Navtech iCharts Update
Navtech iCharts Update
The past year has seen an amazing amount of interest and activity in the airline industry around the iPad. Navtech has been very busy with the ongoing development of our iCharts product and supporting several customers' efforts to gain operational approval to use the iPad as an EFB. There are many exciting activities underway right now on this platform.
In April of this year, Navtech released iCharts 12.1. This was the first version of the application tested and certified on iOS5. Much of the development effort since that time has been focused on changes introduced in iOS5 that have had an impact on the application. One example of this is the deprecation of UDID use. Due to regulatory issues in the U.S., as of iOS5, Apple has asked developers to remove any use of the iPad UDID (Unique Device IDentification). Since this was the way the backend infrastructure (CAI) tracked the status of each device, several changes were made to remove this dependency. Recently Navtech upgraded the CAI servers with iCharts 12.5 which removed the final dependency on UDID. The iCharts 12.5 app is currently under review with Apple and will be available soon on the Apple App Store. From this point forward a unique ID for each device will be created based on the individual's Name and Company when iCharts is registered. One important item to note is that users with more than one iPad will need to make sure each iPad has a unique value in the "Name" field when registering the app.
Looking forward, Navtech is on track to support iOS 6 very soon. iOS 6 was released by Apple in late September along with shipments of the new iPhone 5. Navtech has concluded final QA of iCharts 12.5 certifying it on the production release of iOS6. The app is currently under review by Apple and will be available on the App Store shortly after their approval. iCharts 12.5 also comes with some CAI server upgrades which will improve revision generation and several other things. This upgrade will require a short downtime in the near future. Please look for an announcement from Navtech IT on the plan for this downtime and upgrade.
Navtech is planning one more release of the iCharts app in 2012. This release, currently planned as iCharts 12.7, will include some functionality enhancements and some bug fixes. This release is aimed at supporting several customers in their pursuit of operational approval to use the iPad as an EFB. We are currently planning this release for the end of December.
Navtech has also begun work on getting enroute maps into the iCharts app. This feature has been road mapped for the end of 2012. This is a large enhancement to the iCharts system and will take more development time than we have remaining in 2012, so we anticipate this feature will release in 1Q13. Stay tuned for more information about this exciting enhancement to iCharts.
Finally, as the iCharts system moves from a pre-production state to being supported for operational use by customers, Navtech has introduced the pricing model for hosting and supporting this system. While the app and its updates will remain free on the App Store, Navtech has hard costs associated with hosting the CAI backend servers as well as providing CAI Administrator technical support. We plan to price the hosting and support service for iCharts based on the number of devices registered. This pricing model will be tiered with decreasing fees per device at higher numbers of users. Customers should see communication from Navtech Sales and Account Management about the pricing of this service.
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