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New app: TelloFPV

volate!lo

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sorry but mission planner is out of scope.
This would add a level of complexity for both the user and the programmer that would require a new app.
 

hea-kun

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Mavic mini was announced.
Are you thinking about developing an app for this Drone?
 

volate!lo

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I ordered a MM and will have a close look once it arrives. Sadly the shop gives 20-25 weekdays delivery time :-(

I have a few ideas where the DJI app in its currents state seems to miss a couple of features, but first I need to understand how app / controller / drone interact. I am not sure if this drone uses the same SDK as their larger birds.
 

AnGo

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Is it even possible to write an own App for that device? The Tello was made exactly for that, providing an API for programming etc. For a "regular" drone I'd expect a more closed approach also for safety reasons. However seeing the DJI fly App and what it provides, I almost hope that I am wrong with my asumption that it might not be possible. The DJI App seems to lack such often-used APs like for 360° panoramas which I really cannot understand.
 

AnGo

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I ordered a MM and will have a close look once it arrives. Sadly the shop gives 20-25 weekdays delivery time :-(

I have a few ideas where the DJI app in its currents state seems to miss a couple of features, but first I need to understand how app / controller / drone interact. I am not sure if this drone uses the same SDK as their larger birds.
I ordered already one, too. So if you are able to deliver again an alternative, you already have at least one customer ;)
 
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volate!lo

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Is it even possible to write an own App for that device? The Tello was made exactly for that, providing an API for programming etc. For a "regular" drone I'd expect a more closed approach also for safety reasons. However seeing the DJI fly App and what it provides, I almost hope that I am wrong with my asumption that it might not be possible. The DJI App seems to lack such often-used APs like for 360° panoramas which I really cannot understand.
Its true the tello has a simple SDK mode to allow programming - but that wasn't used for TelloFpv. Instead TelloFpv uses the proprietary binary protocol that also the Ryze app uses. The SDK does not allow decent video quality, and some functions just aren't implemented.

The DJI Fly app seem to lack a lot of things but its unclear why. Is it because they want the drone to stay significantly below the capabilities of bigger birds? Or keep the app simple for novice users? Or maybe they just could not finish all functions in time? IF the app feature set stays that way there is indeed a business case for another app.
 

AnGo

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I am not familiar with other Mavic Drones and what their App provides and what was the business strategy there, so I don't know if DJI follows a kind of in-app-purchasing strategy in one of their other comparable products. But I could imagine that they might offer more functionality later as additional features that must be paid separately via in-app-purchases. Otherwise I can't imagine why the app has that little capabilities.
 

volate!lo

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In-App purchases for OEM apps are a No-Go in my view - after you just handed over 500 bucks for the drone you don't want to be forced to pay another 20 bucks for a followme or something. Parrot does this and gets tons of bad comments for this policy.


As said, probably they just weren't able to finish it all in time. But I don't think thats the case.
I think its more a strategic decision. Only few people buy a 1000 Euro drone if a smaller lighter unit can do the same for 500 Euro. Video quality alone is not enough to separate the different models I guess, as many people don't require 4k quality but just something that is "good enough" and 2.7k certainly is good enough for my needs.
 
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volate!lo

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I can clearly see a couple of business (and personal) reasons to build an app for the MM. They left out so many features that its just asking for a third party app. VR FPV for example, followme / active track, direct phone control without the external controller, lots of autopilots, missions, etc
Personally I want VR and direct phone control as that is what I do with my drones: long distance VR FPV and sometimes quick shots for which I don't need a controller.

Two preconditions:
1) I need to find some way to talk to the MM (I have no clue how this drone interacts with the DJI Fly app and the controller)
2) Makes only sense if Litchi does not add support for the MM. I read some reply from Litchi that DJI has not given them any clues about if / when they will adjust the DJI SDK for the MM. Without SDK integration the Litchi app will not support the MM.

Personally I have the feeling that DJI will not make the MM compatible with their SDK. Because I think the lack of all these features is a strategic decision to keep some distance to the larger more expensive drones that build the core market of DJI. Would not make sense to allow Litchi to fix that.

We shall see in a couple of days.
 

trelo

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TelloFpv was developed in native Android java and there is absolutly no way of "porting" it to IOS. It would be a complete re-write from scratch in a different language. From a business perspective I should have done that earlier this year instead of spending time on failed experiments like FollowMe and vGPS but thats hindsight.


As stated before the Android version was driven by a personal need - not revenue. The IOS version on the other hand has to be driven by revenue (I am no IOS user and don't have a personal need for such an app).

Some thoughs on this...
The global mobile market is around 75% Android and 25% IOS. But that doesn't say much about the distribution of the OS amoungs Tello users.

Android phones on average are way cheaper than Iphones. So there is a tendency that IOS market shares are much lower in poor countries than in developed rich countries. Apple has a <5% market share in some low-income countries - but a 55% share in the US for example.
A drone (even little Tello) is luxury thing and very few are sold in Bangladesh or Botswana. The vast majority are sold in US, Canada and Central Europe. This is also where Apple's market share is much bigger than the global market share of 25% suggests.
And don't forget: Apple stores sell DJI drones including Tello. So its reasonable to assume that this distribution channel helps selling to Apple users.

Its really hard to guess how many Tello users are on IOS vs Android. I have seen polls on Facebook suggesting its about 50% IOS and 50% Andoid but the sample set is pretty small.

If these figures are correct an additional IOS version released a year ago would have been smart. But now?
The current situation is a bit different. We are about a year later in the product lifecycle compared to when TelloFpv was introduced. Tello is now very old and should have been replaced long ago. I guess nobody at Ryze / DJI expected such a long production run. Its still a drone without true competition but nobody could have guessed that at the release date.
Over the last year the app had a pretty good run and generated enough revenue to be "worth" the effort, but sales have been dropping sharply for the last 2-3 months. Some of this is caused by the appearance of a pirated APK that was cracked by a user of this forum :confused: - but I guess Tello's time is just slowly coming to an end.

A newly introduced IOS version would not have the time to generate similar revenue and simply won't pay off anymore. Too late


That said I started work on a new app that targets both Android and IOS. The app will not become a replacement for TelloFpv, its a completely different thing: much simpler, much smaller feature set, but portable to IOS. No clue if it will ever leave the workbench at all - right now its only a personal experiment and playground.
Can you please please please create an iOS app that supports flypad and VR mode? I would gladly pay 10 euros for that. As you have stated, iOS users are fewer but are willing to spend more.

:)
 
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masju

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I can understand, why volatello refuses to develop an iOS-App Tello VPF. The problem is that Apple is making it significantly harder for app developers to bring apps to the appstore. The cost is significantly higher than at the Google Playstore and if you're unlucky, your time-consuming and cost-developed app is rejected by Apple. Without any comprehensible reason. Buy yourself a decent Android smartphone. They are much better than ios devices ;).
 

trelo

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I can understand, why volatello refuses to develop an iOS-App Tello VPF. The problem is that Apple is making it significantly harder for app developers to bring apps to the appstore. The cost is significantly higher than at the Google Playstore and if you're unlucky, your time-consuming and cost-developed app is rejected by Apple. Without any comprehensible reason. Buy yourself a decent Android smartphone. They are much better than ios devices ;).
Still I think @volate!lo has confirmed “ Project X” which is related to an iOS AND Android app for the Tello...
 
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volate!lo

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There are two reasons for venturing into the Apple world:
One is hardware consistency and performance. I am a cheap guy when it comes to smartphones but I hate dealing with people using 6+ year old budget phones expecting stellar performance.
The other more important reason is the amount of software piracy in the Android world. Android makes it all too easy to hack an app and distribute it. An old version of TelloFpv has been circulating for 3 months now and I can see that very clearly in the revenue figures. A few releases ago I started adding really nasty pitfalls to make sure this does not happen again. But that isn't productive work - its wasted time that I'd rather spend developing some new functions.

Now Project X has a completely different architecture than TelloFpv, and large parts of it can be shared between IOS and Android. I will try to release on IOS but as mentioned by masju there is no guarantee that Apple accepts the app.
 

trelo

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There are two reasons for venturing into the Apple world:
One is hardware consistency and performance. I am a cheap guy when it comes to smartphones but I hate dealing with people using 6+ year old budget phones expecting stellar performance.
The other more important reason is the amount of software piracy in the Android world. Android makes it all too easy to hack an app and distribute it. An old version of TelloFpv has been circulating for 3 months now and I can see that very clearly in the revenue figures. A few releases ago I started adding really nasty pitfalls to make sure this does not happen again. But that isn't productive work - its wasted time that I'd rather spend developing some new functions.

Now Project X has a completely different architecture than TelloFpv, and large parts of it can be shared between IOS and Android. I will try to release on IOS but as mentioned by masju there is no guarantee that Apple accepts the app.
What are the main features of iOS project X app? What can we expect?
 

Danman32

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I probably encounter 50/50 between iOS and Androids. What's ironic is DronBlocks only supports Tello on Android, other DJI only on iOS.

The reason I thought the program should be portable to iOS if written in Java is because Java is supposed to be a platform independent language. However it does depend on running a JVM for the platform in question which Apple has traditionally refused to allow. Personally I've hated Java based applications since the tighter Oracle tightens Java security, the worse it has been to get Java based web portals on IT hardware to work. Lately browsers tightening up on TLS protocol support has been a problem on older hardware, so I suppose I can't be mad at Oracle these days.

Here's an interesting article about Java on iOS: A plan to bring Java to iOS

Also consider Oracle has changed its licensing model for Java when commercially used, which may affect this project.
 

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