, in the iTunes store as of today. Thanks to every user who reported a problem!

Taking Off from American Display

Frank Yellin, a CloudAhoy user, sent yesterday an email with a problem report.   He landed on KRDD runway 16, and CloudAhoy identified it correctly.  On his next flight he departed from the very same runway, but that time CloudAhoy identified the airport he departed from as 2CL4, nicknamed American Display, and could not figure out a runway.  What gives?

In the FAA airport database each airport is represented by one point, typically at around the center of the runways.   Turns out that about 2500’ from the approach end of runway 16, outside of the airport, there’s a heliport called American Display.  When Frank landed, the touchdown point was closer to KRDD, but when he later took off, the rotation point was closer to 2CL4.  CloudAhoy got confused.  In other words, a bug.

I added an entry to CloudAhoy’s bug database, and planned to investigate it at a later day.  Then an hour later another CloudAhoy user, Luke Hayes, sent an email with a similar problem but in a different airport (BTW, both users permitted their names to appear in this post).  I figured that my initial assessment, that it’s a rare case, is probably wrong.  And so I fixed the bug.

If you had a similar problem in a past flight, debrief it  again. This will fix the airport name, and will identify the runway too.

I was curious what is American Display.  I could not find information about the company, but Googling I found two private heliports in CA, both called American Display and owned by the same individual.  See this and this.

And back to CloudAhoy – report of  what’s cooking in the R&D dept:  A much improved app (working natively on iPads), and a better helicopter and hot-air balloon debrief including 360° point of view rotation.

Mission Accomplished

Today the ceiling at my home airport was 600’, and I thought that I should shake out some IFR rust, go SPIFR (single-pilot IFR) and shoot a few local approaches in a Warrior.

I ended up flying only one approach.  So in that respect the mission was not fully accomplished.  But since I had my first real partial-panel in IMC, a bigger training mission had been accomplished.  Obviously, I landed after the failure.

I’ve done my instrument checks while taxiing.  When released, they had me turn to 040 after takeoff.   I turned a standard-rate turn as I was entering the soup, and noticed that the attitude indicator was showing a 35° bank.

That triggered a concern.  My next vector was 360.  By that time, a standard-rate turn according to the turn coordinator was 45° on the attitude indicator.  I checked  the circuit breakers, then declared the turn coordinator broken. Several minutes later it stopped responding.

Looking at the CloudAhoy track, my localizer intercept and tracking were not so good, although I did a fairly good job on the glide slope. I attribute my performance on the localizer to mostly rust but also to partial-panel.  Also, I think that it could have helped if ATC gave me a better intercept vector.

My takeaway for future flights: carry with me yellow stickies to cover failed instruments, to reduce the confusion.

All in all I flew only 0.25 hour air time.  The Hobbs was 0.85, because there was a line of airplanes waiting for release.  Actually Ground had me do my runup in a side taxiway (picture on the right), then told me to turn 180 and join the line.
0.6 hours overhead for just one approach was well worth it, though.

Flight Debriefing on iPad

Today I put in beta a pre-release version of iPad-based CloudAhoy debriefing.  Give it a try by logging in to beta from your Safari on your iPad.  Let me know how useful it is for you.

No, Apple/Google did not implement a Google Earth plugin in iOS.  That would be too easy.  Instead, when logging in on the iPad’s Safari, CloudAhoy debriefs the flight on Google Maps.  As the screenshot below shows, both Satellite and Terrain views are supported.

Because of the iPad’s small screen size, I added a button for closing the left panel, leaving only the Timeline shown. The same button is also available on all the desktop browsers, except Internet Explorer.

Obviously, the iPad’s implementation lacks the cool 3D features which you are used to in the Mac/Windows desktop version.  No cockpit view, no published 3D instrument approaches, and for now, no sectionals.

On the plus side, the iPad’s version can display the flight path on a terrain map.

BTW, the flight I chose for showing off the iPad’s debriefing was flown by me and a friend last Friday from P-town (that’s how the locals call Provincetown, MA).  P-town is a terrific destination, even this early in the season.