Modern drones are dependent on mobile devices as part of their flight systems. There are apps for everything, whether you need it for actual flight or pre-flight. The app will be provided by the drone manufacturer. But what other apps are available?
In this blog, LucidCam will be sharing a list of some of the best drone apps.
Top Rated Best Drone Apps
- Planning location with sunset/rise information
- Analysis of the phases of the moon
- Calculates exposure/depth in field/timelapse
- Some features may not be necessary
PhotoPills is a photography planning app that helps you plan your photos ahead of time. PhotoPills is a must-have for drone photographers. PhotoPills is the ultimate photography planning tool. It allows you to PLAN your photos in advance so that you are always at the right spot at the right time to take the best possible photo.
You can plan sunset and sunrise photographs. This will help you to understand how much light you have. It will also allow you to take your drone photography to the next level. Drone View is a feature of the Planner pill that allows you to program compositions based on your flying altitude.
PhotoPills also offers many other useful features for drone photography, such as Exposure, Time Lapse, and DOF.
You will enjoy the following benefits all in one app:
- The 2D Map-Centric Planner – Sun, Moon, Milky Way
- Sun and Moon Alignments Quick Finder
- 3D Augmented Reality: Sun and Moon, Milky Way, Celestial Equator, Polaris
- Photo Plans Manager
- Locating a Scouting Tool
- Key infor: Sunrise/set, Twilights, Golden Hour, Blue Hour, Moonrise/set, Supermoon dates, Moon Calendar
- Calculators: Time-lapse, Long Exposure, Spot Stars, Star Trails, and Hyperfocal Table
- Widgets: Sun and Moon, Milky Way
- PhotoPills Awards: The best photography
AirMagic is one of the best drone apps. It is the drone photographer’s dream. AirMagic takes the hassle out of editing photos.
AirMagic is the first AI-powered app specifically designed to enhance drone photos. AirMagic instantly enhances and magnifies your photos. AirMagic automatically removes haze and enhances the sky. It also reveals details and adjusts mid-tones and highlights.
Drag & Drop the photos you wish to enhance into the app. The rest is up to technology.
3. UAV Forecast
- Wonderful imaging quality
- Official developer of one of the top drone apps
- UAV Forecast strives to provide detailed wind and weather info to help you decide if it’s safe to fly.
- Privacy concerns, as this is a public app
The application will analyze all the data and provide you with a fairly accurate forecast.
What are the best conditions for flying your drone? UAV Forecast is a convenient tool that allows you to view the weather forecast, GPS satellites, and solar activity (Kp), as well as flight restrictions. UAV Forecast is the classic tool for drone pilots. Suitable for both beginners and advanced pilots, recreational and commercial, features include:
- Hyperlocal weather data includes detailed wind speed and gust speeds at any altitude and at ground level.
- GPS satellite data, including Galileo, GLONASS and solar weather (Kp), index, and many more.
- Forecasts for up to 7 days. A range of piloting info is provided, including wind direction and speed, wind chill and temperature, cloud cover, visibility, and more.
- Automated color-coded analysis of conditions: green for Good To fly, red for Not Good To fly
- Fully configurable thresholds
- Automatic switching between light and dark themes at sunrise and sunset.
- Locate search and Favorite Locations
- Support for tablets in all aspects
4. Airmap app
Airmap is one of those tools that does so much more than just map a potential flight location or help you keep a log of your flight.
The world’s leading provider of aeronautical data, AirMap, is changing the way the world flies. AirMap is essential for anyone who uses a drone for commercial or recreational purposes. AirMap has everything you need for flying a drone confidently. AirMap has information about UAV laws in over 20 countries. This is especially useful for drone photographer who likes to travel.
Advanced pilots have access to a variety of high-end features, including flight logging features, geofencing, drone mapping. AirMap also has many features that are accessible to beginners. AirMap, for example, tells you whether it’s safe to fly at your current location and sends real-time alerts about traffic changes and other airspace conditions.
With backing by companies like Microsoft and Qualcomm, not to mention drone players like Yuneec, Airmap is rapidly becoming the de-facto tool for commercial drone flight. Do not let their commercial drone mapping, geofencing, and flight logging tools scare you away. You can still benefit from their real-time traffic alerts via their mobile app.
- FAA official Application
- Infor about airspace
- Useful FAA resources
- Sometimes loading times for a map can be very long
- There are no AMA fields and weather data not listed
Let’s simplify this: the FAA enforces drone laws in the United States. This is their app that shows you where and when to fly. You could go on, but B4UFly can sometimes be a bit too overbearing and tell you that you cannot fly in certain places. That said, the app provides one of the most detailed airport listings around, displaying the 5-mile radius of each.
This guide is for Americans who are currently in the United States or plan to visit.
Kittyhawk and the Federal Aviation Administration created the B4UFly app to allow drone pilots to quickly find out where they can fly their drones in the United States.
The app will notify you if you’re within 5 miles of an airport, or any other airspace that requires permission.
B4UFly will ensure that you don’t violate Federal Aviation Administration regulations while flying your drone in the US.
- An app for phone drone cams without additional dongles
- Wireless connection to a phone
- Simple App
- There are many things that can be improved upon with auto-follow modes
- Video stabilization is not the best.
Hover is an underrated app. HOVER converts smartphone photos into a 3D model of any property. As little as 8 photos are required to get accurate, detailed exterior measurements down to the inch for roof and all elevations. It foundations on not just air traffic and your place concerning airports, national parks, and so on, but also, it considers wind and weather at your present site
HOVER is trusted by adjusters and contractors. It provides transparent and accurate estimates that eliminate extra trips to the job site and reduce human error. You can now wow homeowners by showing them real products such as siding or windows, rendered in 3D.
Hover also offers flight-logging capabilities that you can save and send to yourself. Although this feature isn’t exclusive to Hover, it does mean that you don’t need to download another program to log your flight data. This app is great for both iOS and Android devices. Hover may not be the only drone app you need, but if you were to stick with just one, an app like this is certainly a solid bet. Let grab Hover for your mobile device now.
7. Google Maps
- Ultra-filtered results from the search
- Weather information
- Voice command option
- Battery drainer
Google Maps is a must-have app for drone photographers who want to plan their trips to the smallest detail.
This app is probably the most useful for finding locations with the potential to capture stunning drone landscape photos. It also helps you figure out how to get there. It’s easy to spend hours looking through Google Maps, saving locations you like, and then taking stunning aerial photos with your drone.
It can also help you find the best launch locations and it is a great tool to measure distances.
Google Maps also offers a Terrain Mode, which allows you to better see the landscape’s relief. This will allow you to plan your trip to take photos even more precisely.
8. Tesla Field Recorder
- Rapid detection of electromagnetic fields, metal objects, and other electromagnetic fields
- Magnetometer sensors provide accurate measurements
- Long-term measurements can be automatically recorded
- App with one function
The drone program does something not many other programs can do. It detects magnetic fields. This might make you wonder if it is possible to be useful.
This free app relies on the magnetometer sensor of your mobile device to transform your phone or tablet into a fun and easy-to-use metal detector/electromagnetic scanner. It can also be used to detect the presence of electromagnetic fields. Tesla Field Recorder is great for research and experiments.
The compass on your drone employs magnetic fields. If there is any magnetic activity near you, it could cause problems.
It can be used for real-time scanning or to automatically record measurements over a longer time period and analyze them later. You can not only detect magnetic fields but also record them and share them with anyone else you think will find them useful.
- Get accurate info about weather and flight conditions
- Register for RPIC Certificate or sUAS Registry
- Infor on equipment and batteries
- Airspace information and flight log
- Information in the AMA field is missing
Kittyhawk can do almost everything you need in the top 21 best drone apps.
Let’s see, we’ve covered apps that check the weather, apps that have maps with no-fly zone listings, maps with active air traffic info, apps that keep flight logs and help you track your drones, now for one app that does all of the above. Kittyhawk: Drone Operations – A robust app and platform that includes everything from pre-flight checks to after-flight analysis.
It can be used for many tasks, including pre-flight checks and live streaming, fleet management, approval of FFA, and flight logs. You can also use the app to check weather conditions, no-fly zones, and air traffic info.
Kittyhawk continues to add new features on an ongoing basis. Its most recent features include Orbit Mode, Thermal Camera, and Advisories.
Some features require a subscription, but it is definitely worth it. Kittyhawk is an ambitious app and platform that will get you up in the air.
- Before you fly, create missions
- Fast synchronization
- Requires updates
Litchi is the best waypoint mission engine for beginners and professionals, regardless of your level of expertise. Litchi’s mission planner can be used on any platform, including PC/Mac. It also allows seamless mission sync across all devices. Litchi, the DJI drone’s most trusted autonomous flight app, has over 4000 daily successful flights. Litchi can be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices.
The Litchi app is compatible with DJI Mavic Mini 1, Mavic 2 Zoom/Pro, Mavic Air/Pro, Phantom 4 Normal/Advanced/Pro/ProV2, Phantom 3 Standard/4K/Advanced/Professional, Inspire 1 X3/Z3/Pro/RAW, Inspire 2, Spark
Litchi offers a number of really impressive auto-tracking features useful for recording video include Panorama, Orbit me, Follow me, Ground station and Waypoints, VR Mode (Virtual Reality), and Focus. It is one of the most expensive drone camera apps at $23. You’ll need to make use of these features to justify the cost.
Litchi’s waypoint flights and VR/FPV functionality are what attracted me the most. The app’s $24.99 price tag is a steep deal, but you get rich features and functions that many people may not consider. Although I have only flown one flight with Litchi and the DJI Spark, I will continue to update this recommendation as I go. Litchi provided me with access to the app to test.
- Waypoint mode (support for Mavic Mini 1 soon). Litchi is the best waypoint mission engine for beginners and professionals, regardless of your level of expertise. Litchi’s mission planner is accessible on every platform, including PC/Mac. It seamlessly syncs across all devices with mission synchronization.
- Panorama mode. You can easily capture horizontal, vertical, and 360-degree spherical panoramics
- Track mode. Litchi’s Track mode allows your DJI drone to understand what it sees. Litchi uses state-of-the-art computer vision algorithms to keep your selections perfectly framed while flying the drone. You don’t want to fly the drone manually? You don’t want to fly manually?
- Follow mode. The drone tracks your movements using the GPS and altitude sensors on your mobile device.
- VR Mode. Virtual Reality mode allows you to experience the best FPV experience by using the power of your phone. You can view your autonomous mission in VR mode or fly manually for extra thrills. Goggles required
- Focus mode. Litchi helps you to control both the drone’s yaw and gimbal axis so that you can focus on horizontal movements
My favorite feature is the ability to plan out your flights in advance using the Mission Hub on my computer.
11. DJI Go 4
DJI Go 4 was another popular choice. It is a complex but essential app for a recreational drone pilot who flies DJI’s consumer drones. It has so many settings and features that it can be difficult to understand their meaning.
DJI Go 4 can be downloaded on iOS or Android and allows you to transmit live video from your drone to your smartphone. These drones are compatible with DJI Go 4.
- Mavic Pro/Zoom
- Phantom 4
- Inspire 2
- Mavic Air
- Matrice 200
- Matrice 210 RTK
Many settings can be changed within the app, including changing the flight characteristics of the drone, camera settings to capture the best imagery, obstacle avoidance settings, and return-to-home settings to ensure safe landing and flying.
DJI Go provides intelligent flight modes, auto flight data tracking and logging, live HD View, tutorials, and user manuals. You can also edit and share photos and videos directly from the app.
Drone Pilots loved Dronedesk as a solution. Dronedesk helps you to stay compliant. Dronedesk users can save 56 minutes per flight by using the app instead of the traditional method of planning on paper.
Dronedesk has everything you need to plan your flights and manage your clients. All of this is built into a web application you can access from any device with an internet connection. You can plan your flight with confidence knowing that the application is based on industry-standard data sources.
78% of Dronedesk users stated that it takes them less than 30 minutes to plan and complete a job. You can stop searching the internet for the information you need: ATC phone numbers, weather forecasts, and NOTAMs. Dronedesk handles it all.
Dronedesk offers three options for flight logging features:
- You can manually enter your flight details
- Dronedesk allows you to export logs from AirData.
- Dronedesk can auto-sync to Airdate. All you have to do to match every flight with a job in the system is to verify the link.
- Regardless of which option you choose, your CAA-compliant log will instantly be exportable to Excel or PDF.
All you need is included: survey forms, six checklists; a comprehensive risk assessment that conforms with CAA guidelines; air user contacts for all ATCs to glider club members; current NOTAMs; hourly weather forecasts; site planning map (including Altitude Angel UTM ground and air hazards data – the exact same data as in the DJI apps and NATs). Flight logging.
13. Guardian – Altitude Angel
Although flying a drone may seem easy, it requires skill and knowledge about the environment. As with driving, there are rules that must be followed when flying a drone. This app is free and will tell you what you can and can’t fly, what to watch out for, and what obstacles you might encounter. It also shows you where permission may be required from third parties to fly your drone.
Altitude Angel was founded by Richard Parker in December 2014. It is an aviation technology company that creates global solutions for the safe integration and use of fully autonomous drones in global airspace.
Guardian uses your location to supplement your due diligence activities. It displays no-fly zones for growing numbers of countries and ground hazards, entirely free of charge.
Altitude Angel’s accurate, reliable, and authoritative data will help you plan your drone operations. It doesn’t matter if you fly for pleasure or for work. You can download this app on both Android and iOS.
Next is an app we were reluctant to include at first. Although we had intended to create a list that didn’t focus on one drone vendor, the truth is that DJI is so dominant, this app is too cool not to include.
DroneDeploy is an alternative controller that can be used with almost any DJI drone, including the Phantom 3 or newer take a look at DroneDeploy as an alternative controller for your flying machine. The app provides advanced flight planning and autonomous control for your drone. Select a path of coordinates and watch your drone fly the route, have the app control camera exposure on the go, and much, much more.
- Excellent user support
- Detailed 3D models
- Accurate location identification
- Subscriptions are expensive
Beware! Although the app is free, the software behind it costs money. Pix4D can be used to map your drone’s 3D terrain. Pix4D is similar to DroneDeploy. It allows you to program flight procedures for many popular drones (not just DJI) and then captures imaging data for advanced 3D and 2D output. Although you will need to have some very expensive software installed on your computer in order to get the best out of this, the output is quite impressive – at least from a commercial or business 3D mapping perspective. It can create a flight path and then upload the flight data to Pix4D servers.
It is possible that you have used Pix4D but have not known about it. Pix4D is used by manufacturers like Yuneec to build their core apps. Pix4D would win our award today for best drone app in the next 2 years.
16. Google Earth
You already know that the first thing you need to do when flying a drone is to find a suitable place. There are many drone-dedicated mapping apps that can help you find safe places to fly. You can fly in safe areas, but you should also look at Google Earth for exceptional locations to fly.
Google Earth is available for free on your mobile app, and also online.
- DJI Phantom and Inspire drones are supported
- Autoflight and camera control
- Follow, Zip Line, Target and Orbit modes
- Both manual and automatic gimbal controls
- You will find detailed tutorials in the package
- Support for flight planning at no waypoint
- Some features can be paid
- A drone controller app aimed at professionals
- Only for iOS devices
18. DJI Store App
- No cost
- Search for high-quality flying spots
- Only one useful feature available for drones
19. GoPro Passenger
- Live view on multiple devices
- Non-pilot control
- For novices, virtual learning mode
- It is very easy to use
- No obstacle avoidance system. Possible crashes
- Absence of an automatic tracking mode
20. Sky Viper Simulator
- Simple to manage
- Amazing video/photo features
- It does not work with all smartphones
21. Sun Surveyor
- Excellent camera playback
- Many locations are accessible
- Precise identification
- In many cases, this application is ineffective
Can I fly a drone without an app?
While some drones require an application, most can be operated with a remote control. There are no fancy flight features, but that is the tradeoff. You can fly the DJI Mavic Air 2 using just the remote. However, you will need an app to access Quickshot flight modes and to switch to panoramic photos. For most drones, your live view is locked into the app.
Do I have to pay for these expensive drone apps?
Before you invest in other apps, please consider your needs. The majority of apps are worth the cost, but only if they have the necessary features. Pix4D, for example, is not within the budget of most hobby pilots. However, the advanced mapping capabilities they offer are essential to commercial operations.
Is Remote ID available?
Although there may be some apps, the Remote ID is still not available. This is because the technology has yet to be confirmed. We will keep you updated as things change. Update: Remote ID will be in effect on April 21, 2022. We anticipate more information closer to that date.
What is the best time to use B4UFLY?
You should always consult the B4UFLY web or app before you fly your drone or plan to fly it. This will help you determine if there are active airspace advisories within the area you wish to launch your drone.
Do I need to use manufacturer apps in order to fly my drones?
However, it is possible that there are very few options. You’re good to go if your manufacturer has made it possible to access an SDK or API to allow third-party software control of your drone. This includes most manufacturers that are involved in the Dronecode or PX4 systems, as well as DJI drones. If you don’t find what you are looking for, we have a complete list of alternative apps to DJI GO 4.
With the help of a drone app, you can make your next adventure more enjoyable and less stressful. There are many great apps out there with different features that will suit any type of user.
Whether you’re just starting to fly drones or have been doing it for years, we hope this article helped you find what is best for you! We would love to hear from readers about their favorite drone apps in the comments below – please share!