Because there is such a large number of flight control applications for drones, downloading and installing the proper app has become a complex task, especially after the DJI company removed the DJI Fly app from the Google Play Store.
The application used to control the Mavic Mini is the DJI fly app. You can download it to your device here.
- Click on the Download button.
- After downloading, click on the downloaded file to install it.
- In the end, you will see the app icon on your device’s screen.
To link the remote controller and the quadcopter:
- Press the remote controller power button and hold for four seconds
- Press and hold the aircraft power button for four seconds to begin linking.
Video for a linking explanation (linking via the app or physical buttons):
If you are using a mobile device, you must connect it to the RC using a data cable.
In the following sections, I will give detailed instructions on completing both the download and installation processes.
I will also cover the flight options and linking between the components according to the flight option selection, as well as important steps to follow before your flight.
The practical download and pre-requirements
In 2021, DJI removed DJI Fly from the Google Play Store, confusing the community. Before, the entire installation from start to finish was done by google. Now the installation must be done in two steps:
a) Downloading the apk file.
b) The installation itself.
You can download it either on a tablet or cellular phone. If downloading on a tablet, make sure your wifi signal is connected to the internet.
Also, make sure your device has the right Android version as mentioned in the download button and that you have enough storage space on your mobile device.
(On your phone or tablet, go to the setting to check the android version. Do the same for iOS. Currently DJI Fly requires iOS 11.0 / Android 6.0 or higher).
To download the Fly App, click here.
What is the APK file?
Although it is a technical concept that you do not need to understand, because of the download process, we will briefly explain the concept.
Every application on Android has a corresponding APK file. This file is understood only by the processor, so to have a DJI fly application that you can use, you download this APK file, which is then installed on the device.
As mentioned above, you download from the link provided. Respectively, according to the operating system in iOS, it is an IPA file. For both APK and IPA files, the content is gibberish and understandable only to the processor of the device.
How do I know the file was loaded and installed?
Since you are downloading through a third party, you get this message:
Tap Download anyway. During downloading, you see this symbol and when it is finished, you see this symbol .
In simple words, a third party is installing an application, not through the classic way using the Google Play store. You may need to change settings in the device to continue the installation.
To understand the third-party concept and make a change in the settings, it is recommended to watch this short video:
At the end of downloading, you get the following information:
After downloading, tap the line with that symbol to install the DJI fly app. The installation processing starts and finishes when you get this:
Congratulations, the application DJI fly is on your mobile device. Search on the device screen for the icon:
Opening the app and creating a DJI account
To open the application, a DJI account is required. For you to use the DJI Fly application properly, you need to log in to your DJI Account one time before the activation.
However, once you have already activated your aircraft, there is no need to log in to the app as the application already saves your information, and it will auto-login once you initiate or open the app.
If you don’t have such an account, set it up here.
Linking and flight options
Linking, binding, and pairing are words indicating that two parts “can communicate” with each other.
Binding an RC to the aircraft receiver creates a unique number that they share so that that drone will only respond to that radio. In simple words, they can pass information to each other and only between them.
You can usually fly a drone with a mobile device alone or with a remote alone or with a mobile device and a remote.
For example, with a DJI spark, any possibility of the three is possible.
But with the Mavic Mini, the option of drone and mobile device alone is not possible.
You must have all three or just the drone and remote control.
Linking via physical buttons
If the lights on the Mavic Mini RC are stable and the backlight of the aircraft is blinking green light, this means they are linked.
If not, you can do Linking via physical buttons:
- Press the remote controller power button and hold for four seconds
- Then press and hold the aircraft power button for four seconds to begin linking.
You can do the linking through the app too. Watch this video for how to link.
Connecting RC to a mobile device (tablet or phone)
To connect the RC to a mobile device, use the Mavic remote controller data cable.
There are 4 types of data cable:
By the way, the cables are very short, so if you use a tablet or a large mobile device, it will be difficult to connect them physically, so you should order or buy a suitable long data cable.
A long OTG cable (OTG stands for ‘on the go’) has a micro-A plug on one end, and a micro-B plug on the other end (it cannot have two plugs of the same type)
Before you fly the drone
Before starting to fly a drone, many things need to be verified, such as distance, maximum height, etc. But two essential things must be checked: the drone “recognizes its place” and is sufficiently stable in its flight.
For this, two processes must be performed. The first on almost every flight, especially if you change location, and the second one at least once in a while. The two processes are:
- Check compass calibration. This means the drone knows its location compared to north, and its height.
- Check IMU calibration. This means the drone knows its angles in three dimensions, its velocity, and acceleration.
Here is a link to how to calibrate the Mavic Mini compass and IMU.
Also, if you are in GEO Authorization Zones, you must make sure you have permission to fly in this territory.
It’s happened to me before. I prepared everything, but unfortunately, I was in the GEO Authorization Zone, and I only had a tablet (so I didn’t have the internet to request unlocking).
In most cases, the “kids drones” are simply flown with the help of the remote control, without special adjustments, no GPS, as you see children flying toy drones.
I recommend starting with these drones because that’s how you acquire control and skill with the remote control while flying it in Attitude Mode, which means the drone can drift around in the wind.