Frequently Asked Questions

Does it work on Android?

As far as I know there isn't really a good equivalent of Shortcuts on Android. But if you know of one, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Why does it need access to weather?

It's a quirk of the Shortcuts system that asking for weather, and getting location from that information is a much faster way of getting your location than using the usual location service. It's a hack, but it works. I learned that trick from this Reddit post.

Does it know about military and police aircraft?

Generally, yes. ADS-B Exchange, where it gets its data, doesn't censor any aircraft. And despite what you may have heard, most military and police aircraft use transponders. Often they broadcast their identity and exact location, but sometimes all Siri can tell you is that the closest aircraft is a "TIS-B" ("tizz-bee") aircraft. Those are usually, but not always, police or sometimes military aircraft (but sometimes they're just normal civilian aircraft).

How about other blocked aircraft? E*on M*sk?

There are no censored aircraft. Even if someone asked the FAA or other government agency to block tracking of their aircraft, ADS-B Exchange still tracks them. Even him (but it might not have his name on it).

Doesn't Siri already do this?

At various times, Siri has had the ability to answer a query like this by looking up live flight data, but it had two big limitations: 1. It only worked in the US, and 2. it was censored.

The type or registration info is wrong?

There is no authoritative global database of aircraft information. There are ad hoc databases, but they're often incomplete or out of date. Like me.

Are you tracking me?

Obviously. And if I knew how to make money with that, maybe I would. But I don't. Hey, speaking of money…

How much does it cost?

Nothing. It's free. I'm not charging you. I'm not making Siri read ads. I'm not making any money off of this, in fact I'm spending money and time. I'm just doing it for fun. But if you'd like to donate to help support me in developing this and other projects, or if you would like to learn more about some of my other projects, see this page for more information.