Aviation Weather on the iPhone:
Tired of Waiting, I'm Moving On
Back at Oshkosh in late July, I had a long list of things to see and people to talk to. One of the first things on that list was to stop at the Pilot My-Cast booth and get the real story of when their app would be ready for the iPhone. While the rep at the booth was very gracious and even gave me a pretty cool free hat, they were as vague as can be about a release date. "Get on the email notification list" was about all I could get out of anyone there. So as my Verizon contract came to a close, I noticed on the My-Cast site that their iPhone release has been pushed from "fall" to "later this quarter". So I did what I had to do, got the iPhone and immediately installed Foreflight Mobile, version 2.4.1.
Foreflight Mobile is about as sweet as you get. It has been designed from the ground up by aviators, actual pilots who use aviation weather every day. Because Tyson Weihs and the rest of the Foreflight team are pilots, they understand how this kind of app needs to work. This is not a bunch of guys laid off from Circuit City slopping together some crap in a basement, no, this is a nearly perfect and very functional app that delivers everything a pilot needs to get the "pre-flight intelligence" required to make better weather decisions.
Not going to mince words here, the very dependable Toyota pick-up that I drive is sadly either "Plain Jane" or "box stock", take your pick. For some reason, I have never upgraded the old school cassette deck, and so I usually drive around listening to NPR. But this weekend I bought the little adapter that allows the use of 3.5mm earphone jacks in the iPhone's ridiculous odd-sized earphone jack. On the way home from 'The Shack, I dug my old cassette adapter out of my glove box, slipped the faux cassette into the deck, and plugged this into the iPhone. I cranked up the built-in iPod on the phone, and discovered that the sound quality and power of the iPhone's iPod is way WAY better than my old iPod, which sounded tinny and crappy when played through the old deck. No, this phone was driving my speakers so well, I cruised home slowly, smiling as I wondered just what the hell this phone could NOT do.