Platform notes

Android

Network security problems

Like most other programs, Enroute Flight Navigation uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) for secure communication with servers on the internet. The technology relies on digital certificates that are built into the Android operating system and can only be updated by the device manufacturer through system security updates. Regretfully, manufacturers of Android devices are often not interested in after-sales support and provide updates only for a very short period of time, if at all.

If a device does not receive regular system updates, the certificates will expire after a while, and secure network connections are no longer possible. As covered in the media, many users of systems running Android 7.1 (or below) started to experience problems on 30. September 2021, when an important certificate expired.

When certificates expire, some apps will stop working. Other app authors prefer to hide the complexity of secure communication from their users and write apps that will silently revert to insecure communication. These apps appear to run as normal, but leave communication (and eventually the system) open to tampering and manipulation.

The author of Enroute Flight Navigation believes that pilots should be able to make an informed decision about the security of their systems. Enroute Flight Navigation will tell the user of any network security errors. Users can then decide to do one of the following.

  • Replace the device by a more recent model, preferably from one of the few manufacturers who offer long-time support for their products.

  • Accept the risk of insecure communication and ignore network security errors in the future.

Note

The author, who is concerned about short-lived digital products, uses a Fairphone personally. Fairphones are long-lasting, can be repaired easily and receive many years of security updates. Other brands might have similar offers.

Screen backlighting

Enroute Flight Navigation overrides the system settings of your device and ensures that the screen backlighting is always on. To save battery power, the screen can be switched off manually with the hardware “power button” of your device.

Screen locking

Enroute Flight Navigation stays on top of the lock screen of your device. It will therefore be shown immediately as soon as the screen is switched on. You can therefore use Enroute Flight Navigation without unlocking your device.

Wi-Fi locking

When running on Android, Enroute Flight Navigation acquires a Wi-Fi lock as soon as the app receives heartbeat messages from one of the channels where it listens for traffic receivers. The lock is released when the messages no longer arrive.

Linux desktop

File import by drag-and-drop

It is possible to import files by dragging and dropping then anywhere in the main window of Enroute Flight Navigation. The following file types are accepted.

Content

Format

File name

FLARM Test Data

Text

*.txt

Flight Route

GeoJSON

*.geojson

Flight Route

GPX

*.gpx

Command line

Rather than importing file by drag-and-drop, file names can also be given when starting Enroute Flight Navigation via the Unix command line. The following command line options are supported.

Option

Description

-h, –help

Displays help on commandline options.

–help-all

Displays help including Qt specific options.

-v, –version

Displays version information.

-s

Run simulator and generate screenshots for manual