top of page
  • Writer's pictureMarvin the Paranoid Biological Android

Android Flip back to iPhone

So I must confess from the outset here that I have not had a great iPhone experience to date (as in never).

My last Apple phone was an iPhone 11, which I had for about three hours before I made "she who must be obeyed" the forced owner and before that I was on an iPhone 4S which was a great but very quirky beast indeed.

For me the 4S was the time of GPS Map software aiding and abetting Bay area and LA commutes and those early smart phones had lots of problems with Nav software mainly because of the lack of adequate Graphic processing, CPU, memory and storage available on them devices at that time.

Not having the oomph required for a sleek GPS navigation and phone experience, to name but a few shortfalls of the FRED phone thangs back then was a highlighting of software ambitions falling short of hardware realities.

The GPS receiver chip in the phones of that era also required some nifty innovation cycles to overcome while the 12 and 24 channel chips became like sand and air in terms of supply.

I myself was once on the bleeding edge of Glass cockpit development software in GA aircraft using iPads and nifty iOS software to replace all the instruments in an aircraft instrument panel.

I started doing this in 2005-2007 on a BD5 and a CGS Hawk test bed.

Almost all our current syndicate aircraft I manage and service have iPads hooking up with sensors and nifty software to offer a clean and minimalist cockpit experience for the modern aviator.

I also fly these things myself and this Aviation and navigation software that runs on iPad and iPhone is also something I am a big fan of, just in case the iPad dies for whatever reason when firing up a backup in addition to the Garmin goodies I use comes up as a nice to have.

There are many types of GPS navigation software out there as well as specialist ones for Marine and Aviation use cases.

Most of the Car Nav systems are free downloads and some of it is actually pretty spectacular.

Now on the free software front, before Waze was acquired by Google, Apple was all gung ho on Waze until they developed GPS Map software ambitions of their own for iOS which made them all frenemies.

Waze is still the king of GPS Map software for road navigation purposes by a long chalk and this is because the social media aspects thrown into the equation makes Waze very valuable indeed for the savvy commuter or hard core road warrior.

Well, it's pretty valuable to me personally at any rate!

I know about road issues and problems live whereas Apple and vanilla Google Maps still lag behind Waze itself on this front even though a lot of Waze features are creeping into Google Maps these days.

Some of us also use for extra road hazard avoidance purposes.

Waze speaks to me in Dutch or any other language I desire seamlessly and fast without a learning curve that tries to cease my moving and mobile navigation ambitions.

I have learnt that setting my GPS to Dutch or Danish is useful with a car load of yakkers as I can tune out their noise and lock my brain into another language with much success.

I also own a boatload of other GPS navigation software that can run on Android and Apple iOS and I play with them often, mainly just to check if anything better has come along.

Some of it I even paid money for and am still laughing at in terms of capability using WAZE as the yardstick.

There is a lot of truly shit GPS Navigation software out there.

The reason I gave the iPhone 11 to she who must be obeyed by the way was due to Bluetooth issues in my Audi A3 which I had then.

Ironically, the reason I switched to iPhone 14 Pro Max from the Samsung S21 Ultra was also due to a plethora of stupid Bluetooth issues!

I recently bought a whole bunch of BT based battery monitor systems for my Jaguar iPace EV as well as some Syndicate Aircraft I fly and had a real torrid time of it with the Android phones I had which were a Samsung S21 Ultra that I had for nearly two years now and a Pixel 7 test machine.

I learnt the hard way that fiddling with a phone that is not seamlessly syncing with the Bluetooth device you need without a phone reset etc. could be a life threatening endeavor.

My new iPad just works with all my many instrumentation gadgets which was why I switched back to iPhone.

This is my new criteria, when I add a temperature probe, battery sensor or a hydraulic pressure sensor et al, it HAS to just fucking work!

If I have to figure out why it is not working it is a fail, table stakes for me is it must just work.

One of those hydraulic pressure sensors saved my life last week in a Bell HX helicopter and I was able to land in the nick of time in a field full of cows but still alive as a direct result of the sensor telling me hydraulics were failing.

To further illustrate the challenge here, I recently acquired two Kamado Joe grilling thingamajigs and the meater Bluetooth probe I specifically bought for better temperature control took a lot of persuading to sync and work with the Samsung S21 Ultra or the Pixel 7 phone, whereas on the iPhone of she who must be obeyed, and my own new iPad it just worked every time sans any dramas.

In all my Aircraft all Avionics are iPad based, including our converted DC3.

This might seem expensive but because it needs to be dependable, Android OS is never gonna cut the mustard, for me at least, at any rate.

Normal avionics devices are stupidly expensive by the way and for that reason I started this iPad avionics quest in around 2005 when it became apparent they were in fact a viable option.

I always have a small mechanical altimeter, speed measurement device and compass in all panels in case all electronics fail but have never had to resort to them as other avionics software I run on the phone as well as the handheld Garmin Avionics devices I use are actually pretty darn reliable backups.

We do mandatory blank panel syndicate check rides where a few landings and circuits are used with just these basic instruments and I also make sure all pilots are familiar with the iPad and Garmin operation as well.

I have actually flown aircraft all over the USA using just my Garmin 295 and an iPad armed with Avionics software on my iPad knee board setup with an aviation class GPS receiver in addition to what is onboard each aircraft.

There have been many times when all I had was basic aircraft engine management and no aircraft avionics, so the Hand held Garmin and iPad combo has helped me out quite a few times when in this situation but only in good and clear WX.

On the whole, Android smartphones just ain't dependable and I ain't into guessing about terrain, speed or altitude etc..

You could be placing your life in the hands of these systems so it is imperative that you have the utmost faith that they actually work.

One of my pals looked at some of our early LSA aircraft and built his own glass panel based on Samsung Tablet equivalents to iPad, thinking it would be cheaper.

It was but they just never work in a reliable or dependable manner!

Those things freeze, hang and lose communications with BT devices and WiFi instruments in a real bad way.

So for that reason I switched back to iPhone and so far the only issues I am having are password and Authentication software based problems with each app.

I have now sorted these all out.

All of the BT devices I need the iPhone or iPad to speak to work flawlessly, so I am a pretty happy camper.

To be honest the only thing I miss on the Android phones are my cool icons and Emoji characters but these do not present me with any life threatening challenges.

One thing I have noticed on the iPhone already though, which is going to require me lugging those big battery cells for extra juice are the way the iPhones still consume way too much power.

The other thing I have noticed is iPhone still sucks at multi-tasking.

This was highlighted to me the other day when in the iPace when I had Waze running on the phone and decided to use Siri to voice command a change of destination.

It fired up the crappy Apple Maps rubbish and within 3 minutes the device had locked both Nav apps and needed both software systems to be terminated, but it did not lock the device itself.

I was able to terminate both Nav apps and fire up just Waze.

On an Android when the dual Nav apps confuse the OS with similar data requests it gets so hot the device locks and has to be hard reset.

I am told by other dev folk that they can get iPhones to do this as well and no doubt the Aviation software will do this.

I am about to test it during fleet-week in our DC3 conversion aircraft with the nice knew Pratt and Whitney PT6 Canada turbines and a basically new tungsten alloy air-frame.

Just be careful you do not run more than one GPS system at a time on each iPad or iPhone by the way.

As far as battery power goes, Apple iOS devices use a lot of juice. My S21 Ultra could do near three days of my antics before it needed a charge and already my iPhone is on charge all the time and before 11 AM most days it is on 72% power.

I fitted one of our test aircraft with an iPhone 14 Max Pro mounting solution that also charges it wirelessly when in it's aircraft mount cradle and this works just swell when using the screen to do Nav stuff via finger.

I must do Siri voice experiments as in cold weather the gloved finger be a problem but Siri needs to execute on the right software so I am dubious about that shit!

I have the Avionics running on both iPad and iPhone concurrently when in the cockpit by the way.

With Waze I have had to reset the software from time to time as it hangs and freezes the screen and the entire device.

On The S21 this needed a hard reset to fix, which was certainly not desirable.

In a car you can pull off to the side at the next stop but in a plane this presents dire challenges!

So far I am enjoying this new iPhone, something I have never been able to do until this one came along!

Unless Android OS gets super reliable like iOS I think I am on the iPhone platform for a good while to come as Google seem to be consumed with all the spyware they put into everything, rather than focusing on reasonable use that does not make the device unusable!

This is actually the main reason why an Android phone is pretty useless.

I pine for the return of Blackberry when I look at what Apple and Alphabet get up to on their devices actually.....

Such a pity them Blackberry folks were deaf and sans vision...

bottom of page