Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Windows Phone 7 - Compass Bearing

About Compass Bearing for WP7

Shows true north and magnetic compass bearing as reported by the phone. Using your location data the app will also show a calculated true north bearing with independent magnetic declination calculation based on your latitude and longitude.

In vision mode you get an augmented reality compass that can be switched between the phone and app true north readings.

Tapping in the center of the compass dial will toggle between:

  • app true - The bearing for true north calculated using the reported magnetic north bearing and the magnetic declination for your location.
  • magnetic - Magnetic north as reported by the operating system. Theoretically this should point in the same direction as a physical compass would. There are known bugs with Windows Phone 7 handsets that can cause this to point in the wrong direction.
  • phone true - True north as reported by the operating system.

Trial mode is fully functional.

Tips and FAQ

The compass isn't pointing North

There are a number of factors that could cause an incorrect compass bearing.

  1. Calibration
    Within your handset is a magnetometer sensor. This sensor measures the strength of the magnetic field and reports the values via the phones operating system. It needs to be calibrated from time to time to ensure correct operation.
    One way to do this is to move it close to another magnet so that the calibration screen appears. Then move the phone away from the magnet and rotate it around all the axis.

    Hold the device in front of you and sweep it through a figure 8 pattern as shown until the calibration is complete.

    Another option to force calibration is to turn the phone off and then on again.
  2. Interference
    A number of objects may interfere with the magnetometer readings. Try moving away from magnets, other electrical devices (especially speakers), large pieces of metal, etc...
  3. Access to location information
    The Compass bearing app requires access to your location information to correctly determine the magnetic declination for your latitude and longitude.

Still not working?

If the issue still persists, can you please provide me some further details:

  • What is your approximate latitude and longitude or country and city of origin. These don't need to be exact, just sufficient so I can check the magnetic declination for your location.
  • Could you send me a screen capture from Raw Compass Data running on a level surface? There is a dedicated capture button in the bottom right that will save a screenshot to the picture library.

Known Issues

v1.4.0 There is a bug that can cause an exception when starting vision mode. There is currently a fix for this going through certification and it should be available soon.

See also: