The DJI Mavic 3 SDK [Updates, Future and Options]

Many people in the drone community are really annoyed that the DJI Mavic 3 still doesn’t have an SDK (Software Development Kit) available. Many people bought the Mavic 3 because it was DJI’s most impressive flagship drone to date. Many would have thought that the Mavic 3 would come with all of the bells and whistles of previous drones.

The DJI Mavic 3 has not yet had a Software Development Kit (SDK) made available and does not have any planned releases for the SDK. This has caused many customers to put off buying DJI’s latest flagship drone.

The DJI Mavic 3 is a fantastic flagship drone packed with many desirable drone and camera features.

Despite its impressive hardware specifications, it does not come with waypoint or mapping capabilities. Many drone professionals use waypoint and mapping software to survey and manage their flights.

If you want to learn how to use the DJI Mavic 3 for mapping using its built-in functions, check out my other article – click here – where I go through the proven hacks for using the drone for mapping.

The official word from DJI – Mavic 3 SDK

As of the moment, we do not have any information with DJI’s future update releases for the DJI Mavic 3 and with regards to this matter. Kindly please stay tuned to the latest updates by subscribing to DJI official website at www.dji.com or following us on social media (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DJI , Twitter: https://twitter.com/djiglobal , YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/djiinnovations). Thank you.

DJI Support

The most recent news from DJI developer support is that they are prioritising enterprise-level aircraft for development and that we shouldn’t expect any support for the DJI Mavic 3 series in 2022.

The MSDK is gradually prioritising the enterprise level aircraft, the priority level of products from high to low is enterprise level aircraft > consumer level aircraft > handheld products.

This news may be upsetting for many professional drone pilots or those looking to use the DJI Mavic 3 in their favourite flight software such as Litchi.

Should you buy the Mavic 3 even though the SDK hasn’t been released?

It’s a tough call.

On the one hand, the Mavic 3 is an exciting new drone with lots of great features.

On the other hand, it doesn’t come with an SDK, which means you’ll have to hope DJI releases one soon or go without one.

So what’s the verdict?

Ultimately, it depends on how you plan to use your drone.

If you’re just looking to take amazing pictures and videos, then the Mavic 3 may be a good option for you.

However, suppose you’re interested in using your drone for more advanced purposes, such as creating custom flight paths or developing apps. In that case, you’ll need to purchase another drone with an SDK.

Here is what YouTuber Rich Charpentier has to say about the current state of the Mavic 3 without an SDK:

DJI Developer SDKs and supported products

SDKSupported Products
Cloud APIDJI M30 Series + DJI Pilot2, DJI M300 RTK + DJI Pilot2, DJI M30 Series + DJI Dock
Mobile SDKM30 Series, Matrice 300 RTK
UX SDKMavic 2 Enterprise Advanced
*Mavic Air 2
Mavic Mini
Matrice 300 RTK
DJI Smart Controller
Matrice 200 V2
Matrice 210 V2
Matrice 210 RTK V2
Phantom 4 RTK
Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual
Mavic 2 Enterprise
Mavic 2 Pro
Mavic 2 Zoom
Spark
Matrice 210 Matrice 210RTK
Matrice 200
Inspire 2
Mavic Pro
Mavic Air
Phantom 4, Phantom 4 Pro & Phantom 4 Advanced, Phantom 4 Pro V2.0
Matrice 600 & Matrice 600 Pro and RTK
Phantom 3 Standard, Advanced, 4K & Professional
Inspire 1, Inspire 1 Pro & Inspire 1 RAW
Matrice 100 with X3, X5 & X5R
Cendence
Windows SDKMavic 2 Enterprise, Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic Air, Phantom 4 Pro V2, Manifold 2
Payload SDKM300 RTK, M30/M30T
Onboard SDKMatrice 300 RTK, Matrice 210 V2, Matrice 210 RTK V2

What is an SDK?

SDK stands for software development kit.

There are several ways to develop software for drones. Some companies offer APIs for developers to integrate with their drones. These APIs can include features like route planning, autonomous flight, and 3D modeling.

Some drone companies even provide drone-specific software development kits that developers can use to write custom drone software.

Drone developers often have to develop software for their drones, but not all developers have the necessary skill sets. For instance, drone software developers must be familiar with C++, which is the language used to develop drone firmware. Firmware is the software that allows drones to function, including powering the propellers and motors.

Another way to build software for drones is to use DJI’s SDK.

The DJI SDK includes computer vision, machine learning, and AI code. This software will help you create custom drone software and smartphone apps.

It also opens up the floodgates for creative third-party development.

Why do people want an SDK?

There are a few reasons why people might want a drone software development kit (SDK).

First, an SDK can make it easier to develop custom applications for a drone. This can be useful if you want to create a unique application or interface for your drone.

Second, an SDK can provide access to the drone’s flight control system. This can be helpful for troubleshooting or tinkering with the drone’s controls.

Finally, an SDK can give you more control over the drone’s camera and other sensors. This can be helpful if you want to experiment with different ways of using the drone’s camera or if you need to adjust the sensitivity of the sensors for different conditions.

Whether you’re a professional drone developer or just a hobbyist, an SDK can give you the tools you need to get the most out of your drone.

Who benefits from an SDK?

Many industries can benefit from SDK drone customisation. Autumn was Asian and programming can help deliver solutions to many professional problems found in various sectors:

  • Agriculture – can be used to automate mapping, spraying, and surveying crops to increase yields.
  • Solar farms – surveying and thermal mapping of large arrays of solar panels.
  • Industrial sites – surveillance and surveying operational sites.
  • Conservation – multispectral data can monitor plant and tree health and find specific fauna and flora.All
  • And many more…

Unless you have a specific use case for your drone that requires an SDK, the DJI Mavic 3 can be a fantastic high-level consumer drone. For anything that needs an SDK or custom programming, you’ll have to look at enterprise-level drones for this feature.

DJI has made it clear that they will be prioritising enterprise-level drones for SDK releases in the future. This may leave the DJI Mavic 3 without an SDK indefinitely.

Wrapping up

If you’re looking for more advanced programming options, the DJI Mavic 3 drone might not be your best option.

The enterprise-level DJI drones come with an SDK that will give you more access to the drone’s features.

However, if you’re just looking for an awesome drone with some advanced functions, the built-in features of the DJI Mavic 3 should be enough for most hobby and professional camera drone pilots.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. His drone footage has been featured on TV and he has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He has been a drone pilot for many years and has flown many types of drones. His favourite is still the DJI Mavic Air for the portability and functionality packed into a small and portable drone!