Before you get started with the XC Vario or any other of theFlightVario vario apps it is highly recommended to calibrate the sensors of your phone!
Calibrating the sensors of your smartphone
Open the menu by either touching the menu icon on the lower left (touch the screen once to have it appear) or swipe from left to right. Choose Calibration and perform the following steps:
Move and rotate the phone around all axes to improve sensor awareness. This is optional but recommended especially if your phone has not been used for a longer time.
Put the phone on a flat surface like a table so sensor readings will not be affected by unintended motions.
Push CALIBRATE and wait till the calibration is finished
Activate AI Sense (for newer phones with barometer and inertial measurement unit like Pixel7 and Pro, Pixel 6 and Pro, Pixel 5, Pixel 4a, Samsung Galaxy S22, S21 5G, A71, S10e, S9+, S8, S8+, S7 Edge M32 5G, Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact, LGE LG G6, OnePlus 9 5G, Huawei Mate 20 Pro - based on user feedback)
Note: Do not move the phone around and do not open/close any doors or windows as this will affect sensor readings.
Calibrating the sensors of your phone is the most important things to enable your phone as a vario for paragliding. Since no phone and combination of sensors is exactly identical to another, it is crucial to measure sensor characteristics first. Calibration looks at the accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer and barometer also referred to as pressure sensor. Depending on the precision, latency and drift characteristics of these built in sensors, the instant vario feature might be used.
Please note, that calibration has no effect outside theFlightVario apps. What happens in theFlightVario stays in theFlightVario.
Activate AI Sense - Instant Vario
Activating the instant vario feature can only be done after successfully calibrating first. Depending on the grade of the integrated sensors, especially the built in barometer and inertial measurement unit, two vario modes can be selected:
AI Sense - IMU + Barometer aka Pressure Sensor
Barometric - Barometer Only
From the Menu choose AI Sense - Instant Vario -> Activate AI Sense:
AI Sense: is the most sophisticated algorithm suite and works with phones that have nice combinations of sensors such as the Pixel 4a, Pixel 6 or comparable phones from other manufacturers. For some phones like the Pixel 6 this will be preset out of the box. We also made a short video to somewhat have a comparison of AI Sense phone vario performance vs. high end varios from SKYTRAXX, Flytec, Skydrop and XC Tracer
Barometric Only: is left for old or low budget phones where the sensors do not meet specifications. In this case, the AI Sense will simply drift too much leading to absolute climb rates slowly increasing or erratic readings. While one should not expect an old smartphone to magically include state of the art sensors, these phones still can perform quite good as a vario using barometric readings only. Our oldest test phone is a Google Nexus 5X which from our point of view still behaves comparable to older varios.
Set the responsiveness of the variometer
Once you've got the sensors calibrated, you can set the responsiveness. The responsiveness defines how fast your vario will indicate a relevant change in altitude / pressure - the climb rate. Initially this is set to be balanced, meaning there is a decent tradeoff between a very responsive but noisy or smooth and less responsive signal.
This is comparable to setting the integration time in classic varios. From the Menu choose Settings -> Vario -> Responsiveness
As per default AI Sense should be well balanced. In case you need it more direct or want to smooth it out a little further, adjust to what you like.