Litchi App is a great alternative to the official DJI Fly app and people have been using it since the days of Phantom. It’s quite popular among pilots because of its versatile features.
However, Litchi does not support all DJI drones. So the question for today is, will Litchi work with DJI Mini 2 app?
Fortunately, the answer is YES. Litchi works perfectly with the DJI Mini 2. In fact, it enables quite a few additional features that are not available in the official DJI Fly app.
In this article, we are going to explore in detail how Litchi works with DJI Mini 2 and what additional you can do with it.
In the end, I am also going to explain the risk of using such a third-party app to your warranty and Care Refresh program if you are using one.
How does Litchi App work?
Litchi is a third-party app that uses the official DJI SDK (Software Development Kit) to create an unofficial version of the fly app.
DJI normally makes public the SDK for a specific model after a year of its release. SDK is basically a framework upon which the official DJI Fly app is developed.
Once it is released, third-party app developers (like Litchi) can make their own version of the software.
The DJI Mini 2 was released in November 2020. For more than a year, its official SDK was not released so Litchi and other third-party apps were not compatible with the Mini 2.
A lot of people were waiting for DJI SDK so that third-party devs can update their apps to make them compatible with the Mini 2 and other drones.
DJI finally released the SDK for Mini 2 on 29th December 2021 (almost 13 months after product release) a few days after Christmas.
Litchi was quick to update its software to add support for the Mini 2 and Mini SE models once the SDK was available.
Is Litchi better than DJI Fly?
DJI Fly app is the official app developed by DJI. It is streamlined, well optimized, and works as advertised. But they play safe and don’t utilize all the drone capabilities.
However, third-party apps like Litchi brings additional features to your Mini 2. They utilize different functions of the drone in an innovative way to add these new features.
So you can say that Litchi is better than the DJI Fly app in terms of features and capabilities it unlocks. You can do much more with your Mini 2 while flying it with the Litchi app.
I am going to go over some of the additional features the Litchi app will bring to your Mini 2.
Additional features in Litchi for Mini 2
The Litchi app is far more customizable compared to the official DJI app.
Consider it like this: DJI doesn’t really spend much time on its app development compared to a third-party company like Litchi for which the Litchi app is its main product.
So compared to the official DJI app, it provides a better flying experience, better controls, and on top of it, additional features that are missing in DJI Fly.
Below are the top 4 features that you will find interesting in the Litchi app.
1. Waypoint Missions
I think this is where the Litchi app completely overtakes the DJI Fly. Planning waypoints are available for high-end drones only if you are using the official DJI Go 4 or Fly App.
But with Litchi, you can turn your tiny Mini 2 into a professional drone and plan your waypoint missions with ease.
If you don’t know what waypoint mission is, it’s a preprogrammed flight plan that the drone can execute. You select a few points on the map to construct a flight path for the drone and the drone follows that. No manual control is needed.
With Litchi, you can configure your waypoints on your computer or tablet and sync with your Mini 2 connected smartphone.
The ability to execute waypoint missions can be used for great aerial shots as well as for performing professional inspections of structures or agricultural land. The applications are endless.
2. Follow Me
The DJI Mini 2 has no obstacle avoidance sensors so DJI didn’t include the follow-me feature that you can see in high-end drones. Without these sensors, the follow-me feature cannot be executed safely.
But with Litchi, you can be a little reckless and have your drone follow you around. Follow me feature was the most missed feature in DJI Mini 2.
With the follow-me feature in the Litchi app, your drone gets a fix on your phone’s GPS location and as you move or drive around, the drone follows you.
I have written a detailed article on DJI Mini 2 follow me hack using Litchi app.
3. Active Track
Active Track is another great feature introduced in the Litchi app that was missing inside the DJI Fly.
It uses the drone’s camera and image processing capabilities to get a fix on your point of interest and track it around.
With the Litchi app, you can customize different parameters of your Mini 2 (altitude, tracking speed, etc.) before activating the Active Track.
The only caution with using Active Track as well as the Follow Me mode is that you have to make sure there are no obstacles in your way. Since the drone has no sensors, it cannot avoid obstacles.
Before executing the Active Track or Follow Me, the drone will give you a subtle warning about avoiding obstacles and flying safely.
4. Dynamic home point
This small but helpful feature is buried deep inside the setting tab. When activated, the drone will dynamically update your home point as you move around.
The home point is where your drone takes off. In the DJI Fly app, when you hit the Return-To-Home option, your drone will always come back to the home point where it took off.
But this is not always helpful. If you take off from one point and during the point, you moved around, you will have to go walk to your take-off home point to retrieve your drone after RTH.
With the Litchi app, you can set the dynamic home point. It will update your home point to your current location and if you move around and activate RTH, your drone will return to your new home point.
Will Litchi App void Care Refresh warranty?
Now that you know all about the Litchi app and its compatibility with the DJI Mini 2, you might wonder if using such third-party apps affect your warranty or Care Refresh policy.
To find out, I did some digging and found the relevant clause inside the Care Refresh policy TOS document.
Damage caused by using your DJI product together with a non-DJI product or third-party accessory/software that is not authorized by DJI.DJI Care Refresh Program TOS (Clause 2.4.2 (3))
Although it seems like it will void the Care Refresh policy, I was still not convinced. The clause says that the policy is void if an unauthorized DJI program is used.
Is the Litchi app authorized since it is built on the official DJI SDK? If it is unauthorized, DJI can easily stop such apps by not releasing their SDK.
so I reached out to the DJI customer support team via chat to get more clarity. Here is how our short conversation went.
That was a pretty clear answer from Fiona DJI. But I have my own personal experiences with customer support guys. Sometimes, they don’t know and make things up.
So I decided to look online and see if someone else has done the research. I found the below video by GHR.
Just like me he too contacted DJI support and got a totally different answer. The customer support told him that the drone will be covered under Care Refresh even if he was using Litchi.
I surfed the comment section and found a particularly interesting comment from a user who claimed to availed the Care Refresh even after crashing with Litchi. The DJI didn’t even ask how he was flying the drone.
With these conflicting information out there, here is what I suggest. Go to DJI customer support chat and ask the same question I asked.
If the support rep gives you his blessing to use the Litchi app, take a screenshot and save it with you.
If you ever crash the drone using Litchi and the customer support tries to avoid honoring their commitment, you will at least have proof of your prior communication.
How much Litchi app cost?
The Litchi app is amazing and there is no other opinion about it. But it is not free.
Unlike the free DJI official app, the Litchi is a paid app and comes at a price. For both Android and iOS you can download the app for $24.99
Another important thing to remember is that if you buy the Android version and later on shift to iOS, you will have to purchase the app again for iOS.
But with this small purchase price, you will get a lot of additional features. In my opinion, it’s well worth the money.
Happy Flying as always 🙂