The drone apps are becoming vital to the everyday jobs for pilot operators. Whether it is a flight mission for a farmer to inspect the crop health and vegetation index to checking the fly zones if you are allowed to fly your drone. What if you knew that some of these apps can transform your drone into an incredible tool that gathers data and analyzes using the pictures alone? All you need is a great smartphone or tablet and connect it to your drone to take advantage of these best apps made just for drone pilots.
In this article, I will share these top 10 best apps that you and other drone pilots should use. Each app has its advantages that will make your whole flight experience much easier. Who wants to make the call to the FAA and ask for permission when there is an app that does it automatically with every flight plan you make, right? Read below to find out the top 10 best apps for drone pilots.
First and foremost, the Airmap is the best drone app to check for no-fly zones. I use it frequently when I am traveling or when I am within the airport and need permission to fly my drone. This app collaborates with the Federal Aviation Administration by authorizing your flight plans within the regulations.
Airmap also comes with three different types of advisories. A red advisory means you can’t fly your drone in that zone and will require manual approval by the FAA. An orange advisory means you can only fly within a certain altitude as shown on the map and the process can be automatically approved if you plan to fly under the specified altitude. Finally, green advisory means you are allowed to fly your drone.
After you submit your request, this drone app will pull up a weather forecast for you to review. It will tell you important aviation data such as wind speed, weather visibility, and direction of the wind. This drone app is a must for all drone pilots. Not only the Airmap is an excellent drone app, but it also helps you avoid legal troubles and process the flight authorizations for you. Airmap is the preferred method to obtain authorization by the FAA.
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Recommended Drones: Mavic 2 Pro, Phantom 4 Pro, Inspire 2, 3DR Solo, Autel X-Star Premium, Parrot Bebop 2, Parrot Anafi, Yuneec Typhoon H Pro, Yuneec Q500, and GoPro Karma
DroneDeploy is one of the widely popular drone apps for pilots who want to map and make 3D models out using the picture taken with their quadcopter. This drone app works similarly to PrecisionMapper, however, it is much more advanced and user-friendly.
The DroneDeploy app turns your drone into an incredibly powerful tool that gathers all the information. You can upload the pictures to their server and they will analyze automatically for you. They are capable of providing heat maps, detailed measurements for a roof inspection, and more.
You can sign up for their free trial which lasts 30 days. If you enjoy their app, they have a monthly subscription and full analysis tools for all of your drone service needs. This is among the popular choices for professional drone pilots.back to menu ↑
3. DJI GO
The DJI GO app is a must-have tool for any drone operators that use DJI drones. This drone app provides vital information that you need to know about your aircraft and weather. It even comes with a built-in Google map that uses satellite systems to map out the terrain.
Setting these features that the DJI GO app has aside. The main core of this drone app is to provide you a clear visual of the image through your drone’s camera. It serves the primary function of real-time video transmission systems. Plus, you can perform intelligent flight modes and several other key features such as adjusting the camera setting. Out of all the drone apps, the DJI GO app is one of the most data-intensive tools.
This is why I recommend you to check out the best smartphones and tablets to use for the DJI GO app. It contains a list of compatible smartphones and tablets so that you can figure which one suits your preferences and budget. From my experience flying the drones using DJI GO App, I highly recommend DJI CrystalSky due to reliability and powerful data processors.back to menu ↑
4. UAV Forecast
UAV Forecast is an extremely useful drone app for pilots to have. This app tells all the information that you need to know before you take off. It explains the forecast of how the weather will look like such as wind speed, number of locked satellites, cloud coverage, visibility distance, and temperature.
I like this app because the information is very useful to me. It tells me if the weather is safe to fly or not, especially when you are working with small drones like Spark or Mavic Air. High wind speed poses a threat to the drone’s ability to resist.
Finally, the UAV Forecast tells you how the weather will look like in the future by showing its predictions. While they are predictions, this drone app has been pretty much accurate with its predictions which I found to be reliable. Plus, you get everything you need to know. Instead of having to google for the information on multiple sites, UAV Forecast makes it simple for you.back to menu ↑
PrecisionMapper is one of many best drone app that is built and designed to work with any drone. This app lets you create and share GIS (Geographic Information System) data stitching the images together and analyzing them. You can sign up through their official website and obtain analytic tools that you can use for any GIS projects.
Not only PrecisionMapper effectively turns your drone into an incredible mapping tool. You will be able to upload the GIS information from your flight mission automatically. I have used PrecisionMapper a few times and found it to be quite an incredible app for surveys and sharing information.
Companies that use mapping to survey their projects like construction and farming will find the GIS information obtained through PrecisionMapper valuable. So, don’t let this information go to waste. For the best use of this drone app, you should use high-end models.back to menu ↑
6. Tesla Field Recorder
The magnetic inference is nasty. They can set off the compass and interferes with the drone’s ability to detect its location. The Tesla Field Recorder app detects magnetic fields and records them. It is an important drone app to have if you do a lot of exploring with your drone. There is a chance that you will encounter a major magnetic interference that will make the flight operation go awry.
When you do come across this magnetic interference, you can inspect using this drone app to measure and record the disturbance. Then you can share the recordings with your drone buddies or geocaching friends to let them become aware of it. It is a win-win situation for everyone.back to menu ↑
If you use PolarPro camera lens filters like this for Mavic Pro or this for Phantom 4 Pro. Then you will find the PolarPro app to be a very useful drone app. Here is how it will help you with all of your drone photography needs. It will automatically calculate what kind of camera filter to use in accord with ISO, Shutter Speed, and FPS.
Once the PolarPro app has calculated, it will tell you what kind of filter to install on your drone. Aside from that, this drone app comes with weather information based on your location. It is quite a nice app to have if you do decide to specialize in aerial photography. I also suggest you read my best camera drones for beginners and photographers which is updated often.back to menu ↑
8. Sun Surveyor
“Golden Hour” and “Blue Hour” is like a special stage that only occurs during specific time and weather. They can be quite tough to catch if you do not have a drone app that detects them for you. That is why the Sun Surveyor is one of my favorite drone apps to use. Basically what it does is locating the point and detecting when these “special stages” occur.
These hours play a major impact in shaping how your aerial image can be. The “Golden Hour” adds a special effect that emphasizes beautiful and gorgeous feeling in the foreground and background setting. While the “Blue Hour” adds the dynamic feeling that gives an impression of cool and cold visual to the image like mountains and winter settings.
Learning how to use the Sun Surveyor can take a bit of time to understand fully. But once you use it enough to know when Golden Hour and Blue Hour happens. It can be an incredibly powerful tool to use for all of your drone photography needs.back to menu ↑
9. Google Earth
If you are a traveler like me, you will often find yourself wondering what the landscape looks like. Fortunately, you don’t have to wonder about that because there is an amazing app that you can use for planning your flights. One of the main reasons why I use Google Earth as a drone app is because of how flexible and completed it is.
I use it to find hotspots and research the area around it. It can be useful for planning your flight mission by helping you envision how you want it to look like. There are so many secrets and hidden places that haven’t discovered yet. As a drone operator, using Google Earth can be quite an amazing app to use.
Also, you can find some cool geometry patterns throughout the map. If you read my article about 8 important tips that drone photographers should know, you will understand the importance of capturing geometry patterns and put them into a perspective that captures your audience’s attention. Best of all, Google Earth works for all drones.back to menu ↑
Finally, Hover is another free drone app that you can download for planning your flight missions. It uses the data from Airmap, however, what makes Hover popular among drone pilots is its ease of use and built-in weather forecast. It also comes with news to keep you updated on current issues relating to the government, regulations, and laws.
I prefer Airmap over Hover. Plus, FAA prefers Airmap since it is the official method to obtain approval to fly in the No-Fly Zones. Hover is preferred for those who want to fly their drones for recreational purposes. With the ability to know whether it is allowed to fly or not. Regardless, Hover is one of many free popular drone app to use.
Other than the ten free drone apps we mentioned above, there are still a few more available in Google Play Store or the App Store. Two of these are:back to menu ↑
Litchi is an excellent alternative for the DJI Go app if you’re not completely satisfied with it. You may even consider it a better app. This app features impressive autonomous tracking features, which are great for videos. The flight modes included in Follow Me, Focus, Ground station and Waypoints, Orbit me, Panorama, and VR mode. Unfortunately, unlike the apps mentioned above, this one costs you $23.back to menu ↑
If you’re looking for an app that does almost everything, you have the Kittyhawk. This app features pre-flight checks, no-fly zones, weather, maps that show air traffic data, post-flight analysis, and flight logs. It also keeps on updating to add newer features. To use this app, a subscription is required.
Got Any Free Drone Apps That You Recommends?
Among these top 10 free drone apps that I recommend for any drone pilots to use. Not only you will be able to be aware of fly zones, but they will also enhance your drone’s performance to do the jobs automatically and independently directly from your smartphone or tablet.
There are many great drone apps available to download from. But these free drone apps that I listed are popular among drone pilots. If you know or use any good drone app and you want to share with the community. Please feel free to share with us by commenting below. Happy flying!