The competition for display space...
Congratulations to the team. Having tested now 4.0.821 on a (pretty slow and cheap) Android 9 tablet and the PC, I am very impressed about usability, concept and stability. As of today I am putting E3 to rest for actual flight and flight planning. E4 is a big leap forward, and I am amazed about the great stability now on both platforms. It is also better integrated into Android than E3, which didn't like to be stable in the background at all on my old cheapo tablet. I even managed to run it split screen for downloading plates although the system warns it is not supported. The only crashes I saw on the tablet in four days of almost continuous playing around was when I (illegally ? ) played with some developer options (.815 / program left active in the background almost permanently) or when I exited split screen mode.
I have some questions / comments about how the narrow display space is competing when info boxes are opened.
A) When opening the airspace box by tapping a location when menu buttons are visible, in a typical tablet portrait layout the lower portion of the box (including the crucial GND elevation) is covered by the buttons:
When now trying to remove the buttons with the clear screen button, the first thing to go is the info box. Need to tap the clear screen button again, then reopen the combo box.
In contrast, when the flight plan box is opened, it locates nicely above the buttons. I would suggest to locate the info box above the buttons as well, if the buttons are active.
B) When trying to get airspace info close to an airfield, two boxes pop open: The airfield info box and the combo box (here selected airspace):
The airfield info box is covering half of the airspace combo box, and there is no way to close it without closing the airspace box first. I would suggest to bring at least the closing X for the airfield box to the foreground.
C) I do not understand the concept of having a separate airfield info box in addition to the combo box where I can select airfield info. The only additional information I can see is the approach plate. I suggest to get rid of the separate airfield info box and integrate the approach plate into the combo box, tab airfield.To make functionality even more similar, a single tap on an airfield (without subsequent tap on the wheel) could default to opening the combo box, section airfield.
This would IMHO make things less complicated without loosing usability or information.
D) One of the cool features is the highlighting of airspace on the map and VPV by tapping it in the box. I would like to be allowed to disable the (pretty, but slow) zoom-out, back in animation. When I am afraid of an airspace infringement I need that info asap.
I would also like the program to remember the map section visible before the airspace highlighting and returning to that view, when closing the airspace info box.
E) For a cheap and slow tablet like mine the response to screen input is pretty good. Sometimes tapping too fast gives me ignored taps, sometimes there is a delay in reaction. Therefore, I would love to have a prominent visual indication that rendering is still going on / not complete yet and therefore I should wait a second for my next tap. Maybe a fat black hourglass somewhere on the map, that disappears when all is ready for the next user input?
(PS: After playing with .821 today I have the impression that the input to taps, zoom and scroll is faster and more reliable than with .815. Possible?)
First of all thx for the kind words, and its encouraging for the entire team to see all the work appreciated :-). There is still a huge list of wishes and improvements, we won't get bored for the upcoming years, and currently we try to get most of the rough edges out so we can move from public beta to actual release soon 🙂
A and B are fixed in upcoming version.
C is continous balance between various groups of users over the last 1 1/2 year of EV4 ;-). The summary bar is designed primary as a replacement to quickly select different approachplates when approaching a larger airfield. By occupying a limited space it can be kept permanently "on" during the approach or departure, selecting the plate that suits best for what your currently doing. Some users asked for automatic plate selection, but we've always disliked that, because often the automatic selected plate is just not the one you want to see, for example because you want to take a look at the airfield diagram to see where the runway exits are to decide if you maybe better make a long field landing to avoid excessive rollout time on the runway.
Graduately also the wish came up to query quickly for airfield information but without occupying as much screenestate as QuickInfo does. So we use the summary window for that same purpose. The idea is, if more info is needed than given in that summary window the pilot can activate the more detailed QuickInfo with a single button press.
So although I do understand your opinion, and you are not alone, there are also a group of users who would hate it if they would have to use the large QuickInfo Airfield window all the time. So we try to keep both groups happy by trying to find a working way that works for both 😉
D) Is requested by more users, and on the wishlist, but currently not very high on the priority list, sorry.
E) As far as I know no significant changes in touch handling have been done, but often small improvements can lead to an improved feeling 🙂