DJI is giving Spark owners until September 1 to update their drone or deal with having it bricked. The move leaves no room for negotiation, instead forcing owners to update posthaste or lose the ability to operate their Spark. Why such a drastic tactic to force updates? Because the drones are reportedly vulnerable to dropping out of the air, putting those on the ground at risk.
The DJI Spark is a relatively new drone from the company, one that is small enough to be launched from your palm if you’re so inclined. Though fun, the drone isn’t without its potential problems, and that’s why DJI is pushing out a new update. The new firmware will update both the drone itself and its battery, improving its power management system and takeoff stability.
Nestled within the update announcement is a note about this update’s mandatory nature — do it or lose the ability to operate the drone you paid for. Some users are unhappy about that restriction, though it doesn’t seem there are many people who would be negatively affected by the company’s decision. The update merely requires the mobile app and a WiFi connection, making it readily available to the vast majority of people who own the drone.
At the heart of the troubles is a feature wherein the drone can be shutdown while in the air. This obviously would result in the drone falling, a potentially harmful reality if someone is standing beneath the drone. DJI doesn’t get into details here, though, instead saying that it decided to impose an update deadline for the sake of reliability and safety.
Fortunately, updating is as easy as firing up the DJI Assistant 2 software on a laptop/desktop or opening the DJI GO 4 mobile app, which prompts users to download the firmware and update the drone (and its battery). You have about a week left to do this before your Spark drone loses its ability to takeoff, so be sure to update asap.