Which App Do I Need for My DJI Drone? (Complete Guide)


DJI is nowadays the leading company in the world of drones; over 70% of the drone sales in the world belong to this company. DJI has provided the world with more than 30 models of drones for the past 8 years –and it won’t stop since it is even expanding its horizons. Perhaps with your new DJI drone, you’re wondering which flight companion app is the one you need to operate your drone.

DJI has over 4 apps to manage drones. The DJI Fly is compatible with Mavic Mini, Mavic Air 2, DJI Mini 2, DJI FPV, and DJI Air 2S. The DJI GO is with the older drone models of the company, and the DJI GO 4 is compatible with the newer drones, as are the DJI Pilot and DJI Pilot PE apps.

DJI drones are by far the best on the market, as they are easy to use and come with all the features that make life easy for the user. No matter if you’re a newbie or a professional with a full-time drone business, DJI offers lots of models that are suitable for everybody. 

What do I need a DJI app for? (What does it do)

DJI has created multiple series of drones designed for aerial photography, and it has developed different control systems that support these different drone series. To help make the best use of the commercial and hobby features of these drones, DJI launched the DJI GO app and DJI Fly app to sync the drone directly to a smartphone. Subsequently, they developed different apps for diverse purposes, all of these related to control of the drone and aerial photography.

However, not all the apps are compatible with every series. DJI has been creating different series of drones with different features, and because of that, the drones are best suited to different uses, not only for entertainment or commercial purposes. So, let’s talk a little bit about these drone series, before discussing which app is used for each of them.

What are the different types of DJI drones?

DJI Technology Co Ltd was founded in 2006, but it wasn’t until 2013 that the company launched its first drone, the Phantom 1. Since that moment, DJI has been providing the world with drones, to the point that they now hold 70% of the drone market. 

Phantom Series

The Phantom 1 was the first drone launched by the company, and since then quite a few various drones in the Phantom series have come on the scene. All of the Phantom series drones are expressly made for aerial photography and cinematography. The last Phantom drone model to date was launched in 2018, and this series now includes a total of 15 models! These are:

Phantom 1
Phantom 2
Phantom 2 Vision
Phantom 2 Vision+
Phantom FC40
Phantom 3 Standard
Phantom 3 4K
Phantom 3 Advanced
Phantom 3 Professional
Phantom 3 SE
Phantom 4
Phantom 4 Pro
Phantom 4 Advanced
Phantom 4 Pro v2.0
Phantom 4 RTK

Mavic Series

Right after the last Phantom drone was announced, DJI was already prepared to release the DJI Mavic Pro, which was actually launched in 2016. The Mavic series drones are the first compact and foldable drones on the market. The drone also featured innovative new additions that weren’t available with the Phantom series. The Mavic Series currently have the most recent model releases, the last of which was released in April 2021:

Mavic Pro
Mavic Air
Mavic 2 Pro
Mavic 2 Zoom
Mavic Air 2
Mavic Air 2S
Mavic Mini
Mini 2

Spreading Wings and Inspire Series

Both the spreading wing series and the Inspire series are intended to be used in more professional fields. While the Spreading Wings series is available for the public, they are commonly used by industries and companies for professional aerial mapping. Similarly, the Inspire Series is made for professional consumers, though these are similar to the Phantom series. Both series don’t have a ton of models, yet they are widely requested. The models are:

Spreading Wings S800
Spreading Wings S800 EVO
Spreading Wings S900
Spreading Wings S1000
Inspire 1
Inspire 1 Pro
Inspire 2

Spark, and FPV

Finally, there are a few “individual models” that DJI has released. These two drones don’t belong to any series, and they were made for different use applications. The Spark is a professional drone for non-professional users, though this has since been replaced by the Mavic since the Spark presented several technical issues. On a different vein, the FPV is a first-person hybrid drone which was released in March 2021.

Which DJI app for which drone?

Since the DJI drones were made for different purposes – all of them in the field of aerial photography and cinematography – DJI provides its consumers with different types of apps best suited to the features of the different drones. Let’s look at which apps those are, what they are for, and which drone can be used with each app. 

DJI Fly

The primary function of the DJI Fly app is to give users an easy way to manage their drones through a smartphone or tablet. The app comes with tutorials, a control center to manage the drone, and extras features to capture, edit and share images taken using the drone camera.

The DJI Fly app gives a full real-time report of the flight, which includes information like flying mode, altitude, distance, and battery level. Also, the camera can be adjusted using the app, as well as taking pictures or videos. These can be edited with the app editor, which includes templates, special effects, transitions, sound edits and additions, and much more. 

The DJI Fly app can be downloaded on iOS and Android, and it is compatible with Mavic Mini, Mavic Air 2, DJI Mini 2, DJI FPV, and DJI Air 2S.

DJI GO

Available for various models of the Mavic, Phantom and Inspire series, the DJI GO app is made to manage the drone. The pilot can see in real-time where the drone is going on through the camera, control the drone manually, and record or take pictures by using this app. In addition, the pictures or videos can be edited with the app and shared with SkyPixel.

The drone can be safely managed through the phone, and the pilot can view a full dashboard of details such as altitude, distance, battery life, GPS connectivity, flight modes, and so on.

The DJI GO app can be downloaded on iOS and Android, and is compatible with the Mavic series, Phantom 3 series, Inspire series, Matrice series, and OSMO series, as well as with the DJI FPV.

DJI GO 4

Just like the DJI GO, the DJI GO 4 app is available for various of the latest DJI drone models. While the app still supports the same features and options as the previous DJI GO, the GO 4 is specifically made for newer devices. Both apps will be updated and modified periodically when the company thinks it is necessary. Updates focus on the different drone series and generations, thus their features are continually being optimized accordingly.

The DJI GO 4 app can be downloaded on iOS and Android, and it is compatible with the Mavic series, Phantom 4 series, Spark, DJI FPV, and newer models.

DJI Pilot and DJI Pilot PE

The DJI Pilot and the DJI Pilot PE apps were created to assist with drone flight in real-time. This offers almost all the same features that the apps named above do, however, these are more focused on the camera and recording features rather than the drone control itself. However, the app still comes with the basic information and controls needed to manage the drone.

Regarding the camera features, the DJI Pilot and Pilot PE offer HD live transmission of the drone’s camera feed, and allow the ability to adjust camera settings and parameters, professionally control the camera, and perform real-time flight record sync.

The primary difference between both apps is that DJI Pilot PE is an exclusive customized version of the DJI Pilot, and uses a private cloud server.

The app can be downloaded on iOS and Android, and they are compatible with the more recent drone models released by the company.

How to install the DJI app?

DJI provides its users and consumers with a whole set of apps to control every inch of the drones. These can be found on Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and the DJI website.

When any of these apps need to be downloaded directly on the smartphone or tablet, just look for the name of the app in the search bar, and tap on Install. Once the app is fully downloaded it is ready to be used.

If the app is download directly from the DJI apps, follow the next simple steps:

  1. Move the app to the device
  2. Look for it among your phone files, and tap on it.
  3. The OS will ask to grant permission to install the app on the device. Accept it!
  4. The app will start the installation process. 
  5. Once downloaded, the apps are ready to be used.

Make sure that the app is available and compatible with your device, otherwise, it won’t work properly. Definitely don’t waste time trying to download it from the DJI website to install it on the device. If the App Store says it is not compatible with the device, then it is not! However, this can be checked on the DJI Website, in the Download Center; there you can find very detailed information about device compatibility for each of their apps.

Also, make sure to double-check which app you need before downloading, as not all the apps are compatible with all the drones! This is explained in detail above.

A few alternative flight apps you could use

If your device does not happen to be compatible with any of the DJI apps (or you just prefer something different), there is always a second option. Many third parties are available to help manage your drone. Some of these come with many of the features and options supported by the DJI apps. So, I’ll make a mini list of some of the independent apps that can control DJI drones.

Litchi

This app offers support for the Mavic Series, Phantom Series, Inspire Series, and the Spark drone. The app can be easily downloaded from the App Store, and it is compatible with iOS and Android.

This independent app is the favorite of the public. When any of the DJI apps can’t be used on a device, Litchi comes to help! 

» MORE: Read more about third-party apps and how they compare with the DJI flight control apps, read our article on DJI GO 4 vs. Litchi vs. Autopilot, to find out which app is best. 

At the very beginning, the app wasn’t that good, though today it is more than acceptable. Just like the DJI Fly or DJI GO, the app will give a full flight real-time review and continuous video streaming. Also, it offers intelligent flight modes, and even other features that are not available on any of the DJI control apps.

However, the app presents a few errors when used with some models. But in general terms, we can say it is a stable and well-developed app that will cover all the basic needs to manage the drone.

AirMap

AirMap is a real-time airspace app that allows the user to check details about the drones’ flight such as altitude, distance, battery life, GPS connectivity, flight modes, and so on. The pilot can perform safe and efficient drone operations.

The app is compatible with DJI Inspire, DJI Inspire 2, DJI Mavic Pro, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, DJI Phantom 4 and DJI Phantom 4 Pro.

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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