Flight Log - September, 2015
Seattle Avionics Logo
Dear Fellow Pilot,

Whew!  This may be a record-setting month for new Seattle Avionics product releases so there is a lot to talk about.  No wonder some developers are on vacation now!

Quick summary in case you're short on time:

  • FlyQ EFB version 2.0 is now available.   The #1 rated aviation app gets a dramatically refined user-interface plus major performance and reliability improvements - which means more focus on flying the plane and less on fiddling with the iPad.  The changes are so dramatic that we've enabled all pilots to try the app for free, with all VFR and IFR features enabled, for 30 days even if you've tried an earlier version of FlyQ EFB.  

    Watch the What's New VideoDownload Download from the App Store

What's New FlyQ EFB 2.0Overview

  • Do not install iOS 9.0 yet.   Apple's next version of the iPhone/iPad operating system, iOS 9.0, has not been released yet (except in beta form) but Apple says it will be released on September 16.   iOS 9.0 includes a change that makes it impossible for either FlyQ EFB 1.5 or just-released 2.0 to detect most ADS-B systems.  We have already adapted to the changes and will be submitting FlyQ EFB 2.1 to Apple later this week.  Do not install iOS 9.0 until Apple releases FlyQ EFB 2.1.

  • New Data Manager 5.1.6 released.  In the past month, we released two new versions of the Data Manager.  Version 5.1.5 added support for Dynon's new SkyView 13 release as well as added many 'self-healing' features that detect and correct common data download and transfer issues.  Version 5.1.6 was released a week later and fixed a plate/diagram download problem that had affected a few users for some time.  All affected users report that 5.1.6 fixed the problem.

  • Voyager 4.72 released.  Our award-winning Windows application, Voyager, now supports flight plan filing and weather briefs from both Lockheed Martin and DUATS.

Each month, the newsletter will cover what's new with our products, include helpful tips and tricks on using them, and sometimes look ahead to what's coming soon.  Back issues can be read from our Web site, under the Company tab.
I'm Steve Podradchik, the CEO here.  I write the newsletter so email me personally if there is something you'd like me to cover next month.  My email address is stevep@seattleavionics.com.

What's New

I've been doing this for more than decade and I've never seen this many product releases in one month.  Maybe that's why the company went through so much coffee this month?

 FlyQ EFB 2.0 Released

Sometimes you know a secret for so long that it just kills you to keep it inside.  For me, that secret was all the changes we made for FlyQ EFB version 2.0.   It's not just a new version; it's a new way to think about how an EFB app should work that focuses on usability not bells and whistles.  It's also an all-new internal architecture that allows us to add features and fix bugs far more rapidly than before.

What's New FlyQ EFB 2.0

App Store

Software companies tend to compete with each other by adding feature after feature.   After a point, fewer and fewer people care about each new feature yet these new features clutter and complicate the app.  Given enough time, a once clean and simple app becomes a convoluted mess with tiny buttons hidden in every nook and cranny of the screen.   We've seen that in every other major aviation app and knew there had to be a better way.   The result, of course, is FlyQ EFB 2.0. 

Auto-Hide Tab Bars and Button Bars 
All versions of FlyQ EFB have been known for excellent usability because of its "Rule of 2" concept that requires common tasks to be just a tap or two away.   With FlyQ EFB version 2.0, the concept was expanded by requiring the screen to be devoted to key flight information with charts and plates taking precedence over tab bars and tool bars.  Yet tool bars and button bars are necessary for easy navigation between various parts of the app so we had to come up with something new and unique that fulfilled both requirements: tool bars and button bars that automatically hide themselves when not needed and appear with a tap.   The result is a breathtaking improvement in usability and safety.   The new auto-hide feature is especially useful in FlyQ's split-screen mode where screen space is even more limited. 

FlyQ EFB 1.5
FlyQ EFB 2.0
Version 1.5Version 2.0

By default, the tab bars auto-hide after 6 seconds but a switch in Settings allows you to adjust this to 2 seconds or never hide the tab bar (just like version 1.5) if you prefer.

New Status Indicators at the Top of the Screen
A pilot needs to be alerted immediately if a connection to GPS or ADS-B is lost or when weather data is getting too old to be reliable.   FlyQ EFB 2.0 uniquely solves this with a series of status indicators always visible at the upper right corner of the screen.   Four indicators (GPS, Weather, ADS-B Connection, and ADS-B Battery) use green, yellow, and red to instantly show status at a glance.  

Status Indicators

A simple tap on any status indicator shows more information about the GPS, Weather, and ADS-B.   For example, the new ADS-B details popup shows when weather, traffic, and GPS position were last received, a graphical depiction of the ADS-B ground stations, and device-specific information for the more than 15 portable and certified supported ADS-B systems.  These new indicators replace FlyQ's previous Status Window.

ADS-B Status Details

Gauge Bar, Map Bar, Track Up, The End to Swiping
The user interface changes don't stop there.  The Gauge Bar (Altitude, Speed, etc.) was moved from the bottom to the top of the screen.   This significantly reduces neck strain when the iPad is on your knee because you don't have to crane your neck so much to read the gauges.  All swipe-up, swipe-down gestures are removed so it's no longer necessary to flick information on or off the screen.  Instead, we use the auto-hide mechanism in most cases.  The Gauge Bar is toggled on and off from a new Gauge toggle button on the Map Bar (the bottom icon that looks like a circular gauge).

Track Up

The Map Bar (the button bar used for Layers, Track Up/North Up, 3D/2D, etc.) has been moved from being a horizontal bar at the top of the map to a vertical bar at the bottom.  This accomplished two things:

  1. With the Map Bar at the top, it was just below the Split Button and many, many, many pilots (myself included) accidentally hit the Split button when they meant to tap Layers. This is no longer possible.  
  2. In FlyQ EFB 2.0, we repositioned the aircraft marker towards the bottom of the screen during Track Up mode to give more screen space to what's in front of you.  If it were horizontal, the Map Bar would have conflicted with the aircraft marker.  Incidentally, you can keep the aircraft marker in the center of the screen with a switch in Settings, if you prefer.

FlyQ EFB has always had NOTAMs because NOTAMs are part of any weather briefing.  But we admit they were a little hard to find and violated our Rule of 2.   With version 2.0, each airport now has a new NOTAMs tab that shows all the local NOTAMs for that airport. 


Performance 300% Better 

FlyQ EFB 2.0 has an all-new 2D mapping system that is up to 300% faster than the previous system, producing far more fluid map movements.  The new mapping system, paired with new higher-resolution ChartData maps, also produces substantially clearer map images that make reading text easier than ever.

The older format maps do not work with version 2.0 so the first time that current users use version 2.0, the app will prompt you to download the new maps.  The old maps are deleted from your iPad as the new ones are downloaded so you have enough storage space for the new maps.   Even so, the new maps are about 30% larger so some additional space is required and users low of storage space may have to restrict the number of states downloaded or remove other apps first.   Also, the Southern Canadian region covers a lot of area so its Sectional download is very large and will take some time to download.   Once downloaded, the Southern Canadian Sectionals will take several minutes to process. 

The Seattle Avionics development team is focused on world-class reliability.   FlyQ EFB 2.0 endured three months of grueling flight tests by hundreds of pilots of all types.   While no piece of software is ever perfect, the Seattle Avionics development team fixed virtually known bug, problem, or inconsistency ever reported.   

FlyQ EFB 2.0 uses an all-new internal architecture that allows the team to adopt a new "rapid-release" policy.  This means adding features and addressing issues faster than ever before. 

With that in mind, I'll mention that FlyQ EFB 2.0 has a few bugs that were not discovered until the app was released.   They have all been fixed for FlyQ EFB 2.1, which we expect to release to Apple this week (I wasn't kidding when I said that adding features and fixing bugs would be faster!).

The important bugs in 2.0 (all fixed for 2.1) are:  
  1. The Gauges Bar in the Procedures tab does will not respond to taps to switch from one gauge to another.   This works fine for the Map Tab, however, and the Procedures tab in version 2.0 retains the settings you set with version 1.5; you just can't change them. 
  2. Map tiles off the east and west coasts may appear solid black when TAWS is turned on.  TAWS works fine for all non-oceanic areas.   Turning TAWS off restores the normal map appearance. 
  3. If the Map Bar is set to autohide after 6 seconds or 2 seconds (the default is Never), it will not re-appear if the Gauge Bar is toggled.   This can be circumvented by selecting Never for Autohide 3D controls in Settings and Autohide 2D controls (the 2D Map Bar is set to Never by default, which is why few people have noticed this).
 Data Manager Version 5.1.6 Released

Our Data Manager application for Windows provides plates and charts to many different devices including those from Aspen, Dynon, Bendix-King, GRT, AFS, AvMap, and more.  Two new versions of the Data Manager (versions and were released this past month.  Be sure you're using version 5.1.6. 
Data Manager 5.1.6

 Version 5.1.5 was a major update with two very significant changes:
  • All-new, self-correcting system for automatically fixing common download and data copy problems due to bad downloads and file corruption on your PC disk.  This means much more reliable data downloads and copy to SD cards and USB memory sticks.
  • Added support for the exciting new map format used by the new Dynon SkyView version 13 (just released) software.  The new map format and the new SkyView software means much sharper Sectionals, IFR Low, and IFR High charts.  It also means MUCH, MUCH (did I mention much?) faster and reliable data copy from the PC to the USB flash drive for those charts.  SkyView users must check the new Use data formatted for SkyView v13 or later checkbox if using the new version of SkyView and leave it off it using an older version.
Version 5.1.6 addressed a problem that some users had downloading plates and airport diagrams, especially Aspen and Dynon users.  This was a long-standing issue for those users, not specific to the previously released Data Manager, and all user reports indicate that 5.1.6 finally resolved the issue.
The latest Data Manager is version  The version number is shown at the lower left corner of the Data Manager.  The Data Manager generally automatically updates itself when new versions become available.  Click Update Now to get the new version if you're using an older version of the Data Manager.  If this doesn't work (Windows security can sometimes be a bit paranoid and disallow it), you can manually download the new Data Manager version from:

 Do Not Install iOS 9.0 Yet
iOS 9.0
The next version of the iPad/iPhone operating system, iOS 9.0, is in late beta testing now and Apple has announced that it will be released on September 16.  

There are many changes to iOS 9.0, all of them terrific, except for one.  That change that prevents FlyQ EFB 1.5 and 2.0 from detecting any Wi-Fi based ADS-B system.

We have almost finished FlyQ EFB version 2.1.  This new version adapts to the changes required for iOS 9.0 and fixes the most important bugs in 2.0.  In the meantime, do not install iOS 9.0.

 Voyager 4.72

We just released Voyager for Windows version 4.7 with support for weather briefings and flight plan filing from either Lockheed Martin or DUATS.com.  Voyager works on all versions of Windows from XP to Windows 10.

As we previously mentioned, the FAA has always had two briefing/filing providers but they recently switched from CSC DUATS and DTC DUAT to CSC DUATS and Lockheed Martin Flight Services.
Our FlyQ EFB and FlyQ Pocket apps automatically switched to using Lockheed Martin when a DUAT briefing or filing was requested.  However, for technical reasons, that same transparent solution was not possible for our Voyager for Windows application.  This new version changes the way that Voyager asks for briefings and filings to match what FlyQ does as this newer system allows us to adapt to any future changes in a way that does not require a new version of Voyager.
Voyager users can get the updated version by running Voyager as it checks for new versions daily.  If the application does not mention the new version, either select Update Application from the Tools menu or download and install the new version manually (no need to uninstall the old version) from:

 Tips and Tricks

Watch the New Overview Video
If you've never used FlyQ EFB (or at not in a long time), the new Overview video covers all the basics of using the app.


Read the New Pilot's Guide
The entire Pilot's Guide has been revised for all the changes in 2.0.  Some of these changes are not in the video so it's a good idea to browse the new Pilot's Guide.

Pilot's Guide

New Quick Access to Plates
Part of the streamlining in version 2.0 means that the search bar that used to be at the top of the Procedures tab has been removed.  But don't worry because we replaced it with something even better: A new quick-access button to Procedures directly from the Search bar at the top of the app.  This also works from a double-tap on the map.  The new button only appears for those airports with procedures so it's also a quick way to see whether or not an airport has procedures.

Procedures Button

Get Maps and Plates on Your iPhone for Free
While FlyQ EFB requires an iPad, you can use your iPhone as a backup system with our SmartPlates & Charts app.  FlyQ EFB subscribers get it for free as part of their EFB subscription.  It's also available starting at just $29 for all other users.

SmartPlates & Charts is not as full-featured as FlyQ EFB but it does what the name says -- gives you exceptionally easy, exceptionally fast access to VFR and IFR maps, geo-referenced approach procedures, and geo-referenced airport diagrams.   Learn more or download it now.

App Store

Upcoming Events

We'll be at the September Colorado Springs AOPA Fly-In on September 26. If you're in the area, be sure to stop by and kick the tires on everything we make!


Steve Podradchik
CEO, Seattle Avionics

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