Dronemaker DJI has expanded its Mobile SDK with support for the Mini 2, Mini SE, and Air 2S. This means that third-party developers such as Litchi, DroneLink, and DroneDeploy can make their apps suitable for use with these drones. As a result, users can expect functionalities that DJI Fly does not offer. The first app based on the new SDK is now available.
New features for DJI Mini 2, Mini SE, and Air 2S with Mobile SDK update
SDK is an abbreviation for Software Development Kit. Using an SDK, external programmers can let their software “talk” to closed operating systems or hardware, such as DJI’s. In this way, developers gain access to control, image transfer, battery management, and other matters that are important to control a drone, without having to worry about the underlying handling.
For popular drones such as the Mavic 2, Phantom 4, and Inspire 2, DJI has already provided a Mobile SDK (MSDK) for some time. This enabled the developers of apps such as Litchi, DroneLink, and DroneDeploy to make their apps suitable for these drones and offer advanced functionalities such as waypoint missions, tracking, and mapping. The Mini 2, Mini SE, and Air 2S lacked this support in the SDK until a few days ago. The Mavic 3 is unfortunately not yet supported in the latest SDK.
New functionalities for DJI Mini 2, Mini SE, and Air 2S
On December 31, 2021, DJI released an update to the Mobile SDK for Android (v4.16). An iOS version will follow shortly. As a result, it is expected that popular apps such as DroneLink and Litchi can soon be used in combination with the Mini 2, Mini SE, and Air 2S. As a result, you can look forward to functions such as Follow and ActiveTrack, which you will not find in DJI Fly with these drones. So your drone gets new functionality without any hardware changes.
There are also disadvantages: such third-party apps are usually not free, and DJI makes no warranty if your drone crashes while it is being controlled by an app that does not come from DJI. And not all apps have yet been made suitable for the aforementioned drones, as the developers have yet to integrate and test the MSDK. In a number of cases, it is already possible to try out a beta version.
One app has even been officially updated with the new Mobile SDK, namely the Android version of Rainbow for DJI drones. That means you can start using Waypoint, Orbit, and Follow Me right away with the Mini 2, Mini SE, and Air 2S. You do have to dig into your pocket to unlock these functionalities, but there is an option to try the functions for free first.
The update is also interesting for professionals. For example, once DroneLink and DroneDeploy have integrated the new Mobile SDK, the ability to perform automated mapping missions with the Mini 2 will be within reach.
That’s interesting because this drone allows you to fly legally (in Open subcategory A1) over uncontrolled territory and uninvolved persons, something that is currently not possible even with an operational authorization in the Specific category without having to deal with medium risk SAIL level III and all associated mitigating measures.
In terms of sensor performance and accuracy, this is not the ideal solution for making orthophotos or 3D models, but from a control point of view, it is the only way to make rapid progress in this area.
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