DJI will basically brick your drone if you don’t comply with new firmware requirements
posted Monday, May 22, 2017 at 1:17 PM EDT
In an email sent to customers late last night (the message is also available to read here), DJI announced that they plan to introduce a new process for activating and updating firmware on their products. The note states that by the end of the week, all DJI product owners (outside of DJI's home country of China) will have to log in and update to a new version of the DJI GO or Go 4 app and re-login to the app even if you already have done so in a previous version.
The new process is designed to ensure that you use a correct set of geospatial information and flight functions for your aircraft as determined by your geographical location and user profile. DJI assures users that all existing flight safety limitations (like geofencing boundaries and altitude limits) will remain the same. Basically, the process allows DJI to better equip the drone for flights depending on your location.
Though the update is not mandatory to use your drone, it might as well be. If you don't choose to upgrade to the latest firmware and re-register, your drone will not have access to the correct geospatial information and flight functions for that region, and its operations will be restricted. Restricted how you ask? Live camera streaming will be disabled, your flight range will be limited to a 50-meter (164 feet) radius, and you'll only be able to fly 30 meters high (98 feet). Compared to the actual range of many of DJI devices, this is laughably, pitifully short.
Make sure you go and update your firmware as soon as possible before you take to the skies, as after the end of the week you'll basically be left with an expensive plastic brick if you do not.