How To Connect A Drone Camera To Your Phone [iPhone & Android Guides]

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Most drones are built to be operated via either your smartphone or tablet, such as an iPad, as the controller. But, sometimes connection issues make controlling your drone a nightmare.

Here’s a quick summary of how to connect a phone to a drone:

  1. Turn on your phone’s WiFi network settings
  2. Go to the app store and download your respective drone’s app
  3. Connect to the drone’s WiFi with help of the passphrase found in the user manual of your drone
  4. Complete all the configurations and adjustments from the app
  5. Open the app to connect the drone to your phone

It can be more complicated than this, however, so read on for a complete breakdown of how to connect your Android, iPhone or iPad, and individual popular drone apps to your drone’s camera.

Do You Need To Connect Your Drone To Your Phone?

Yes, you need to connect your drone to your phone if your drone can only be controlled using a smartphone

If that isn’t the case, then your drone requires that you use a controller or a phone and controller together.

If you can’t find a compatible app, there’s a possibility that your drone and phone can’t be paired.

So, it’s good first to decide how you want to control your drone before you buy one. Below are some of the common reasons that would lead to the phone-controlled option.

  • First-person view (FPV) camera: This camera allows you to see the video or still photo your drone is taking as it moves around your scene of interest. This isn’t only compatible with the phone-controlled option though. Some drones can provide an onsite view from the phone’s scene. For that to happen, you need to clip the phone on the controller.
  • GPS controls: GPS module-fitted drones know their location, depending on the orbiting satellite network. Your drone connects to the satellites’ signal to execute autonomous flight, position hold, waypoint navigation, and return home functions. You can control these functions easily from your smartphone.
  • Diagnostic data and setup access: The app allows your drone’s setup and configuration. Plus, it retrieves diagnostic data when you need it. Fortunately, most drone apps provide this functionality.
  • Control of flights: The phone-controlled option is also ideal for controlling your drone’s flights. It enhances the control because you can see what the drone is capturing right from the site.

How can I watch my drone camera on my phone?

You can watch your drone camera on your phone by following the steps below:

  • Power on the drone
  • Connect to the drone’s WiFi network by opening your phone’s WiFi settings
  • Upon a successful connection, access your drone’s mobile app and complete any needed configuration
  • Watch any live stream being captured by your drone’s camera

The on-site viewing is ideal, as you can control what to capture in real-time. The majority of drone apps accommodate video recording, autonomous flying, and other essential features. 

Hence, I’d advise you to familiarize yourself with all the functionalities your drone app can offer. That way, you can maximize on all of them.

How do I connect my drone camera to my iPhone/Android phone?

Connect your drone camera to your iPhone or Android phone by going through these steps:

  • Download the relevant drone app from the play store
  • Power up your drone
  • Connect the application from your phone’s settings
  • Complete all the configurations, calibration, and setup settings

Step 1: Download The App

The first step when you want to connect your drone to an android device is downloading the appropriate app from the Google play store. For that reason, the question below comes to mind.

What app do I use for my drone camera?

You can use a universal remote control serving all drones. This Universal Drone Remote Control App is free and amazing. It turns your phone into a drone remote and is easy to configure and use.

For example, you can try the DroneDeploy app for your drone.

The DroneDeploy webpage

This app is free and has been tried and tested by many drone pilots for millions of flights. You can use it for upgrading your drone with free and autonomous flight capabilities.

However, it’s advisable to find out the application that best suits your drone for excellent results.

Luckily, your drone manual has all the details you need about the most suitable app for your drone and where to get it. Download the app from the Google play store or app store.

Else, the app’s official website.

Step 2: Turn On Drone

After successfully downloading your app, the next thing is powering up your drone.

  • Turn on your controller by releasing and unfolding the phone mount. It should be ready because it’s useful right after you turn on the drone.
  • Connect your iPhone/Android phone and launch the app.
  • Turn on your drone by pressing the power button at the top of its battery. Press and hold it for 3 seconds to power on your gadget.
  • Complete necessary configurations and setups. It’s worth noting that this process is unique to particular drones. So, keep visiting the user manual throughout.

Step 3: Connect The App To Your Phone

Once your drone is powered up, connect it to the app via these steps:

With A Remote Controller

To connect your application with a controller, use your USB to connect your phone to the controller. Be sure to hold your phone using the controller’s telephone clamp.

By doing so, you make wired connectivity more effective.

A phone and DJI controller are connected to one another using a USB cord.

Be sure to keep your controller on throughout the process for the success of your connection.

Without A Remote Controller

To connect the application without a remote controller, use Bluetooth or WiFi to link your phone to the drone.

How? By tapping your gadget from the list of networks available on the Bluetooth or WiFi menu. If a password is needed, it’s available from the user manual.

Remoteless drones connect easily with smartphones and they’re cheaper than the ones with remote control. Nonetheless, they don’t go far as WiFi connection only covers a short distance.

Step 4 – Connection Establishment

Once you link your drone to the application with or without a controller, establish a connection.

Initiate the app and follow carefully the steps provided on your screen. The drone may instantly pick up your app or provide an option for you to select it manually.

The app notifies you upon a successful establishment.

You can verify the connection by checking if you can use your phone to control your drone.

A successful connection allows you to watch live feeds from your drone’s camera and hence, you can access your drone camera’s first-person view.

Best Drone Apps For Your iPhone/Android

Below is a list of drone applications for Android and their manufacturers:

  • DJI GO 4 app – DJI Technology., LTD
  • Google Map app – Google
  • Google Earth app – Google
  • Dronedesk app – Grey Rock Innovations LTD
  • Airmap app – DroneUp, LLC
  • Hover app – Hangzhou Zero Zero Technology Co., Ltd
  • DJI Fly app – DJI Technology., LTD
  • FAA’s B4U Fly app – Federal Aviation Administration
  • UAV Forecast app – UAV Forecast
  • Guardian Altitude Angle app – Altitude Angle Ltd
  • Kittyhawk app – Aloft.ai
  • Sun Surveyor (Sun & Moon) – Sun Surveyor
  • PhotoPills app – PhotoPills co.
  • Litchi app – Flylitchi co.
  • Verify app – Verify co.

What App Do I Use For My Drone?

The App will depend on the drone model, but for DJI drones, you can use the DJI GO 4 app for your drone.

The DJI GO 4 download center

This application is available on Android and iPhone, providing you with a First Person View of your focus scene. The main reason I recommend this application is its compatibility with several drones.

Here are some of the drones that you can control using the DJI GO 4:

  • Matrice 210 RTK
  • Matrice 200
  • Mavic Pro/Zoom
  • Mavic Air
  • Inspire 2
  • Phantom 4

The DJI GO 4 allows you to configure various essential settings including flight alteration, obstacle avoidance, camera change, and return home settings.

As a result, your drone can fly, capture quality images, and land safely without your intervention.

Included in this app also are the Quick Shots and Intelligent Flight Modes.

They assist in tracking moving objects, orbit around them, and capturing other awesome shots.

Although not all the drones listed above must use an application, using the controller alone limits the distance your drone flies.

FAQs

Wrap Up

Connecting your drone to your smartphone can be a frustrating activity.

But, all you need to do is download the app on your smartphone, power up your drone, and connect it to the app by completing the necessary configurations and setup settings.

An app-operated drone is more fun and provides onsite viewing so that you can see what your drone is capturing, live from the scene.

Furthermore, these drones take high-quality aerial videos and photos.

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