Originally posted on Gigaom:
FlightTrack has long been one of the most loved and best-selling paid flight apps, despite being fairly expensive by mobile app standards at $4.99 and $9.99 for FlightTrack Pro. On Thursday Mobiata, the company behind the app, plans to announce its first free version of FlightTrack, called FlightTrack Free, for both iOS(s AAPL) and Android(s GOOG) mobile devices. Why go free after finding so much success with the paid model? Now that Mobiata is owned by Expedia(s EXPE), the company says it’s learned some lessons on the benefits of free apps.
FlightTrack Free is not replacing FlightTrack or FlightTrack Pro. It’s a scaled-down, lighter version of the other apps, and has a redesigned interface. Users of the free app will find it’s much more basic than the company’s previous, premium versions: they can only track one flight at a time (as opposed to multiple), see their baggage claim and gate info, and have multiple language options: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Russian and Spanish.
But they don’t get weather radar or FAA flight delay info, they can’t sync the information with their own calendar or TripIt, and the app lacks built-in support for SeatGuru and push notifications. Basically, it won’t have any of the additional, rich features that make FlightTrack the great app that it is.