FlightRadar24 Vs Plane Finder, Flight Tracking iPhone Apps

FlightRadar24 Vs Plane Finder, Flight Tracking iPhone Apps

This post is a re-edit of the original post made earlier last year.

I downloaded 2 Aircraft Tracking iPhone Apps which allows you to track the position, height, speed, Squawk Code, Aircraft type, heading, source, destination and Aircraft Registration, plus much more.

These amazing iPhone apps are brilliant if you are interested in aircraft or just want to know where a plane in the sky is heading.

So Which one is better, FlightRadar24 or PlaneFinder (Harry Hill would normally do ‘FIGHT’ at this point but I’m going to look at the 2 apps and do a proper review…In no particular order)

Flight Radar 24

This was the first app I downloaded. The main features were full flight tracking plus visual tracking where you could hold the iPhone camera up to the sky where there was an aircraft and it would point to it with identification. The Augmented Reality makes it possible to point the camera to the sky and view aircraft information and all the details regarding air traffic over you.

Flight Radar Screenshote - FlightRadar1 iPhone App Review

Flight Radar Screenshote - FlightRadar1 iPhone App Review

The accuracy is stunning – I actually grabbed a pair of binoculars when a Lufthansa 747 was reported over Waterford, and it was indeed the aircraft mentioned on the iPhone App. Amazing.
Check out http://www.flightradar24.com/ for more details.


I downloaded this app just as a comparison as this one showed actual photos of the aircraft in question and also allowed for sharing of the spotted aircraft on Facebook etc.

PlaneFinder iPhone AppThe screen shot above shows the same Aircraft which was spotted in the Flightradar24 App.

PlaneFinder does almost everything that FlightRadar24 does, but I find that there are certain functions you can achieve such as advanced filters, e.g. show all aircraft above a certain height, speed or indeed of a certain airline.  I also found some aircraft not listed on FlightRadar24.
More information on PlaneFinder can be found at http://my.pinkfroot.com/

How do these iPhone Aircraft Tracking Apps Work?

These apps only show information regarding aircraft which are equipped with ADS-B transponders. About 60% of the passenger aircraft and some private aircraft have an ADS-B transponder installed.

The Flightradar24 and PlaneTracker apps use a network of ADS-B receivers around the world. These ADS receivers get plane and flight information from the aircraft with ADS-B (Broadcasts) and sends this information to a main server. These apps simply collect the ADS data and displays this information on the iPhone Apps map. However only aircraft within the coverage area of the ADS receivers are visible – so if you are in USA you may have limited visibility as these apps are mainly covering Europe. Current coverage is approx 90% of Europe. However, there is also limited coverage in USA, Australia and Middle East.

App Problems?

Both Apps require WiFi or a 3G connection to work. If you only have a cellular data connection you may get 1 or 2 aircraft showing up but the app won’t work to it’s full potential – so ensure you have 3G turned on.

The only problems I saw was one aircraft which was a ghost image of itself – i.e. for example an aircraft D-GBHF was showing up side by side but it was the same aircraft. Could have been a glitch.
However the most fun glitch I saw was an aircraft which had a recorded cruising speed of zero knots – clever trick!

Flight Tracking Apps – Conculsion

Both apps are excellent in the way the aircraft are displayed plus the refresh rate and the accuracy is very good on both apps.

Both apps have been updated since my original post and I will be updating this post with the changes and new features.

PlaneFinder retails at €3.99 in the App Store

FlightRadar24 reatils at €2.39 in the App Store.

FREE Versions of these iPhone Apps are available also.

If you have any comments regarding these apps please comment below!

Project52 – Photography Project

The concept of Project365 is a way of documenting your life or your photography by taking a photo every day for a year. With the new 5 and 8 MegaPixels camera phones this project365  concept is becoming more popular and images are shared on social networks such as Facebook. I tried Project365 in 2010 and didn’t get far, due to not having the focus  or time, to post a unique photo every day.

This year I decided to post a Photo per week in Project52. That way I can maintain some quality within the photos posted rather than just posting any old photo.

What is Project52?
Every week, for one year (52 weeks), I will be taking a photo and posting it online, at shanemcdonald.me, My PhotoBlog.

Photos of what?
The Photos will be of anything ; whatever I am around or whatever I find interesting.
I will be using a DSLR at all times unless I am travelling when I will be using the iPhone 4S which has an excelent camera.

Week 1 of Project52
You can see the first post at shanemcdonald.me by clicking here.


Follow my PhotoBlog on Twitter @shanesphoto or my main account @smcdonalddotorg

Most Used iPhone Apps – What Apps are Most Used?

Most Used iPhone Apps – What Apps are Most Used?

Best iPhone App - My Most Used iPhone AppsI decided to track how much I use each app just as an experiment to see which iPhone apps I frequent most often. The results are quite interesting.
(You can click the graph to the right to see the results–> )

I did this little experiment while I was on Holiday in the south island of New Zealand, which is why apps like Booking.com and TripAdvisor are on the list. (These 2 apps got us some of the best accommodation in New Zealand and would be worth downloading if you don’t already have them!)

So what were my most used iPhone Apps?

In first place, top of the heap was the Facebook App. This was interesting since I’m not really somebody who would do too much on Facebook, however, it seems I check in on the app quite a bit to see whats going on.

In 2nd Place was the Sky News app, one of the best news apps I have used. 3rd place saw yet another Social Media app, Twitter, which I am getting quite into now and enjoying using … maybe even more than Facebook for the interactive nature of it. 4th Place, Classic FM which is great to relax to and the iPhone app for Classic FM delivers very high quality radio straight to your device. 5th place sees,Grrr, Angry Birds which I really got into while on the long haul flights. The rest you can see for yourself. Feel free to add a comment about which apps you most use.

The Most used iPhone App Table

UsesiPhone App
26Sky news
22Twitter App
20Classic FM
17Angry Birds
17Sky ScoreCentre
16RTE Pocket
15Google Latitude
15RTE News Now 3G
14FileApp Pro
12Sky Mobile TV
9National Lottery
8Google Translate
6Flight tracker
6Xe Currency Converter
5Flight radar
4FIFA 2011
3Entertainment.ie (cinema guide)
3Live ATC
3XPlane Airliner
2BBC news
2Zynga Poker
1CapCom Arcade

The test was carried out over a 2 week period in May 2011 and over 300 app uses were logged.

iOS 4.3 Preview – What to Expect in iOS4.3

The next version of the Apple iPhone OS, iOS (version 4.3) is due for release very soon.
So When is the iOS 4.3 due for release. Well dates point to some date between  Feb 28th and March 2nd!

The next version iOS4.3 is going to make your excellent iPhone into a fantastic iPhone.

Some of the features which will come in iOS 4.3 are outlined below.

iOS 4.3 has New Camera Effects – iOS 4.3 gives iPhone users some new and improved camera functionality. such as  X-Ray Effects, Kaleidoscope style & Tunnel of Light.

iOS 4.3 brings a Better Keyboard – A new and improved touch screen keyboard will be available. The new keyboard will have an improved GUI with new key style and translucency. It will also allow for better responsiveness.

iOS4.3 allows AirPlay For Third Party Apps – play music, video and photos via compatible devices, such as your Apple TV, Mac or other iOS compatible devices.

NEW in iOS4.3 Find My Friends – The new ‘Find My Friends’ system is a new Social Networking system from Apple, integrating with MobileMe.

iOS 4.3 features Personal Hot Spots – This feature seems to be quite amazing … and apparently it is true. The New iOS 4.3 will allow the iPhone to have the ability to convert its 3G reception into a personal wireless hotspot, so if you need to connect your Laptop to the web, you may be able to use your iPhone running iOS 4.3 to do so.

iOS 4.3 features: Multi-touch gestures – One of the most exciting features of the iOS 4.3 release is the addition of multi-touch gesture controls (mainly to be used on iPad) which will allow a feast of new motion commands with four and five finger pinch, swipe and flick gestures all supported – similar to what Apple has on their MacBooks. This is a feature which could spell the end for the circular “House” button.

The new iOS will also improve the graphical layout of the iPhone making a really stylish phone something which everyone will want to have.

The new Release is coming soon and hopefully we can use the new OS and experience new features and improved functionality.

iPhone 5 to have new Payment Technology?

The iPhone 4 is only out under a year and already iPhone 5 is being discussed. Rumours are surfacing that a new iPhone 5 might have, whats called a ‘wave and pay’ functionality and also says that the iPhone 5 is due out later this year.

This was news to me, as the hype and celebration which came when the iPhone 4 came out in 2010, I didn’t expect any new iPhone releases (apart from software updates) for a good while.

Apparently the new payment technology which is rumoured to be included in this new iPhone, is based on a technology called ‘Near Field Communication’ which can be used to pay by placing a device, such as an iPhone, within 10-12cm of a POS. This system stores financial data and links specific devices. Initially I though it would be using RFID but this new technology is more secure than that.

Before you start planning your payment via iPhone, the Apple corporation has declined to comment on any new developments on the new iPhone5 – so is this all guesswork or is it based on facts?

Well Apple already has your credit card number via iTunes so technically it could be linked in that way – you pay using NFC on your iPhone and your iTunes account credit card is charged. The downside is that all the retailers wanting to use this iPhone payment system, would have to have a NFC reader in order to pay in this way. Also, if your iPhone is stolen its a less secure risk than if your wallet is stolen. I think there may have to be a pin based system on the phone to authorise the sale.

Either way its exciting news for iPhone fans and we will have to wait and see if 2011 brings a new iPhone and a new way to pay for your goods and services.