When you've spent hundreds, or even thousands, on a new drone, you don't want to shell out any more money. The Video Mode has rounded up a few free apps to get you started.


You’ve done your research, scouted out the options and bought the best drone you can get your hands on. Now what?

Navigating a drone can be daunting business, especially when you’ve got the added pressure of capturing footage.

We’ve already covered the UK drone laws you need to be aware of and some of the best models to buy under £1,500.

Now, The Video Mode has rounded up four of the best free apps you can use to get you up and get you filming.

Google Earth

Price: Free
Platform: Android/iPhone

Why mess with simplicity? Google Earth has many uses – whether it be to help you find your location when you’re lost in the countryside or to help plan your filming locations.

It’s especially useful as a shot plotting app when thinking about the kind of shots you need and want to create as it can help get you to hidden spots. You can even scout ideal locations without needing to leave your sofa.


Price: Free
Platform: Android/iPhone

This is DJI’s custom app for drone filmmakers to control your drone with just your smartphone. It’s designed for the latest DJI products – the Spark, the Phantom 4 Series, Mavic Pro and Inspire 2.

It allows real-time camera settings adjustment alongside having editing software integrated within it for shareable content. For those you want more tricks, there are also a number of unofficial apps with extra features, such as Litchi for DJI Mavic / Phantom / Inspire / Spark.

UAV Forecast

Price: Free
Platform: Android/iPhone

This app is a great little tool which gives you an update on flying and weather conditions before you fly. Working based on your location, it lets you know chance of rain and cloud cover.

To be a drone filmmaker, you’ll need to learn quite quickly to also become a good planner. This app gives you a head start when you’re deciding when to start shooting.

NATS Drone Assist

Price: Free
Platform: Android/iPhone

Drones are banned in a number of open spaces across the UK, ranging from Clapham Common to the Peak District, and you also can’t fly near airports or military bases.

This app gives you an interactive map to see where UK ‘no-fly zones’ are, alongside pointing out potential hazards, like schools and power lines.

Although, it’s always a good idea to confirm this on a second source and local byelaws just to be safe.

There are lots of apps out there so let us know in the comments if you have any more recommendations. Now, get downloading and get flying.