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Phone/Tablet Internet access while paired to the P3S
2529 15 2016-2-14
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oj88
Second Officer
Flight distance : 36916 ft
United States
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First of all, I'd like to proactively apologize if this has been brought up before.

I've had my P3S for about a week now and one of the few things I can't wrap my head around on is that, when my Android phone is connected to the P3S' WiFi, the map is just a white slab with a triangle in the middle where the drone is supposed to be. This is understandable as the P3S sorta emulates a WiFi hotspot and it doens't have any way to get internet access. Thing is, the apps we use (DJI Go, Litchi, etc.) do require internet connectivity to receive map data. The way all of my Android devices behave is that, once it is connected to WiFi, it turns off mobile data (LTE/4G). It just assumes that the WiFi I'm connected to is actually connected to the internet. But in my case, the P3S' network is just an 'island'.

Is there any way that Android phones can be connected to the P3S via WiFi but still get internet from LTE/4G? If not, how do you guys work around this?

Thank you.

2016-2-14
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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If your device, be it either iOS or Android, has cellular service and you have a cellular plan and provider, then it is already active when you are flyimg. It is not turned off. Most phones work on the basis that their first priority for obtaining data is from an existing WiFi connection. If the WiFi fails, it falls back to cellular data.
2016-2-14
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oj88
Second Officer
Flight distance : 36916 ft
United States
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Geebax Posted at 2016-2-15 00:21
If your device, be it either iOS or Android, has cellular service and you have a cellular plan and p ...

The default behavior is that, when the phone is NOT connected to ANY WiFi, it turns ON cellular data. Once a WiFi connection is established, it turns OFF cellular data.

To clarify, the WiFi didn't fail. As far as the phone is concerned, it sees the Phantom as a valid access point and once the connection has been established, it turns off cellular data.

I don't lose the ability to make or receive calls, it's just the cellular data that's been turned off.
2016-2-14
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DJI-Tim
DJI team

Hong Kong
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you also can cash the map before the flight by zooming it in and waiting, so after, during the flight you have a clear map
2016-2-14
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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oj88 Posted at 2016-2-15 17:58
The default behavior is that, when the phone is NOT connected to ANY WiFi, it turns ON cellular dat ...

"I don't lose the ability to make or receive calls, it's just the cellular data that's been turned off."

No, the cellular data has not been switched off, otherwise you would not get mapping data in the field.
2016-2-15
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oj88
Second Officer
Flight distance : 36916 ft
United States
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DJI-Tim Posted at 2016-2-15 02:50
you also can cash the map before the flight by zooming it in and waiting, so after, during the fligh ...

I will have to try this. Thank you for the tip.
2016-2-15
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oj88
Second Officer
Flight distance : 36916 ft
United States
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Geebax Posted at 2016-2-15 03:19
"I don't lose the ability to make or receive calls, it's just the cellular data that's been turned ...

That was actually the problem. I don't get any map overlays (street names, terrain pictures, etc.). It's just a white rectangle with the Phantom in the middle. I confirmed this when I try to browse the internet while paired to the P3S... nothing. If I unpair from the P3S, the cellular data turns on ('LTE' logo lits up) and I get my internet back.

Caching the map data, as DJI-Tim suggested worked! I tried it just now...

1. Connected to the internet (WiFi or Cellular Data, doesn't matter)
2. Opened up Litchi/DJI Go and allowed the app to determine my location
3. As the map is loaded, I zoomed in and zoomed out around the area I am in... maybe a square kilometer's worth
4. Exited the app, turned off WiFi and cellular data
5. Opened up Litchi/DJI Go app and the map is still there

It's one more step to my pre-flight checklist, otherwise, this fixes my problem.

Thank you all!
2016-2-15
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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oj88 Posted at 2016-2-15 19:54
That was actually the problem. I don't get any map overlays (street names, terrain pictures, etc.). ...

Very odd thing. It may be a feature of your phone, but I would not think it is a problema that happens to everyone, otherwise they would be screaming about it on here.
2016-2-15
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oj88
Second Officer
Flight distance : 36916 ft
United States
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Geebax Posted at 2016-2-15 03:59
Very odd thing. It may be a feature of your phone, but I would not think it is a problema that hap ...

Not many people on Android devices, I imagine? This behavior is pretty much the same in all the Android phones I've owned (Samsung Galaxy S, HTC Desire Z, Sony Xperia Z, and Sony Xperia Z3 Dual). They can only use one internet source. WiFi gets priority. Once it's connected to a WiFi network, it expects this network to provide internet access.

I don't have an iPhone or any iOS device that connects to cellular.
2016-2-15
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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oj88 Posted at 2016-2-15 20:08
Not many people on Android devices, I imagine? This behavior is pretty much the same in all the And ...

No, I think there are more Android users than Apple ones. I use Apple, but my aircraft is a Pro and not a standard, so it does not connect by WiFi, therefore it does not have the issue.
2016-2-15
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oj88
Second Officer
Flight distance : 36916 ft
United States
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Geebax Posted at 2016-2-15 04:18
No, I think there are more Android users than Apple ones. I use Apple, but my aircraft is a Pro an ...

Agree on that.

Let me rephrase then: There's probably more P3A, Pro, and 4K owners than there are P3S?
2016-2-15
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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oj88 Posted at 2016-2-15 20:54
Agree on that.

Let me rephrase then: There's probably more P3A, Pro, and 4K owners than there ar ...

Yes, I think that would be true.
2016-2-15
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topherbabcock
New
United States
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DJI-Tim Posted at 2016-2-15 15:50
you also can cash the map before the flight by zooming it in and waiting, so after, during the fligh ...

The Caching of maps is delivate it seems, and requires precise order of operations for flying using a pre-mapped mission with waypoints in Litchi. The sequence is not written down, the exact behavior of the maps and mission not known for certain. Correct me if I am wrong, but if at home I use an internet connected ipad mini 2 to map my mission using Litchi that I will fly tomorrow, and at the end of my mapping session, AFTER saving the mission, I THEN zoom out to a 1-2km rectangle of Aerial view MAP, THEN wait a few seconds, THEN turn off all WiFi and Cell signal, THEN close and reopen the App and that specific mission - only after doing these steps will the map be CACHED and available for tomorrow's mission, 30 minutes from my home. And when I get there and pull up the mission, and calibrate and do all my preflight, my controller, the copter, and all the satellites talk to the maps, know we are where we planned to be for that mission, and will fly the mission appropriately DESPITE having NO Cellular signal.  This is the biggest black hole in the semi-autonomous off-the shelf Phantom world right now because I live and work in the Western US wehre often there is no signal, but the night before I will have great signal and can plan my next days missions without having to waste time and battery life to potentially forget to get shots that I know I wanted to get at a particular shoot. HELP me figure this one out people.
2016-6-30
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ohemgee_ste7en
lvl.1
Canada
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Hey there –

I know this thread is super old, but it came up for me when I was searching this same issue for my Spark (couldn't use the maps or data, etc while flying with my Google Pixel and the remote control as I was connected to the RC's WiFi – also impacted ability to activate, register, do firmware updates, etc.) I discovered a solution that's a little better than the caching suggestion and thought I'd share it here in case someone else found this thread as well for the same problem (hopefully the same applies to the P3S):

You can buy a cable called an OTG cable (plentiful on Amazon) and plug your phone in directly to the remote controller bypassing the need to use WiFi at all. It actually gives a stronger connection and allows you to continue to use regular data functions on your device as normal. I bought one of those cables and a very short USB type C cable for my phone.

Glorious. Wish this solution was more prominent in Google results for this issue.
2017-8-10
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OrlyP
Second Officer
Flight distance : 36916 ft
Philippines
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ohemgee_ste7en Posted at 2017-8-10 12:46
Hey there –

I know this thread is super old, but it came up for me when I was searching this same issue for my Spark (couldn't use the maps or data, etc while flying with my Google Pixel and the remote control as I was connected to the RC's WiFi – also impacted ability to activate, register, do firmware updates, etc.) I discovered a solution that's a little better than the caching suggestion and thought I'd share it here in case someone else found this thread as well for the same problem (hopefully the same applies to the P3S):

This does not apply to the P3S. That's the whole point of this thread.

The micro-USB port on the P3S remote controller is just used to charge the internal battery. It's not a 'data' port.
2017-8-13
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Dirty Bird
Captain
Flight distance : 7722949 ft
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United States
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If using Android, prior to flying open Maps, go to settings, & define an area for offline map storage.  You draw a box around the area you want cached & the maps will always be available.  This way your maps will be available when connected to the P3S WiFi.
2017-8-13
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