Look this is probably going to be taken down -but I think it would be cool and beneficial if IF made their own joystick connect app to connect a joystick to an Apple device as many third-party developers are struggling to cope with new updates and connectivity issues.
Currently, you can either use Map Connect, LiveFlight Connect and Raspberry Pi. Each one of these have their own problem.
Map Connect- Doesn’t Work/ Disconnects Frequently
LiveFlight Connect- Doesn’t Work
Raspberry Pi- Too expensive lol
Therefore, I thought it would be beneficial if IF could make an app so we joystick users don’t have to struggle when the joystick disconnects on short final.
Those devs try their hardest creating updates and developing the system. If you could find a way to create it or do it better go for it. My question is what are you asking? A IF created system would be clunky as the others unless there is a different way to do it internally or externally.
Yes some are but recently many people are facing problems with map connect due to the software not being able to cope with new updates cause the third party devs don’t know how to fix it or make it usable on that update.
(I might be wrong) but I think that it would be easier if IF we’re making or supplying info to the third party developers.
I understand that the IF team are working on some great major updates and I hope IF can do something with the joystick as it will enhance the realistic gameplay,alongside project metal.
Having the support of a joystick will definitely put IF ahead of other apps too.
Perhaps I can explain this from a technical but still understandable point of view. The Connect API is actually being continually updated. As new aircraft are added and features implemented, the API is updated to reflect those things.
In software development, changes to an application (or in this case, API) are defined in a few specific ways. Patches contain bug fixes and are backwards compatible (IF pushes hotfixes when issues arise, these are patch versions), then you have minor updates which are still backwards compatible (ie apps that work before the update still work afterwards) but other features are added. Then you have major updates, which is defined by “major breaking changes” - in other words, apps that worked before won’t work anymore. The Connect API is updated at every standard update to IF - 20.2, 20.3, 21.1, etc. These are minor changes. They add features but it still works for applications created on older versions.
There is actually a rather comprehensive documentation area for the Connect API available here:
If you think there’s anything missing from the docs, let me know - I can get it added for you.
Here’s the problem - Apple especially (but Android too) enforce certain rules around what apps can and cannot do. They put apps in a “sandbox”. It’s like when you navigate to a website, you don’t want that website to have the ability to delete files from your computer.
One of those rules is around USB Devices. Now, I’m not a mobile app developer but I know enough to know that Android is much more lenient than iOS. That’s why Android users can plug a joystick directly into their device and have it “just work”. iOS prevents these kinds of things (afaik), hence making it a lot more difficult to implement native support.
In terms of third party apps, as Seb said, the API is pretty reliable. It runs on a protocol called TCP - that’s the same protocol that HTTP is built on top of. The point being, the IF Connect API should (in theory) be as reliable as your web browsers. Of course, that’s not the case and I won’t go into reasons too specifically but just know that networks are complex beasts and sometimes stuff doesn’t always go as it should if the networks aren’t set up in a certain manner.
It’s on my project list of things to do in the near future, as I know that it’s in a lot of demand.
The team have made an incredible API, for third party developers to be able to do this sort of thing. All the info is there, but please understand that it can sometimes take a while to get something to work.
I disagree - the devs working on joystick software are working hard to try and get them up and running, so being patient always works in your favour 😁.
There have recently been major updates to both APIs, so some code will inevitable be required to be updated.
As you can imagine, this is quite the job for third-party devs, many of which are still in school, and have a life outside of Infinite Flight.
There are an awesome set of docs for you to take a look at that’ll explain how the Connect API works, there’s nothing stopping you from making your own! (@KaiM just posted the link to them above).
I hope that this clears up any confusion, and apologies if I have repeated some of what Kai said above!