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How to use your mobile as a compass

21 mayo, 2021

Lost in the middle of the mountain without knowing on which side the moss grows? Or maybe you need help to position the bed in the desired Feng Shui orientation? No problems as long as you have your Android mobile, well It also serves as a compass.

If you left the compass at home but not your mobile, here we tell you how you can see where the north is so much without installing anything (we assume that your mobile has Google Maps pre-installed, as usual), both with other specialized applications.

First, calibrate the compass

It is important that before using your mobile as a compass, calibrate the sensor to make sure the measurement is correct. You don’t need any app to do this, but Google Maps show you simple directions on how to do it. First, tap on the blue circle indicating where you are on the map, until a blue screen opens. Down there, tap on Calibrate compass.

Calibrate compass The process for calibrating the compass

The required process is that you move the mobile making a kind of number eight while you turn it. It is explained to you with an animation how should you move the mobile and the estimated accuracy of the compass is indicated below. When it is marked as “high”, you can stop.

The compass on Google Maps

Google Maps is pre-installed on the vast majority of Android phones and, even if you don’t have data, it also serves as a compass. This is based in the blue spotlight which marks your location, and you need to tap the location button (number 1 in the image below) twice until it switches to compass mode.


From that moment the map rotates automatically as you move the location of your mobile, and the north indicator (the number 2 in the image above) turns to show you where north is (the red end). When the orientation of the mobile is precisely north orientation, the indicator adds the letter N just above.

Compass apps


If you need more details about the orientation or just a bigger and clearer indication, there are hundreds and hundreds of compass apps on Google Play, most of them with very similar behavior. Some Compass apps we recommend are as follows:

These applications still require that your mobile have the magnetic sensor. Nowadays the normal thing is that it is included except in the lowest ranges. You generally don’t need to do anything other than open the app and look at the information. Permission to access the location is not required to determine the orientation.

Data The main advantage of specialized apps is that they show you the orientation clearly and easily

The advantage of specialized applications is that include the exact data of the degrees of orientation of the rover, as well as frequently other complementary data courtesy of the GPS, such as latitude, longitude and height. In general, the results are usually accurate, although it depends on the mobile and it is recommended that you check it yourself by comparing the results with a real compass.

Nine ways and 20 apps in which augmented reality can help you

If your mobile has all the necessary hardware, but the indications seem wrong in all the applications, take it out of its case (if it is in one) and keep it away from any metal or magnet to avoid “interference”.