DJI Shifts Focus to Android, Leaving Apple App Developers in Limbo

DJI Abandons iOS App Developers, Switch to Android!

In a surprising move, drone giant DJI has officially announced that it will no longer support third-party app development for Apple devices. Instead, the company is urging businesses and developers to make the switch to Google's Android platform for their app development needs. The decision marks a significant shift for DJI, raising questions about the future of its collaboration with Apple and the impact on iOS drone app developers.

DJI's iOS Mobile Software Development Kit (MSDK) development team has been facing recent challenges, likely contributing to this strategic pivot. The MSDK is a critical component for app developers who seek to harness the full capabilities of DJI's impressive drone lineup. It simplifies the application development process by handling core functions such as flight stabilization, battery management, signal transmission, and communication. This allows third-party developers to focus their efforts on creating innovative applications without getting bogged down by the complexities of robotics and embedded systems.

This transition away from iOS comes after DJI had already stopped adding new drones to the iOS MSDK for some time. Notably, even DJI's Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro drones exclusively received support for the Android MSDK, leaving iOS developers in the lurch. While the move to phase out iOS support may not have been entirely unexpected, what raised eyebrows was the delayed announcement of this critical decision.

Former DJI Vice President of Policy & Affairs, Brendan Schulman tweeted: “A follow-on effect of government restrictions, lists and sanctions? 🤔”

The notice issued by DJI on November 29, 2023, clearly outlines the company's intentions. In it, DJI emphasizes its commitment to the Android platform and encourages iOS app developers to adapt to the changing landscape. This announcement leaves iOS developers with a crucial decision to make: either transition their work to Android or face the prospect of being left behind in an industry that continues to evolve rapidly.

The notice issued by DJI on November 29, 2023, reads as follows:

Dear Developer

Thank you very much for your long-term support and in DJI.

In order to continue providing you with a better development experience and technical support services, DJI will now stop updating certain SDKs. After the update is stopped, the corresponding SDKs will no longer release new versions and will no longer accept new MFi applications. Technical support services will not be affected. At the same time, we recommend that you use the alternative solutions we recommend for development.

SDK ТуреStop Update DateAlternative Solution
iOS SDKNovember 29, 2023We recommend developing mobile applications based on the Android SDK
Windows SDKNovember 29, 2023No alternative solution available. You can choose to develop using the mobile SDK or cloud API based on your application scenario
Onboard SDKNovember 29, 2023We recommend developing onboard applications based on the Payload SDK. The functionality of the Onboard SDK has been integrated into the Payload SDK

Djl will continue to provide you with higher quality products and better services. Thank you again for your concern and support. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our developer technical support. The email address is dev@dji.com

This notice is hereby given.

DJI

November 29, 2023

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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