Before Parrot released AR.Drone in 2010, it gave third-party developers access to software tools so they could create their own games, camera apps, and other tools for the toy. Thus far, AR.Drone apps have only appeared for iOS and Android devices, but now the first one has launched for the Mac. Logic Consulting’s Drone Station ($13) expands not only the ways you can control the flyer, but also gives you video recording and other tools directly from on your computer.
The number of controllers the app supports is pretty impressive. You use your Mac’s keyboard and mouse, but you also have the option of a wired USB Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 controller, Logitech’s Extreme 3D Pro joystick, a Dual Action Gamepad, Thrustmaster’s T-Flight Hotas X, or Wii Motion Controllers with the Nunchuk and/or Balance Board. You can capture stills and video from both of the Drone’s cameras, and there’s even a simulator so that you can practice your controls before flight. If you want to extend the Wi-Fi range of your Mac, the developer notes that you can do that with Drone Station in a way that you can’t with pocket devices. The price strikes us as a little high relative to the iOS apps we’ve tested, but if you’ve already invested in the quadricopter, you may find the added control options to be worth the expenditure.