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Issue 5.5

REVIEW

Profile: iFly

Issue: 5.5 (July/August 2007)
Author: David Mancuso
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 4,053
Starting Page Number: 10
Article Number: 5506
Related Web Link(s):

http://www.earthrise.biz

Full text of article...

iFly is an application made with REALbasic. It's built for airline travelers, frequent flyers, and aviation enthusiasts. It's currently a Mac OS X application, requiring OS X 10.2 or greater. With iFly you can enter trips with details including departure and arrival destinations, airline, aircraft (including the aircraft's registry), and more, as we'll see later.

Installation is comprised of files in a Macintosh disk image, but make sure you open the "Read before first Run" file. The installation instructions it contains are a bit involved, but complete and straightforward if you follow them. I noted that the database for your trips resides in the iFly application folder. Personally, I'd put the .rbd file in the preferences or documents folder, only because I personally don't like to put user files in the Applications folder. The application launches into a main window with your trips listed. The main window interface is fairly packed, but everything is well laid out. It's easy to see where things go and what you're looking for.

I first looked at the help system to familiarize myself with iFly. I was pleasantly surprised to see a very nice help system. Most applications don't have help systems that are as fully fleshed out as iFly. It was easy for me to see what the program did and how to use it. I entered a number of flight legs into the program. It was great to have iFly's extensive list of airport codes, city codes, and aircraft codes. The Show Route button brought up a trip map displaying my travel routes, and I could also enter multiple trip legs into the map. I was impressed with the detailed options for trip recording, including Personal, Business, and user-defined trip categories. iFly can be used for business trip recording, but it's obviously also a flight aficionado's dream.

Of particular note is the report section of iFly. It has user-selectable reports, but also pre-defined custom reports. Better yet, iFly exposed the database to allow customizable reports for multiple fields. Very powerful and very slick.

There are a few things I'd love to see in future versions. iFly is a great way to keep reports for taxes, but I'd like a field for ticket prices, and a corresponding user report for my taxes at the end of the year. It might also be nice to have Frequent Flyer programs in the iFly database, including cooperative multi-airline flyer programs. Then you could see how many miles you've piled up with carriers and perhaps where miles have aggregated enough with cooperative plans to allow you frequent flyer program benefits.

I'd like to see personal ratings for aircraft and airlines in addition to iFly's remarks for flights, and maybe a place to note good restaurants with their websites and phone numbers. Perhaps hotels too? Finally, I'd bet that Windows users would love this application if iFly goes cross platform. iFly is an impressive application with a future that's very promising.

End of article.