Many older drones can use waypoints to fly and take photos and videos automatically. The flight mission will be executed completely autonomously while you sit back and relax while your drone does all the hard work. Is this possible on the DJI fly app? Does it have waypoints? This article will answer that for you.
The DJI fly app does not have a waypoint function. If you want to fly your drone with a waypoint feature, you’ll have to use third-party apps like litchi, autopilot and dronelink.
Many drone pilots are annoyed that the DJI fly app does not include waypoint capability as it is included in the GO4 app and other piloting software. Some waypoint software is only compatible with DJI, whilst others allow you to operate parrot and other brands of drone.
DJI could add waypoints to the DJI fly app as the hyperlapse feature uses the same functionality.
Some users are perplexed why DJI has not implemented the full waypoint feature for drones using the DJI fly app.
Does DJI fly app have waypoints?
No, the DJI Fly App doesn’t have a waypoints mode. It is possible that in the future, DJI will include waypoint functionality in the flight app. However, there are currently no plans to have the waypoints in DJI fly.
Reasons the fly app may not have waypoints
There are several reasons why DJI may not have implemented the full waypoint feature for their newer model drones.
From newer model drones not all having full 360° sensing hardware, to the fly app being designed for simplicity. Here are some reasons why the DJI fly app does not include waypoints.
Some drones don’t have 360 sensing
I suspect DJI is reluctant to allow some models of drones (such as Mini’s and Air’s) to fly using waypoints because they do not have a full 360° obstacle avoidance system.
The DJI fly app is specifically designed for easy flying. It allows beginners to easily program their drones, which may result in more accidents and collisions with fixed objects or other aircraft.
Government line of sight requirements
Many governments rely on a line of sight requirement for their drone licensing.
A direct line of sight means that the pilot is always in control of the aircraft and maintains a visual line of sight throughout the flight.
The problem with waypoint software is that it could cause the drones to fly outside the line of sight of the pilot, and DJI may have agreed with governments that this is too much of a risk to include in their apps.
Nonetheless, you can easily use waypoint features with other third-party app providers.
Fly app is about simplicity
The fly app has been designed with simplicity in mind.
The DJI fly app simplified many items and made the user experience more suitable for an entry-level pilot.
It is compatible with more devices and will be the app that is continued to be developed by DJI.
Because DJI want to focus more on hobby drone pilots and they have a huge market share of the consumer drone hobby niche, they have likely decided not to include waypoints because beginners do not use this functionality very much.
Many beginner drone pilots are flying their drones manually to practice their aerial photography skills. Using waypoints only appeals to professional-level users and those interested in programming.
Remember that the app needs to be as lightweight as possible to not take up much storage on your device. Any features that DJI can remove will make the app run faster.
They will also not have to maintain features that are not being used by most of their customers.
Watch out for updates on official DJI channels
Despite the DJI fly app not having any waypoint functionality, there are always rumours that it will be added.
The stories are particularly rife if a new drone is released.
You can stay up to date to the latest firmware upgrades and additional features by subscribing to DJI official website at www.dji.com or following them on social media ( Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DJI , Twitter: https://twitter.com/djiglobal , YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/djiinnovations )
Staying up-to-date with the latest DJI firmware for your drone will help you keep your drone secure and also add new features as they get released.
Other apps for flying with waypoints
If you want to add waypoint functionality to your drone, there are a few options.
One of the most popular third-party apps for waypoint functionality is litchi.
Litchi works on lower-end devices, especially 32-bit devices with Android below 6.0. DJI Fly does not support these devices.
The app is compatible with the DJI Spark, Mavic, Phantom, and Inspire series.
The user interface is very intuitive and offers a powerful waypoint mission planner. It is also available on all platforms and operating systems so that you can seamlessly sink your missions across many devices.
Autopilot is another popular alternative to the DJI GO 4 app that wants an extra control level for their waypoint mission planning.
The online forums are not as warm around the discussion of this software as there tends to be a steeper learning curve when using autopilot.
It can be a bit overwhelming as a beginner, but if you take the time to properly understand the user interface and the extra features it can offer, it can be a powerful tool for your drone waypoint planning.
Because of the number of features shown on the screen, you should use an iPad rather than an iPhone. The extra space allows you to navigate the screen much more efficiently. Autopilot does not provide a desktop program for mission planning, so getting an iPad will make things much easier.
Dronelink is compatible with the DJI Mavic series, Phantom series, inspire series, M200 series Matrice series DJI Spark and experimentally supports the Parrot Anafi.
With drone link, you can plan mapping missions, organise your cinematography flights and produce professional photos and videos; it can create 360° videos and make hyper lapses, which are complex time lapses whilst moving the camera.
Top tips for using Waypoints with your drone
Some waypoint software is easier to use than others.
Litchi seems to be the most user-friendly waypoint software mentioned in this article, and many people on different forums recommend the software due to its intuitive control.
As you get comfortable with this software, you will inevitably need more and more from your drone waypoint software. You can upgrade to more complicated and feature-packed software, which will inevitably require a steeper learning curve.
The free apps that come with your drone will be all you need to control your drone remotely for hobby and entry-level waypoint explorers.
Top Tip: Set a waypoint very close to home
One of the best tips that I have seen for drone waypoint software and apps is to not rely on a return to home at the end of the flight mission. Sometimes the return to home option on drones can be thwarted by obstacles.
Most people recommend setting a waypoint close to your landing spot and ensuring that the drone can easily get from the waypoint to the landing spot.
Ensuring your drone can return safely with minimum issues will mean you can fly the drone another day.
DJI fly app does not come with waypoint software.
However, DJI have hinted that it will be available in the future and staying up-to-date with their latest firmware releases will mean you will be one of the first two get this functionality should they include it in their latest app.
It is likely that DJI is not looking to include the waypoint software soon as their target audience is not power users of that functionality.
However, if you want to fly your drone with flight missions and waypoints, many excellent third-party apps are available.
Always use waypoint flying with extra diligence and double-check your flight mission to ensure that you do not inadvertently fly into any obstacles or fixed objects.
Happy drone flying!