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UAV Toolbox - update

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This is a long overdue update on the state of UAV Toolbox for the H480 / HPlus and H520... (and H3..)

As some of you may be aware, UAV Toolbox has been having problems on some controllers recently. The short explanation is that the recent changes in security across the web has meant that older Android devices cannot always connect to online services. (I'll add a more detailed explanation later on). This means that mapping, log tools like weather reports and address lookup, equipment tracking and media sharing online are not working for many of you.

I am currently updating the network layer for the App, though it's not an easy task. I hope to have it complete in the next week or so, and will provide a new download on the website when it is ready.

However:

This last couple of years have seen some big changes, and big challenges across the drone community and for me personally. Without the positive engagement of Yuneec, and access to exciting new products, it has become increasingly difficult to justify the efforts involved in supporting their drones. I'm still enthusiastic about flying, about developing tools and services for drones and exploring innovative uses for piloted and autonomous craft. Unfortunately the opportunities appear to lie elsewhere and I must be pragmatic about how I spend my time.

With this in mind, the upcoming release for UAV Toolbox is likely to be the last significant update, and early in 2023 I will stop accepting new registrations for the software. The online services are planned to remain available until at least 2024 for existing users.

UAV Toolbox has been available over six years and four generations of drones. Hopefully it has been useful for some of you, and has enhanced your flying and ownership experience. Through Yuneec and the app, I've met and worked with some excellent people worldwide and thank you all for your support. I hope we can cross paths again, and look forward to continued evolution of drone technology and the community around it.

(Now for the boring technical stuff).
The original H480 came with an ST16 controller that ran Android 4.4 (for complicated licensing reasons) that was already quite outdated. Very shortly, that version of Android will be ten years old. Apps running on Android rely on two systems to communicate securely with online services. The first is a set of protocols that allow Apps to negotiate a private link with a server. The second is a library of certificates that are used to check the identity of services. Since Android 4.4, and particularly in the last couple of years, there have been significant updates in online security. You may have noticed that web browsers now refuse to connect to insecure websites, and all websites now have secure identities that can be checked. With these changes, some online services no longer work with machines that don't support modern protocols (TLS1.2+) and recent certificate chains. More recent versions of Android (and therefore more recent flight controllers) have better support and can in some cases be updated online. However, these too may reach a point where they cannot connect to some services.

For Apps to continue to work, it is sometimes possible to include network libraries designed to provide newer protocols and certificates on older devices. Unfortunately the complications of cryptography mean that these libraries often must be compiled for the specific processor in the device that runs the app. The ST-16 introduces further complications here as it is a rare example of an Android device using an Intel processor rather than the usual ARM chips. Without significant development work, native Intel cryptography libraries are not readily available.

Updating UAV Toolbox involves replacing the existing network layer in the app with a library that must be compatible both with the older version of Android *and* the newer security protocols. For the mapping screens, it is necessary to override the default map loader with a custom loader capable of using the new network utilities. This is the process I'm currently undertaking and should ensure the app continues to function for at least the next eighteen months.
 

DoomMeister

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We do appreciate your hard work and insight into the issues Andy. Thanks for updating us with your efforts and future intentions.
 
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Testers wanted!!

I believe this new version of UAVToolbox fixes the problems with maps loading and general connectivity. It also has a (tentative) fix for Missions on the HPlus.

Visit this page for the release candidate download: UAV Toolbox - Yuneec ST-16

Let me know how you get on. I cannot fully test the app without your help and feedback.
 
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DoomMeister

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Using two of my ST16 controllers I ran v3.2.2 on one and v3.3 on the other. With v3.2.2 the Bing maps would crash the program during zoom in/out (I’ll check vector maps tomorrow), and with v3.3 there was no crashing. Zooming in too far results in no imagery and many times a Telemetry file would start at that zoom level. A small zoom out would allow the image tiles to load ( I think this is a Bing issue).
 
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Hi,
Like it has been said, we do appreciate your efforts and the good work on Uavtoolbox
I've jumped in the beta test program today and, should you remember, I've been experiencing maps problems since the very first time on my ST16S (on a typhoon h plus).
Those days are gone.
Either vector maps and bing are now fully loadables on my ST16s immediately after installing 3.3 today.
The maps are now working on any screen that requires it from telemetry to mission planning.
Thanks again for that because, when it has come to choose my first real done (within my given budget) the ability to install Uavtoolbox led me into buying the H plus.
Now with the maps working, I'm thrilled !
I'll keep you guys posted as soon as the weather allows me to run some planned mission through the CCC conversion.
 

DoomMeister

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I loaded v3.3rc1 on the ST16 that previously had v3.2.2 installed and both Vector and Bing maps are working properly where they previously crashed the app.
 
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This is a long overdue update on the state of UAV Toolbox for the H480 / HPlus and H520... (and H3..)

As some of you may be aware, UAV Toolbox has been having problems on some controllers recently. The short explanation is that the recent changes in security across the web has meant that older Android devices cannot always connect to online services. (I'll add a more detailed explanation later on). This means that mapping, log tools like weather reports and address lookup, equipment tracking and media sharing online are not working for many of you.

I am currently updating the network layer for the App, though it's not an easy task. I hope to have it complete in the next week or so, and will provide a new download on the website when it is ready.

However:

This last couple of years have seen some big changes, and big challenges across the drone community and for me personally. Without the positive engagement of Yuneec, and access to exciting new products, it has become increasingly difficult to justify the efforts involved in supporting their drones. I'm still enthusiastic about flying, about developing tools and services for drones and exploring innovative uses for piloted and autonomous craft. Unfortunately the opportunities appear to lie elsewhere and I must be pragmatic about how I spend my time.

With this in mind, the upcoming release for UAV Toolbox is likely to be the last significant update, and early in 2023 I will stop accepting new registrations for the software. The online services are planned to remain available until at least 2024 for existing users.

UAV Toolbox has been available over six years and four generations of drones. Hopefully it has been useful for some of you, and has enhanced your flying and ownership experience. Through Yuneec and the app, I've met and worked with some excellent people worldwide and thank you all for your support. I hope we can cross paths again, and look forward to continued evolution of drone technology and the community around it.

(Now for the boring technical stuff).
The original H480 came with an ST16 controller that ran Android 4.4 (for complicated licensing reasons) that was already quite outdated. Very shortly, that version of Android will be ten years old. Apps running on Android rely on two systems to communicate securely with online services. The first is a set of protocols that allow Apps to negotiate a private link with a server. The second is a library of certificates that are used to check the identity of services. Since Android 4.4, and particularly in the last couple of years, there have been significant updates in online security. You may have noticed that web browsers now refuse to connect to insecure websites, and all websites now have secure identities that can be checked. With these changes, some online services no longer work with machines that don't support modern protocols (TLS1.2+) and recent certificate chains. More recent versions of Android (and therefore more recent flight controllers) have better support and can in some cases be updated online. However, these too may reach a point where they cannot connect to some services.

For Apps to continue to work, it is sometimes possible to include network libraries designed to provide newer protocols and certificates on older devices. Unfortunately the complications of cryptography mean that these libraries often must be compiled for the specific processor in the device that runs the app. The ST-16 introduces further complications here as it is a rare example of an Android device using an Intel processor rather than the usual ARM chips. Without significant development work, native Intel cryptography libraries are not readily available.

Updating UAV Toolbox involves replacing the existing network layer in the app with a library that must be compatible both with the older version of Android *and* the newer security protocols. For the mapping screens, it is necessary to override the default map loader with a custom loader capable of using the new network utilities. This is the process I'm currently undertaking and should ensure the app continues to function for at least the next eighteen months.
Thanks for the update and work you're doing for community
 

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