Flightradar24 App - The free & premium app in the test

at flightradar24 is an internet-based offer. On this page, (almost) all the aircraft above our heads can be tracked in real time. The page can be accessed via the browser, with a separate app for the tablet and the smartphone. But how does the app work on the iPhone? Are there any differences between the app and the browser version and is it really worth the paid version of the app? Of course, the app is not just for iOS. The Flightradar24 app can also be used with Android, Windows Phone and Mac devices.

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What is Flightradar24?

Flightradar24 is the ideal platform for flight fans. Almost all can be on the page Flights are tracked in real time, If the website is called up via the browser, the user receives a live view. Here he gets a relatively good overview of how many machines are currently in the clouds. Above all the different symbols stand out, which betray the type of the machine in a further consequence. Furthermore, numerous settings can be selected; Filter functions subsequently help in the targeted selection when the user searches for specific flights or machines. The individual flights can be followed live. About the history of the user can also understand the flight paths of past flights.

The free app

If the user decides to use it for mobile purposes, there are various ways available to him. So he can call the page also via the browser of the smartphone. If the user uses an iPhone, the page is opened via the Safari browser. However, the user quickly realizes that this variant is not the best option. The performance is hardly perceived convincingly, even with LTE or in the WLAN network. The loading times are long or faulty; it comes in a further consequence to a delay when moving the map, it is followed again and again trailer and black bars, which present the advertising announcements at the bottom of the picture. All those factors disturb the consumer in tracking the flights. So that the user does not immediately lose the fun, he should therefore for the Flightradar24 App decide. The app can either be used for free or used as a premium app (3.99 euros). At the beginning it is advisable, if the user looks at the free app. The result is sobering. Since the free app is financed through advertisements, there are constant commercials that are extremely disturbing. In addition, there are only a few functions that can also be used. While many functions are available on the PC, users only have access if they opt for the paid version. For iTunes, the free version of the app is rated 2 stars. Justified. The free version is only recommended for little users. All those who, however, intensively with the flight tracking should opt for the premium app.

The premium variant

If you want to use Flightradar24 more often and also on the go, you should opt for the premium app. Like the free version, the premium app will only be available with an English menu. However, the use, even with rudimentary language skills, easily possible. The full version meets expectations - the money is when you enter Flugradar24Fan is definitely well laid out. The user has different settings available, which he should check at the beginning. The "Hamburger symbol", which is located at the top left, leads the user into the area of the settings ("Settings"). Here, preset units of measurement can be changed, whereby the user can also set which aircraft should be displayed or marked on the map. So the user can decide for certain types of aircraft or opt for certain airports. The different aircraft sizes and symbols are not included in the purchase price. So that the user gets this data as well, he has to pay 1,99 Euro afterwards. In addition to the aircraft types, the flight numbers, the routes and other information can be displayed. It can be up to a maximum of four statements, the display of the smartphone in truth can only represent two upper limits. Probably the most important setting is the so-called "Never Sleep" function. Thus, the automatic shutdown of the display is prevented.

If all settings have been found and adjusted, the user can deal with the card. Here are the advantages of the app recognizable. The map is displayed relatively quickly and reliably. The data volume is, despite the extensive maps, but low, so even with a poorer power supply, all aircraft can be accurately listed. If a particular aircraft is selected, the user receives the necessary information. The "serpent line" reveals the flight route. There is also the popular 3D view from the cockpit of the machine. This feature works especially well if the user has a good and stable data connection. The "binoculars icon" located at the top right activates the camera of the smartphone. Subsequently, aircraft can be searched in a fixed radius. Those are then displayed in the camera image, with various information also being transmitted. So there is also the distance from the location to the selected aircraft. The advantage is that these features work well and fast.

The operation

Although the app is only available in English, the operation is quite simple. Even users who have hardly dealt with the aircraft, will probably have no major problems with the English terms. The settings are easily and quickly found; Furthermore, the user can set the app according to his own needs. If the user uses the map mode, he can - if he clicks on the "locating symbol" on the left edge of the picture - jump to his own location, if the settings allow this feature (must be made in the iPhone settings). However, there is a disadvantage in the operation: there is no plus button for a possible map excerpt. Even if the operation is simple, since the user only has to double-tap with his thumb so that he can enlarge the map, this feature is missing when zooming out. For this process he has to use both hands.

Does the app really convince?

The longer use of the app shows, however, that there are other disadvantages that must be considered. Probably the biggest weakness of the Flightradar24 app? The map is rigid and can not be changed. If aircraft are tracked in foreign locations, the user must first orientate himself geographically, so that he has to follow the compass or pre-set the functions via the camera search in the sky. Here it is advisable, if the camera would turn according to the viewing direction. Furthermore, many of the metric data can not be used at all. So, when searching through the camera, the speed can only be displayed in knots and not in km / h.

It is also disturbing sometimes that the aircraft found in the view can not be clicked directly. The user has to remember the flight number and also the position, so that he subsequently finds the machine in the map as well. Only then does he receive essential information about the flight. However, there are always significant differences between the real and the positions shown on the map.

The conclusion

The premium app works fast, is precise and reliable. There are many features, the app scores mainly by the individual settings. Even if the premium app does not shine to 100 percent, it is still worth the money if the user likes to track aircraft and not always want to use his PC.