Best Drone Apps To Have In 2021

Drones have become extremely popular among photographers in the past couple years. This is thanks to drone technology advancing at a fast-paced and prices coming down significantly. With more and more people flying than ever before, there have been many apps built specifically for drone users. There are also some general apps which can come in handy. Ultimately, drone users should check out these ____ apps to get the most out of their drones and to fly safely. 

Airmap

Via AirMap, Inc.
Via AirMap, Inc.

Airmap is typically the first app that any drone operator downloads. AirMap is the leading global provider of aeronautical data and services to drones. The app does a great job of helping operators understand their local airspace and where they can and can’t fly. The app provides recommendations and requirements for all types of flyers whether Recreational, Part 107 certified, etc. A responsive map is the key feature of AirMap as it provides all rules and advisors for users to see clearly. For example, users will see a 5 mile circle around all airports in the United States as this is a standard law. 

Aside from helping users determine where they can and can’t fly, the app offers users many other features which include:

  • Connecting to any supported DJI drone to fly and toggle camera settings directly from the AirMap app
  • Requesting digital authorization for commercial operations in LAANC-enabled U.S. controlled airspaces
  • Sending digital flight notice to participating U.S. airports
  • Getting real-time traffic alerts for nearby manned aircraft
  • Viewing publicly-shared flights happening around the world

B4UFLY

via Federal Aviation Administration
via Federal Aviation Administration

B4UFLY is an app that was built by Kittyhawk in partnership with the FAA. The app is for all recreational users who simply fly their drone for fun. The interactive map of the app makes it super simple for recreational users to know where they can and cannot fly. Users can use their current location or pin any location in the United States. Information provided includes things such as controlled airspace, special use airspace, critical infrastructure, airports, national parks, military training routes and temporary flight restrictions. Aside from a mobile app, the B4UFLY software can also be used on desktops at https://b4ufly.kittyhawk.io/

Google Earth

Drones are amazing devices which can capture stunning photos and videos of places from above. To find the best places to fly, Google Earth is an awesome tool! You can simply open the app and roam around your current location for interesting sights. The app also offers directions to any places you find.

Pro Tip: The topographical map at Terrain Mode is a fantastic assistance to find the shapes of the landscape better!

Kittyhawk

via Kittyhawk.io, Inc.
via Kittyhawk.io, Inc.

Kittyhawk is a great all-in-one platform that offers essentially everything a drone flyer could need. The app provides data such as weather, no-fly zones, and air traffic information. Kittyhawk also logs flight data and helps users track their drones. Kittyhawk, like AirMap, is one of the few platforms which allows users to request flight authorization. It’s no wonder that over 2 million flights have been flown using Kittyhawk!

Kittyhawk also offers an enterprise version which comes with over a dozen premium features. 

PhotoPills

via PhotoPills S.L.
via PhotoPills S.L.

PhotoPills is an extremely popular app among all photographers. The app is not specifically built for drone operators, but many of its features can be of use. PhotoPills offers numerous other features such as DOF, Exposure, Time Lapse, FOV calculator, Spot Stars Calculator and many, many more!

Users of PhotoPills can also upload their shots and win up to $6,000 in awards. A pretty cool perk of being a PhotoPills app user!

Tesla Field Recorder

via Exelerus
via Exelerus

The Tesla Field Recorder has basically one purpose and that is to checks for magnetic fields. This may seem like an odd thing to include on a list of the best drone apps, but it is important. The compass on your drone employs magnetic fields, and when there is magnetic action at or close to where you are, you might have problems. Use the app before flying to ensure a safe flight.

Topo Maps U‪S‬

via David Crawshay

Having a topographic map app is great for any drone pilot. A topographic shows the shape and character of the Earth’s surface. Topo Maps U‪S‬ is a great app to help people better understand their nearby geography so they can account for things such as mountains, hills, and valleys. 

UAV Forecast

via Matthew LLOYD
via Matthew LLOYD

There are many general weather maps, but UAV Forecast is built specifically for drone users. The app has a simple interface which provides the temperature, wind speed, wind gust speed, wind direction, cloud cover, visibility, precipitation probability, and much more. The free version of the app provides a 24-hour forecast and a 7-day forecast can be accessed by purchasing a subscription.

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