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!

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