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While the DJI Mini 3 Pro is one of the best mini drones, it may not have all the features you may be looking for.
For instance, it lacks a fully-functioning Waypoint capability that would be useful in mapping or taking other complex shots.
In previous DJI drones, you can unlock some missing features using third-party software like Litchi or Rainbow.
But will Litchi work with the DJI Mini 3 Pro?
Currently, the DJI Mini 3 Pro can’t work with Litchi since DJI has not released an SDK for it yet. But they could release an SDK by April 2023.
Let’s dig in to learn more about Litchi and what it does, if and when it may be available for the DJI Mini 3 Pro, and some of the options currently available for this mini drone.
About Litchi #
Litchi is one of the most popular third-party apps that allow you to control the drone autonomously with your smartphone.
One of the most significant advantages of Litchi is its ease of use. The app features a simple, intuitive interface allowing users to create and customize their flight plans quickly.
Pilots can set waypoints, adjust the altitude and speed of the drone, and even create complex missions with multiple points of interest.
Another significant advantage of Litchi is its ability to automate the drone’s flight. Pilots can focus on capturing the perfect shot or video while the app takes care of the drone’s flight path.
Litchi offers a range of automated flight modes, including orbit, follow me, and cable cam. These modes allow pilots to capture stunning aerial footage that would otherwise be impossible to achieve manually.
Litchi also offers a range of advanced camera controls, allowing pilots to fine-tune the drone’s camera settings for optimal results.
These controls include exposure compensation, shutter speed, ISO settings, and the ability to shoot in RAW format for maximum image quality.
SDK – What is it? #
Currently, Litchi is compatible with the following DJI drones:
- Mini 2
- Mini SE
- Air 2S
- Mavic Mini 1
- Mavic Air 2
- Mavic 2 (Zoom/Pro)
- Mavic (Air/Pro)
- Phantom 4 (Standard/Advanced/Pro/ProV2)
- Phantom 3 (Standard/4K/Advanced/Professional)
- Inspire 1 (X3/Z3/Pro/RAW)
- Inspire 2
So why does Litchi work for these drones and not for the newer DJI drones, such as the DJI Mini 3 Pro?
Because the above drones have an SDK, and as mentioned earlier, we still don’t have an SDK for the DJI Mini 3 Pro. So, what exactly is the SDK?
SDK stands for Software Development Kit, a set of tools and software that can help developers create applications.
An SDK can include APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), libraries, sample code, documentation, and other features that a developer would need to create an application.
This makes it easier for the developer since learning and creating an environment suitable for creating an application specific to the device is done for them.
Software development platforms like Google or Apple often provide SDKs to help develop apps. But these wouldn’t help since DJI has its firmware.
As such, DJI often releases its own SDK for developers to use, and it’s often unique to the drone model. This is the SDK that app developers use to make apps like Litchi compatible with the drone.
Until DJI releases an SDK for the DJI Mini 3 Pro, we can’t use Litchi. Besides, the DJI RC is currently only designed to work with the DJI Fly app, and you can’t install other apps.
While there may be workarounds, they may not be effective, and you may destroy the RC or void your warranty.
When will the DJI Mini 3 Pro’s SDK be released? #
There’s no telling when DJI will release an SDK for the DJI Mini 3 Pro or if they will ever release one.
If we go by one of their most recent SDK releases, the DJI Mini 2’s SDK, we should have an SDK by May or June 2023.
The DJI Mini 2 was released on November 2020, and the SDK was made available on December 2021, about 1 year later.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro was released in May 2022, so DJI may release the SDK after 1 year.
What have we heard from DJI? #
In March 2022, DJI released a universal MSDK to enable enterprise drones to work with third-party apps automatically.
The enterprise drones currently supported by this MSDK include the DJI M30T, Mavic 3 Enterprise, Matrice 300, DJI RC Plus, DJI RC Pro, D-RTK 2Mobile, and a wide range of Zenmuse payloads.
When responding to a user’s message, DJI did hint at making the MSDK available for consumer drones starting with the DJI Mini 3 and Mini 3 Pro from April 2023.
However, it will only be available for Android.
What can you do with the DJI Fly app? #
While the Litchi app unlocks a wide range of features, the DJI Fly App is capable of many things, and you can still achieve a lot with it as we wait for the SDK.
When flying the DJI Mini 2, all we hoped for was a Follow Me feature.
DJI made that possible in the DJI Mini 3 Pro, including tri-directional obstacle avoidance, 4K at 60 fps resolution, Quickshots, Hyperlapse, Panorama, and Mastershots.
You can effectively use this drone for leisure or professionally without a third-party app like Litchi.
One would want to use Litchi mainly because the DJI Mini 3 Pro lacks the capability to follow waypoints.
The only provision is the Hyperlapse Waypoints, which may not work like the DJI Mission-enabled waypoints.
However, even when an SDK is made available for the DJI Mini 3 Pro, waypoints will only be available through virtual sticks, like in the Mini 2, meaning you can’t fly that far since you need to have a strong connection to the drone at all times.
If you really want to unleash Waypoints, you can get the Mini 2 or roll the dice and wait for the SDK release.
If you choose to wait, you may also need to get the RCN1 controller if you don’t have one since the DJI RC can’t accept third-party apps. We hope DJI will change that in a future update.