How To Connect Any Drone To A Phone: Step-by-Step Guide


Drones have become more than tools for just capturing amazing videos and photos as they’ve become special devices used to inspect construction sites, produce films, aid in precision agriculture, and perform search/rescue missions. However, did you know that you can control many drones with your phone without using a controller?

To connect a drone to your phone, power on the drone and connect to its Wifi network from your phone’s settings. Download the respective app for your drone from the App Store or Google Play Store and launch it to complete any configuration settings, and connect the drone to your phone.

Whether you are a professional, intermediate, or beginner pilot, this article will explain to you step by step how you can connect your drone to your phone with utmost ease. Whether you are connecting the drone to an iPhone or Android phone, I’ve got you covered. 

How to Connect Drone A to an Android Phone

Connecting any drone to an Android device is as easy as ABC, provided you follow the procedure to the letter without skipping a step. The process is fairly similar across the board, with a few discrepancies among certain high-end drones.

In this section, I’ll be covering steps that will help you connect one of DJIs high-end drones, the DJI Phantom 4 drone, to your phone.

Step 1: Power ON The DJI Phantom 4 Drone

Before attempting to do anything else, you should first of all power on the drone. You just need to locate the power button and press it. The power button is under the hood of the drone, and by pressing it for 2 seconds, the drone should automatically boot up, lighting the LEDs at the bottom of its battery.

Once the drone has successfully powered up, proceed to the next step below as you get ready for takeoff.

Step 2: Download & Configure The DJI Go 4 App

The app is available for both iOS and Android users; hence, there is no need to worry about it not supporting your particular device since it is available in the Google Play Store for Android users.

However, the app only supports smartphones running Android 5.0 or later. People running older versions of Android will need to upgrade first before using the app. Download the APK file of the app directly using this link.

Now launch the DJI Go 4 app you’ve downloaded to complete any remaining configuration settings after connecting to the drone’s wifi from your phone’s settings.

Note: For other drone models or manufacturers, the owner’s manual should be able to let you know which controller app you need to download to control the drone from your phone or tablet.

On the primary screen of the app, select your drone’s model. In my case, I’ll be using the Phantom 4 series from the list. You shall notice that the camera tab turns grey; this is because we’ve not yet configured the phone to our transmitter. Once configured, the lighting pattern should change.

You should now attach the provided USB cable connecting the drone to your phone. You’ll notice the camera tab turning blue, indicating a successful connection. Keep tapping on the next button while setting up a name for your transmitter and configuring the proper video output as per your liking.

If you are a beginner, tap on the beginner mode; otherwise, leave it unticked if you are more experienced in flying drones. Finally, sign up for a DJI account unless you’ve already got one, in which case just sign in and sync it to your drone.

Step 3: Connect To The Drone’s Wifi Network

Remember to connect to the drone’s wifi once you’ve finished setting up your app using your home internet connection. The drone’s wifi does not have data linked to it and only acts as a connection between your phone and the drone.

Now calibrate the compass shown on your screen and if needed, calibrate the drone’s compass as well using the app. Once done, you should be ready to start flying!

How to Connect Drone A to an iPhone

You can connect drone A, which is in this case, the DJI Phantom 4, to an iPhone using the DJI Go 4 app, which you can download from the App Store. The process is similarly simple and straightforward, just as I’ve covered above, for an Android phone.

Step 1: Power ON The DJI Phantom 4 Drone

As simple as it sounds, you should, first of all, power on the drone. The power button is under the hood of the drone, and by pressing it for 2 seconds, the drone should automatically boot up, lighting the LEDs at the bottom of its battery.

Do not press the button for too long, as it might turn the drone off again. Once the drone has successfully powered up, proceed to the next step below while ensuring you follow the steps to the letter.

Step 2: Download & Configure The DJI Go 4 App

The app is available for both iOS and Android users; hence no need to worry about the app not supporting your particular device. You can download it from the App Store for free. However, the app only supports devices running ios 10.0 or later. Download the app directly using this link.

Now launch the DJI Go 4 app you’ve downloaded to complete any remaining configuration settings after connecting to the drone’s wifi from your phone’s settings. On the initial screen of the app, select your drone’s model. In my case, I’ll be using the Phantom 4 series from the list.

You shall notice that the camera tab turns grey because we’ve not yet configured the phone to our transmitter. Once configured, the light should change.

You should now attach the provided lightning USB cable connecting your drone to your phone. You’ll notice the camera tab turning blue, indicating a successful connection. Keep tapping on the next button while setting up a name for your transmitter and configuring the proper video output as per your liking.

If you are a beginner, tap on the beginner mode; otherwise, leave it unticked if you are more experienced in flying drones. Finally, sign up for a DJI account unless you’ve already got one, in which case just sign in and sync it to your drone.

Step 3: Connect To The Drone’s Wifi Network

Remember to connect to the drone’s wifi once you’ve finished setting up your app using your home internet connection. The drone’s wifi does not have data linked to it and only acts as a connection between your phone and the drone.

Now calibrate the compass shown on your screen and if needed, calibrate the drone’s compass as well using the app. Once done, you should be ready to start flying!

How to Connect Drone B to an Android Phone

Next up, I’ll be using the Parrot Bebop drone to illustrate connecting drone B to your phone using wifi. The procedure is similar but with a few minor differences. The significant contrast here is the app I’ll use to connect the two since these drones come from totally different companies.

Step 1: Power ON The Parrot Bebop Drone

I can’t stress this enough. Power on the drone first! The power button is at the back of the drone. Once pressed, the light on the button turns green, indicating the drone has booted up. The switch has an on/off function; thus, don’t keep pressing it as you’ll turn off the drone once the green light powers up.

Step 2: Download the FreeFlight Pro App

The app is available for download in the Google Play Store for a fee, which is significantly different from the DJI Go 4 app, which is freely available and requires no cost to use.

One thing though, the app will only work on devices running Android 4.2 and above. If your phone runs an older version of Android, chances are that the app won’t install, let alone run.

Step 3: Launch The FreeFlight Pro App

Turn on your phone’s wifi together with location services and connect to the drone’s wifi address displayed in your settings. On a successful connection, the drone should beep once while lighting up the LED lights at the back.

Open the FreeFlight Pro app and complete any remaining configuration settings and begin flying!

How to Connect Drone B to an iPhone

The procedure we’ll use to connect the Parrot Bebop drone to an iPhone is similar to connecting the same drone to an Android phone.

All you need is the drone itself, an iPhone, and a stable internet connection for downloading the app.

Step 1: Power ON The Parrot Bebop Drone

The power button is at the back of the drone. Press it, and once the light on the button turns green, that’s a clear indication that the drone has booted. Again, avoid pressing the button for too long to prevent turning the drone off.

Step 2: Download the FreeFlight Pro App

The app is available for download in the App Store for a fee, which is significantly different from the DJI Go 4 app, which is freely available and requires no cost to use.

One thing though, the app will only work on devices running iOS 9.0 and above. If your phone runs an older version of iOS, chances are that the app won’t install, let alone run.

Step 3: Launch The FreeFlight Pro App

Turn on your phone’s wifi together with location services and connect to the drone’s wifi address displayed through your settings. On a successful connection, the drone should beep once while lighting up the LED lights at the back.

Open the FreeFlight Pro app and complete any remaining configuration settings and begin flying!

Wrapping things up, connecting any drone to an Android or iOS device is pretty simple, and with the help of this guide, I hope you can now do it on your own without any difficulties.

Elizabeth Ciobanu

Editor-in-Chief. Elizabeth is a full-time (homeschooling!) mom of four, and serial entrepreneur in a variety of enterprises, one of which is producing content for Droneblog. If free time existed, she would love to spend more time on hobbies such as flying a drone.

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