Biggest Solo software update ever: adds Rewind, Augmented Reality, Pano and more

Rewind and Return to Me

With the press of a button, Solo will retrace its exact path for the last 60 feet of your flight (this distance will be user-definable in the app) to ensure it avoids obstacles on its way back home. And with the new “return to me” feature, Solo will come home to wherever you stand with your controller and mobile device.

Meet the new Smart Shots — Zipline and Pano

Zipline + Spot Lock

Set an infinite cable in any direction, just by pushing a button. Fly up and down this line, controlling speed and direction as well as the camera. Zipline also has a “spot lock” feature, which works like an Orbit point of focus, but instead of flying in a circle you’re flying in a straight line. Set your zipline, look at something, press spot lock and Solo keeps the camera fixed on it while Solo passes, for a dramatic flyby.

Pano

The perfect aerial panorama. Set up your shot, and Solo automatically pans and snaps the right photos at the right time, for cylindrical, spherical (“little world”) or video panos.

Augmented Reality

The Solo app will overlay visuals in real time on your mobile screen. You can see your home point, or make sure your Orbit point of focus is exactly where you want it to be before you fly your Smart Shot.

Custom Geofencing

Define a virtual fence around Solo at any time in flight. You create this virtual “safety net” by setting four points on your satellite view, which creates an area around Solo that the drone can’t leave. Set your fence before taking off, or set and adjust its location while flying, allowing you to easily block off nearby obstacles or entire areas at any time.

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Comment by Gary McCray on June 17, 2016 at 12:58pm

Hi Chris,

This is a really great series of updates designed to improve ease of use, safety and pro level video / photo uses.

I received an Email from Colin Guinn today describing the really great Fathers day sales for Solo and linking to the appropriate sites.

So I went to the Amazon link and with gimbal it is a really great deal.

But - I also looked at customer reviews and I saw an awful lot of bad experiences, usually made worse by interaction with customer service. 

Which has apparently now also eliminated phone customer service and is instead relying on a very badly executed or at least perceived that way Chat and Email response system.

Where obviously completely legitimate problems are being dealt with by long and circuitous requirements and often ending without any customer satisfaction after weeks and even months of trying.

At first I looked at the customer responses un-ordered, but then I looked at most recent responses first and saw the same thing for this and the last several months.

Maybe it isn't as bad as it used to be, but it sounds like the same complaints 3DR had 3+ years ago and it sounds like more of them than are just a few wrong thinking troublemakers.

These same complaints do not show up for DJI.

If I were a new customer, this sort of customer response would keep me from doing business with 3DR.

Somebody really needs to look into this, but then I said the same thing 3 years ago.

Best Regards,

Gary

Comment by RPM on June 17, 2016 at 1:06pm

"These same complaints do not show up for DJI."  Perhaps because their customer support is non existent.

There are loads of cases on-line where 3DR has replaced drones that fell into water because one motor pod failed. And way more cases of warranty replacements or repairs, once logs are reviewed and a reason is determined. The competition do not even offer that.

A large amount of those negative reviews were probably damage resulting from user error.

Comment by RPM on June 17, 2016 at 1:11pm

However I do not like that it was released iOS only for now. Confusing when you say the new features are released.

Comment by Marc Dornan on June 17, 2016 at 1:14pm
DJIs customer service is not good at all and it may well be worse than 3DRs. But then again the best customer service is the one you do not need and this is likely the difference.
Comment by Gary McCray on June 17, 2016 at 1:31pm

Hi RPM,

I read the complaints and most of them seemed perfectly legitimate and the only reason they left the reviews was because 3DR had exhausted their patience and good will.

The fact is the Solo still has more of a learning curve than the Phantoms, sure it does more, but it requires more too.

I really like the Solo, but look at the reviews on Amazon, they are carefully thought out and very thorough in their descriptions of what transpired.

Only utter exasperation forces that kind of a response.

And if you look through the back blogs and discussions here you will see more of the same.

I don't know if it is a tiny percentage or not, but whatever it is, 3DR is definitely not providing "customer satisfaction" to a substantial number of it's "customers".

On line also you will see many reviews between DJI and 3DR and DJI's Phantoms are virtually always recommended as being easier to learn, more trouble free, more economical and less problematic than the Solo (and that doesn't even take into account customer service).

Don't get me wrong, I know the Solo is leaps and bounds ahead of even the Phantom 4 and has many great features, but customer service really shouldn't be one of it's main problems.

And Marc,

I agree, DJI's customer service is mostly handled as simple replacements by their dealers.

But they also seem to be reliable and easy to use (if simplistic) which makes it easier for people to get started without wrecking them and so do not actually need much customer service.

In any case, I just wanted to bring up what I saw to be a legitimate problem not hijack this excellent Blog for unrelated purposes, so I will bow out of this conversation at this time and apologise to Chris for stealing his excellent thunder.

Best Regards,

Gary 

Comment by RPM on June 17, 2016 at 1:40pm

Good on you Gary, cheers!

Comment by SkyRover on June 17, 2016 at 2:09pm

Would like to see more support for android. Seems like with each update it's getting farther and farther behind. It's kind of annoying having a flagship model from the largest manufacturer of phones (I looked it up to check, thinking Apple was the largest, but its actually #2) that I can't even use because the app keeps crashing.

Comment by Jason Wise on June 17, 2016 at 6:41pm

Solo and Controller updated.....Just waiting for the Android App to be updated....cant wait to get in the air!

Comment by Sigitas Ciapas on June 18, 2016 at 1:18am

So far 3DR support team was super responsive and helpful in all cases for me. I know that very well because I own an e-shop and I sell drones (from 3 different manufacturers). I don't agree with you Gary on that. 

But that thins with Android version delay makes people unhappy for sure. Myself included. Would like to get an answer some kind.

Comment by Chris on June 18, 2016 at 8:06pm

Hi Chris,

Good release, however we understand that due to a staffing issue you were not able to deliver on the Android release but it would be great if you had a rough timeline (1 month, 1 week, 3 months,etc).  I hope this also reminds you why having just one person across a key area is not a good business practice.  I've seen many businesses almost go bust because a key persons leaves at the wrong time, not saying that in this instance but it sure seems like others were not across it.

I'd be curious to see the 'active' users list of both apps (not just downloaded but those that use it), I'm guessing that android makes up a bigger share of your users.

I noticed that Colin in the webinars has said a release mid June and another 2 weeks later, is the two weeks later release the Android version?  Or is there another release planned in 2 weeks for IOS?

I noticed that MPCC was fixed in the latest firmware update which is great, it's my most used smartshot and was disappointed when it broke in the previous release so good work on getting it fixed quickly.  I'd really like to use the zipline though, but I'll be trying some ROI and waypoints in Tower to get the same effect, hopefully that will work.

Also rewind seems to work since it's a firmware update item.  Havent tried RTH with it since testing rewind, will so when the weather clears up.

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