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Thread: Introducing iFMS

  1. Default Introducing iFMS

    iFMS
    http://www.ifms-fs.com

    I’d like to introduce you all to an app I have developed over the last few years, iFMS.
    iFMS provides you with a nearly fully functional "Boeing style" Flight Management System and HSI display on iPhone, iPad or iPod.

    I originally developed this app years ago to run on Windows PDA devices and later converted it to run on my iPhone/iPad to fly with in real life using the device internal GPS.
    I never expected your everyday private pilot who mainly flies day VFR to be interested in using my app as the workings of a typical Boeing style FMS are a bit complex and there are more suitable apps out there for this purpose, I was mostly targeting flying schools/academies and/or pilots training to become commercial/airline pilots to use this app as a training tool.

    In the end I never commercialized the app in this form as I have become very concerned about the legal aspects in case someone would get him-/herself in trouble, or worse have an accident, when flying/training/navigating whilst using my software. I am not a “big company” with lawyers behind be to protect me against such liability. Also, it is also much more expensive to obtain navdata which can be legally used for real world aviation.
    Hence I have decided the only person who has ever flown and will ever fly in real life using my app will be me.

    I have always been a bit disappointed that the years of work I put into this app would go to waste so I started thinking about adapting my app for use in the flight simulator community, I used to be a fanatic simmer myself but to be honest I fly more in real life than on the computer these days (I am also currently building an aircraft which is taking up a lot of my time).
    Still I have developed add-ons for MS FS(X) in the past so I knew this could be easily done, all I had to do was change the primary data source from the device internal GPS to FSX.
    I have accomplished this by connecting to FSX over the network (the iPhone/iPod/iPad must be able to connect to the FSX computer over the LAN!) using a SimConnect DLL.
    If there is enough interest I will write a DLL to be able to connect to XPlane as well (I have put the source code of the FSX connection tool online so keen developers can beat me to it ;-))

    Even though my app resembles a “Boeing style” FMS, the aircraft you fly with is configurable and you will be able to create your own aircraft files, I have put 2 example aircraft files online to demonstrate how this is done (a 757-200 and a Piper Warrior :-) which I use to fly with in real life).

    Anyway, I have finalized the app and I am in process of finalizing the website, I hope to be able to get it available for on the iTunes store ASAP.
    The app won’t be free but won’t be very expensive either, I will be looking to get some feedback on what you all think a suitable price would be for this app.

    Also I have written the app using a library called “Marmalade” which also allows me to deploy the app to Android and other devices as well,
    If I find some enthusiasts who want to test an Android version of the app (as I don’t own any android devices myself), I could potentially make an Android version of the app available soon.

    Anyway, If you want to have a little sneak peak, check the website and leave me some feedback if you want, be sure not to miss the snapshots in the “Gallery” section:
    http://www.ifms-fs.com

    Michael De Feyter
    iFMS

    Last edited by michaeldefeyter; 05-17-2013 at 09:42 AM.

  2. Default

    So far the response to iFMS has been very positive, thank you for the feedback to all who have contacted me, I really appreciate it.


    The two main questions so far have been:
    - When will iFMS be available to purchase?
    - Will Prepar3D be supported?
    - Will X-Plane be supported?
    - What will the cost be?

    The first question I cannot answer accurately other than say “As soon as possible”.
    iFMS is ready and stable enough for release, once I get a partnership arrangement with Navigraph sorted for updating the navigation data I will submit the App to the iTunes App Store for approval.

    The answer to the second question is “Yes, definitely”.
    To elaborate a bit further, to connect to FSX iFMS uses communicates with over the network with a module called FSXtoiFMS which you can download from the iFMS website. This module itself communicates with FSX through something called “SimConnect”. As I understand it, Prepar3D has maintained backwards compatibility with SimConnect so this module should work for both FSX and Prepar3D.

    The answer to the third question is also “Yes”, and I’m now confident that this will be available at the time iFMS becomes available to purchase.

    I can now give you an answer to the fourth question as well,
    I have decided to put the App on the store initially at a price of $12.99, I hope you agree with be this is a very reasonable figure.


    Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions, you can send me a PM on this forum or contact me through the contact page on the iFMS website.

    Hopefully the next time I post something on the forums it will be the to announce the release of iFMS on the iTunes App Store.

    Michael De Feyter
    iFMS
    http://www.ifms-fs.com

  3. Default

    I am happy to report iFMS is now available for purchase in the Apple App store:
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ifms...277?ls=1&mt=8/

    Navdata Airac cycle 1209 is included and Navigraph will provide iFMS compatible navdata as of cycle 1307.

    Don't forget to download the appropriate FStoiFMS from the iFMS website for your Flight Simulator of choice.
    iFMS will currently connect to:
    - Microsoft Flight Simulator
    - Prepar3D
    - X-Plane 10 Win32
    - X-Plane 10 Win64

    I am planning to release a version of FStoiFMS for X-Plane Mac in the near future as well.
    (the sourcecode of XPtoiFMS is available to download so if you're a bit of a developer you can probably re-compile it yourself on the Mac).

    All versions of FStoiFMS were recently (in the last few days) updated so if you had already downloaded FStoiFMS for your flight simulator before, it is probably a good idea to get the latest version as some performance improvements were made.

    I will now be focussing on getting iFMS released on the Google App Store for Android devices as well.

    If you like my App, please take the time to leave me some good feedback on the App Store.

    Michael De Feyter
    iFMS

    http://www.ifms-fs.com/
    Last edited by michaeldefeyter; 06-15-2013 at 09:22 AM.

  4. Default

    Because of requests to be able to connect to FS2004, I have now created a version of FStoiFMS that uses FSUIPC to connect to your flight simulator,
    it can be used to connect iFMS to FS2004, but also FSX and Prepar3D as long as you have FSUIPC installed.
    It can be downloaded from the downloads section on the iFMS website:
    http://www.ifms-fs.com/downloads.html

    The preferred option for connecting to FSX and Prepar3D is still through FSXtoiFMS though.

    Regards,
    Michael

  5. Default

    Hi again all,

    Just an update on how things are developing.

    iFMS has now been available for a couple of weeks and so far responses have been mostly positive, thank you all for that.
    Off course like with all new software products just released to the market there has been criticism as well, which I welcome highly, the only way to improve your product is by listening to your customers and working together to make the product better.

    The biggest eye-sore for some people so far was the look of the main FMC bitmap, especially in portrait mode on an iPad.
    A second problem that was pointed out to me was would sometimes crash when selecting a STAR transition.

    Because of this I decided to change my priorities slightly, my intention was initially to fully focus my efforts on a release for Android after iFMS was released on the Apple store, but I realized fixing the look of the FMC bitmap and especially the problem with the STAR transitions was more important.
    The FMC bitmap has been redesigned with the help of one of my customers (thanks Brad), and the problem with the STAR transitions has been fixed.
    All fonts iFMS uses have been replaced with much sharper bitmap versions, the sharpness of the HIS screen has been improved as well.

    Please see below a few snapshots of the new and improved look.

    I need to perform a bit more testing on various devices I should be able to submit an updated version to the App store very soon (within the next day or two), obviously existing customers can upgrade free of charge.

    After I’ll be going back to working on the Android release.

    One other thing that is still high on the priority list is a version of XPtoiFMS for people running X-Plane on a Mac, given I already have a version for X-Plane Win32 and Win64 this should only be a matter of porting the code with minor change.
    I should be able to get to working on this soon, but given the items that have come up development of this one has slipped slightly as well.
    If any Mac developers out there with some C++ knowledge want to have a go at porting the code themselves, I’m willing to offer four free installations of iFMS for the effort, you can download the Win32/64 source code of XPtoiFMS here: http://www.ifms-fs.com/downloads.html, contact me through the contact page on the iFMS website if you’re interested.

    Regards,
    Michael De Feyter
    http://www.ifms-fs.com/

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  6. Default

    I’m happy to report iFMS 1.0.1 is now available in the App Store.

    As mentioned before the main changes in this version are:
    - A specific problem STAR transitions was fixed.
    - A more general problem with all procedures was fixed.
    - HSI graphics were significantly improved.
    - All bitmap fonts were replaced with sharper versions.
    - The FMC background bitmap and button bitmaps were replaced with sharper versions.
    - All devices now use the same set of FMC bitmaps.

    Cheers,
    Michael

  7. Default

    Hi again all,

    Here’s another update on where I’m at with iFMS.


    Again, so far most feedback has been very positive and people seem to appreciate the graphics improvements that were implemented in version 1.0.1.
    I welcome all feedback, positive or negative and I’m happy to work with anybody if they come across any issues or concerns, as long as we do so in a constructive manner.


    First some less good news, iPad1 issues:

    One problem we have encountered is with the iPad 1 platform, although people have been successful running iFMS on the iPad 1, I’ve had three reports now from users just not being able to run iFMS on their iPad 1.
    The problem is almost certainly memory related, iFMS uses up to 128mb of RAM when loading the full nav database. The iPad 1 only had 256mb of RAM and it needs a significant portion of that just to run the OS (plus for any other application running in the background), hence we might be pushing the memory limits on the iPad 1.
    Apple tests every app they release on the App Store on all devices and they would most certainly not have made the app available to download on any device that does not support it but they don’t seem to distinguish the different generations of the iPad, like they do with the iPhone or iPod, all generations of iPad are just called “iPad” (there must be a commercial reason behind this).
    So with three people now reporting it does not run on their iPad 1, I have decided to update the minimum spec listed on the iFMS website and on the App store (the portion I can control there anyway) to iPad 2 or later.
    If you have purchased iFMS for your iPad 1 before July 16th 2013 and you are unable to run it, please don’t just throw a bad review on the app store, that really doesn’t help anyone. Just contact me offline and provide you with instructions to either try and get iFMS running on your iPad 1 or find a way to refund your purchase.


    Create your own aircraft configuration file tutorial:

    Many people have been asking for instructions on how to create their own aircraft configuration files. I agree that with only 2 example aircraft this would be a bit of a challenge for the user.
    I have created a small tutorial explaining how an aircraft file should be structured, this can be downloaded from the iFMS website downloads page:
    http://www.ifms-fs.com/downloads.html

    If you have created your own aircraft file and would like to share it with the flight simulation community, please email the file(s) to [email protected].
    I will place them iFMS website for people to download.


    Connecting to X-Plane Mac:

    So far you would have only been able to connect your iFMS to FSX/FS9, Prepar3D and X-Plane Windows, but due to the lack of a version of XPtoiFMS for Mac people flying X-Plane on their Mac would have been left behind.
    I’m happy to report I have a version of XPtoiFMS for Mac that is nearly ready for release and is currently being tested by various testers around the world (thanks to all). I will have it available very soon.


    iFMS for Android:

    This one has been slipping a bit, I would have liked to have iFMS available for purchase on the Android App stores by now but I must admit this has slipped a bit.
    I do however now have a version for Android ready to start initial testing, but I am in need of more people willing to beta test the app for me on the various Android platforms out there, if you are interested in being an iFMS betas tester please contact me through the feedback page on the iFMS website or directly, [email protected].


    Other upcoming functionality:

    LNAV/VNAV functionality: This is also one many people have been asking about so I have started implementing this feature. When finished you will have two extra buttons on your iFMS, “LNAV” and “VNAV”, like you would have on most airliners MCP module. Activating these will allow iFMS to control your flight simulator aircraft MCP settings, in particular, Alt, VS, Heading and Speed.
    This functionality will be available in the next release.


    As always, do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

    Michael De Feyter
    iFMS

    www.ifms-fs.com
    Last edited by michaeldefeyter; 07-25-2013 at 11:12 PM.

  8. Default

    Hi again all,

    I am happy to report iFMS is now compatible with X-Plane 10 for Mac OS X.
    In order to connect to your X-Plane 10 on your Mac, you must download and install XPtoiFMSMac from the downloads page on the iFMS website:

    http://www.ifms-fs.com/downloads.html

    As always, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

    Michael De Feyter

    iFMS
    http://www.ifms-fs.com

  9. Default

    I’m happy to report version 1.0.2 is now available in the Apple App Store.

    Here’s a brief summary of the changes implemented in this version:

    - Missing “Along Track” waypoint functionality was added.
    - Missing above/below speed and altitude restrictions were added.
    - More accurate VNAV calculation.
    - Added Top-Of-Climb and Top-Of-Descent markers in HSI display.
    - Fixed an issue with approach transitions.
    - Fixed a problem where selected departures/arrivals statuses would not change from “SEL” to “ACT” upon execution.

    A very big thank you to the users who have helped me discovering and resolving some of these issues.

    I am currently still working very hard to get the Android version released, this is taking a bit longer than expected.
    Hopefully later this week I will be in a position to send a first beta will be sent to the people who have volunteered to become beta testers.

    As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

    Michael De Feyter
    www.ifms-fs.com
    [email protected]

  10. Default

    Hi again all,

    I would just like to mention again I am still looking for a few Android testers, in particular people with Samsung Galaxy devices would be very welcome.
    Testers will receive a free time limited copy of iFMS for testing and after the first official release a fully functional free promo copy of iFMS.
    If you are interested please contact me through the iFMS website feedback form or directly, [email protected].


    Regards,
    Michael De Feyter
    www.ifms-fs.com
    Last edited by michaeldefeyter; 08-12-2013 at 07:33 PM.

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