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Ipad Mini versus Nexus 7

This is a comparison many make…

I am looking at getting one or the other, specifically for cockpit use. The N7 would have the following advantages to me

  • can run Oziexplorer (I have VFR charts for all of Europe on it)
  • the file system is open (avoids various irritating issues with “getting at stuff”)
  • bluetooth is wide open (Apple’s is restricted to Apple approved devices)

It isn’t clear however if the N7 can connect to an old style NMEA BT GPS. No IOS device can, and they have to be used with one of the (very few) compatible units such as the XGPS150 which then cannot serve a non-IOS device at the same time.

The screen specs of the N7 are a lot worse than the specs of the Ipad Mini The Ipad gets a slightly bigger screen into similar overall dimensions, which is relevant for “older” pilots But does this matter for specifically the display of Jepp terminal charts, viewed either as JeppTC or as PDFs in Goodreader? (I assume there is a decent PDF display app for Android, with rapid page switching).

Also how do people get on with the Ipad having less of a margin around the screen by which to hold it – I am thinking of accidental screen touches. JeppTC doesn’t have a lock. JeppFD does. Goodreader has a lock.

Both devices should be able to connect over WIFI to a satellite phone, for tafs/metars etc.

Could anyone offer relative comments on

  • battery life
  • screen readability in sunlight (availability of very good matt screen protectors)
  • ease of charging in aircraft (flimsy connector, perhaps)
  • is there an email app for the N7 which a) offers preconfigured BCC and b) can operate as the default email app in any “Send” context?

How easy is it to jailbreak the N7? I gather it is very easy as the file system is open, but is it really all open? I can’t believe it is completely open, because Jepp have just released JeppFD for Android.

Last Edited by Peter at 20 Dec 08:25
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I use an iPad mini (and sometimes an iPad 4) and all i can say is:

- I can charge both the iPhone 5 and the iPad mini at the same time through the 3 A 12 V outlet in the center console
- I use a GNS2000 BT GPS for the iPad mini which works perfect with all iOS devices
- I use SkyDemon, Air Navigation Pro, JeppFD (for all my active JeppView charts) and all of the best weather apps
- for IFR I use Rocketroute on the iPad and the plane’s MFD fpr all approach charts, but i have the enroute chart on the iPad (which doesn’t exist for the Avidyne MFD)

Touching was not a problem for me. The iPad mini i simply lay on top of my kneeboard when i need it, but I don’t attach it. When I don’t need it i put it in the glovebox. Battery life of the iPad mini is pretty good but I prefer to have all devices connected to the charger when I use them

Depending on your eyes you might need a matt screen protector. Until now i have not used one, but I’m sure this will improve it.

I know that especially engineers don’t like the restricted access and connectivity. But it has it’s positive sides too (at least for the non-engineers )). The system cannot be corrupted by junk acessories and bad software and data, or not as easily. And there’s really every accessory one might need available … I have four drawers full of that stuff at home :)

jailbreaked N7 – I guess in Android world it´s refered as “rooted”. When I was looking at Jepp TC (or whatever it was) on android earlier this year they declared it´s not going to run on rooted devices. It worked pretty well on my not rooted Samsung. Why do you refer N7 display “a lot more worse” – 2048×1536 versus 1920×1200.


The N7 spec I linked to is 1280 × 800. Maybe there is a later one?

I can’t see how an app can tell if the platform has been hacked… I do know of one app which blocks itself from running if it detects Remote Desktop is running, which I thought was quite cunning

Incidentally I believe JeppFD blocks itself if the database is > 2 months out of date. JeppFD-VFR does that, I was told. JeppTC doesn’t do that and I think that is crucial.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

yep, there is a Nexus 7 and Nexus 7. The latter one released in 2013 has the same name but much better display.


I think it’s not 2 months but ten weeks, i think. That’s clearly a marketung tool, and I hate it. Especially when I buy a trip kit for the plane (Croatia …) and then I have to buy it again after three months and nothing has changed

Last Edited by Flyer59 at 20 Dec 09:38

I just made a support for the Nexus 7 (2013) to be used with Skydemon…I can pull up now the IFR AIP charts in a glance….it works perfectly (tested it in low flying “car” ).
The screen and brightness are excellent..

Last Edited by Vref at 20 Dec 10:50


You have used a bigger screen device up to now. Are you sure that you’d be happy with a 7" device? You certainly have proven to yourself that you have enough room to use a larger device in the TB20.

I’ve used both a 7" Samsung device and a full size iPad in the Arrow. The only advantage that I’d ascribe to the smaller device is that it can be mounted on a suction mount without losing too much pannel view. But then it becomes much less interactive.

I wouldn’t swap my full size iPad for a 7" device. I imagine that as I get older and my eyesight starts to degenerate I’d be even less inclinded to get a smaller device!

In terms of the devices you have mentioned above, both are good devices.


EIKH Kilrush

A quick comp. here:

Last Edited by Vref at 20 Dec 12:27

Cant offer a comparison to Apple – I don’t have any apple products and I cant answer your tecky questions but for a layman like myself, I use the N7 1st generation and love it. To be replaced by the 2nd generation as I cracked the screen. Took it to Stornoway and it never let me down. Screen display was good in crap weather and sunny weather. Battery was imo good. Lasted early morning to late at night with continuous use but I did only have skydemon running and then on the ground used it for weather/notams/facebook and email. Mine has both Wi-Fi and 3g. I am half toying with the ipad mini but cant see what more it will give me than the N7 except cost and as I don’t use the tablet for anything else it seems a waste of money.

Always looking for adventure
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