The COVID-19 pandemic is making this a tough time for lots of businesses. I hope yours is doing okay.
Despite no help from the Government (turns out going Ltd. wasn't such a great idea after all!), I want to reassure Dronedesk users that I've got sufficient funds to keep Dronedesk airborne ("afloat" seemed inappropriate) indefinitely.
In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, in response to an unexpected peak in demand, I invested in doubling our web server capacity to improve stability and performance while we remain in beta.
I'm working harder than ever to refine and improve Dronedesk so that once we're over the worst of C-19, it'll be an even more amazing, feature-packed and time-saving app than it already is!
Here's a big long boring list telling you all about the tremendously exciting latest features. I suggest you just scan the bold bits and log in and have a proper look!
All the best ones are at the end of the list by the way ;-)
Here's what's new...
- Dronedesk's rebranded! - I hope you like it? I know not everyone will but market research suggests it's a "bold and energetic" look and "definitely an improvement" over the original branding!
- New website on a new domain - as part of the rebrand, I've entirely rebuilt the Dronedesk website and moved it across to dronedesk.io (the app will stay on app.dronedesk.co.uk for the time being).
- New support portal - I've retired the support portal - it wasn't at all user-friendly - in favour of a simpler interface which includes a clear roadmap, a release schedule and an ideas section where you can submit and vote on ideas for new features (the docs section still needs work). It's all accessible from the new support page. Bugs can be raised via the bug icon at the bottom of every page in the app.
- NOTAMs now refreshed hourly - I've developed an in-house script to pull NOTAM data direct from NATS - the old source was proving a bit unreliable. That means it's refreshed much more regularly throughout the day and you can have even greater confidence in the accuracy and currency of the NOTAMs you see for your flight areas.
- Airuser data revalidated and extended - I've automated the aerodrome data extracts from the eAIP so they're in step with the AIRAC schedule. I've also re-validated all other contacts and added skydive and paraglide sites too. There's now over 650 airuser contacts in the system!
- Map view of jobs - this provides you with a global view of all jobs you have in Dronedesk. Clicking on a marker will open a pop-up with basic job info and a link to go to the manage job screen. You can even filter the jobs by client, project, pilot, job status and date range.
- Calendar view of jobs - this new calendar provides a view of jobs colour-coded according to their current status. You can re-schedule jobs and modify times/duration by drag-and-dropping them. There's also week and day views as well as list views too. Clicking on the calendar entry will take you to the manage job screen. There's filters for client, project, pilot and job status. You can also sync events on a read-only basis from your Google calendar too!
- Kanban view of jobs - this has been available for a while but I've improved it under the hood. It's now accessible from a new button bar at the top of the four job view screens. It shows all jobs in buckets according to their status. You can click drag and drop jobs into buckets to change their status and there's a link to jump to the manage job screen. There's filters for client, project, pilot and date range.
- Edit a job from the manage job screen - there's a new [EDIT] button at the top of the manage job screen which takes you direct to the edit job pop-up where you can make changes to the job dates, client, location etc.
- Link to manage job or project - when you create a new job or project, the confirmation message will now include a link to take you straight to the manage job/project screen for that job/project.
- Alternative client for quote and invoice - you now have the option in both Manage Job and Manage Project Quote and Invoice sections, to specify an "Alternative client". That will then address the quote or invoice to that client instead of the client for the job or project. They're separate for quote and invoice to give you maximum flexibility.
- Airspace info auto-populated - I've acquired airspace classification data from OpenAIP and it's now included as a layer in the site plan map. Also, when you enter the manage job screen, Dronedesk will attempt to identify the airspace classification for your job location and automatically enter it in the initial survey form for you.
- OSC Risk Assessment - specifically for operators who hold an OSC, this new format option provides a configurable risk assessment template which complies with CAP722A SRAP. You can create a default list of risks to pre-populate the RA for every job.
- Default Initial and Final risks levels - you're now able to set a default risk level on your custom default RAs, for both the standard RA template and the new OSC format.
- AirData auto-sync - yes, the most asked-for feature in Dronedesk is finally here! You can now have your flight logs auto-sync with AirData. Simply enter your AirData credentials and your logs from the last 3 months will be imported overnight (max 30/night). The algorithm will attempt to auto-match the logs to jobs you have in the system, all you have to do is validate the match and add battery and pilot details. This is still experimental to a certain extent, so please let me know if you have any issues.
Every one of these features has been requested by our users. They're part of my ongoing commitment to make Dronedesk the most complete application available for professional drone operators to manage their business and plan their flights.