Aviation Apps In The Cockpit – ForeFlight, Stratus Insight, and More

AeroAvion

Best Aviation Apps In The Cockpit – Electronic Flight Bag (EFB)

Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) Options

Flying has been made ever safer due to the advances made with Electronic Flight Bags, or EFBs for short. An EFB is essentially a replacement for the papers, sectional charts, any any other paper items you may keep in the cockpit. In essence, it’s supposed to store/replace everything you have within your flight bag.

  • ForeFlight
  • Garmin Pilot
  • WingX
  • iFly GPS
  • Stratus Insight

Picking the Right Platform

An important consideration you should consider (and one we will be factoring in) is the platform you choose when picking an EFB. By platform we mean iPad OS or Android, the oldest battle on the internet. At the end of the day, both platforms are amazing and you cant go wrong with either one. You need to understand what the main differences are before you select.

iPad OS

By far, the iPad is the most popular tablet in the world. The iPad has the most support than any other tablet on the market. Not only will you have a great EFB but you will also have a great tablet that you can use for productivity and entertainment. If you have an iPhone, MacBook, or any other apple products, we highly recommend the iPad. Apple devices operate like an ecosystem, so having one of their products allows you to connect to the other seamlessly.

In addition, you receive a free one-year warranty with every purchase which makes it a robust option for dependability.

Key Point

If you do select an iPad you need to ensure you know whether you need GPS or not. iPads with the Cellular option are the only versions that include an internal GPS. This will cost you $100 dollars more on top of the base price. If you have an ADS-B receiver with GPS included, good news, you don’t necessarily need to have the GPS option of the iPad. As long as your EFB is compatible, you can use the GPS in the ADS-B receiver to fly.

Cons

Price

The price to entry can be egregious, an iPad will set you back about $1099, if you want the Internal GPS added expect $100 on top of that price. Some may consider this small considering everything in aviation has the ‘aviation tax’ but this may be an initial shocker for new pilots.

Android OS

If you want choices and versatility, choose Android. Android is an operating system that does not have a monopoly on a single device. This means that Android runs on a plethora of devices and many different price points. Quality android tablets can be purchased for as low as $200, however performance may vary from device to device.

Student Flying

What you should look for in an EFB

Compatibility

Compatibility is important when choosing the right EFB. You need to make sure your EFB works properly with your device and your extra peripherals. Generally speaking, there are not many other devices in your cockpit other than your EFB. However, if you are someone who has EFB devices or Carbon monoxide detectors, you should do due diligence to ensure that these devices work with your selected EFB. For example

Ease of Use

Here are a few interfaces of EFB’s

Which one looks easier to use?

Of course, your preference and usability plays a big role in which EFB to choose. It’s important to demo the user interfaces of each one we list to understand the nature. 

Bang For Your Buck

EFB Apps can definitely increase your monthly spending as they often require subscriptions. It’s important to know exactly what you are receiving for the cost.

Live IFR Maps (IFR Flying Only)

A valuable asset with EFB’s is the live IFR maps. This comes in select packages with ForeFlight but is included by default in many others. Have you ever looked at an IFR chart and wondered where you were? Well, a couple of EFB apps offer the capability for live IFR charts. In essence, you can see your aircraft displayed over the IFR chart as an additional aid when shooting approaches. WE DO NOT advocate that you rely on these methods, a good pilot relies on his instruments FIRST then aids second. However, this provides an additional level of comfort when in the soup.

A Big factor is ADS-B support! Contrary to popular opinion, not all ADS-B out receivers works with ever EFB. It’s important to understand compatibility options when choosing an EFB app.

Some of the most popular models list their compatibility charts,

Check out our guide on the best ADS-B In Receivers Here!

What you should look for in an EFB

Stratux Compatability (Source: Stratux.me)

PlatformADS-B TrafficADS-B WeatherAHRS
FlyQ EFB (Seattle Avionics) 2.1+ (iOS):white_check_mark::white_check_mark::white_check_mark:
Naviator (Android):white_check_mark::white_check_mark::white_check_mark:
AvNav 2.0.0+ (Android):white_check_mark::white_check_mark::white_check_mark:
ForeFlight 7.x+ (iOS):white_check_mark::white_check_mark::white_check_mark:
WingX (iOS only):white_check_mark::white_check_mark::white_check_mark:
Avare EFB (Android):white_check_mark::white_check_mark::x:
FltPlan Go (Android, iOS, and Windows):white_check_mark::white_check_mark::white_check_mark:
DroidEFB (Android):white_check_mark::white_check_mark::white_check_mark:
AerovieReports (iOS):white_check_mark::white_check_mark::white_check_mark:
AvPlan EFB (iOS and Android):white_check_mark::white_check_mark::x:
iFly GPS 9.4+ (iOS and Android):white_check_mark::white_check_mark::white_check_mark:
DroidEFB 2.1.1+ (Android):white_check_mark::white_check_mark::white_check_mark:
OzRunways EFB 5.4.2+ (iOS):white_check_mark::white_check_mark::x:
GRT Avionics EFIS (latest firmware):white_check_mark::white_check_mark::x:
Garmin Pilot:x::x::x:

 

Stratus

The Stratus supports the following:

ForeFlight, WingX, iFlyGPS, FltPlan Go, FlyQ, Airmate, AvPlan EFB, Aerovie, Xavion, Stratus Horizon Pro, SkyDemon, OzRunways, and NAVIATOR.

These are the two most popular models for ADS-B receivers. As you can see they vary drastically with support for various platforms. So it is important to do your due diligence to ensure that your EFB works with your ADS-B IN Receiver.

Check our guide on the 5 Best ADS-B IN Receivers here!

Like we stated above, in the article, we will be comparing Foreflight, Garmin Pilot, WingX, iFly GPS, Stratus Insight which are the best EFB’s in the industry. However, keep in mind there are a plethora of other options on the Apple App Store and on the Google Play store so feel free to leave a comment if you want us to add one to the list.

ForeFlight is considered one of the best in the industry. Acquired by Boeing in 2019, ForeFlight has become one of the leading EFB resources in the aviation community. Foreflight has a plethora of features that make flying safer and more secure. However, the major disparity with ForeFlight (and the community) are the subscription-based packages and platform limitations.

For one, ForeFlight only exists on the Android platforms, this could be due to security concerns however this prices many out of the equation.

The starting price for ForeFlight starts at $99.99/yr and can go up to $299.99/year.

Garmin Pilot is the next runner-up on our list. This has the advantage of being on both platforms’ Android and iPadOS which allows you to transition at your will. Garmin pilot has a Standard and an IFR premium plan which start from $79.99/yr. and the IFR Premium plan is an additional $79.99/yr. totaling $159.98/yr.

With the added subscription you will receive options such as VFR Sectionals, IFR Enroute Low and High, TACs, Flyway, Helicopter, Grand Canyon, and IFR Area charts plus APDs (geo-referenced), IAPs, etc and more.

WingX is a great alternative as an EFB! The biggest attraction with WingX is that VFR is Free! This may be super enticing to new student pilots who are primarily working with VFR charts. Similar to Garmin pilot, WingX has an annual subscription for $74.95/yr with an advanced IFR subscription for $74.95/yr.

WingX is on both iPadOS and Android, so you have the versatility to choose the platform which suits you best.

iFly GPS is another very popular EFB within the community. iFly does not include a free option however has a similar pricing model to Garmin and WingX. iFly has a VFR-only subscription for $79.99/yr and a VFR+IFR Subscription for $129.99/yr. Doing the math it’s easy to see that iFly is a cheaper alternative if you are an IFR pilot since the upgraded tier is less than double the cost.

iFly works on both iPad and Android, similar to Garmin pilot, and WingX.

Last but not least, Stratus Insight! Stratus Insight is a newcomer into the EFB field however we are including it since it has been receiving rave reviews from the pilots in our community. Stratus Insight was made by Appareo Aviation, the same company which brought you, Stratus. Stratus Insight is a full electronic flight bag (EFB) suite for pilots that includes AHRS with synthetic vision, TAWS, VFR sectional maps, IFR low/high charts, and geo-referenced approach plates.

For a limited time, you can unlock most features for $9.99/mo or $99.99/yr which is competitive with the pricing model of ForeFlight.

Stratus Insight does not have an Android at this time so it is only available to iPadOS users.

Comparison Chart

 

ForeFlight

Garmin Pilot

WingX

iFLY GPS

Stratus Insight

IFR & VFR Charts
Premium
Premium
Premium
Yes
Yes

Weather Options

Animated high resolution NEXRAD composite radar with lightning strikes, rotation detection and storm tracks, global color-enhanced infrared satellite, color-coded METARs, TAFs, temperature, dewpoint, visibility, and global winds aloft, graphical AIR/SIGMETs and Center Weather Advisories, and more.METARs, TAFs, AIRMETs, SIGMETs, winds aloft, NOTAMs and real-time lightning data. Animated radar, infrared and visible satellite imagery are available for the U.S., Western Europe, Australia and Canada.ADS-B Weather and Traffic, NOTAMs, PIREPs, and AIRMETsLive NEXRAD, METARs, TAFs, Winds Aloft, Lightning,  PIREPS and more.ADS-B Weather and Traffic, NOTAMs, PIREPs, and AIRMETs
Synthetic Vision
A synthetic view of your AHRS system, generally supported by an ADS-B system
Premium
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Digital LogBook
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Cloud Storage
Storing your flight hours and flight profiles on a cloud server
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Time/Fuel/Performance Calculations
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
IFR Plates on Map
Visually seeing your IFR approach or departure plates on the map for ease of use.
Premium
Premium
Premium
Premium
No
Airport & FBO Information
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
ADS-B Support
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Terrain and Obstacle Alerts
Alerts when you are getting close to Terrain or ground obstacles
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Platform
iOS
iOS & Android
iOS & Andriod
iOS & Android
iOS
Price
$99.99/yr. $299.99/yr.
 
$79.99/yr. $159.98/yr.
 
$74.95/yr.
$149.90/yr.
 
$79.99/yr. $129.99/yr.
 
$9.99/mo. $99.99/yr.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, Choosing the Right EFB can go a long way in ensuring you are an efficient pilot. It’s important to do your due diligence to ensure that the interface you choose is of your preference. Choosing the right platform ensures you have the best tool for your flight. Ensuring you find an Electronic Flight Bag with appropriate feature set for your needs can go a long way.

We hope we offered a great insight into whats to offer in Electronic Flight Bag, 

Leave a comment below with what you chose to fly with!

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