That all-too-familiar blue banner. That pesky notification demanding you take 15 minutes out of your busy day to install yet another firmware update for your drone.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably ignored that little blue alert a few times. (Or more than a few times.) Maybe it was because you wanted to keep a beloved feature from being removed (RIP virtual reality mode). Or maybe you were running low on time that day and needed to get that drone up in the air right now.
But if you’re skipping out on firmware updates regularly, you might be missing out on worthwhile benefits that could save you hassle down the road.
Not convinced? Here are just a few reasons to reconsider:
1. To Unlock New Features
Believe it or not, firmware updates aren’t just about fixing minor issues. They’re often jam-packed with awesome new features intended to make your drone better or easier to use—many of which have been requested by our users themselves.
One such feature you could already be missing out on is Orbit Hyperlapse, added during our March 2021 update, which allows users to create time lapse videos that circle a particular object. Another feature included in the same update allows the drone to return to home if it disconnects from the controller.
2. To Save Yourself Time
The first question you’ll likely hear from us when calling to report a problem is, “Are you on the latest firmware?” Why? Because often times, the issue is being caused by a bug that’s already been identified and fixed in a recent update.
Examples have included patches for oversensitive gimbal hardware, which can prevent takeoff if malfunctioning; standard recalibrations for Inertial Measurement Units (IMU), enabling operators to obtain accurate position data; and other minor under-the-hood fixes that enable you to operate your aircraft at the highest efficiency, with issues being identified and eradicated by our team before they can ever affect your flight.
3. To Save Yourself Money
If you aren’t on the latest firmware, you aren't technically under warranty—which could mean watching thousands of dollars go down the drain if a mishap sends your aircraft tumbling out of the sky.
Users on any version of firmware released before January 2021 are not eligible for Autel Robotics Care, our insurance program that offers repair services and up to two replacement units per year in the event of accidental damage.
The logic behind it is simple: Bug fixes and optimizations are made public through our site, which means anyone flying with an outdated version of firmware is knowingly using an aircraft that may cause an issue that’s already been corrected. And that’s not only dangerous for you—it’s also dangerous for everyone below you.