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What happens if I do not update firmware?

Tweeter

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I fly an Air 2 and when my iPad mini updates it's operating system it automatically updates my Apps, incl. the DJI Fly app. So I am now running ver. 1.4.4 but I have not updated the firmware since ver. 01.03.0340. Most of the updates seem to be directed at the Mini 2 or Air2s and besides my bird flies great at this time so I think why mess with it. My question is this, Will this catch up to me eventually or can I keep doing this forever?
 

MARK (LI)

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The only disadvantage to firmware updates is that there are some features that you may have now ( for instance a choice to charge your phone) ...that disappears without explanation....DJI does get your Email address when you are signing up for the App...they should at least send an email with details of the upgrade, so you now know what to expect
 

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Every time you update firmware, there's a slight chance of bricking your drone. And the risk is on you, not on DJI.

Also, most firmware updates are for the benefit of DJI, not yours. All the "security updates" are not to make your drone safer, but to make it harder to modify. So what they really do is patching the routes which you could use to root your drone and take full control of it. For most platforms, only a few initial updates fix 'real' bugs, the rest is just to expand NFZs, make more ways of disabling the drone remotely, prevent you from modifying its software or reject third party batteries.

Unless you've seen a FW update notes, and there's a functionality you need - do not update.
Last time I updated a drone was to make it compatible with goggles - there was a reason, so I updated.

EDIT:

Here's a post where I listed a few specific cases of undesired FW updates in Phantoms:

There was more - like firmware `P3X_FW_V01.11.0020` which made some drones claim there is hardware malfunction, and by clear coincidence this was the last FW update for Phantom 3 Pro platform. Definitely not planned obsolescence.

For Mavics - I have less experience. But I do know for Mavic Pro, some FW updates were released only to change the compromised encryption keys - to make it harder to make firmware modifications and repairs.
 
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msinger

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Every time you update firmware, there's a slight chance of bricking your drone
FWIW, this rarely happens. In many cases, people cause their own issues by not installing firmware updates properly. Lately (especially for newer drones), that process has become pretty idiot-proof.

Also, most firmware updates are for the benefit of DJI, not yours. All the "security updates" are not to make your drone safer, but to make it harder to modify. So what they really do is patching the routes which you could use to root your drone and take full control of it.
This is rarely the case too. Most updates come with new features and/or fixes. However, if you're into rooting drones (again, quite rare), then you probably don't want to install new firmware if what you have now is working as expected.
 
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Dave Maine

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Most upgrades are for fixing bugs identified by users in previous versions. Sometimes new features are added as well.

DJI has no reason to upgrade for their benefit. The benefit to them is to please users with the improvements in the software.

The downside is that by opening up the code to improve it, DJI may inadvertently break something that was working. This is an intrinsic problem with all software development including all PCs and Macs.

Join the real world and decide how much risk you want to take for what benefits.
 
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Cymruflyer

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When I bought my Mavic Pro, I had it for 2 years and never updated a thing. It worked perfectly the entire time. I sold it and bought the Mavic 2 Pro and left it too, with the firmware it arrived with, never had an issue at all.

Then I had a gimbal problem and sent it to DJI for repair and they replaced the whole drone. I had to do all the updates when it arrived, which I did with the help of DJI tech support. I found them to be very good people and extremely helpful.

I had an issue with the replacement drone regarding the 30 degree up camera position. It would move up and hold while on the table in the house, however, the moment I took it flying and tried this, it would immediately snap back from the 30 degree up position while hovering and again as I very slowly started to fly forward, or backward.

I went through a bunch of settings with DJI tech support again and still no luck. They asked for me to return it and they sent another replacement. Again I had to go through all the latest updates with SC and the drone and I still have this problem. A friend who never changed his firmware from the time of purchase of his M2P does not experience what my problem is. He can set his 30 degrees up in a hover and fly forward or backward and there is no change in the camera's gimbal position, it stays where he put it, at the 30 degrees up point, just like my original M2P would do.

Maybe it is just a coincidence but that is my experience. The choice is yours, but I feel that if it works and does what I need, I leave well enough alone.
 
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wardtom084

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I think you can forget the anti charging your phone. Conversation between DJI and myself.
Hello there. Good day and thank you for reaching out. I am sorry to say that the said phone charging on the said mobile device can not be turned off. The reason why your mobile device ( Tripltek ) is discharging your DJI remote controller. This is because the Android mobile device needs on-going 500ma to maintain the USB connection, so there is no option for the Android device to disable the charging mode, it is related to the android system and the communication protocol. This is regulated by the Android Open Accessory ( AOA ). Thank you.
 
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I fly an Air 2 and when my iPad mini updates it's operating system it automatically updates my Apps, incl. the DJI Fly app. So I am now running ver. 1.4.4 but I have not updated the firmware since ver. 01.03.0340. Most of the updates seem to be directed at the Mini 2 or Air2s and besides my bird flies great at this time so I think why mess with it. My question is this, Will this catch up to me eventually or can I keep doing this forever?
I can only say that one of my "update" experiences is anything but good! I have a Mavic Pro 2. Everything was great.......until.......I got a notice on the smart controller about inconsistent firmware and allow an update............really bad idea!!!!!! I lost the hyperlapse and APSE icons in camera mode. I have tried to refresh the firmware and the Windows assistant application fails. I'm working with the DJI tech support to fix the issue, but so far no go. I may never get these icons back. Maybe when the smart controller shows a newer software version it may fix the problem, did one time before. I am really gun shy now about these almighty updates.
 

Steve L

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I flew my Mavic 2 Pro for over a year with that inconsistent firm ware message popping up each time, on the SC. Never had an issue.
Just remember the ‘PIC is responsible for all phases and elements of a flight’. Which includes the proper maintenance and updating of all software and firmware necessary for the safe operation of an aircraft. And when a problem(s) arise- it will ALL come back to the PIC. Should a problem arise, say a UAS falls on a person injuring him or her badly, that UAS will be inspected CLOSELY for inconsistencies. Then the fun begins….
 

quaddamage

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Should a problem arise, say a UAS falls on a person injuring him or her badly, that UAS will be inspected CLOSELY for inconsistencies.
Are the US public services really so thorough in such analyses? Last time I reported a scam to polish police, they were amazed when I showed them how to get sender IP address from email headers. Basic stuff.

Even if the case was high-profile, DJI will not provide sources of the firmware to prove or disprove whether the inconsistency could have impact on safety.
 
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Are the US public services really so thorough in such analyses? Last time I reported a scam to polish police, they were amazed when I showed them how to get sender IP address from email headers. Basic stuff.

Even if the case was high-profile, DJI will not provide sources of the firmware to prove or disprove whether the inconsistency could have impact on safety.
This is especially true if an inconsistency analysis could prove DJI liable
 

Cymruflyer

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Just remember the ‘PIC is responsible for all phases and elements of a flight’. Which includes the proper maintenance and updating of all software and firmware necessary for the safe operation of an aircraft. And when a problem(s) arise- it will ALL come back to the PIC. Should a problem arise, say a UAS falls on a person injuring him or her badly, that UAS will be inspected CLOSELY for inconsistencies. Then the fun begins….
If it was working for years then there is no chance of that changing. Generally, with software, if it works, it keeps working. If there is a bug in there, it will soon be evident. If you did an update and a drone fell on someone, do you really think DJI will be helping you to show that it was their fault and not yours?
 
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Flycaster

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Like a few, I have not updated anything in over 3 years on my Mavic Gen I.
Running the firmware flashed from and at the factory.
And guess what?
I have had zero issues.
Period.
I did not fall for the "baited" updates with the "new flight modes"...
I learned to fly them manually......
 

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