FlightView iPhone Travel App


A friend of mine on Sunday used the ING New York City Marathon 2010 iPhone app to track the progress of some of her running buddies out there on the course. Well, now you can do a similar thing for aircraft on sometimes-marathon-like cross-country routes.


FlightView just turned its formerly paid-only iPhone travel app into a freebie, enabling you to track the progress of your friend’s, family member’s or crony’s flight while it’s en route in real-time based on FAA data.


You can view a map and see that little plane icon passing over Indiana on a JFK to LAX itinerary and, in addition to ascertaining the aircraft’s position, track its altitude and speed, if you are an aviation buff and into those sorts of stats.


Estimated arrival times, as well as terminal, gate and baggage information, also are readily available. FlightView also works for the travel planners among us. A color-coded map of the U.S. and Canada in the app has a weather overlay which shows how your flight may be impacted by nasty weather or sunny skies.


For gregarious social media types, users can post their FlightView trip itineraries on Facebook or email or text them to people they want to keep in the loop. And, if you are using FlightView on board the aircraft, you can peruse your saved itineraries in airplane mode.


FlightView already had a paid iPhone app, which goes for $0.99 per download in the App Store. But, now it also offers FlightView for free download, as many other app publishers are doing these days.


There are two differences of note between the paid and free FlightView apps. If you pay the extra buck for the paid download, you can post your flights to your iPhone calendar. The free version has no calendar integration.


And, sorry, but the free app has to pay its own way. Thus, in the free version of the app there is no ability to turn off advertising, as you can with the paid app.


So, if rabid commercialism annoys you and you like your apps to be advertising-free zones, then visiting the paid section of the App Store to get FlightView for the $0.99 download may be worthwhile.

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