Lots of frequent flyers are familiar with the premium FlightTrack apps, which offer a bunch of advanced features, such as calendar syncing, multiple flight tracking and SeatGuru integration, in addition to the ability to track the status of commercial flights.
But what if you just want the basics without paying anything?
Mobiata, the Expedia company that makes the app, this week answered that question with a redesigned and streamlined app called FlightTrack Free, a new companion to its $5 and $10 siblings, FlightTrack and FlightTrack Pro.
FlightTrack Free is useful for people who just want to track a flight and know when it’s going to leave and arrive, whether you’re on the flight yourself or needing to pick someone up from the airport.
Features include real-time flight location, using satellite maps. The well-designed interface lets you search by departure location, destination, and date, with on-screen cards indicating gate information and arrival time, including whether or not the flight will be late.
The app extends to international and overseas flights, and one fun feature is the ability to shake the phone to find a random flight traveling from one (sometimes exotic) locale to another. I’m also looking forward to trying this with the WiFi on a future flight to help identify landmarks out the window.
App of the Week is a regular feature of the GeekWire radio show and podcast, airing at 7 a.m. every Saturday and 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. every Sunday on 97.3 KIRO-FM in Seattle, and running weekends on GeekWire.com. Here’s the audio of this week’s segment.