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Old 20-07-2016, 14:22   #1
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Navico IPAD restriction

I just sent this to Navico..... Dont want this to turn into an IPAD indoors or out debate..... but the fact you cant access AP through IPAD but do have a battery powered remote is RIDCULOUS.....

Dear Navico,

Original Issue / Question Description
So.... You have made it so that you cannot control the Autopilot from you're Ipad.... I believe this is in case the Ipad goes flat..... and hence you could no longer control the Autopilot. I have two major objections to this system. 1. You supply me with an expensive remote control for my Autopilot, which is also battery powered, and suffer exactly the same risk?.... why is one acceptable and not the other?? 2. You have not just disabled the CONTROLS on the ipad, you have disabled the whole Autopilot page.... this means that if you inadvertently get to the Autopilot Page, you cannot even exit the page, without going to the base display, which in my case is inside the Cabin... making it even more dangerous. This is all really frustrating and I believe more unsafe. I have spent 10 grand on a whole system for my boat, and I'm sorry to say, this decision of yours makes me wish I hadn't. It makes absolutely no sense, since your own remote can go flat.... or be dropped or whatever else you could do with the Ipad. I implore you to have a warning screen & disclaimer with an option to control the A/P from the IPAD.. PLEASE.... it makes no sense not to.....
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Old 20-07-2016, 14:44   #2
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re: Navico IPAD restriction

WTF...

What remote does Navionics supply you with? No such thing.... the remotes for the AP are supplied by the AP maker as far as I know.

What AP page???

Are you sure you shouldn't be writing to whoever made your AP & nav system? Navionics supplies the charts and iPad/iphone charts with no AP page to get stuck in
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Old 20-07-2016, 16:07   #3
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re: Navico IPAD restriction

Sorry, absolutely my Bad.... I meant NAVICO.... Suppliers of B&G SIMRAD, and indeed makers of my whole system that they have chosen to restrict..... Not NAVIONICS, whom I love dearly.... Too late to edit it now too..... Bugger....


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Old 21-07-2016, 04:40   #4
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Re: Navico IPAD restriction

If it's any consolation, Raymarine do the same with their iPhone/iPad app. You can do anything on the iPad to control your MFD except the AP functions.

My guess is that part of the restriction could be to do with the wrong people on board (like children) disabling or changing the AP.

I have an AP controller at one helm and bought the wireless remote for the other, rather than fitting a second control head. Even if I didn't have the wireless or the MFD in the cockpit, I wouldn't be missing the AP from the app


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Old 21-07-2016, 09:30   #5
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Re: Navico IPAD restriction

The iPad communicates with the MFD that controls the autopilot by wifi. Because of this it can potentially be hacked and control of the AP taken over by nefarious souls.

I suspect the wireless remote uses some other method to communicate or it uses a proprietary protocol that makes it less prone to hacks.
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Old 21-07-2016, 09:31   #6
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Re: Navico IPAD restriction

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
If it's any consolation, Raymarine do the same with their iPhone/iPad app. You can do anything on the iPad to control your MFD except the AP functions.

My guess is that part of the restriction could be to do with the wrong people on board (like children) disabling or changing the AP.

I have an AP controller at one helm and bought the wireless remote for the other, rather than fitting a second control head. Even if I didn't have the wireless or the MFD in the cockpit, I wouldn't be missing the AP from the app


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I do the same, and wouldn't remotely want the possibility of someone else controlling the autopilot! Bad enough that they could mess with the radar settings, but that I can live with. WiFi is a two edged sword!

Indeed, when I have kids at the wheel, I am not above secretly having the autopilot wireless remote in my pocket......once took a kid about a half hour to notice that the wheel would turn without his intervention :-)! Wouldn't like to be duelling with an IPad, as well.
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Old 21-07-2016, 09:40   #7
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Re: Navico IPAD restriction

I think it's liability, Apple comes out with new software, will that affect the Autopilot for example?
Not that any new operating system hasn't played well with all apps
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Old 21-07-2016, 09:42   #8
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Re: Navico IPAD restriction

I'm curious though on the Navionics website one of the devices it says is compatible with an Ipad for using the Sonar portion of the app is the GoFree Wifi.
Will the Navionics app on the Ipad get positional data and speed / depth etc from the B&G plotter then?
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Old 21-07-2016, 09:43   #9
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Re: Navico IPAD restriction

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I do the same, and wouldn't remotely want the possibility of someone else controlling the autopilot! Bad enough that they could mess with the radar settings, but that I can live with. WiFi is a two edged sword!
Then they should simply have a toggle on the chartplotter disabling WiFi Autopilot control.

I completely agree with the original poster on this, I am quite unhappy with the restriction. I do have a wireless remote in addition to the ipad for just this reason, but the wireless autopilot control has far fewer features (can't select all the modes of AP) and is another separate thing to break and maintain not to mention another thing to carry around the boat.
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Old 21-07-2016, 12:16   #10
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Re: Navico IPAD restriction

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I think it's liability, Apple comes out with new software, will that affect the Autopilot for example?
Not that any new operating system hasn't played well with all apps
Good point!!!!

When I bought my Raymarine remote, my iPhone would have been on IOS3.?? and now a couple of iPhones later and many IOS releases and bug fixes later I'm on IOS9.3.2

My remote is still using the same software.

The remote by the virtue that it has minimal functionality and is single focused, is much easier to test and make reliable.

30?years working in IT makes me well aware that one minor change in one location can impact on something else that is seemingly unrelated :-)


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Old 21-07-2016, 12:36   #11
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Re: Navico IPAD restriction

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I think it's liability, Apple comes out with new software, will that affect the Autopilot for example?
Not that any new operating system hasn't played well with all apps
Then don't use it. But don't insist it be blocked for the rest of us, who would very much like to use this and don't understand why this feature (and not others, such as changing or deleting waypoints) are blocked.

You've convinced me that enough people think there's some concern here that they should make this feature selectable (and sure, have it off by default) but it's causing enough annoyance for me and others and causing us to use costly workarounds that have less functionality.
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Old 21-07-2016, 13:29   #12
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Re: Navico IPAD restriction

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Then don't use it. But don't insist it be blocked for the rest of us, who would very much like to use this and don't understand why this feature (and not others, such as changing or deleting waypoints) are blocked.

You've convinced me that enough people think there's some concern here that they should make this feature selectable (and sure, have it off by default) but it's causing enough annoyance for me and others and causing us to use costly workarounds that have less functionality.
Surely, the least expensive and only mildly annoying work around is to get up and go out into the cockpit, have a look around, and tell the autopilot what to do? And, since you are telling it to do something different, perhaps adjust sail trim at the same time?

It's only human to want to do something "just because you can", but if sailing becomes a "virtual activity", dominated by tablets and interfaced electronics, and one doesn't get one's eyes "outside of the cockpit and instruments" and remain situationally aware, one loses lots of the joys of actually sailing, as well as being less safe. FWIW, I have the B&G wireless interface, so that I can read instruments and the MFD from wherever, inside, should weather get really nasty, particularly at anchor, but I purposely don't interface with the autopilot nor would I want not to be the link between the two. And, it doesn't bother me to go tap a key in the cockpit to control the autopilot. YMMV, of course.
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Old 21-07-2016, 13:56   #13
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Re: Navico IPAD restriction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whomda View Post
causing us to use costly workarounds that have less functionality.
How is getting off your ass to push a button by the helm costly?




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Old 21-07-2016, 14:27   #14
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Re: Navico IPAD restriction

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How is getting off your ass to push a button by the helm costly?
By costly I was referring to the installed wireless autopilot controller.

It's truly pretty unusual to need the functionality, but when you do the restriction is just a slap in the face. It's like if your boat manufacturer installed a restriction on the headsail furler where it can't be turned when the AWA is greater than 110deg. Sure, it may be a generally poor idea to do that, but when you want to do that the last thing you want is an arbitrarily installed restriction.

Here's two examples where this has happened:

1) I'm at the nav station, with several maps open (the B&G chart on the iPad, OpenCpn/Gribviewer on a laptop, and a paper map), and I realize based on current maps I'd like us to change 4 degrees port on this long leg. Since the chartplotter is open, you just press the AP arrow like you would at the helm, only to be shown a big lock symbol. So you pick up the wireless remote in your right hand, press the buttons on the remote while watching the ipad in your left hand to make sure the AP gets the change correctly, cursing the arbitrary annoying lockout.

2) short but heavy squall, I'm in the salon staying dry watching the seas with my binocs and radar screen active (again, on the iPad). I see a crab pot marker and want to make a quick 10 deg turn to starboard to avoid it. It would be faster, and arguably safer (and definitely more comfortable), to make the AP change on the ipad, rather than running to the rainy helm and grabbing the wheel. Of course in other situations (like an approaching boat) I'd go to the helm no matter the rain. But I hate that the engineers at Navico decided they always know what's best

But yes, folks here are of course right it's rare to need this, of course I spend most of the time at the helm. It's just annoying when it happens when I do need it.

And to be snarky: I don't see why your TV remote allows you to alter the volume, why don't you just always get up and walk the 5 feet to the TV to change the volume? It would give you a chance to clean the screen.
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Old 21-07-2016, 14:49   #15
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Re: Navico IPAD restriction

Great, Healthy Debate,

So my boat lives on a mooring. I don't like the idea of leaving an expensive MFD outside..... My boat has a wheelhouse, but no internal steering.... except it does now, because my MFD is at the internal helm position.

...... I know all the arguments about ipad..... but my ipad is in a lifeproof waterproof case, which I have used underwater to take pics..... this is what I use Mounted securely at the external Helm position.... Works great

EXCEPT.... 1.navico remote has limited AP functions
2. If you move away from Navico APP, to check radar/Ais app for example, you have to completely reconnect the App to get back to the MFD Mirror.
3. On the MFD mirror, if you accidentally open the AP page..... you can't even move away from it again.... even this little change would be awesome..... you could still have the CONTROLS locked out but have the ability to change screens!

What a really poorly thought out App, and disappointing from such a usually pioneering manufacturer.......

have a disclaimer button that I have to accept, with a lock code to keep the kids out if you like...... BUT GIVE ME CONTROL OF MY OWN DESTINY!
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