This article originally appeared on our partner site DroneRush.com
Excited to fly your new drone? Of course you are, but first you should make sure you have all of the tools you will need to fly safely. This includes the latest software not only for the drone app to control your drone, but also for additional tools to improve your flight experience.
We have a list of the manufacturers’ apps – the apps you need to fly – as well as a list of the DJI GO 4 app alternatives for DJI pilots. Today is all about the extra apps you can install to get more out of your flight apps, these are some of the best drone apps out there.
Please note that the FAA sets remote ID requirements for all drones. The new rules are not yet active, but all drones will need to be updated or grounded soon. On the subject of apps, there will also be apps coming soon that allow drones to fly near you, much like the ADS-B cards you can get for manned aircraft. More information will be available in the course of 2021.
Best drone apps:
First a theory. What do you hope to achieve before or with your flight? Maybe you are trying to keep it legal and make sure you can fly in a certain place. There is an app for that. Perhaps you are looking for a logging service to keep track of your flights, there are tools out there too, or you just want a weather report. Your requirements also depend on your drone – a camera drone has different requirements than a racing drone, for example.
Take a look at the list to get an idea of what functionality a non-vendor app can provide for you. We hope to help you find something new and helpful.
1. Google Earth
As you know, the first thing you need to do with a drone (after registering it) is to find a place to fly it. The truth is, there are quite a few drone-dedicated mapping apps on our list today. They are an excellent way of showing where it is safe to fly. Safe places to fly are one thing, but before you get to that point, be sure to search Google Earth for exceptional places to fly. Google Earth is free for your mobile device and is also available on the web.
Related reading: Best mapping apps for Android – on Android Authority
Airmap is one of those tools that can do so much more than map a potential flight location or help you keep a log of your flight. With the support of companies like Microsoft and Qualcomm, as well as drone players like Yuneec, Airmap is quickly becoming the de facto tool for commercial drone flight. Don’t let the commercial drone mapping, geo-fencing, and flight logging tools put you off. Using the real-time traffic alerts in the mobile app is sufficient. Find out more about your basic needs or your commercial pilot business at Airmap.
3. FAAs B4UFly
Let’s keep this simple: the FAA is the unit that enforces drone laws in the US, and this is their app that tells you where and when to fly. I could stop doing that, but I think you should know that B4UFly is a little arrogant at times and tells you that you can’t fly in some places that you can. However, the app offers one of the most detailed airport listings showing the 5 mile radius of each. When in doubt, the B4UFly app boils down to how you go to the source for legal information about the drone flight in the US.
If your drone weighs at least 0.55 pounds, you will need to register with the FAA and put your registration number on the vehicle. The process is simple, but it will cost you $ 5 and you must be at least 13 years old. This registration exposes you to FAA drone flight rules, which it is essential that you familiarize yourself with. Drone Rush can also help:
If you fly for payment or some other form of compensation, you must operate by different rules and have a commercial drone license. We call it the Part 107, it’s not too hard to come by, but it will take time to learn all of the rules. We want to help you learn the rules and get your commercial license. Check out our training material for drone pilots.
Hover is an underrated app that provides map and location information from Airmap, but then adds weather information. At a glance, Hover can tell you if it’s safe to fly. With visibility, wind, location, and a lot more in mind, Hover may not be the only drone app you will need. However, if you’re sticking to just one, then such an app is sure to be a good choice. Get Hover for your mobile device now.
Next up is an app that we initially hesitated to include. We were hoping to make a list of the best drone apps that didn’t focus on one vendor. The truth is, DJI is such a big player, and this app is so cool that we couldn’t resist it. If you own a DJI drone from the Phantom 3 and higher, check out DroneDeploy as an alternative controller for your flying machine. The app offers advanced flight planning and autonomous control for your drone. Choose a coordinate path and watch your drone fly the route. Let the camera control the app’s exposure on the go, and more. Try DroneDeploy now.
6. UAV forecast
UAV Forecast focuses almost entirely on the weather and strives to provide detailed wind and weather information so you can decide if it is safe to fly. Tell the app the parameters of your drone. It can then quickly show whether or not today is the day to fly. A range of pilot information is provided including wind speed and direction, wind cold and temperature, cloud cover, visibility and more. In order not to be outdone by other apps, UAV Forecast also offers maps with visible no-fly zones. Check it out for your weather needs.
Related reading: Best Weather Apps for Android – on Android Authority
Let’s see we’ve covered apps that check the weather, apps with no-fly zone maps, active air traffic information maps, apps that keep flight logs and help you track your drones, now for one app that can do all of the above. Kittyhawk: Drone Operations is a robust app and platform that includes everything from pre-flight checks to post-flight analysis. Kittyhawk is an ambitious app and platform that will help you blow up and make the most of your time in the sky.
8. Sun surveyor (sun & moon)
Price: $ 7.99
If you’ve ever been outside … I’ll stop right there. Outdoor photography is almost entirely about dealing with sunlight. This is never more true than with drone photography as there is no shadow up there. Instead of guessing where the sun and moon will be, why not know for sure, Sun Surveyor does so with great accuracy. The perfect sun or moon position is just an app away. Sun Surveyor (Sun & Moon) is $ 7.99 for Android.
Insurance. Love it or hate it, insurance is an important part of modern life. Unlike your auto or home insurance, which you pay a premium for every month, Verifly does something different, on-demand insurance. The idea is simple: your flights, especially commercial operations, are either too few or too widespread and unpredictable to provide full-time insurance coverage. Verifly allows you to keep track of your start and end times and then only pay for what you use. It starts at around $ 10 an hour. Click the download buttons below for more details on actual coverage. The guidelines are signed by Global Aerospace, Inc.
10.Litchi for DJI drones (special consideration)
Price: $ 24.99
We all know you need the official DJI GO, DJI GO 4, and DJI Fly apps to fly your favorite DJI drones, right? Not correct! There are a few alternative apps that can take control of your DJI Mavic Pro, DJI Spark, DJI Phantom series drone, and more. The best of these apps we’ve tried with Litchi so far. The full app name is long but explains most of what it does. Litchi for DJI Mavic / Phantom / Inspire / Spark is a robust app that keeps the same feel as the DJI apps but does things a little differently. If you will, if you’re looking for the best of the DJI application and some new goodies, Litchi is basically worth considering. The waypoint flights and the built-in VR / FPV functionality are the key factors that attracted me to Litchi. Extensive features and functionality like these are available to you at the low cost of $ 24.99 for the app, which may be beyond what many consider.
That is all for today. We hope you have found one or two new apps to improve your flights or to get more out of the aerial photo taken afterwards. This is an early list with plenty of room to grow and mature, just like the drone market. Please post us in the comments if you would like to discuss any other apps that you think belong here.
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