dji go 4 crash

DJI Go, Going, Gone: The Miserable Android & DJI Go Relationship

If you fly a DJI drone, and operate it with an Android device, you are likely aware of the challenges of flying when using the DJI Go App.  If you don’t, you’ve probably been able to avoid the problem of DJI Go suddenly crashing.

dji go 4 logoIf you fall into the former category of pilots, you know the experience all too well.  You launch your drone, begin filming video from about 1000 feet away from where you stand, and suddenly, the DJI Go App crashes and the display screen on your device goes dark.  You swipe the screen to bring it back, only to see your usual list of preferred apps, photos of your kids, whatever.  You frantically page through the menu screens, only to be derailed by Flipboard, or some other pre-installed application while your drone soars through the sky at an uncomfortably far distance.  

This experience can be terrifying at first.  It doesn’t have to be.  While there isn’t a silver-bullet that will resolve the issue, there are some steps you can take to mitigate the problem.

Swap Devices

This may seem exceedingly obvious, but until DJI finally solves this problem, the best advice would be to use a different device.  Pilots using devices on the iOS platform, such as iPads and iPhones, don’t typically report any cases of DJI Go crashing.   The iPad can be optimal given its large display screen which will allow you to get a better view of what your drone is capturing.

Clear Your Existing Device

If you don’t have an IOS, set up a menu screen on your Android to display the DJI GO 4 app, and the DJI Go 4 app only.  This will save you time by helping you avoid looking through the clutter of applications that usually sit on a phone screen.  Many of us download a host of rarely-used apps to our phones.  Hey, they’re free, right?  Spend a few minutes deleting and clearing your device of the apps you don’t need.  You’ll end up saving some precious storage space, to boot.  

Back from the Dead

If you determine that, yes, you really need that app you drunkenly downloaded for updates on your favorite restaurant, and all the others you’ve downloaded, consider using an old phone instead.  Models are frequently released and users frequently upgrade their models.  If you have an older Android phone that now sits in a drawer, bring it back and delete all of its apps except DJI Go 4.  This way, you’ll be able to get locate the app instantly after it crashes.

Experiment with Other Applications

Use a different app.  Just because you are flying a DJI drone, doesn’t mean you have to use the DJI Go app.  You can use DroneDeploy and others for mapping, or use paid app more suitable for photography such as Litchi.  Litchi is currently listed on the Google Play Store at $24.99, so if you’re looking for peace of mind and efficiency, this might be the way to go.

Learn, the Old-fashioned Way

Finally, hone your skills at flying your drone manually.  DJI drones come equipped with amazing technology that allows pilots to take-off, land, and control their drones by simply swiping their fingers.  It can be easy to forget how to land your drone manually.  Don’t!  It’s always helpful to know how to bring your drone back to you without relying on the return-to-home feature.

According to a research report issued last week by Skylogic, DJI produces 72 percent of all drones sold globally.  Google’s Android platform holds about half of the U.S. smartphone market share, and a large portion of DJI pilots use smartphones to operate their drones.  So it’s likely that a large number of drone pilots have encountered this dilemma.  Given the numbers, we can hope and assume DJI will resolve this glaring issue in the immediate future.  Until, then try some of the tips above to keep your drone in the air while DJI Go crashes.

About the Author

Adam Shore

Adam is a Central Florida alum who recently left the Orlando area to relocate to Denver, where he enjoys shooting aerial photography of the Rocky Mountains. And to ski. He is a member of the AMA and was been a drone photographer since the early days of the industry. Follow him @dronegenuity.