Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
This web page is intended to address some of the most common questions you may have about Avare. For topics not covered here, please read the Help page built into Avare (tap the Map tab, then the Menu button, then the Help button. That in-app Help is the most current, though to keep Avare small and quick it is brief. If you don’t find answers there, please search our Forum. New features are usually announced on the Avare Play Store page but, we want to help so please do NOT post questions or report issues there – use our Forum because we do not monitor Google Play. Some infrequently updated introductory basics and tips may also be found on our Avare YouTube Channel.
If you’re having any sort of trouble with Avare, please read this first. We have designed Avare to run fast and reliably on nearly all Android devices, and all minor bugs have been quickly found and fixed. So if you’re having a problem, it can almost always be solved by doing two things:
1. Ensure that Avare is the only app running. We follow Android guidelines, so app conflicts are rare but some apps may still cause problems. Restart your device and make sure only the core apps are running (unlike Avare some downloaded apps install themselves to launch on every restart, so they must be manually stopped to test whether that solves your problem).
2. Ensure that your device doesn’t have corrupted memory. Many users have reported odd or intermittent problems with Avare, only to eventually discover that the cause is a failing memory chip (possibly even the chip built into their device). Avare uses memory frugally but due to displaying maps and other features still uses more than most apps, making hardware memory problems more likely to manifest.
Whether or not you resolve a problem, you can help all users by posting to our Forum. Please include a detailed description of the problem; results from anything you’ve tried; the make, model, serial number of your device; and the versions of Avare and Android.
Common Frequently Asked Questions
I downloaded and Installed Avare, why do I get a blank / black screen?
In order to get a location on the chart displayed you must:
a-Have Avare installed
b-Download the Databases file
c-Download at least 1 chart (Sectional, etc.) in your local area
d-Have a good GPS location acquired with Avare in Navigate mode
**Note that you can view charts without GPS in Simulation mode (tap the Map tab, the Menu button, and toggle the Navigate/Simulation button). Be sure to then ensure you have selected the chart type of a local chart you have downloaded (Sectional, etc.) using Map->Menu->Sectional (or whatever the currently selected chart type name is shown on the bottom-right button). Then just tap the Find tab and type in the 3-letter code (e.g. LAX) for an airport on that chart and tap the Center button.
I Downloaded Databases and a chart for the area. Why do I get a “The required data file is missing and must be downloaded” or “Download Charts for this area” red message?
Most likely your device isn’t getting a good GPS signal. Look in the upper right for that warning, or check the Tools tab in Avare. It can also be a mismatch of the Databases and the Charts version, try downloading them again.
**Note that if you zoom all the way out you’ll probably see most of the U.S. even without any charts downloaded, because the Databases file contains a low resolution U.S. map that’s displayed at wide zoom.
Is there a way to display the Chart or location without a good GPS signal?
Yes, but must have the Databases and a local chart downloaded and selected:
a-Avare in Simulation mode.
Tap the Map tab, then the Menu button, then the Navigate (or Simulation) button. This button toggles between the Navigate and Simulation modes, so the button label changes accordingly.
b-Create a Flight Plan.
Tap “Plan”, from the bottom tabs, and in the upper left window that will show up, enter the names of one of your local airports in the form of kxxx kyyy and tap Plan to the right of the window, answer “OK” to “..Clear current”.. At this point you have the option Save your plan for later use, tap in the window above “Save” and enter a name tap “Save” (you should see your plan name in the left side window) or just tap “Inactive” which will toggle to “Active”. Tap “BackArrow” or “Map” under “Save-Active” and if you’ve done everything right you should see the aircraft symbol and a course line to your Destination, and the red “Simulation” warning in the upper right.
c-If you have the Avare Addon / Avare External I/O, you can use the GPS Sim mode, or use a Flight Simulator like MSFSX, XPlane, Flight gear, without having to go in the Simulation mode. Not described here, see additional info on how to use these options in our Apps4Av Forum.
How do I disable / remove a Destination?
Long press on the Destination point on the chart, or in “Plan” tab (text mode) and select Delete from the pop up choices.
Can I use External SD cards to store the Charts in devices that have that option?
Yes there is a procedure that has worked and been tested in Samsungs and LGs, but it may not work on some devices and may be disabled by updates issued by Android, manufacturers or service providers. Search the Forum for more current and specific answers to this question. A procedure that has worked previously in different versions follows:
Use My Files” or “ES File Explorer” to create the Directory / Folder.
a-Create a folder in the Root of your External SD Card (external for the devices that allow it like Samsung) named Android/Data/com.ds.avare.
End result should look something look this:
/storage/external_SD/Android/data/com.ds.avare (Ver 4.4.2) or
/storage/extSDCard/Android/data/com.ds.avare (Ver 4.1.0)
Note: Samsung names their internal SD card as SDCard0, just to confuse the situation.
b-In Avare Menu>Preferences> Chart Storage Folder> Navigate with the Up arrow to that folder you created and Select (OK) it.
Verify your work and be prepared to re download Databases and maybe the Charts. I was able to move and use the charts after the location change.
Can I insert new waypoints after I created a Flight Plan?
Yes. You Long press(may take >5 sec. in some cases) on the location you want added to your Flight Plan, Avare will pop up choices “>Destination” or “+Plan”, choose “+Plan” and Avare will ad that new point to the list and draw a new Course line for you. If the added point is Not in the proper sequence (you need), you can go to “Plan” tap and hold hand grab icon and move to the desired location. Note: the procedure works best if you add a point in the leg after the leg you are presently on.
NOTE: Avare has a “rubber band” feature, so that you can long-press on the course line of an Active Plan and drag it wherever you like on the chart. It will be automatically added to the Plan, though sometimes it may be inserted out of sequence so you’d need to use the up or down buttons in the Plan tab to correct it.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Click any Question in this list, or click here to just browse the text.
Questions, and Answers
* Where did the Avare name come from?
Avare (pronounced ə-ˈver – sounds like “ahvair” – think “aware” with a V) is a contraction of the words Aviation (Situational) Awareness. So you can use Avare to more conveniently be Aware of aviation information in flight and for planning purposes.
* Does Avare meet FAA chart requirements?
For the latest official FAA rulings on the use of non-FAA Certified apps such as Avare (or Foreflight, etc.), please refer to FAA rulings directly. The FAA rulings and guidelines are currently diverse and changing rapidly, but our understanding as of December 2019 is that non-commercial operators of small aircraft may use non-FAA Certified apps like Avare on portable devices like tablets or phones for any purpose (e.g. EFB) other than primary GPS navigation.
Our understanding is that primary VFR nav may include reference to current Avare charts, with Avare GPS for secondary nav, and that only Certified (and probably permanently installed) RAIM GPS devices may be used for primary IFR navigation. Users of Avare have reported that they fly with Avare as a primary EFB and secondary navigation device. Online sources we have found to date for FAA documents on this topic include:
- AIM 1−1−17b1 Sec. c & d (pg.50) on Uncertified GPS (pdf)
- 120-76B – Guidelines … Electronic Flight Bags
- AC 91-78 – Use of … EFB
- AC 91.21-1B – Use of Portable Electronic Devices
- FSIMS 8900.1 vol. 4-1641 EFB Authorization Process
The Avare team makes available via the Download menu all data every 28 days following the FAA schedule. Some charts like the Grand Canyon and Helicopter Charts may not be updated and should not be used for navigation without checking the chart date. There may be a few days lag in uploading the latest data due to limited resources on the Avare project, and it is possible that some charts and plates may be expired by a few days. However, plates and many charts have expiry dates printed on them by the FAA.
Attention: The FAA does not approve the use of any handheld GPS devices for primary GPS navigation on IFR flights. As with all apps for Android or iOS, Avare is not an FAA Certified app, and is not intended as the sole source for primary navigation or information. It is the responsibility of the pilot in command to verify that all terminal procedures and charts are up to date before using them.
Charts and data must be up to date at all times, and must match the current Avare version. If any item in the Download list is marked red, or has a red colored icon associated with it, then that item has expired and (after ensuring that the Avare version is current) a new version of the Download item is available using the Update button.
Note that expired charts may display your location incorrectly due to occasional changes in FAA charts. Do not combine expired and current data, as it can cause GPS location issues, and chart overlapping. Also ensure that the Avare version matches the Download materials you are using (e.g. check Play Store first to get the latest Avare, then click Update in the Download screen).
* How accurate is Avare’s indicated GPS position?
Avare’s GPS screen displays the current information including Accuracy, that is reported by your GPS hardware. Note that GPS accuracy and reliability are not determined by Avare, but by the GPS system and your GPS receiver hardware. Typically, users have reported accuracy to within 300 feet with their device’s internal GPS (30 feet or less is not uncommon) standing outdoors with a clear view of the sky. Accurate results with a GPS aloft depends mostly on the particular device and aircraft, and whether the device has a clear view of the sky in normal use. Typically the accuracy will be best with an external WAAS GPS receiver, but even then there is some innate inaccuracy in the GPS system. Using our free Ad-On Bluetooth & I/O apps, you can use a second Android device with GPS with Avare that can be placed where it has a clear view of the sky while your device running Avare is placed where it’s most convenient in flight. External GPS receivers for Android start at about $25.
* Is there a fix for internal storage running low with Avare?
Avare has an option in Preferences, for selecting your storage location for charts. It’s possible that your device has free space on an SD card or other storage medium, though this may not work on some Android devices and versions.
Note that you will need to re-Download (or manually relocate) any previously Downloaded charts after changing the storage location Preference.
You may find it easiest to simply Re-Install the Avare app. In the Settings section of your Android device, find the Apps or Application Manager section and use that to Uninstall Avare and thus remove all associated files. Then use the Play Store or other method to Install the Avare app again and before using the Download screen, change the Preferences in Avare for the Charts Storage Folder. This will minimize Avare’s use of storage space in locations other than the one you have set.
* Can I install Avare on devices with no GPS?
Yes, Avare has been successfully installed and used on every Android device we have tested. Due to limitations imposed by the Google Play store, if you can’t install there you may want to read about the Manual Install procedure. If you’d then like to add an external GPS for Avare to use it usually works, and if not please check out our free Add-On apps.
* Where can I get Avare other than the Google Play store?
Avare may be available on Fdroid, CNet, Amazon and other sources. Please use caution, because some non-Google sources offer old versions and may not be safe or secure. You can install Avare directly from our server as described in our Manual Install instructions on this site.
Note: Always ensure that you have the current Databases file that is compatible with the version of Avare and the charts you are using. The FAA occasionally changes the technical details of their charts during their regular updates, and that can result in incompatibility with older versions of Avare and your Databases file. This will not be a problem for you if you ensure that any updates you do are complete, including the Avare version and its Databases file and charts.
If you haven’t downloaded a chart yet, press your device’s Menu button then press Download and choose the chart(s) you’ll be using. If you haven’t downloaded the Sectional chart for your area, doing that will probably be helpful for your future use of Avare. To view charts other than Sectionals (TACs for example), use Preferences and Select Chart Type.
If after ensuring that all of the above steps are complete you still see only a black screen, check that GPS is on with location acquired (or enter Simulation mode) and use Find to input an airport located on a currently installed and selected chart.
* How do I display an Airport Diagram?
To view the Airport Diagram (AD) for an airport, first be sure you have obtained the AD for the region that airport is in by using the Download menu. Then use Find or Plan to input the Destination (airport code) and press the Plates button, then ensure you have selected “AIRPORT-DIAGRAM” from the drop down list in the box at the center-top of the Plate screen.
* How much memory does Avare use?
The total installed storage memory size of Avare with the required Database is about 50MB. The average chart is about 10MB, and the typical size with Sectionals, WAC, TAC, and IFR charts is about 800MB. Terminal procedures are about 1GB. Note that Preferences includes an option for moving Avare files to different storage locations such as an External SD chip on devices and Android versions that support it. Avare uses all run time memory that Android gives it, and is typically 32MB. To free up memory used by Avare when you Exit, unselect “Leave Running” in Preferences.
* Can I disable moving map while retaining GPS lock?
Just switch to Simulation Mode. Press the Menu button, then Check tap the Navigate button. Note that this button toggles between Navigate and Simulation. Simulation Mode will let you use Find to jump instantly to any airport for both display and A/FD info for that airport, while retaining GPS signal acquisition. To view or use your current
location again, just tap the Simulation button so that it changes back to Navigate Mode.
*How do I enter a GPS latitude/longitude location as Destination?
Press the Find button in the Menu, then enter a latitude&longitude (use negative sign for West) pair, for example 42.8933&-74.4422 in the search box. Select it from the list below as the found Destination.
* Does Avare work in Airplane Mode?
Yes, once you have used Download to install any charts (or the set of Airport Diagrams) as desired, all features of Avare work just fine in Airplane Mode on most devices. Note that some devices have difficulty acquiring GPS “lock” without cell and/or data or wifi, but will work fine in airplane mode once lock is acquired if the device is kept awake and you don’t switch out of the Avare app. A few users with older devices have found it helpful to first acquire a GPS lock with Google Maps, then exit that app, launch Avare, and (after confirming GPS lock) activating Airplane Mode.
* How do I get distance & heading TO any point on a chart?
Just long-press any point on the chart while your device has your GPS location acquired. The course indicator line (if present) will be hidden, and at the top of the screen you will see the Compass Direction, Bearing, and Distance both TO and FROM your current location. This is handy for ATC and CTAF radio calls. Note that if internet access is active, METAR/TAF text may also be displayed if you long-press on an airport.
* How do I get distance & heading FROM any point on a chart?
Just long-press any point on the chart while your device has your GPS location acquired. The course indicator line (if present) will be hidden, and at the top of the screen you will see the Compass Direction, Bearing, and Distance both TO and FROM your current location. This is handy for ATC and CTAF radio calls. Note that if internet access is active,
METAR/TAF text may also be displayed if you long-press on an
* How can I quickly switch between A/FDs for different airports?
Often the easiest method is to use the Near button, since you can just select from a list of the nearest airports. You can also use the Find or Plan button to change the airport code, and then use the A/FD button to display it.
* How do I exit Avare to close or Restart it?
To completely Exit Avare use your device’s Back key as required until you leave Avare. Avare is designed to completely stop all operations when you switch to another app or to the Home screen, so you can return to it instantly later if you choose. The only time you need to Exit is when Avare indicates that it’s required. Note that the GPS will keep running up to two minutes after leaving Avare.
* How do I switch from Avare to allow for a quick return later?
Simply push your device’s Home key. Android also offers a feature to switch between recent apps. Just long-press your Home key or press the task switching key if provided, and Android will present you with a selection of recent applications you can switch to. Note that the internal GPS in some devices may lose GPS lock if Avare is not the active app for more than a few minutes, so you’ll want to test your device for this in advance of flight.
* How do I get Avare to display FAA TFRs?
You can download the latest TFRs from the Download list under Databases. TFRs are automatically displayed on the chart in red by default. If you long-press the indicator at the top-center of a TFR shape, text information (including date/time) for that TFR will be displayed at the upper-left of the screen. Apps4av servers update TFRs every top of the hour.
* How do I use the Course line?
It is provided primarily for route planning, such as to avoid obstacles or Restricted areas. It is also useful for visually aligning the location icon “airplane” to the line as an approximate navigation aid.
* How is the Time to Destination calculated?
It is a simple calculation of the time required at your current GPS ground speed if you fly direct to the indicated bearing. It does not allow for wind or ground course variations, but is continually updated based on your current GPS position and ground speed.
* Where can I find runway or Comm airport info?
First be sure you have activated a Destination airport using Find or Plan. Then press your device’s A/FD button, then scroll through the list to see the information available for that airport.
* Can battery level affect my device’s internal GPS?
Yes. Users have reported that their GPS may not acquire as quickly or reliably at low battery levels (below 30% or even higher on some devices). Plugging your device into external power may help with your device’s internal GPS performance.
* How can I get Destination charts to display longer?
When GPS is active, the chart display will only briefly display to your Destination airport just after you select one. You can switch to Simulation Mode (press Option button, then the Navigate button). Simulation Mode will let you jump instantly to any airport you select, for both display and A/FD info for that airport, while retaining GPS operation in the background. To view or use your current location again, just press the Simulation button so it toggles back to Navigate.
* How long does it take from Avare launch before I see charts?
The startup time depends mostly on your device, but usually a few seconds up to a minute. Note that no charts or Airport Diagrams can be displayed until you Download them. If you see a black screen, chances are your GPS isn’t working yet or you haven’t downloaded the Databases file or the Sectional chart for your area.
* Can I use Avare without cell or data service?
Yes, once you have used Download to install any charts (or the set of Airport Diagrams) as desired, all features of Avare work just fine in airplane mode on every Android device we’ve tested. Note that the internal GPS on some devices may have difficulty acquiring “lock” without cell and/or data/wifi, but will work fine in Airplane Mode once lock is acquired IF the device is kept awake and you don’t switch out of the Avare app.
* What’s in the Databases file Avare uses?
The file named Databases in the Downloads list contains the current A/FD (except for Airport Diagrams) and is also required for Avare to know the name, boundaries and GPS calibration for each chart. Before you can use any charts, Avare needs this information so that it can assemble all the charts you’ve downloaded into a seamless mosaic. Avare then calculates where to display your GPS location on that mosaic of downloaded charts. Always be sure to Update Avare and Download the latest Databases before you Download any new or updated charts (when Avare is Updated, the Download screen’s Update button will take care of the rest). Note that if an item in the Download list has a green checkmark at the left, it’s downloaded, and latest.
* How do I browse charts and then get back to current location?
You can browse charts by zooming and dragging them, and tap the square center star button to resume GPS moving map. To browse freely, use Simulation Mode, and then turn off that mode to instantly return to your current location. In Map view press Option button, then tap the Navigate button to toggle it to Simulation Mode. To view or use your current location again, just tap the Simulation button to toggle it back to Navigate.
* How are Obstacles shown?
When “Show Obstacles” option is checked in Preferences, all obstacles 200 feet below the GPS altitude of your device or higher are shown. To reduce clutter, all obstacles shorter than 500 feet AGL are removed from the FAA obstacles database. Obstacles are shown as red triangles.
* What is a complete Exit?
By default, Avare will keep a background process running. This process will store important data like the current destination, the location, the map view, the weather, the TFRs, and the airport information. This process will wake up periodically for a few simple tasks (fetch TFRs, weather etc.). It will also keep the GPS on for up to 2 minutes after you exit Avare.
The background process allows you to temporarily switch to
other applications without losing the flight data, and the GPS
You can completely exit Avare, and stop the background process
by unselecting “Leave Running” in the preferences list