Have you ever seen a place in the sky above you and wondered where it’s heading to? Perhaps you’re curious as to how many planes are flying above your home county at any one time? Maybe you want to track all the planes heading out of a certain airport. Well, you’re in luck because as the famous saying goes: “There’s an app for that.”
The new ‘Plane Finder’ app does all of the above and more. It is available on Android and iOS in both free and paid-for versions. Both of them are absolutely brilliant.
Flight tracking to the max
Tracking flights has never been easier. The app’s main interface features a map of the world with a small plane icon representing each plane that is currently in the sky. Amazingly, the app is able to track each plane by picking up all the ADS-B feeds used by all commercial aircraft to reveal their identity.
Each plane’s position is shown in real time. You can even watch it slowly travelling to its destination if you zoom in far enough. What’s not to love?
If you tap on a plane you can get more information such as the flight number. The starting and finishing destination, the altitude and speed. That means you can potentially watch the plane your friend or family is sat on travel across the globe, perhaps if you’re the worrying parent type.
And that’s not all…
You can even point the phone at a plane in the sky and information will pop up using augmented reality. Now that’s cool. The paid version gives away technical information for the truly hardcore planespotters such as ICAO/IATA codes, ADS Hexcode and squawk codes. Impressive stuff and you can get it in the palm of your hand.
As with most smartphone apps, the free version doesn’t give you as many features as the £2.99 version. A lot of Android users have complained that the iOS app is a more than a safe distance ahead of their app. This a common complaint made for all kinds of apps. It seems that app makers have a lot more time for Apple users than Android owners, which is a shame. We can always cross our fingers for improvements in future updates.
There’s also a plane tracking website which makes use of desktop computers’ greater powers to provide even more detailed information. It really is a fun and somewhat addictive app which provides an intriguing insight into the world of flight tracking.
Who will love it?
This app is a plane enthusiast’s dream. Needless to say it’s a must-have for anyone who lists plane-spotting among their hobbies. Anyone who works in a airport could certainly find it useful. Taxi drivers or anyone waiting for a plane to land could enjoy it as they sit expecting a loved one at Heathrow, Gatwick and the rest.
Those who invest in the free version first will get plenty of enjoyment out of it and could even find themselves compelled enough to upgrade.