It provides immediate, near-real-time visibility to APRS traffic around you, and has quick search-as-you-type station and address search functions. Zoom around the world as easily as on aprs.fi, or look up stations by their callsign. Multiple stations can be tracked at the same time.
Telemetry, weather, and APRS station statistics can be viewed as graphs.
The new high-resolution symbol graphics look crisp on Retina displays. iOS 9 Split-Screen multitasking is supported on applicable devices (iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, iPad mini 4, and newer). Landscape and portrait modes work too, of course.
Position beaconing to aprs.fi works great, although, as usual, GPS use in the background reduces battery life noticeably. The minimum transmit interval slider can be used to reduce transmission rate, allowing the GPS to turn off for longer periods of time. The app does not require location information, but it can be helpful for automatic map centering and calculating distances.
A little expectation management needs to be done at this point: Some future features will only be available for a small additional yearly price, through an in-app purchase. That price will be lower than the purchase price of the app. The rationale behind this is simple: There's only a rather small number of APRS iOS users around the world, and once most of them have bought the app once, there will be no more income from the app, ever. Having a small, steady income nicely keeps up the motivation in maintaining and improving the application in the future. A few APRS apps have already been practically abandoned on the app store, with no updates in one, two or three years. The original app, simply named "APRS" recently got deleted and replaced with something completely unrelated.
Some new features, and all bug fixes of course, will be free updates. The current version does not even include any support for in-app purchasing yet – it'll maybe come up some time next year, after the base features are ready.
Purchase the app now, and you'll get a nice APRS web site for free!
Frequently Asked Questions
What about Android?
Yes, maybe later. It takes a lot of time to produce these things. I concentrated on iOS mostly because all my devices happen to be iOS, I have some previous experience on iOS development, and APRSDroid is already so good.
Filtering, I wish to hide AIS vessels and/or weather stations?Yes, that's on the top of my list of things to do, I can't live without them either.
Can not beacon to APRS-IS?Not yet! This is the aprs.fi app, not an APRS-IS app, so it talks primarily to the aprs.fi service, not other services. Beaconing to APRS-IS will come later, stay tuned.
Connecting to the aprs.fi database makes the immediate real-time view happen, so that there's no need to wait 30 minutes for everyone to transmit their position once after opening the app. On the downside, if aprs.fi happens to be down, the app doesn't do much either. Luckily aprs.fi has proven to be very stable during its operation since 2007.