While new, the Hover app is a worthwhile addition to the drone operator toolkit
OK, it’s 2015 and almost everyone now has a smart phone. While some may have resisted for as long as they could, I doubt that there are too many hold outs left in the world. The smart phone, combined with the internet, have put So much information literally at our fingertips now. The benefits, for the drone pilot today, are that we can now access information pertinent to our intended area of operation/flight
IMMEDIATELY that before would not have been possible. As technology continues to improve, so will the type of information we have to which we have access. What does all of that mean? Quite simply, we (drone pilots) now have instant access to weather & updated maps showing where we are allowed to fly our drones today. Today, I want to show you an app designed for drone operators by operators. Let me introduce you to Hover.
Before we talk about the app itself, let’s get some background on it’s developers. Hover was developed by Dan Held & Kevin Johnson, both avid UAV operators. Together, they own a total seven drones of various makes and models. Dan & Kevin had an idea as drone operators, they saw the lack of online resources for all operators. Their solution was simple, design an information platform that can be the go to resource for UAV operators, both commercial and hobbyist. These guys didn’t just get together over beers one night after an evening of flying their drones and decide to do this though. They had plenty of experience in a related field. These two are the former founders of the top mobile app in the Bitcoin space, called ZeroBlock. After being acquired by one of the biggest Bitcoin companies, Blockchain, they used their previous experience to quickly develop and publish Hover in December of 2014! That’s long before the FAA even dreamed of their yet to come B4UFLY app!
To be 100% honest, I stumbled upon this app while surfing DIYDrones.com a few days ago. Intrigued, I immediately downloaded it to see what it was all about and I am so glad I did. This is a handy little app to have out in the field in my opinion. When you start up Hover, the screen opens up with a yellow background and you have the current temperature, wind speed/direction, Kp Index value, Sunrise/Sunset times and humidity. A finger swipe down takes you to a timer that you can use to time your flights with an easily accessible start and reset button. If you were to swipe up from the home screen, you would be taken to a map of the area you are currently in with major airports, US military bases, US National Parks, temporary no fly zones (in yellow) as well as some handy tools like a search box, compass and zoom in/out buttons. The areas where you are not permitted to fly drones are marked with a cross hatch of red. The app is easy to navigate and use. Hover is perfect for that impromptu aerial photography flight. You see specific scene that you think would look fantastic from the air. You pull over, open up Hover and make sure you are not in the middle of a no fly zone and then break out your gear and fly!
According to Dan, there is a lot more to come for the Hover app. There are a lot of planned updates that will expand the overall functionality of Hover giving drone operators a reliable source of current information from which we can fly safely and legally. This IS my go to resource now! I look forward to all of the updates that Dan & Kevin plan to provide us in the future! For now, Hover is ready to use and a great resource as it is. So, if you haven’t installed it on the tablet you use for flying your favorite drone or on your smartphone, get over to whichever app store is appropriate and download it now! Be sure to leave feedback and let the developers know what you think about Hover. They always welcome feedback from users!
Thanks for your time and always fly safe!