How to use the compass on Android

How to use the compass on Android

We are all used to using the maps on our smartphones, which help us find the right object or lay a route. All you need to do is activate location detection and then enter the address of a specific destination. But to work with such applications often requires a constant connection to the Internet, which may not be available in remote areas of the city. And in order not to get lost while traveling, it is advisable to know how to use the compass on Android. It is a primitive tool that has been used since ancient times, but it still does its job very well.

Compass on your Android phone - what kind of app

The "Compass" application on your Android phone is installed by default in many cases. For example, on the Xiaomi smartphone you can find it in the thematic folder "Tools". You can open the program in one touch, and then find out your approximate location. But before that, we will tell you why you need such a tool and how it works.

Why and where to find it

Originally, people used a compass for orientation in space, when there were no detailed maps and special navigators. The arrow of such a device always points to the north, so you can come to the desired object. Learn to use this tool is not difficult, especially since in modern smartphones it is made in the format of a convenient application.

Where to find and how to use the compass

It is easy to turn on the compass on your phone, just run a mobile program. As a rule, almost always the necessary utility is installed on the device by default. And if it is not, then in Play Market you can find a lot of applications, perfectly suitable for determining the location. Moreover, it is possible to work with such a device even without an Internet connection, which is an advantage for mushroom hunters and fans of forest walks.

How it works

The principle of operation of the compass varies, and depends on how the device determines the location. In the sale most often there are electronic (digital) instruments, in which a special magnetic sensor is built in. It turns out that the direction of the arrow changes depending on the magnetic poles. But the main disadvantage of this particular variety is not always accurate orientation.

There are also satellite compasses, which, in turn, work as accurately as possible. According to the name, you can understand that everything is tied to the use of a GPS sensor. A signal is transmitted from the satellite, as a result of which the geographical north and south are determined correctly. And note that the functioning of such a device does not depend on zones with magnetic anomalies.

Instructions for calibrating the compass on Android

But sometimes there are problems with the compass. For example, when the arrow moves erratically and cannot point north in any way. In this case, it is desirable to calibrate the sensor, which will allow to determine the location correctly. This can be done either manually or with the help of additional applications.

Via Google Maps

If you don't know, Google Maps is a standard map program that is installed on almost every Android phone. As a rule, it is located in the thematic folder "Google". If you can't find the application, you can download it in seconds from Play Market. All you need to do is enter the name into the search box of the service and select "Install".

Google Maps
Google Maps
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

And now you can launch the installed application by turning on the GPS before doing so. When everything is ready, go to the step-by-step instructions and calibrate the compass:

  1. Hold down the icon responsible for determining the location. It is located on the side of the screen and is marked in the screenshot.
  2. In the window that appears, click "Set up the compass".
  3. The standard compass calibration instructions appear on the screen. You need to take your smartphone in your hand and move it as shown in the picture. In simple terms, you rotate the device along an imaginary figure of eight. And a little lower we can see information about the accuracy of orientation. It is desirable to achieve at least a medium, and preferably a high level.
  4. At the end select "Done".

Setting up the compass via Google Maps

As you can see, I was able to adjust the compass on my phone quickly enough. And after such calibration you will be able to notice the difference in location determination. Most likely, all objects will be located more accurately.

With a special code

And you can also configure the compass on Android by using a special code. But before starting the procedure, we want to note that this does not work on every smartphone. Sometimes without root rights to do anything is not working. However, nothing prevents you from trying this option. For clarity, we have made a step-by-step instruction, so we advise you to familiarize yourself with it:

  1. Open the application, through which all calls are usually made.
  2. Enter the code *#0*# and press the call button.
  3. It automatically switches to the engineering menu, where you need to open the tab "Sensor" or "Sensor".
  4. Choosing "Magnetic sensor" and pay attention to the black circle. On it, the blue line should pass near the letter "E". If so, your compass is calibrated correctly.

Code for compass calibration

And in other cases, when the test showed the wrong result, you need to use special applications to configure the sensors.

By the way, more details about location determination are given in here.

Through third-party applications

In addition to Google Maps, it is possible to use other programs to adjust the compass. You can easily find them in Play Market or any other game store installed on your device. Below you can find examples of the best quality software.

GPS Essentials

GPS Essentials
GPS Essentials
Price: Free

The application is characterized by its easy-to-use functionality and a wide range of options. To perform the calibration you initially need to provide access to the location of the device by selecting in the window that appears "Allow". You can ignore the menu that opens, because we need to open the tab "Compass".

GPS Essentials - compass for Android

Here we press "Calibrate"and, following the instructions on the screen, perform the correct setting of all the sensors. The procedure in this case is standard: take the smartphone in your hands and turn it in different directions, trying to move in a figure of eight trajectory. If everything is done correctly, you will see an appropriate notification.


Compass Calibration (Compass)
Compass Calibration (Compass)
Developer: Appire
Price: Free

First you need to install this compass on your smartphone using Google Play. The program is free, so you don't have to invest anything. And it doesn't take up any more space than a high-quality photo in the gallery. Then open the app and give the app all the permissions it asks for. Click on the plus sign (+) and select the parameter "Calibration".

Compass Calibration

In front of you on the screen we see an approximate algorithm of actions. The creators of the software offer to take the phone and describe the figure of eight several times. And to track the process, follow the items "Magnetic field" и "Accelerometer". Ideally, it should contain the value "High". This indicates a high level of tuning.

GPS Status

GPS Status & Toolbox
GPS Status & Toolbox
Developer: MobiWIA Kft.
Price: Free

This program, on the other hand, will seem complicated to many people, and it is. It is designed for professional terrain orientation, so in the application you will find many useful settings. But it is calibration that interests us, so the first time we start it, we accept the terms of use of the service and provide permissions. Then open the side menu and select "Calibration".

How to use the GPS Status kcomputer on Android

In this case we are asked to move the smartphone first on one axis and then on the other axis. For clarity, you can look at the picture that opens. Next, we press "OK"and work fully with the compass on your phone. In this case you can use absolutely any application.

The best compass apps

Due to the large variety of applications, it is almost impossible to determine the best compass for Android. Each program has its own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, we have included in our selection several applications that deserve your attention at once.

Smart Compass

Compass : Smart Compass
Compass : Smart Compass
Developer: Smart Tools co.
Price: To be announced

There's not much to say about this app. First of all, it has a simple and intuitive interface. There are many settings, including the ability to change the display of the compass itself. And, most interestingly, you can keep track of your surroundings. All because a smartphone camera is involved in orienteering.

Smart Compass on Android

This program teaches you how to work properly with the compass and determine your own location.

Compass 360 Pro Free

Compass 360 Pro Free
Compass 360 Pro Free

In addition to its main task, this GPS compass will help you find out how level a certain surface is. It is a kind of mobile level, which can be used in small construction. As for the settings, there are a number of useful tabs.

How to use Compass 360 Pro Free on Android

You will also be able to calibrate all sensors if you haven't done so before.

Compass by NixGame

Developer: NixGame
Price: Free

Reliable app with a high rating. Open the compass, provide resolution and determine your own location in space. There is also an indicator showing the current speed. And if necessary, in the settings you will be able to find the item responsible for activating the dark theme.

How to use the compass on Android from NixGame

If you are looking for compass for Android in Russian, then this program will become an indispensable assistant for you.

Compass by Fulmine Software

Developer: Fulmine Software
Price: Free

This is a handy compass navigator that allows you to pinpoint your location. The magnetic and true courses are displayed on the main screen, which will be useful for orientation.

How to use Comps by Fulmine Software on Android

There are almost no ads in the app, especially if you use it without an internet connection.


Answers to popular questions

Question: Why doesn't the compass work on Android?
You may not have calibrated it. It is also a good idea to check the GPS activation.

Q: How do I enable the compass sensor on my Android?
It does not need to be enabled because it is activated by default. The only thing is that you will have to calibrate it the first time you use it. Almost any program from the previous list will do.

Q: Which application is better to use?
The one that suits you best. If you need a simple interface, go for the "Compass 3D" application, and if you need a lot of features - your choice is "Compass 360 Pro Free".

So, we looked at how to use the compass on your Android phone. Such a simple tool will help you not to get lost during forest hikes or travels!