[Updated] Mobiata pares its FlightTrack suite to a single paid app, says it's working to make up for losing Tripit sync

Even if you've previously bought FlightTrack and FlightTrack Pro, you'll have to pony up again for this new app

Mobiata's FlightTrack app has long been a go-to app for frequent fliers — myself included. But it's always been a rather complicated affair. There was the original FlightTrack, which cost $4.99. The FlightTrack Pro download added the ability to sync with Tripit (which manages multiple itineraries with ease), but that cost another $4.99. And then the app largely remained unchanged over the years, as far as design was concerned. Loads of functionality, but it was looking stale.

Then in August 2012, Mobiata introduced FlightTrack Free. As the name implies, it cost nothing — and it brought a much improved app design. But it didn't sync with Tripit, which made a non-starter for many frequent fliers.

Now, we've got FlightTrack 5. A single app, which can be yours for another $2.99. But gone is the Tripit integration. Instead, you'll have to input flights manually, one at a time. The app does recognize when two legs are part of the same trip and links them together, which is good. But having to add four or six flights at a time is annoying — and well worth a few extra bucks to those of us that have to do frequently.

The good news is if you have the original FlightTrack (and FlightTrack Pro) installed, they'll continue to work. Also, Mobiata says it's working to make up for the missing functionality.

FlightTrack 5

In a recent blog post, a Mobiata "user happiness lead" wrote,

With the launch of FlightTrack 5 today, some of you expressed surprise about the new app’s lack of a TripIt integration feature. We share your frustration. Although we built and tested TripIt integration during FlightTrack 5’s development, we have not been given the necessary permission to enable this feature in the app. As a result, we are exploring our options and considering alternatives so that you can continue to easily import flights into the app.

Other features worth mentioning in the new app: You can tag individual travelers from your contacts, see if a plane has Wifi, push trips to your calendar and zoom in on approximate locations on the map.

Update: So, a couple of updates to this story. In a Nov. 22 blog post, TripIt suggests that those who miss TripIt support in FlightTrack 5 should either use the old version of FlightTrack — or use Tripit's own app. Supposedly folks "impacted" by the change will receive an e-mail offering for you to start using the Tripit Pro service. (No idea how long any free service might last — or if it'll be free in the first place).

And today, Nov. 25, Tripit attempts to explain even further:

I wanted to take a moment to clear up some rumors that began circulating on Friday evening. Mobiata’s launch of FlightTrack 5 without TripIt integration led some to conclude that we had shut off API access to Mobiata.Our API remains open and there were no changes made. In fact, it still powers FlightTrack Pro. So while there is no agreement in place to support FlightTrack 5, FlightTrack Pro users can continue to benefit from the capabilities enabled by TripIt.Thank you for sharing your feedback. We take your opinions very seriously.

It's still very unclear why FlightTrack 5 is unable to use Tripit's "open" API. No matter what the reason, it's the users who are feeling the impact.

More: Mobiata blog

  • this is no good. how many times must i pay for an app?
  • Just wait until fight track 5 pro comes out, for another $3 with Tripit sync and updated UI. At which point, of course, development on fight track 5 will all but cease. No, I'm not being sarcastic... I actually think it'll happen. Posted via Android Central App
  • "With the launch of FlightTrack 5 today, some of you expressed surprise about the new app’s lack of a TripIt integration feature" How about: some of you expressed surprised about having to pay for the same app again.
  • Do not give any more money to these developers. They've fooled us one too many times. Theirs is not the only flight tracking app in the Play Store.
  • This developer is good at making you pay for the same app not once, twice, but three times. However, the app is such a nice one that it's hard not to just bend over and spread...
  • Completely agree with you. And I'll give them the additional $3.00, as it is the best app of it's kind out there. The new UI is actually really nice.
  • Very good app! but is not convenient the business stategy they applied...anyway I think I'll pay for this new app too. Hoping to use it a lot as the previus...
    Just to suggest you another good app for frequent flier is "Find My Bags" check it on play store.
  • Worthless without the integration with TripIt. Only reason I paid for it to begin with.
  • Meh, I paid for the original but not for Tripit... It was still better than any of the free ones, so that's why I bought it, and I'll probably pay for the new one too. Kinda off putting that they held off on updating the original for so long and then forced a paid upgrade anyway. They'd have to do worse for me to really care about spending $3 tho.
  • i don't care about the $3. it's the general principle. and i hate to reward this behavior as it encourages it to continue. where do you draw the line? are they going to make me pay for the next update version too? where does it end? who else does this BS?
  • Hope lots of folks express their disgust but the money milking these folks are doing. Glad to see lots of reviews on Google Play reflect this. Posted via Android Central App
  • Older version of the application was very expensive by Android standards, but I accepted it since it was the only decent option for flight tracking.
    I have tried new version without TripIt integration. It is not worth it. If they have temporary problems with TripIt integration, then I think that this version should be pulled out of Play market until it have feature parity.
    I would not mind the new version too much if the old one was not pulled from the market instead. Horrible developer. Just horrible.
  • This whole thing has kind of enraged me. I used the older $10 app every day (I fly a ton) and it worked wonderfully. Bought this on day one and quickly discovered it force closes on launch (Republic Moto X). Sent support a message, haven't heard back. Ended up returning the Republic X (Sprint is just terrible, even on the cheap) and went back to my HTC One. This new app works fine on it, but it's so crippled it's just not worth using. I was fortunately able to re-download the old apps from my purchase history. Mobiata needs to fix their app and put Tripit sync back in ASAP. Like now.
  • TripIt is my absolute number one most indispensable app. I'll pass on any travel app that doesn't play nice with TripIt.