I’ve recently got a GoPro with a non-functioning touchscreen. I was hoping to use my smartphone to control the GoPro, but they removed a bunch of settings from their app, apparently due to an ongoing lawsuit. It’s possible to get them back though, here’s what I found.
First things first, I own an Android phone and focused my research on that OS only. Also, some of those tips might not work with your camera (beside the rollback), please do your own research before doing anything. I am not affiliated with any of the sites/apps listed below.
There are multiple ways to be able to change the settings on your GoPro from your smartphone, including those sweet Protune settings. I tried to list them here as it might help some people out.
Rollback the official GoPro app to an older version
This is a speculation, but some people believe that Gopro had no choice but to remove the Protune settings from their official app due to an ongoing lawsuit. You can find multiple things online about a “company” named Contour IP Holding, LLC that filled a lawsuit against GoPro. It looks like a typical patent troll but who am I to judge… GoPro did publish a news about it, but didn’t give any details.
Anyway, as Android allows you to install any app from anywhere, you can actually install an old version of the GoPro app that still had the Protune settings.
I present to you APKMirror, a website that archives free Android apps. It’s probably one of the safest place to get APKs from (see this). You just need to search for the GoPro app there or click here and download the 7.3.2 version (or any lower version). Then install that APK on your Android device and you’re done. Don’t forget to uninstall the current GoPro app if you have it installed though. And also, you will have to avoid updating the app through the Playstore. Well, that is until GoPro put the Protune settings back, which should hopefully happen sometime in the future, as a lot of people have been complaining.
Use a third party app
There are a few third party apps available on the Playstore that allow you to control your GoPro, just like the official app does. And some of them have useful features that aren’t in the official app.
A search for “protune” will bring up a few, the best ones are paid, but they have decent ratings. The relevant ones I found are Multipro, GoPro BLE Remote, Multi Camera Control. Make sure to check that the app is compatible with your GoPro. Sadly, I didn’t find any app that is open source.
GoPro Labs firmware & QRCodes
GoPro has a “GoPro Labs” program that adds new/experimental features to your camera. One of them is the ability to set your GoPro settings by using a QRCode. I think it’s pretty neat! And I’m pretty sure I never saw such feature before.
Anyway, the first step is to install the Labs firmware to your GoPro. You’ll have to download the correct firmware from this page and use the manual firmware update method, which requires you to put the firmware on the SD card, put the SD card back into the camera and power it on. I am not reliable on anything that happens by updating the firmware, please use at your own risk.
Once that’s done, you can dive in into the QRCode documentation. I also found a neat app called QRControl that allows you to create QRCodes on your phone, and even save them for re-use. Otherwise, there’s an “official” online app as well.
GoPro smart remote
Yeah, no… Not going to talk about that one. But it’s an option.
Create your own app
If you’re an Android dev, you can also use this unofficial API for GoPro cameras by KonradIT. It contains all commands you can send to your camera to change the settings, control the camera, etc. Combine that with Flutter and maybe you can get a working app in less than a day? I’m tempted, but what I miss is free time.
Hopefully this will help someone. I’m really hoping it’s just temporary, and that GoPro will put the Protune settings back in their app. But in the meantime, that’s all you can do.