Being the big kid that I am – when Kate told me to choose a remote control helicopter from www.miniinthebox.co.uk I can’t lie, I was excited. A remote control helicopter that I can use with my iPhone or iPad? I’m not called AppleGeek for nothing.
So whilst patiently waiting for the postman, my imagination started to wander; where could I fly this thing and not create too much havoc, I could have so much fun dive bombing work colleagues, spectacular crashes – the list was endless.
On arrival, I managed to tear open the wrapping in record time and having a quick browse over the instructions (men don’t do instructions) I downloaded the free Syma remote app from the App Store on both my devices (it also made it onto the kids iPod Touch as well). It’s a simple set up process and with the helicopter being about 5″ in length, it’s smaller than I imagined but seemingly very robust (as I tested on many occasions).
Once you’ve paired the remote and helicopter there are two main controls on the app – up & down and a circular control for left, right forwards & backwards. Sounds easy yeah? Actually, it’s not that hard to master but in my hasty fashion (yes I crashed it several times) some fine tuning was needed with my flying skills . You can also play about with some more options within the app but if you prefer to use the gyroscope that’s built into the device, you can.
Ideal flying conditions are indoor locations with lots of space (like a warehouse if you can hijack one) but in this instance work proved ideal, but not very productive (albeit great fun) and outside, when the weather was extremely calm, we (the kids also took control) had some great flights however any gust of wind….and you might do the classic “I got it stuck on the roof” manoeuvre. Several times, I found myself climbing up to perform rescue missions.
The iPad app allows a bigger remote controller so for my fat fingers, this was my preference but the iPhone work equally well.
Priced at around £30 (currently a sale price – normally around £55) this is a great gift – especially for the inner geek in any person and if I can swing it past the Mrs, I might sneakily add another to the collection.
Click here to watch my flying skills.