Most of us who have invested in drones will be using a DJI Phantom or perhaps the new Mavic. Whilst there are better photography platforms available they are significantly more expensive and really designed for higher end commercial operations.
DJI provide their drones with a free app to control it with. It is called DJI Go and it's a pretty comprehensive app. It allows you to control many complex aspects of your drone both in setting it up and flying it.
However, to differentiate its model range, DJI hamstrings some of its consumer models by not allowing access to certain functions. One of these is flight planning.
You can pre-plan flights with DJI Go but to do so you must actually fly the flight plan first. That, of course, means using up valuable battery time. With batteries costing upwards of $100 each, that can be a serious cost consideration. Step up the Litchi app.
Litchi is a third party app that allows you to control certain functions that cannot be done with the DJI Go app. At $22.99 it's available for both IOS and Android. Before we go further there is a caveat…
There is a body of opinion that suggests using the Litchi App instead of DJI Go can invalidate your warranty in case of a flyway. I have not heard any official information on this from DJI but be aware that there is this possibility. So let’s look at what Litchi can do.
This is the big advantage of Litchi. It allows you to pre-plan flights without the need to actually fly them. You can pre-plan on the app using a smartphone or tablet or by using the Mission Hub on their website.
Both the app and website use high definition maps and satellite imagery from Google.