No iPad For Me, Thanks

I used to be a huge Apple fanboy but over the last couple of years I think Steve Jobs has lost the plot somewhat and I decided I didn’t want to give him any more of my money, no matter how good his products might be. I terminated my iPhone contract early and moved to Android.

I’ve messed with the iPad in the store and really can’t find any reason to own one, there are many things I don’t like about the design but for the money it just doesn’t do enough over and above my Droid Incredible. But as a pilot one can’t help but be interested, no other platform has the wealth of aviation-related tools available and the big hitters like Fore Flight sure do look gorgeous. So I’m sorely tempted just for this purpose but I’m balking, and not just because of the $650+ it would cost.

Part of my problem with Apple Steve is that he decides what is allowed on his devices and that changes based on a whim (or more often media pressure). So right now people are in the air using their iPad as their primary navigation device (yeah we all know that isn’t right but don’t tell me people aren’t doing it), there’s a glitch, GPS failure, who knows what and the plane crashes. Evening news: iPad causes plane crash. Next day, Steve deletes all the aviation planning and map apps from the Store, and therefore your machine. And there ain’t a damn thing you will be able to do.

And this isn’t fantasy, there absolutely will be a crash at some point that the pilot, or their estate, blames on the iPad and no matter how much we as pilots will know that the device was no cause, Apple will notice and take action.

And then I’ll own a $650 brick.

One thought on “No iPad For Me, Thanks”

  1. I use my iPad primarily for planning purposes and especially the changed plan once I am away from my desktop tool. The ability to track along with a sectional or low chart or the ability to find any Jepp plate in an instant without pounds and pounds of charts is a real plus.

    Any pilot who is irresponsible enough to use an iPad as a primary flight display gets what he deserves.

    For Apple to do as you say, they would have to disable the geo-locating ability of the iPad, which affects everything from Google maps to Twitter, and that just won’t happen.

    It is a shame to me that you would allow your prejudice (maybe deserved) to keep you from enjoying the benefits of a really powerful tool that make flying more enjoyable, easier to plan, and ultimately safer. There is no other product even remotely close to the capability and price point as the iPad for aviation.

    Hope this helps you with your decision.

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