This iOS app will help your DJI Mini 2 drone fly to the next level

DJI Mini 2
The DJI Mini 2 (above) is now supported by the Litchi app on iOS, alongside the Mini SE. (Image credit: DJI)

The DJI Mini 2 and Mini SE drones may have been around for a while now, but that doesn't mean they can't learn some new tricks – and thanks to the arrival of the popular Litchi app on iOS, they're now much more versatile than their entry-level billing.

DJI opened up its Mobile SDK (Software Development Kit) to third-party developers in January, and Litchi is already available for the Mini 2 and Mini SE on Android phones. And now it's also available to download on iOS devices (running iOS 12.4 or later), for a one-off $24.99 / £21.99 / AU$38.99 fee.

That might sound steep for an app, but it's not unreasonable considering the features it brings. One of the main drawbacks of DJI's two entry-level drones is their lack of subject-tracking, but Litchi delivers this via its Track function. Pinch a square around your chosen subject in the app and your drone will autonomously follow it or 'Orbit' around it. This is particularly handy for vloggers and one-person film crews.

Another useful Litchi feature is the Waypoint mode, which is another mode that's lacking on the DJI Mini 2 and Mini SE when you're using DJI's own Fly app. This lets you plan a path of several waypoints on a satellite map, which the drone will then autonomously fly between. You can choose to fly in straight lines, or have the drone perform 'curved turns' at each waypoint for a smoother effect.

Naturally, the Litchi app also contains all the standard functions you'll find in the DJI Fly app, including the ability to shoot panoramas, change your camera settings, control the drone manually via the controller, and set a home point for the 'return-to-home' function. You can also get a more budget taste of the DJI FPV experience, thanks to a 'virtual reality' mode that splits the video stream to make it compatible with VR Goggles like Homido or Google Cardboard. 

Litchi isn't yet compatible with the DJI Mavic 3, and only supports manual flight in the DJI Air 2S, but it is particularly well-suited to plugging the feature gaps on DJI's entry-level models. So if you've been looking to expand your Mini 2 or Mini SE's skills, it's worth checking it out on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store for Android.

Analysis: a useful upgrade with one caveat

The Litchi app for DJI drones on a smartphone

(Image credit: Litchi)

The Litchi app has been around for years now for drones like the DJI Mavic and Phantom series, so it's achieved a certain level of polish and reliability. That said, these early versions of the app for the Mini 2 and Mini SE may contain the odd bug or two, and it's important to note that DJI Care Refresh insurance doesn't cover any incidents that involve the use of third-party apps.

In the Terms of Service for DJI Care Refresh, which offers accidental damage coverage for DJI's drones, it states that its coverage does not include "damage caused by using your DJI product together with a non-DJI product or third-party accessory/software that is not authorized by DJI".

As DJI only officially authorizes its own apps, that's something to bear in mind if you do have Care Refresh for your Mini 2 or Mini SE. Drone insurance is less commonly purchased by users of cheaper hobbyist drones, but some third-party insurers will cover incidents involving third-party apps like Litchi.

Perhaps the bigger question for drone owners is why DJI doesn't incorporate some of the features seen in Litchi on its own DJI Fly app. The drone giant hasn't commented on this, but it's likely to do with the DJI Mini 2 and Mini SE's lack of obstacle avoidance sensors – this means that features like subject-tracking call for a certain degree of practice and experience to avoid mishaps.

If recent rumors about the DJI Mini 3 are true, though, then DJI's next compact drone will likely include front-facing sensors – and that could mean the ability to use automated tracking without the need for a third-party app like Litchi.

Mark Wilson
Senior news editor

Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at both TechRadar and Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.