FlightGlobal updates its iPhone App, makes good progress November 30, 2010Posted by ludozone in Aerospace, eBusiness Applications/Services, Internet Marketing, iPhone, Social Media.
Tags: Aerospace, International Business, iPhone, Marketing, Social Media
In my previous “FlightGlobal and AINOnline Apps Reviews”, I noted that although FlightGlobal should be recognized for its pioneering effort to bring Aerospace news to the iPhone in a comprehensive app, their first version had a number of shortcomings. Earlier this month, FlightGlobal released its new version 2.3 with a much improved implementation.
First of all, the application has been greatly simplified. It is faster and easier to use than version 1. It provides News, Blogs, Videos, and Images in a clean and simple interface. It is good to see that the twitter feed and jobs sections are gone, thus allowing the app to focus on a sole purpose: keeping up with industry happenings. Navigation is reduced to four buttons at the bottom of the screen. The main “Home” button gives you the news headlines, latest videos, new pictures, and latest blog posting in a straightforward scrollable screen. If that was all FlightGlobal improved on, it would already be a giant leap forward. However, there is much more to this version.
The application now cashes text and photos anytime it connects to the Internet, so most articles, images and blog pots are available for viewing offline. The app also uses imbedded text, picture and video browser, no longer requiring a user to jump out of the application. These two aspects were the biggest drawback of the previous version, so I was very pleased to see them fixed.
But the main new feature of this version is the “MyFG” section. This tab is completely customizable to allow the selection of specific news from 12 different categories as well as 11 blogs. This provides the user with a “customizable” view of the news, relevant to their specific topic of interest. In this example, the user can configure the app to only show headlines related to aircraft and airline safety in the “MyFG” tab. This is extremely useful and is definitely the most distinguishing factor for this app.
I could not find any major “flaws” with the design. It is a read-only app with no ability for interaction and sharing on social networks, but it is better to not have these functions than have them implemented in a clunky way. My only other comments are merely annoyances that should be easily fixable in a point release. In the Home section, the blog logos don’t seem to load so it is hard to tell which blog the headline is from. Once a blog post is open it is also hard to tell where it came from. I like the “bookmark” feature that grays out the news articles and blogs you have already read, but the flags don’t carry across tabs (a post read in the “blog” tab still shows unread in the “home” tab), which slightly defeats the purpose.
This version is now definitely an iPhone app you should download. Its distinction from the current AINOnline version is merely a question of personal preference rather than functionality. And apparently, many users are downloading the app. When I contacted FlightGlobal regarding this upgrade, they revealed that they have had over 10,000 downloads of the free app with a current rate of 50 new users per day as opposed to 15 per day for the old version. Next on the horizon for FlightGlobal is an Android version of the Aerospace news app as well as other iPhone app(s) providing access to their data products.
What do you think of the new app? What should the next improvements be? What other kinds of Aerospace app would you like to see on the iPhone?