As more of you are getting involved with drone piloting, it seems appropriate to help you choose the right tools. Most of you fly with entry level DJI drones. On this page, you’ll find a few good apps to use for various purposes. Please test these in an open field before trying them on your project.
Which app to use to fly my DJI drone?
If you fly an off the shelf DJI drone, always use the DJI Go apps. Before entering a third party app, make sure to set all the parameters (Return to home altitude, safe distance, …) in this app first. Take-off and try all the features. When you’re sure everything works fine, then go to the third party app. Take care that some third party apps will overwrite some of the previously entered parameters.
Which app to use for flight automation?
With flight automation we mean flying on recurrent basis a same pre-programmed route.
So many apps exist for this but we tested a few
Litchi has been tested and used for a while now on the Melun Hospital project. It allows you to online set up a flight route and configure some parameters such as altitude, camera angle, etc.
Add some focus points for each segment to be sure you always have your subject into focus.
Get Litchi (pay attention the app costs around 25 €)
You can also fly with Drone Harmony to set up your waypoints in a smooth way. But pay attention that this app is only available in Beta version for Android. But still it looks very promising. You’ll also find plenty of extra smooth video capturing features in this app.
Which app to use for surveys?
Here also several exist, although we recommend Pix4D mobile app. Pay attention some as some features differ from iOS to Android, but basically they do the same. A nice feature in this app is that you can import your own orthomosaic or polyline for precise mission planning if the basemap is outdated. Pay attention that this feature is only available on Android for now.
DJI GS PRO
Although, if you’re using iOS you can get DJI Ground Station Pro as well. This app allows you to fly once over your site and then to create on the spot an orthomosaïc of the area as basemap for following flights.
If you are using Android, you can also use Drone Harmony. It is still in Beta version but it is very promising with many features that you can’t find in the previously cited apps.
What’s so nice about this app? It allows you to roughly model a 3D block of a building you’d like to model in 3D. From there it creates a 3D flight route around this building for you. It makes sure that you’ve got enough overlap between pictures automatically. (Compared to freeflight ‘equivalent’ in Pix4D).