Skydemon: la newsletter de décembre

Posted on 09/12/2019 by


2019 has been a year of usability improvements for SkyDemon. We’ve spent lots of time subtly improving features all across the product, trying to make them the best they can possibly be. This includes reorganising screens containing lots of information, such as the NOTAM briefing or airfield details; and complete overhauls of systems like User Waypoints, as detailed below.

User Waypoints

The humble user waypoint has existed in SkyDemon from the very beginning, with hardly any attention until recently. The latest version of SkyDemon adds a number of new symbols for you to choose from, makes it easier to drop them in flight, and helps those pilots with a large number of user waypoints organise them more efficiently. From now on, user waypoints are organised into folders.

Folders are a simple yet powerful way of organising user waypoints. You can have as many folders as you like, each folder can hold as many waypoints as you like, and you can hide entire folders of waypoints on the map. It’s easy to move waypoints between folders and any waypoints created before this new version of SkyDemon are automatically placed into a folder for you.

We’ve introduced full synchronisation of waypoint folders with the cloud. When you press the Sync button all your folders are copied to or from your cloud, then pressing it on another device ensures that device has all your waypoints too. This is a significant improvement on the all-or-nothing approach to waypoints in the cloud that we had previously.

Flightplan Filing Simplicity

Filing VFR flightplans has always been pretty easy with SkyDemon. If you’ve got your aircraft profile set up correctly, we can fill in most fields in the form for you, in a way that is guaranteed to conform to standards.

The new release of SkyDemon for iOS and Android takes this a step further. When you go to file a flightplan and SkyDemon is able to complete most of the form for you, you are shown a simple window prompting for the pilot details, departure time and survival equipment. Check them, press File and your flightplan is filed.

When you file a flightplan in this way, you are not shown the full form with all its fields because there is usually no need. It’s still available, though; simply tick a box and you can change the contents of any field just like you could before.

Other Enhancements

The Find tool (with its magnifying glass icon) lets you type names or identifiers to find waypoints or airspace. The latest version will also find points of interest (e.g. « Stonehenge »), street addresses (road or town names) or postcodes, so finding your friend’s house to put a user waypoint there is simple.

We’ve also promoted the Find tool in flight: you’ll find it at the top of the screen next to the position report. It works the same way as when you’re planning, except that instead of simply scrolling the map to the waypoint you’ve found, it presents a quick list of options. These include inserting it in your route, tracking it for constant position reports, and diverting directly to its position. When you press Find you’ll also immediately see all the turning points remaining in the route you’re flying, so you can quickly take a shortcut if you’re given a clearance.

There are many other tweaks to features and usability in the latest version; for full details on changes, you can consult the Version History which is available from the Help menu.

Coming Soon

In the next couple of months we will be enhancing the way SkyDemon works with your cloud storage, making it work more seamlessly and in most cases automatically.

The new user waypoint folder synchronisation I wrote about above will be made fully automatic, and your aircraft profiles will also automatically be made available on all your devices with no manual steps required. After that we intend to make your logs and routes work the same way: always available, on any of your devices.

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