Sunday 25 August 2013

E6B - AirNav - HSI - Roadmap

This post is in response to a review left on the E6B application page in BlackBerry World by Jay on Aug 23rd:
I have always wondered why there was never an E6-B app like this... to me the manual E6-B was easier to see what was happening. But now there's this great app! I hope you guys read these reviews. Because, I wish your next app would be just a simple HSI with DME, identifier of the next way point, ground speed, ETE, and an OBS function. Also with a page that I could put in a flight plan with a list of way points (not just a direct-to.) Something really simple... could be all black with a yellow or white needle text display (easier on the eyes at night. This would also be nice on your E-6B app, just a black background option.) This would be great as I really don't need a full moving map. Just something simple. You kind of had this with your SARNAV on BB7 but it was complicated and I only could really get a direct-to function working. Jay
First we would like to thank you Jay for your kind words. For some reason BlackBerry chose to deny your review. We have requested that it be approved.

This is a great topic, and one that has occupied a great deal of our time. AirNav on BB7  is very much a product of the operating system it runs on. The complexity comes from the target audience of the application. As pilots ourselves, we have been aware that some pilots prefer simple tools like our E6B application that do one thing well. On the other hand it is often nice to have these features integrated so that, for example, the results of route planning should be able to preset values in the E6B. This is why we are so excited about the innovation BlackBerry is building into BB10.

Without getting to deep into software design, BB10 has a feature called Cards. Any application is able to make one or more Cards available to other applications. Each Card can provide access to any of the features of the providing program. Using this feature a route planning application could request a Card from the E6B application to allow the user to enter the wind values and compute heading and ground speed using familiar tools. Conversely the basic E6B application would be available for stand alone use. This also allows a user to install as much, or as little, of a suite of applications as they need. So there won't be an exact equivalent to the AirNav application for BB10. What there will be is what Jay suggests, a simple HSI application. Those that need the SAR capability will be able to install that as another application.

So thanks again to Jay for his 5 Star review, and an opportunity to let everyone know where we are going.