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ForeFlight – Garmin Pilot

ForeFlight iOS vs Garmin Pilot Android

Was on a recent flight to Oshkosh for the airshow and I had my trusty Google Nexus7 tablet with the Garmin Pilot app. My friend had his ever faithful iPad with the ForeFlight app. The iPad was WiFi only, so needed an external GPS for moving map and ADS-B device for weather etc. The GPS/ADS-B was the Stratus One. My android tablet was WiFi plus 3/4G cellular and it’s own built-in GPS, so I was able to load up all the latest information during taxi. I believe even WiFi only androids typically have a built in  GPS. Why is this important? The moving map displays require active GPS information. The ADS-B device gave the added traffic information to the iPad which I did not have on my Android tablet.

What happened?
So now for the showdown! Well truth be told, they really have similar features. One could pretty much do everything the other could. The really big difference was that the Stratus would loose signal more often that I expected and the data it provided either wouldn’t display or not be current. The android tablet had a fairly current display. We tried placing the Stratus in multiple locations with only marginal change.

The aircraft itself could be an issue with signal interference, so the Stratus may well have preformed better in another plane. There is also a smaller Stratus 2 out for around $899 with better ADS-B reception. Yes, I am an android devotee and probably a bit prejudiced, but the bottom line is that I was pleased with my Garmin Pilot app on the Nexus7 android and it provided most everything I needed for around $300. True there was no traffic on my tablet, but it was severe clear and there is always the old “look out the window” technique.

If you have some different experiences, I welcome your comments…

Below is a table comparing the 2 apps using mostly the descriptions taken from the manufacturer….

ForeFlight Mobile ( iOS )Garmin Pilot ( iOS or Android )
ForeFlight Mobile is the critically acclaimed flight planning, flight support, and electronic flight bag (“EFB”) app for pilots. Navigation charts, Internet and in-flight weather, airport facility directory information, moving map, hazard and terrain awareness, aviation documents, and much more.Garmin Pilot is the most comprehensive suite of tools for Android designed specifically for general aviation and corporate pilots. Flight planning, DUAT(S) filing, charts, interactive maps, weather briefing resources and navigation capabilities; it’s all included. The app’s intuitive interface mirrors those on the newest Garmin touchscreen avionics so you can go seamlessly from preflight to inflight. Plan, file, fly with Garmin Pilot.
ForeFlight service requires a subscription, available via in-app purchase. $74.99 annual.30 Day Free Trial! $9.99 Monthly Subscription Required or $74.99 annual.
ForeFlight’s A/FD provides information about US and major international airports. Data is provided by government authorities, the AOPA, and Universal Weather and Aviation. Critical airport information is displayed elegantly and additionally provides METARs, TAFs, winds aloft, and NOTAMS.View detailed information for more than 5,300 U.S. airports with included AOPA Airport Directory data. Flight rules, Nearby Airports, NOTAMs and Safe Taxi.
ForeFlight provides access to US VFR and Terminal Area (TAC) charts; US and Canadian VNC/IFR en-route charts; area and gulf helicopter charts, and 15,000 US and 2,000 Canadian instrument procedures. En-route charts and over 12,000 terminal procedures are geo-referenced.Charts: VFR Sectionals, VFR WACs, TAC’s, low and high IFR en-route, airport diagrams and approach procedures.
CForeFlight’s weather is best-in-class. 10 weather Slip Maps(TM) with route overlay, pinch and zoom support, and touch planning support deliver information about conditions along your route quickly and visually. In-flight weather is possible via Stratus ADS-B or XM.Weather Maps: Animated radar, AIRMETs/SIGMETs, Lightning, PIREPs, METARs/TAFs, Winds Aloft, TFRs, Infrared and Visible Satellite. Receive and display subscription-free ADS-B weather and datalink traffic with a GDL 39 receiver. Use the unique NavTrack feature to preview changing weather conditions along your flight route. In-Flight WX does not require ADS-B with 3G or 4G data.
HD NEXRAD composite radarNEXRAD radar
Visible and IR satelliteVisible and infrared cloud imagery
Flight rules – Visibility- Sky coverage- Wind conditions- Temp and dew-point spreadGarmin Pilot, weather data can be displayed over a VFR sectional or an IFR low or high en-route chart to visualize the weather for your route.
LightningLightning data
Global winds aloftWinds and temperature aloft
Plan flights by touch to draw a route of flight, bend a route around weather, and add or drop waypoints. ‘Direct To’ functions get you where you want quickly.Create and graphically edit flight plans. Easily modify your route by dragging your finger across the screen or add waypoints with just a few taps. Also Direct To entry.
Engage the moving map and see your ship’s position on top of en-route charts; use the customizable dashboard to display groundspeed and altitude, track, GPS accuracy, or one of 15 different instruments. Only the +Cellular model iPads contain the GPS chip that can be used to activate the moving map capabilities of ForeFlight Mobile. However, the WiFi model can be paired with an external GPS to provide location fixes in flight.Gain valuable GPS-derived situational awareness with appropriate hardware. The app offers a graphical HSI directional display, as well as indicators for groundspeed, altitude, rate of turn and vertical speed. Most WiFi Android tablets include GPS for location, speed etc. to provide moving map
Optional geo-referenced plates and diagrams.Optional geo-reference Garmin FliteCharts® and Garmin SafeTaxi® show aircraft position on approach charts and taxiways
ForeFlight supports airways, SIDS, STARS, and providers cleared ATC routes. Use multi-runway SIDS, airway entrances/exits, intersections, airway identifiers, and even the most complex STARS.Electronic approach plates and terminal procedures for more than 3,000 U.S. airports.
ForeFlight provides fuel price information, visually color coded by price, for 2,300+ FBOs in Canada and the US. Pilots can also submit fuel price updates in-app.Look up fuel prices along your route to calculate the most cost-effective flights possible. Can overlay on map display.
File flight plans from your iPhone or iPad and get confirmation in seconds. Copies are stored on our servers for safe-keeping; email confirmations and briefings are sent automatically.Flight plan filing via DUAT(S) With Garmin Pilot, users can easily enter a flight plan. Pre-loaded forms make it quick to save and reuse data for frequently flown routes. And when the flight plan is ready, Garmin Pilot makes it simple to file, cancel or close the flight plan via DTC DUAT or CSC DUATS.
Select the regions and information you need. Download one area or the whole country from our highly reliable delivery network. Plate and chart volumes install in seconds.Select the regions and information you need. Download one area or the whole country.
Submit comments directly from device, wherever you may be, and read comments from other pilots. You may just find a great place for fried pickles.

Canadian radar coverage is provided by Environment Canada.
International A/FD provided by Universal Weather and Aviation.

Comprehensive weather data direct from the National Weather Service and Environment Canada.

Hi – I have been using Garmin Pilot on my Android (Samsung), and at Oshkosh I bought the Garmin GDL-39-3D so that I will be able to get ADS-B, weather, etc. I was wondering if I should continue to use the internal Android GPS, or tell it to use the GDL-39 GPS? Is there a difference? Also, small plug to Garmin to get the Android application up to the same level of features as the iOS application! Thanks

The GDL has a WAAS GPS which will be much more accurate than the tablet GPS. You should also be able to locate the GDL in a better position for reception via it’s antenna compared to the tablet. Enjoy…


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