Apptoyz Appcopter for iOS devices - expert review
The Apptoyz Appcopter is the new App-ccessory to hit the skies this summer for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices that are running iOS 4.0 or above.
Straight out of the box you can instantly feel that this gadget is robust and built to a high quality with its metal frame chassis and flexible body shell that can endure the usual knocks and bumps when piloting this gadget.
Partnering the Appcopter is its ‘Control Bug’. This is the infra-red controller that communicates with the Appcopter in flight. It simply sticks onto the bottom of your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch via 6 strong suction pads. Once stuck on, the Control Bug then plugs into your headphone jack.
The main benefit that the Appcopter has over its competitors is that it has built-in batteries in both the Appcopter and the Infra-red Controller bug that are charged via a USB connection by any PC, Mac or even USB wall charger.
The manual that came with the Appcopter is clear and straight to the point with illustrations and well written instructions on how to charge, setup & operate the Appcopter & Control Bug to your iOS device.
The very first instruction in the manual is to install the Appcopter application on your iOS device from the App Store. The Manual asks you to search for “Appcopter by Apptoyz” in the App Store and the first result is the app you require. The app can be downloaded in seconds and once installed you’re ready to fly straight away.
Around the 50%-60% thrust mark is just right for controllability.
The Appcopter’s Control interface is simple & attractive with big labelled buttons & illustrations of what control mode you would like. Also there are additional settings from the main screen, such as selecting a channel, toggling sound FX and enabling voice control. When you select a controller mode you are provided with an accelerate/power bar that lets you toggle the power of thrust from 0% to 100%.
There are 2 control modes that you can use to fly the Appcopter.
The first mode uses Motion Control, which lets you tell the Appcopter how high to fly and in what direction, using the accelerometer built into your iOS device. These controls are VERY sensitive and I have found that it takes a considerable amount of time to truly master them. I prefer option 2.
The second mode is your more traditional 4 Button D-Pad controller. Using the D-Pad feels more natural and is a lot easier due to the sensitive touchscreen on iOS devices. I personally recommend using the D-pad option, purely for controllability.
You can play sound effects by saying “fire missiles, laser, or machine gun” into your iOS device's microphone.
When the Appcopter is in flight, your iOS device will make realistic helicopter sound effects. Of course this is a 30 second loop and can get annoying after some time. The voice controls also trigger 3 stock sound effects including a missile launcher, a machine gun and a laser gun.
The Battery life on the Appcopter is average. You will get roughly 15-20 minutes of sustained flight time from the Appcopter itself before needing to recharge it. The control bug requires less charge cycles as it consumes very little power.
The Appcopter is the ideal App-ccessory for the living room or office. It’s not the cheapest Infra-red controlled helicopter on the market, but at £49 it’s not the most expensive either. Given the build quality and ease of use, I feel that this app-cessory is good value. We got a little carried away with our air-borne stunts and crashed into the sprinkler systems at Geek Squad HQ, which didn’t go down too well!
The Apptoyz Appcopter is available to buy now from Carphone Warehouse.