Now the truly unique feature of the Helo TC: Griffin’s iOS app that transforms your iDevice into an RC remote. The app itself is very well constructed and visually easy to navigate with a standard throttle/joystick combo that can be flipped with a simple change in the settings. Also included is a handy light switch to turn the LED’s on and off, as well as a settings tab, which is disappointingly bare (only allowing to swap between joystick/motion controls, invert the pitch, swap throttle/joystick positioning and turn “expert” mode on and off). Overall, a fairly positive experience, but the app definitely could use improving; and is it too much to ask for compatibility with Android/Windows Phone devices as well?
The Helo TC, your iDevice, and You
Sadly, the disappointment doesn’t end there. The slightly misleading “Fly with your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch” monicker on the box fails to mention the included transmitter, which clips onto your iDevice, plugs into the headphone jack, and requires batteries. In and of itself this is not a terrible setback, it allows your iDevice to communicate with the Helo without requiring a more expensive solution. However, the implementation is a bit lacking. On a device that is designed around music, the Helo TC requires the use of the iDevice’s headphone jack…removing the option of listening to music while flying the helicopter. Also, it is fairly inconvenient that the helo charges via usb, and while it is understandable that it’s obviously meant to be flown indoors probably within an office, it would be far more convenient if it charged via a simple wall plug (or even better: with an adapter that pulled power directly from the iDevice). Again, overall the implementation is fairly decent, with a glimmer of brilliance, but there are fairly obvious design oversights that will hopefully be corrected in any future products.