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| November 30, 2010
Parrot's Free Flight Control App For The AR.Drone Goes Universal
In the midst of the holiday sales and other commotion, Free Flight now includes native iPad support, a new setting, and updated AR.Drone firmware. Free Flight is Parrot's basic control application for its innovative quadricopter, the AR.Drone. Originally designed as something of an advanced video game, the application was developed around the iPhone and iPod touch. One of the most significant features of this nifty toy are the dual cameras, one pointing forward and one downward, providing a virtual cockpit view. Even though things are fine on the iPhone and iPod touch's 3.5" display, when Apple's 9.7" screen tablet came about, some users felt the larger viewing window was a very viable option. Parrot has made Free Flight into a universal app, native to any iDevice. While a user gains an easier to see display, the compromise is the lack of control using a device and interface comparable to a traditional video game controller. The iPad implementation did require two changes. The video output ratio to be adjusted for the iPad's less wide screen and the controls to be moved much closer to the bottom corners. Available to all iOS devices running Free Flight, v1.6 allows a pilot to manipulate the virtual joystick transparency. Under settings, you'll now find a slider to make the UI controls less of an obstruction, which will likely be more important for the pocket-sized iDevice fliers. Free Flight is available as a free download in the App Store, however, you'll need an AR.Drone to use it. [gallery link="file"]