Chinese drone maker DJI is releasing a mandatory firmware update for its DJI Spark drone, forcing all Spark owners to update their drone's software by September 1st. Any Spark drone not updated by that date will be grounded remotely.

The update brings multiple changes, but the reason it's 'mandatory' is that it contains a fix that prevents the drone from shutting down while flying.

The announcement was made in a newly released statement from DJI, which explains that it decided to disable any Spark drones that aren't updated in time "in order to maximize flight safety and product reliability." All Spark owners will be prompted to update the drone upon opening the DJI GO 4 App, though owners can also run the update through the DJI Assistant 2 desktop software.

In addition to fixing the safety issue, DJI explains that this new update improves the drone's battery management system, providing optimized power when the drone is in flight. Spark also gains full DJI Goggles integration support via this firmware, as well as an improved PalmLaunch functionality, better QuickShot Drone mode accuracy and increased remote controller compatibility.

Press Release

DJI Spark Firmware Update Enhances Flight Safety

DJI will be releasing a new firmware update this week to further enhance flight safety and performance of the DJI Spark.

The new firmware update enhances Spark’s battery management system to optimize power supply during flight. In addition, the new firmware has added support to fully integrate Spark with the DJI Goggles, optimized the PalmLaunch function for better stability after takeoff, improved the accuracy of controls under the QuickShot Dronie mode and enhanced the compatibility of the remote controller when syncing up with new firmware updates.

When prompted on the DJI GO 4 App, users with internet connectivity will be able to download the new firmware to update their aircraft’s and battery's firmware. The aircraft and battery firmware updates can also be done via the DJI Assistant 2 desktop software. If the firmware of either the aircraft or the battery is not updated by September 1, Spark will not be able to take off. DJI decided on the option of a mandatory firmware update in order to maximize flight safety and product reliability which we consider as top priorities.

The update comes after DJI released new features for its Spark in early August to deliver a more powerful combination of video and photo improvements including a new gesture to start and stop video recording and enhanced QuickShot video features for more cinematic control.