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Android tablets and application for GA (powered) flying

when it comes to using tablets in cockpit everyone speaks immediately about Ipad. What about Android tablets? I have installed (on Samsung 8.9) in last couple of months the following - but still far from being happy Naviator - initially good experience, one can buy just the program /with no US data charts subs/ for about 20USd. somehow works, no updates for while Cumulus - originally for glider pilots, I haven´t found any easy way to operate this while flying. Pocket FMS - installed trial just last week, including european database (even with some outdated info - like LKCL is not airport anymore since 2001 so be carefull). So far the best choice but it still too far from running smoothly. any other suggestion?


What would interest me in an Android tablet is running Oziexplorer under which you can then run various kinds of VFR mapdata. There is plenty on the P2P scene.

Ozi claim to be working on an IOS (Ipad) version but it's been a long time coming and will always be a bit crippled due to the limited I/O and GPS functionality.

Android Ozi is out now and reportedly works well.

For me, the main cockpit use would be simply displaying PDFs. I am sure a reasonably powerful Android tablet can do that just as well as an Ipad (on which I run Goodreader). I print out (back home) all the stuff I expect to be using enroute (printed material doesn't need backups, or batteries ) but unexpected extras need to be covered somehow...

I've been looking at the Samsung 10" tablet which is very very similar to the Ipad. If I was buying again I would buy that in preference. We got the Ipad at home because it gets used for the usual media browsing, and I used it heavily for the online question bank for my JAA IR revision.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

thanks for the tip, I´ll give it a try. the use you suggested is moreorless alligned with my ideas..I can easily live without a complex software telling me that climb to FL90 will take 22.2 or 22.1 minutes at given ground temperature.....


PocketFMS now have their AirspaceAvoid App which you could try out cheaply before deciding whether to go with the full version.

Barnes and Noble are about to Launch a Nook HD+ which will have a nice hi-resolution screen like the iPad3 but running Android (and thus side-stepping the many hassles of using an iPad such as trying to copy files to it, printing, Apple arbitrarily breaking things ...)

Private Strip in Rutland

Jeppesen TC would be unmissable for me

EHLE / Lelystad, Netherlands, Netherlands

Jeppesen TC would be unmissable for me

Indeed, Jeppview is a nice product which doesn't actually crash all that often and if you want a consistent cockpit-usable presentation for everywhere it is the only game in town, but what drives much of the demand for portable solutions is the ability to use the free AIP airport charts and other freely available data.

The European sub for Jeppview 4 is around €2000/year (depending on how exactly you define "Europe").

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom


I'm part of the PocketFMS beta crew. (The beta crew test prerelease versions of PFMS...we don't have any finanical involvement).

I have reported your comments in relation to LKCL, and have just received word that they have confirmed that you are correct, and it has now been removed from the database (and will be corrected in the next update).

Despite this error, I think you'll find that the PocketFMS databse is the best there is in Europe by a long way, and I hope that you see that in the rest of your trial period. If you have any questions on it, feel free to ask me.

In relation to what else is out there for Android in Europe, the only other one that I'm aware of that hasn't been mentioned above is Air Nav Pro. They are best know for their iOS app, but they do have an Android app too.


EIWT Weston, Ireland

I am a huge android fan but have decided to dedicate an old iPad to the new plane as it is clear that for aviation right now (particularly with Jeppesen) you need an ipad.

EGTK Oxford

it is clear that for aviation right now (particularly with Jeppesen) you need an ipad.

The thing which concerns me with using the Ipad for navigation is

  • I have found the internal GPS very unreliable; rarely among GPSs, it will be running fine and then suddenly it drops the fix

  • An external bluetooth GPS (I use an XGPS150) works perfectly but this raises two issues:

  • AFAIK, there is no selection in any IOS app for which GPS to use

  • the operating system will choose the internal or the external GPS and you can't see which one it is using, and can't force it to use just the external one, so it could switch to the internal one and then lose it...

  • it is yet another thing to keep charged, and the battery life is not great

  • the app has no access to the satellite constellation data so you cannot easily judge the quality of the fix (with the XGPS150 there is a free app which runs separately and which does display the constellation)

However, others have found the internal Ipad GPS very reliable, so this may be aircraft dependent. Also I might be wrong about the GPS source selection options; my comments are based on what I have seen myself.

Whereas with an Android tablet, you can use any of the hundreds of plain common bluetooth NMEA GPSs, and some of these will support multiple clients concurrently.

Nothing I have seen matches the Ipad on the quality of its finger-gesture implementation which is why it works so well for document (PDF) browsing - particularly with Goodreader.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Yes, sorry to be clear, I am using it for utilities - Flight plan filing etc and the Jepp plates. I have the Avidyne setup for navigation.

EGTK Oxford
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