Sunday, August 31, 2014

Transas iSailor 1.7 Update

Application: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, iOs 6.1 or later
Function: Marine Navigation, GPS, Charting, AIS, NMEA data
Rating: *****
Cost: App is Free, in app purchases for charts, AIS, NMEA data and weather.

Transas iSailor is a real contender if your looking for a iPhone or iPad marine navigation app.  I have reviewed the iSailor app several times over the years. The developers have continued to add functionality and features that all of us boater want and need.

The lastest 1.7 release in the App Store this month adds a slew of new features and options to an already great app.

New Features:
• Multi-language support: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Korean, Chinese.
• Internet AIS Service: real time map view of ships via global AIS Internet Service. This is a 1-year subscription option (Requires iOS 7.x.x and internet availability)
• Theyr Weather: Global coverage real time Weather Forecast. Wind Speed & Direction, Pressure, Wave Height, Precipitations. 1-year or monthly subscription option
• New types of AIS targets include Aids-To-Navigation (AtoN) and Base Stations
• New symbols include Cardinal buoys, Service symbols
• Cursor ‘Call Up’ window (ERBL, AIS Target data)
• Improvements for the graphical Route Editing mode (no linkage in ‘Ahead’ plotting mode)
• Boat Dimensions settings additions
• New colors for Ownship contour, Motion Vectors and Route
• iPhone interface update 

One of the most anticipated updates is the multi language support for the app. The app now supports not only English but German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Korean and Chinese versions. This will allow many more people around the world can use this great app.

The language can be changed in the Settings Menu. Select the Gears icon and go to Units & Language and then Language to view optional languages.

 Make your selection and view the app in any of the 8 provided translations.

The language support option is free of charge.

Internet AIS

Internet based AIS systems have been around for several years.  Land based AIS receivers pick up
the AIS data of ships on the coastal regions of the world and re-broadcasts this data over the Internet from various sites. 

iSailor can now pick up and display these internet based AIS targets on the iSailor app. Class A and B transponders, AtonNs(Aids to Navigation) and base stations are now supported. 

Ship information can be displayed along with the closest point of approach, bearing and speed information of the vessel.

This option can be unlocked in the Settings menu under Sensors.  A one year subscription for the Internet AIS option is enabled with an in app purchase for $15.99.

An Internet or cell connection is needed for this option to work so it will not work if you are offshore and out of cell service range.

iSailor also offers the NMEA AIS option for displaying AIS transponder data via TCP and UDP in the form of VDM sentences. If you have an oboard AIS transponder this data can be displayed by the app over WiFi. This option will cost you another $9.99.

Weather Overlays

The Theyr weather service data can now be displayed in the iSailor app.  This is the same weather data service that is used by the iNavX app. World wide coverage is available for the display of weather forecasts, wind speed, direction, atmospheric pressure, wave height and precipitation.

The Theyr Weather service can be unlocked in the Settings Menu under Subscription Options. One month can be purchased for $6.99 or a yearly subscription will cost you $19.99. iOS 7 is required for you iPad along with an Internet connection to receive the data.

New iPhone Menu Interface

iSailor has changed their User Interface several times over the years to improve the functionality of the app.  The 1.7 version of the iPhone interface is noticeable different from the iPad interface.

Menu and settings options for the iPhone display can be accessed by tapping the Tools bar at the bottom of the iSailor display. The Route, Waypoints, Tracks and settings can then be selected from the on screen menu.

The Navigation display can be accessed by tapping the NAV bar at the top of the display. COG and SOG information are then displayed. Page to the right to see four additional pages of navigation data including bearing to waypoint, distance to waypoint, cross track error, time to waypoint and ETA.

Display options for the iSailor charts include North Up, Head Up, COG Up and Route Up. The last page show the GPS source, accuracy and GPS position.

Transas continues to improve their iSailor app and make the needed changes and product enhancements to keep it fresh and up to date.  Many of these features require in app purchases which is kind of annoying but on the other hand it allows you to pick and choose which options are important to you.  The initial app is free so that is a plus. In app purchases for charts, AIS, NMEA data and weather options however, do add up.

Anyone using the iSailor app out there? Like it? Love?  What are your thoughts?

~~~ Sail On ~~~ /)

1 comment:

  1. continuing on from Mark's other previous version reviews, i have grown to really appreciate the iSailor app, and it certainly continues to get more competitive with every new feature. I struggle with some of the pricing structures of the additional features, which some apps have included, which is disappointing (as i'm not on the water enough to warrant the costs as yet). Building a route, and waypoint marking still feels a little awkward to navigate, particularly when adjusting/editing later, but otherwise it's great!