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FlightRadar24 Vs Plane Finder, Flight Tracking iPhone Apps

FlightRadar24 Vs Plane Finder, Flight Tracking iPhone Apps

A few years ago when I got my first iPhone, I downloaded two Aircraft Tracking iPhone Apps. These flight tracking apps were FlightRadar24 and Plane Finder. The smartphone air traffic apps allow 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, especially if you are interested in aircraft. You may also just want to know where a plane in the sky is heading. Ever since I was a child, when I got my first pair of binoculars, I have been fascinated with knowing which aircraft or which airline is flying overhead. Aircraft are such amazing feats of engineering, it is amazing to watch them as they fly 10km up.

So, back to the flight tracking apps. Which one is better, FlightRadar24 or PlaneFinder? I am going to look at the 2 apps and do a proper review…in no particular order.

FlightRadar24

The FlightRadar24 system was the first flight tracking app I downloaded. The main features of FlightRadar24 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 using augmented reality. At the time this was very new to smartphone technology but the Augmented Reality system 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 Screenshot - FlightRadar24 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 FlightRadar-24 iPhone App. Amazing.
Check out http://www.flightradar24.com/ for more details.

PlaneFinder

I downloaded the Planefinder 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 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 – for example, a Galaxy C5 showed up on Planefinder and at the same time did not display on Flightradar24 for some reason.

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 send this information to the main server. These apps simply collect the ADS data and displays this information on the iPhone Apps map. However the only aircraft within the coverage area of the ADS receivers are visible – so if you are in the 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 the USA, Australia and the 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 its 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 – Conclusion

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 retails at €2.39 in the App Store.

FREE Versions of these Flight Radar iPhone Apps are available also and the desktop or web-based version of FlightRadar can be used for a limited session and with limited functionality for free.

If you have any comments regarding these flight tracking/aircraft tracking apps please comment below!

 

 

This post is a re-edit of the original post regarding FlightRadar24 and Plane Finder which was written earlier in 2015.

How to Fix a frozen iPhone or a Frozen Safari App

How to Fix a frozen iPhone or a Frozen Safari App

I was asked today how to fix a iPhone (or iPod Touch) which had a Frozen Safari app (Apples Internet Browser). This can also work for a Frozen iPhone in some situations like an app which is unresponsive. The problem was that Safari on the iPod Touch would not accept any touches to the address bar, search bar or bookmarks – basically the Safari GUI on the iPod was frozen or simply it is a Frozen iPhone. The solution to fix this frozen iPhone or frozen safari app is fairly easy, but not everyone knows it. To fix and unfreeze the iPhone Safari App , do as follows; – Load the Safari App on the iPod Touch / iPhone – when Safari has loaded, press and hold the home button (the circular button in the middle of the iPod) until Safari quits – your iPhone / iPod Touch should return to the home screen. If this does not work you can try do an iPhone reset. The iPhone / iPod Touch reset is done by pressing and holding the home button and the power on/off button simultaneously, until you see the Apple logo and then release – while ignoring the “slide to turn off prompt” when doing this. Its probably useful to clear your cache and cookies when this has resolved; this can be done by Going to Settings > Safari and select Clear History, Clear Cookies, and Clear Cache. You can also ensure no further issues occur by turning off and re-powering the iPod/iPhone once finished this. Hopefully, this should solve any problems if you have an iPod Touch or iPhone with a Safari App which is Frozen or if you have a frozen iPhone, hopefully you are now back up and running. If you are very unfortunate and your iPod / iPhone won’t start at all, review this fix which resolves this issue. Click Here to Read this iPod Full Reset Fix

iPhone 4G Recall – Apple Recalling iPhone 4G

There are so many people on Google at the moment looking for “iPhone 4G Recall” – Did you search for iPhone 4G Recall or Apple Recalling iPhone 4G before getting to this site?

If you did, please don’t be worried as Apple are not doing an iPhone 4G Recall. The whole recall alarm was sparked by a fake Twitter account with username “CEOSteveJobs”. The tweet read “We may have to recall the new iPhone. This, I did not expect.”. So many people thought this Twitter account was real and was owned by Steve Jobs – I did too (I recently stopped following CEOSteveJobs when I found out this was a parody account)

The iPhone 4G was released on June 24 and will stay released – no recall pending. There are small theething problems as with all pieces of technolofy, mainly Reception issues and activation issues but iPhone 4G is due for a minor software update before the year is out according to some sources which might help with the initial issues.

The real Steve Jobs responded to the fake Twitter post and also to the iPhone 4G complaints and advised users to avoid holding the iPhone in a way that blocks the antenna. “Avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases,”.

iOS 4 iPhone Software Update – New Features on the iPhone

The new iOS 4 update brings new powers to the iPhone!

The new iPhone will have over 100 new features, the free iOS 4 Software Update will allow iPhone 3Gs users to experience the majority of these. The new iPhone OS, iOs 4, will be released on Monday 21st June 2010 – iTunes 9.2 has been updated so download this first and upgrade your systems in preparation for the new iOS 4 release.

The new features of iOS4 will include the following;

  • You can use Multitasking and switch between your iPhone apps instantly, without apparently slowing down the performance of the foreground app or draining the battery unnecessarily.
  • There are Folders so that you can organize your iPhones apps into relevant folders using a drag-and-drop technique. You can also manage up to 2160 apps (the current limit is about 180 apps) and get faster access through your folders.
  • Text Messaging update – There will be a Character Count option in Messages Settings, so you can keep a track on the number of characters while typing an SMS Text message.
  • The Email client has been improved and you can see messages from all your accounts in a unified inbox, organize your email messages by threads, and you can open attachments in third-party apps.
  • There is an ebook reader functionality called iBooks. This is not just an ebook reader, rather iBooks allows you to browse and shop for books as well as reading them (or PDFs) within the system.
  • The new iPhone will have 5x digital zoom with the Tap to focus function
  • While shooting video, tap the display to choose where to focus. You will also be able to tag photos and GeoTag where they were taken.
  • The Home screen wallpaper can be changed so that you can have your custom background wallpaper on your Home screen.
  • For techies, the iPhone iOS 4.0 includes more than 1,500 new APIs for app developers.

There are many other new features, such as improvements when reading documents, improvements in the contacts section, a photo resize option, playlist creation, and you will find even more when you install your own iOS 4 update (or if you are luck enough to get the new iPhone 4).

The new iOS 4 will work with iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 3G (some functionality for later third generation  iTouch models also). Not all features of the features above are compatible with all the devices. For example, multitasking is available only with iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS and Multitasking then is only available with Apps that have been specifically developed to work with iOS 4 multitasking mode. Also note that the Face Recognition system only works with iPhoto on the Mac (sorry PC users).

The new iPhone4 / iPhone 4G should be on sale in Ireland & UK fairly soon, hopefully in the next month. Carriers such as Vodafone, O2, 3 Mobile and Orange will be making sure customers know well in advance of pending sales of the new iPhone.

This looks like this update will boost the iPhone in the market – great improvements to an already great piece of technology.

iTunes 9.2 Available For Download, ready for iPhone 4 & iOS4

The New iPhone iOS 4 is out on Monday 21st June and if you want to be able to take advantage of the new software update you will be best placed if you download the new iTunes software – iTunes 9.2 which has just been released.

iTunes 9.2 is the first piece of the software mix but only has some changes to the actual software but the main change is iPhone iOS 4 compatibility. There are going to be major software updates for the iTunes version 10 which might be available between September – November of this year!

The change log for Apple iTunes 9.2 is as follows;

• iPhone iOS 4 Compatibility : Sync with iPhone 4 to enjoy your favorite music, movies, TV shows, books and more on-the-go

• iBooks Compatibility : Sync & read books with your iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4 and iBooks 1.1

• PDF Update : Sync PDF documents and read PDFs as books with iBooks 1.1 on the iPad and any iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4

• iOS 4 Folders : Organize your apps on your iOS 4 home screens into folders using iTunes

• Speed Update : Faster synching and back-ups for iPhones or iPod touchs running iOS 4

• Album Art Update : Album artwork improvements make artwork appear more quickly when exploring your library

The new version of iTunes from Apple is now available for download from the Apple website.