Here’s what the Solo app’s menus offer (both iOS and Android), how to navigate them, and how to access Solo’s advanced settings and features.
The App Home Screen
You have three options on the app’s home screen: Fly Solo, Flight School and the menu icon, which appears in the upper left corner. Tapping Flight School brings up a list of Solo’s tutorial videos, which you can watch in the app. Tapping Fly Solo takes you to Solo’s in-flight screen. And tapping the menu icon brings you to the settings menu. Since you can adjust much of the settings in this menu from the ground before you fly, let’s check that out first.
Tapping the menu icon pulls up a menu with options for “Home,” “Settings” and “Support.” “Home” brings you to the app’s home screen — the one you were just on. “Support” allows you to access customer support directly through the app. (More on that in a bit.) Pressing “Settings” brings you to a screen that allows you to, well, adjust Solo’s settings. Here’s what you can do there.
The main “Settings” screen is a menu with the “Solo” section at the top. This is the section we’ll go into later to make advanced adjustments. For now, let’s look at the rest of this menu, which are settings specific to the app itself, and can be adjusted without a connection to Solo.
Software Update — Is this the latest and greatest version of Solo? Get all of your updates right here. Remember, the Solo app can wirelessly update itself, the copter, the controller, the gimbal and the autopilot.
Units — Select the unit of measure you want to use, metric or imperial.
Voice Alerts — Enables the app to verbally announce all in-flight alerts out loud, in addition to showing on your screen.
System Info — Tells you what version you have of the app, Solo, the autopilot firmware, gimbal firmware, controller and controller firmware.
Advanced Settings — “Enable Advanced Flight Modes.” If this is turned off, then Solo is in its default “beginner” mode, meaning the copter’s flight characteristics are set so that it’s super easy to control. Enabling advanced flight modes gives you access to other modes. More on this in a bit.
Save Videos to Camera Roll — Turn this feature on and off.
Auto Record Video During Shots — When this is turned on, Solo will automatically record Smart Shots onto the GoPro once you press “play” and begin your shot. You don’t need to start and stop recording manually.
Anonymous Feedback — This setting enables our engineers to read your flight logs, see where you’re flying, for how long, how Solo behaves in different modes, etc., to help us evaluate and improve upon Solo’s performance. Don’t worry — it’s totally anonymous. The only data we see is how your Solo is flying.
At the top of the “Settings” menu, you can click on “Solo” to access the more advanced settings. (You have to be connected to Solo to access this menu.)
Performance — Use these sliders to adjust Solo’s flight speed and its camera pan speed (or basically how fast you can rotate Solo). You can make these adjustments in real time, while you’re flying.
For camera pan speed, if you’re filming something with a lot of action, you’ll want the pan to react fast; for cinematic shots, you’ll want a slower speed. And another tip: If you’ve got the copter set fast, but the pan set slow, it might appear on film as if the camera isn’t keeping up with the scene.
Pro tip for shooting without a gimbal: Set the camera pan speed to slow, and the shot will be smooth and controlled. This way you can approximate a shot that approaches cinema-quality stabilization, even without a gimbal. You can be more aggressive with the gimbal, which will smooth it all out for you.
Altitude Limit — Set the max height Solo can fly, or disable the flight ceiling. Out of the box the ceiling is set at 160 feet, so new users won’t accidentally fly too high as they’re just learning.
Preset A/B — Change the “A/B” option button assignments. The A and B buttons on Solo’s controller are like flight presets. This menu allows you to choose what those buttons do. You can assign Cable cam, Orbit, or any of Solo’s flight modes. Solo has several flight modes: Fly and Fly:Manual (“Manual” maintains Solo’s altitude for you, but the mode doesn’t use GPS to keep Solo in place — this allows you to let Solo drift as if it’s on a dolly track); Stabilize; Acro; Drift; and Sport. More flight modes are on their way.
Level Calibration — When the Pixhawk’s level settings aren’t calibrated, Solo might drift when you let go of the sticks. Use this to calibrate Pixhawk’s gyros. Just place Solo on a hard, level surface, and the app will walk you through the process.
Compass Calibration — Calibrate Solo’s compass. This involves turning the copter a bit. Just like with the level calibration, the app will walk you through it.
If we go back to the main menu again, you’ll see you have an option for “Support.” If you’re having trouble, this screen allows you to wirelessly submit a trouble ticket to our customer support department. You can even send the flight log in real time, while you’re flying — or alternatively, you can choose to email or even call support directly from this screen.
Here’s a quick walkthrough of the app when you’re flying Solo. To get here, click “Fly Solo” on the app’s home screen.
Most obviously, you get the live HD video feed of what the camera’s seeing in real time. But at the top of the screen, right in the center, you’ll also see a button that says “Fly.” Tap this button to get access to Solo’s Smart Shots.
When you select your Smart Shot from the menu, the app screen will automatically pull out a 1/3 screen satellite map view that shows you the virtual tracks of the Smart Shot that you’re creating. This is where Solo will fly during your shot. In the lower right section of the Smart Shot screen, you’ll see three dots. Tapping this button brings up a window where you can adjust the settings of the Smart Shot — things like altitude, distance out, and speed, which can be adjusted before your shot, or in real time.
When you press “play” for your Smart Shot, you’ll be able to monitor the shot with the live feed as well as with the satellite view. You can access this 1/3-screen satellite view at any time, just pull it out by swiping left from the right side of the live view screen. Want a full-screen map view? Simply tap the 1/3-screen map view and it expands to full screen, with a small picture-in-picture of your live feed in the top left corner so you can monitor that as well. Tap that picture-in-picture and to bring the live view back to full screen. To exit your Smart Shot at any time, just tap “Fly” and you’ll go back into Solo’s normal flight mode.
On the live view screen, you’ll also see a series of other numbers and stats — battery life, altitude, distance from home point and strength of connection to Solo. Tapping on these numbers will bring up another bar with even deeper flight information, such as air speed, GPS strength and more details on the battery and connection strength.
That’s your quick overview of the Solo app’s advanced features. Here it is in our advanced settings video: