The ability to use your cell phone to help pilot your drone is something more and more personal quadcopter brands are offering. Leading brands such as DJI and 3D Robotics offer controllers that easily attach to iOS and Android smartphones, as well as the related apps. 

To better understand how to use your cell phone with your drone, let’s look at the controller and app for the DJI Phantom 3:

Mobile Device Holder

The controller for the Phantom 3 comes equipped with a mobile device holder. The holder sits atop the controller, and the phone works in conjunction with the DJI Pilot App. There’s no using your phone with the app, otherwise you’ll basically just have your phone connected to the controller for no reason.

The App

Free to download, the DJI Pilot App “puts complete control [of your drone] in your hands.” It offers numerous new features as well as a more intuitive user interface. New features include its Quick Video Editor from DJI’s Director software, which allows you to “choose the best moments from your flights and build a complete video with music, text, and more.” The editor includes pre-designed templates so you can create the videos you want.

 The app includes YouTube livestreaming as well–nifty, right?

Complete Camera Control

When you use your phone to work the DJI Pilot App, you’re getting complete control of the quadcopter’s camera. This includes the ability to switch between video and photo mode, and full flight telemetry. Control also includes taking photos, stopping or starting recording, and obtaining full access to manual camera controls.

As you can see, er, read, using your cell phone in conjunction with your drone is a fantastic idea if you’re really serious about taking quality photos and videos. Ideal for the professional photographer, your smartphone unlocks a whole plethora of fun quadcopter features.