If you’ve been flying, chances are you’re already using the Fly App. If not, or are simply considering getting a drone and are looking into the ecosystem of DJI, phone apps included, then this article is for you.
The DJI Fly app is a relatively new app from DJI, it comes after their previous app DJI GO, yet contrary to what many people think, it’s actually not an update on DJI GO. I’ll explain why in this article.
The DJI Fly app is used to update your drone’s firmware, access the FlySafe database, calibrate the compass and IMU, and mainly to fly your drone. IT also comes with some intelligent flight modes though it’s not its main focus.
DJI’s official description of the app is: “The DJI Fly app interface was designed to be simplified and ultra-intuitive.” – Kind of underwhelming. So you see why articles like this one are needed. without further ado, let’s dig in!
What Is The DJI Fly App?
The DJI Fly App is a sort of companion app that controls some aspects of flight for many of DJI’s new drone models, including the Mini 2, the Mavic Air 2S, and others. I say “sort of companion” because it’s actually crucial to fly or see your drone’s feed, but can easily be replaced by DJI GO, its predecessor or the DJI GO 4, the newest version.
The DJI Fly app is used to control flight, update firmware, calibrate the compass and IMU. It also has some intelligent flight modes and is geared towards novice drone pilots who still don’t have much experience.
That’s the reason I said that the DJI Fly App is NOT an update to the DJI GO. One is geared towards casual pilots while the other is more towards power users.
What Drones Use the DJI Fly App?
Since the DJI Fly app is still relatively new, it only works with the newer models of the DJI drone line.
Luckily, DJI themselves have already released an official list here.
The drones that can use DJI Fly app are as follows:
- DJI Mini 2
- DJI Mavic Mini
- DJI Mini SE
- DJI Mavic 3
- DJI Air 2S
- DJI Mavic Air 2
- DJI FPV
DJI Fly App Features
What really makes the DJI Fly app is that it doesn’t matter if you’re just starting, it’s intuitive and easy to use. Enough that a complete beginner can learn to use it quite fast.
As DJI themselves say: “The DJI Fly app interface was designed to be simplified and ultra-intuitive.”
The DJI Fly app is a great tool for flying your drone, editing footage on the fly (pun intended), and even sharing it online with your friends (streaming can easily be done through the app). Here are some of its features:
- Academy: Clear and easy to digest tutorials that’ll take you from a beginner to a great pilot in no time.
- Album: As the name implies, you can check the videos/images you’ve taken with the drone and that are stored in its SD card directly from the app.
- Connection Guide: A feature that walks you through the process of connecting your drone to the app, seamlessly.
- Fly Spots: A map within the app that tells you clearly which zones are okay to fly over, and which zones are no-fly zones.
- Profile: Your profile is one of the main features of the app and will serve as your proof of flight time. If you’ve ever gone on DJI’s official forum, you can usually check the flight distance that a user has flown on their profile. That’s done through the “profile” feature of the fly app. Extremely useful if you want to check on your flight history.
- Device Management: allows you to check the hardware information regarding your drone and controller.
And more features like DJI store, skypixel, etc… Which I may cover in another article.
DJI Fly Device Compatibility
Since you can easily download the DJI fly app through the app store if you have an iOS device, you can tell if it’s compatible or not through the store. But, just know that the app requires iOS 11 or above and works in the following iPhones:
iPhone 13 Pro Max、iPhone 13 Pro、iPhone 13、iPhone 13 mini、iPhone 12 Pro Max、iPhone 12 Pro、iPhone 12、iPhone 12 mini、iPhone 11 Pro Max、iPhone 11 Pro、iPhone 11、iPhone XS Max、iPhone XS、iPhone XR、iPhone XPhone 8 Plus、iPhone 8.
When it comes to android though, it's completely different. You can only download the Fly App through the DJI website, so you may run into incompatibility problems. Android 6.0 is required to run the app and the official list published by DJI is as follows:
|Samsung Galaxy S21||Samsung Galaxy S20||Samsung Galaxy S10+|
|Samsung Galaxy S10||Samsung Galaxy Note20||Samsung Galaxy Note 10+|
|Samsung Galaxy Note9||HUAWEI Mate40 Pro||HUAWEI Mate30 Pro|
|HUAWEI P40 Pro||HUAWEI P30 Pro||Honor 50 Pro|
|Mi 11||Mi10||Mi Mix4|
|Redmi Note 10||OPPO Reno 4||Vivo Nex 3|
|OnePlus 9 Pro||OnePlus 9||Pixel 6|
|Pixel 4 Pixel 3 XL|
Don’t get disheartened if you didn’t spot your phone model in that list, because there so many models out there that are known to support the DJI Fly App.
All you have to know is that your phone should have Android 6.0 or above, have at least 4Gb of Ram, a 64-bit processing system and an octa-core processor. The Fly App won’t work with 32-bit system architectures.
Here is an extensive list of compatible phones:
|Galaxy S21||Galaxy S20||Galaxy S10||Galaxy S10+|
|Galaxy Fold||Galaxy A20||Galaxy A71||Galaxy A20e|
|Galaxy A20s||Galaxy S9+||Galaxy S9||Galaxy S8+|
|Galaxy S8||Galaxy S7||Galaxy S7 Edge||Galaxy S6|
|Galaxy Note 10||Galaxy Note 9||Samsung Note 8||Samsung Note 5|
|Samsung A8||Samsung A70||Samsung A50||A51 (SM-A515F)|
|Galaxy A21S||Galaxy Tab S4||Galaxy Tab S6||Galaxy Tab S6 Lite|
|Galaxy Tab S5e||Galaxy Tab S7||Galaxy Tab S8|
|Huawei Mate 30 Pro||Huawei Mate 30||Huawei Mate 20 Pro||Huawei P30 Pro|
|Huawei P30||Huawei P30 Lite||Huawei P20 Pro||Huawei P20|
|Huawei P10 Plus||Huawei P10||Huawei Mate 10 Pro||Huawei Mate 10|
|Huawei nova 5||Huawei nova 4||Huawei nova 3e||Huawei nova 2|
|Honor 9||Honor 9x||Honor 10||Huawei Honor 8X|
|Huawei Honor V10||Huawei Honor 20 Pro||Huawei Honor Magic 2||Honor 20 lite|
|Honor View 20||Huawei P10 lite||Huawei Mediapad M3||Mediapad T5 (2019)|
|Mediapad M5 Tablet 8.4″||Huawei P Smart 2018 (model: FIG-LX1)|
|Mi 10||Mi 8||Mi MIX 2S||Mi MIX 2|
|Xiaomi Mi Max 3||Redmi Note 5||Redmi note 4||Redmi 5 Plus 4GB/64GB|
|Redmi 9||Pocophone F1||Xiaomi Elephone S7||Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite|
|Pixel 6||Pixel 6 Pro||Pixel 5||Pixel 5 Pro|
|Pixel 4XL||Pixel 4||Pixel 4a||Pixel 3 XL|
|Pixel 2 XL||Pixel 2||Pixel XL||Pixel|
|LG G6||LG V-20||LG G7||LG G7 ThinQ|
|LG G8||LG V30||LG V40 ThinQ||LG V40 Slim Q|
|LG V50||LG Nexus 5X||LG Stylo 5||LG V60|
|Find X2 Pro||Find 2||Find X|
|Sony Xperia 1||Sony Xperia||Sony XPERIA XZ1|
|Sony Z5 compact (64 bit)||Sony Xperia Z2 Compact||Sony Xperia Z4|
|BQ Aquaris X2||Lenovo K5 Note||Lenovo Tab 4 Plus|
|Blackberry key 2||HTC U 11 Plus||Asus Zenfone Max M1|
|Xiaomi mi pad 3||Nokia 6.1 Plus||Nokia 5.1 Plus (3 GB RAM)|
What to look for in a phone to use DJI Fly App?
In theory, you don’t need to remember every model of our extensive list above to get a compatible phone. As long as the phone you get fulfills three conditions.
For a phone to be compatible with the DJI Fly App, it needs to have a RAM of 4GB or greater, a 64-bit system to handle that RAM, an octa-core process at least and enough empty storage for the app data.
Alright, those are technically 4 but I'm assuming you already have enough storage, if not simply empty your phone and make room for the DJI fly app.
How to install the DJI Fly App?
We covered a lot of stuff, but assuming you have a compatible phone, let’s finally see how to install the DJI Fly app on your phone, correctly.
How to install the DJI Fly app on Android
The process is longer than it on IOS, but just as simple. Follow these steps:
- Head over to this link and hit download for Android.
- Tap on “Download APK”. If you get a prompt that says the app is harmful, ignore and hit “download anyway”.
- Once the app is downloaded, hit “Open”. If an “open with” prompt gets opened choose “package installer”.
- If you get an error saying the browser doesn’t have permission to download from unknown sources, tap on Settings and allow it to Install Unknown Apps.
- That’s it. Once installed, you can open the DJI Fly app.
How to install the DJI Fly app on IOS
The process really is, since the DJI Fly app is available on the App Store, all you have to do is head over there and download. It’ll be available for use after download.
How to update your drone with DJI Fly App
Once you’ve installed the app, the first thing you want to be doing is updating your drone’s firmware through it. This can be done through your computer using the DJI Assistant app, but it’s much easier to do it through the DJI Fly App.
The process is fairly simple:
- Ensure that your drone’s battery is at least 40%, and that of your remote controller is at least 20%. Because the process might take a while.
- Power both the drone and the remote controller.
- Open the DJI Fly App and make sure the drone is connected to the mobile phone.
- If you have an internet connection, the Fly App will automatically prompt you to update the firmware if a new update is available. Hit “update”.
- Wait until the download and update are finished.
- Once finished, the drone will turn itself off. You can turn it on at this point again.
And that’s it really. I think using the Fly App to conduct all your software updates is much easier than using your computer.
How to update to DJI FlySafe newest version
Flysafe is a geofencing system that uses GPS to create virtual no-fly zones around sensitive areas. In some cases you can push through the warning on your phone screen, in other cases the drone will physically be unable to fly over the designated no-fly area, which needless to say is incredibly frustrating (especially if you’re flying commercially).
Needless to say, updating the Flysafe to the latest version is a must to make sure you’re not unknowingly flying into illegal places.
To do that is really simple. Just follow these steps:
- Just like with the firmware, if you need a FlySafe update the Fly App will automatically prompt you to update it. When it doesn, tap “update”.
- If you have a stable internet connection, the Flysafe system will start updating and once done you’ll receive a notification saying the update is finished.
All of this is done within the app and completely automatically. The DJI Fly app is made to take care of all the non-flying activities of a drone and take it off your shoulders, after all.
How to calibrate the compass in DJI Fly
If you’re compass is uncalibrate, you’ll find yourself unable to take off with your drone. Luckily the process is really simple and can be done through the Fly app. Just follow these steps:
- Make sure both the drone and remote controller have enough battery as this process might take a while.
- Open the DJI Fly app and connect it to the remote controller.
- Power on both the drone and remote controller.
- In the App, hit “GoFly” to enter camera view.
- Tap on the ellipses (three dots) located in the top right corner to enter the settings menu.
- Go to the “safety” tab, look for sensors and then tap “calibrate compass”.
- Tap on start to begin the process.
- Follow the steps laid out in the app (you’ll be asked to physically rotate the drone vertically and horizontally).
- Once done you’ll receive a notification saying “Calibration successful!”.
- If it’s not successful, repeat the same process and try again. Try moving your drone slower this time.
How to calibrate the IMU
So we’ve updated our firmware, updated our FlySafe version and calibrated the compass of our drone. All that’s left now to complete the setup process is to calibrate the IMU of the drone (Inertial Measurement Unit). This is a crucial component as it is what allows the drone to find its bearing in the sky and stay level.
Again, the DJI Fly app makes this process extremely easy, just follow these steps:
- Open the DJI Fly app’s camera view and go to settings
- Under the safety tab, look for “IMU normal” and tap the “calibrate” next to it.
- This will take you to the main IMU calibration screen, hit “start” and follow the steps. The steps will be shown using pictures within the app to help you avoid any confusion during the process.
- You’ll know how to physically place the drone on all its four sides as shown in the app. Starting with its left side.
- Then on its back.
- The right side.
- And lastly, you’ll have to put the drone facing up.
- Once done the IMU will be automatically calibrated and the drone will restart.
And voilà! The initial set up is done and you’re finally ready to your drone to the skies!
Can you fly your drone without the DJI Fly app?
You may be wondering whether the DJI Fly app is crucial to drone flight or not.
The DJI Fly app is not necessary to fly your drone. There are multiple alternatives to it, most of them from third parties that aren’t DJI. You can also use DJI’s smart controller that has a built-in screen to fly your drone.
Conclusion & final thoughts
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article. I hope this guide didn’t overwhelm you but I've tried to make it as detailed as possible. You’ll likely find yourself going back to this article if something remains unclear and that’s absolutely fine.
The app itself isn’t really complicated and is easy to pick up once you tinker with it for a while.