Are you looking for apps that will help you become a better drone pilot and aerial photographer? A quick search reveals that the number of drone-related apps is virtually endless.
You’re likely having trouble deciding what’s worth downloading or paying for with so many options. We at RoboticsBiz did all the research for you and made a list of the best smartphone apps for drone photography.
PhotoPills is a powerful new smartphone app for everything related to photography, or a true Swiss knife for photographers, as some might put it. As you are probably aware, it has an inexhaustible number of tools. It has a cool Drone view where you can scout the map (similar to Google Earth) and select your drone to see the exact field of view, altitude, and other details. It enables you to plan your drone shots quickly and intuitively from the comfort of your own home. You can save the locations you’ve marked in the app and use it to navigate to them and take photos. You don’t waste time scouting and calculating with PhotoPills, and you spend as much time shooting as possible. PhotoPills is available on iOS and Android.
DroneMate is a live map of recreational drone laws for every country. Many countries (including major tourist destinations) will not allow you to bring a drone into the country, so it can save you time at customs. Color codes are used to categorize countries into four groups:
- Green: Drones are generally permitted.
- Yellow: Drone use is restricted or may necessitate registration.
- Red: Importing or using this item is prohibited or severely restricted.
- Grey: There are no data or UAV laws that are defined or applicable.
DroneMate can be used without an internet connection because the map is available offline. DroneMate is available on iOS and Android.
3. UAV Forecast
Checking the weather forecast for that specific location is important for planning a drone flight and a shooting session. You want to make sure that the sky is as clear as possible. UAV Forecast is a free app that allows you to check the weather to ensure that the skies are in the best possible condition. It gives you a clear breakdown of everything you need to know about your location, including wind speeds, rain chances, cloud cover, visibility, and local temperature. UAV Forecast is available on iOS and Android.
You can use Windy in addition to UAV Forecast to double-check weather conditions at the shooting location, such as wind (direction and speed), rain, snow, temperatures, clouds (at various heights), and waves (direction, strength, and water temperature). In addition, the bar at the bottom of the screen can display a wealth of extremely detailed information. It provides a 7-day forecast of these elements, webcam links, and Airfield Satellite photos in various displays (basic, meteogram, and airgram). Windy also allows you to create custom maps based on your color preferences. You can also track the progress of the forecast as the days pass. The Windy app is available for both your smartphone and tablet. However, you can use it on your laptop or desktop via the website. Windy is available on iOS and Android.
5. Google Earth
Google Earth is a fantastic tool for researching potential photography locations in any given area. You can put yourself in any landscape on the planet and see how the topography looks in that particular location. You can use Google Earth to search a specific area from a bird’s eye view, just like a drone. You’ll be able to cruise along the landscape with the in-ground view, seeing perspectives that are as close to a live camera as possible. You can also alternate between 2D and orbiting 3D views. This tool is especially useful because it allows me to create a 3D model of an area or location before visiting it. Google Earth is available for download on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, and desktop computer. Google Earth is available on iOS and Android.
Hover is a simple but effective app that uses your smartphone’s GPS to project your current location onto an up-to-date map. You can look around the area to see where flying is legal and where it isn’t. Standard No-Fly zones, such as airports, are highlighted on the map, as are temporary flight restrictions, such as those over sporting events. The information provided by the map tools built into native apps from the major drone manufacturers is more helpful, accurate, and extensive than the Hover map. This is because it makes use of data from Airmap. Hover also shows you all the information you need to decide where to fly, including the most up-to-date weather and wind forecasts for your current location. This important information appears on a summary page and determines whether your drone is “ready to fly.” Finally, Hover goes a step further by allowing you to keep track of your flights digitally.
To put it another way, you can save information about your flights. You can enter information such as where you’ll be flying, how long you’ll be flying, and how much battery power you’ll need. Hover will then generate a report for you to email and save as a database. Hover is available on iOS and Android.
Airmap is the most comprehensive source of information on where you can and cannot fly. In other words, it displays any flight restrictions in your area, such as controlled airspace, airports, heliports, and caution zones (such as Temporary Flight Restrictions, prohibited and restricted airspace, wildfires, national parks, and marine protected areas). It also tells you how to get in touch with any nearby airports. It’s extremely useful because it allows you to quickly locate information without conducting a series of time-consuming Google searches to locate a phone number. Airmap is available on iOS and Android.
Flightradar24 is a fantastic global flight tracking app that gives you real-time information on thousands of planes worldwide. It ensures that you are not exposed to any potential dangers while flying your drone. Before taking off, check Flightradar24 to see if any helicopters or airplanes are flying nearby. If there is a low-flying aircraft nearby, you can either wait to launch your drone or bring it down to a very low altitude to avoid confusion. Flightradar24 is available on iOS and Android.
The DJI Go app has several intelligent flight modes to choose from. Before leaving home, you can plan your drone flight path on Google Earth. Allow your drone to do all of the work once you’ve arrived on-site. Panorama, Orbit me, Follow me, Ground station and Waypoints, VR Mode (Virtual Reality), and Focus are some of Litchi’s flight modes. This app has one of the most powerful waypoint mission engines on the market, and it syncs seamlessly across all of your devices. Litchi is available on iOS and Android.