FlightPredictor, an app for Flight Tracking & Airport Maps
Feb 14, 2012 11:36 AM –
FlightPredictor is a simple yet handy app for getting flight information whether you are the traveler or expecting someone to possibly pick them up from the airport. It alerts you of flight delays and you can see convenient airport maps.
Price: Free, $1.99
Tested on: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Pros & Cons:
- Gives a huge amount of information for U.S. Domestic flights.
- Free download adds a variety of airport maps at your fingertips.
- You can search for flights by flight number or route.
- Pulls in FAA data on overall system delays in addition to specific flight problems.
- The interface is very basic.
- The maps, while a really nice feature to have on hand, are slow to load at times and are limited in selection right now.
- Notifications were sketchy.
As a frequent traveler, in a family of frequent travelers, I am no stranger to flight tracking apps of all shapes and sizes. FlightPredictor, overall, stood up with the best of them in providing good data, with a nice selection of extras.
The app provides some of the basics you would expect, such as the ability to search for flights by either the flight number or by the route information, and you can search up to a day prior and six days ahead. It would be nice to be able to add flights booked further in advance so you have them entered and can forget about them until it’s time to travel, but that’s a minor complaint overall. Once you enter a flight, you get the basic information such as predicted delays, gate information, etc. along with FAA information for both the departure and arrival airports, as well as the weather at both airports. Once the information is available, the app will also provide information about the inbound flight, with the incoming flight number and arrival time, which is a nice feature if you have a delay. It is worth noting here that the app itself gets all flight information is provided by FlightCaster.
I do like that you can access overall airport delays in a dedicated screen, so if you just want to take a quick look to get an overall picture of how on time the system is overall, or if there are any major issues you need to be aware of as a traveler, this is a quick and easy way to do it.
Where this app separates itself from the flight tracking pack, however, is in the maps. When you travel, most of us will have to spend at least some time wandering around an airport waiting for boarding time. Having the full airport maps at your fingertips, without needing a Wi-Fi connection to access them, is a really, really nice thing. My only complaint is that right now, the maps are limited to a few of the major U.S. airports, although the developer has posted that more are going to be added in time. If you fly in or out of these major airports, however, you’re set. I did find that occasionally the maps themselves were a bit slow when moving between various sections, but the convenience of having them outweighed the wait.
The app claims to use the Android notification system to let you know about delays, but to be honest, I found this part of the app a bit sketchy. This was the only thing that didn’t work well for me, with the app either not notifying me at all, or notifying me long past when the flight landed and the information was no longer relevant. I had a good network connection, but I can’t rule that out completely, so keep it in mind when you grab this one. If notifications are a must have for you, then you might want to test the Lite version first, before you spring for the full paid app. Note that the free version allows for six flights before requiring an upgrade, so you should be able to get a good idea of whether it will work for you before you buy.
FlightPredictor Airport Map
FlightPredictor Airport Map List
FlightPredictor Flight List
FlightPredictor Flight Details
FlightPredictor Add Flight
FlightPredictor Airport Delays
If you are a frequent traveler, then this will be a very useful app for you, especially if you frequently travel into or out of airports that have the optional free airport maps available. The ability to get all your flight information in one place is nice, although the slightly buggy notifications I experienced caused some frustration, overall it wasn’t a huge problem since I could just go in and manually refresh the data.
Ease of Use:
This app was dead simple to use. There are several options for adding flights, and navigating around the app is very intuitive, since everything is well-marked. There was a bit of a delay when loading the different screens in the maps, but we’re talking a few seconds, rather than instant access, so while it was noticeable, it wasn’t a deal-killer.
You’ll use this app every time you travel. Or if you know someone who travels often and you want to keep on top of their travel plans, you’ll use this app often. You can have multiple flights being tracked at the same time, although you can only add them up to six days in advance; for most people this will be more than adequate.
The interface is very, very simple. It’s a dark background with lighter text, which was occasionally hard to read, especially for some of the links in blue. This is the one area where it feels like it could be a bit more polished and professional, instead of feeling almost like a “my first app” interface. Not to say it doesn’t work well, just that visually, it’s not the most compelling app out there. It does the basics, and that’s it.