More and more Android smartphones are now coming equipped with a magnetic sensor also called magnetometer. What this magnetic sensor does is that it measures the magnetic field around the smartphone – the change in the magnetic field, the direction of the magnetic field and its strength. While it sounds like something NASA would put in their space exploration devices, it is placed in the smartphones so that we can use the phones as traditional magnetic compasses.
Any smartphone that comes with a magnetic sensor can be used as a magnetic compass, all you need is an app like “Just a Compass”. This app makes use of the magnetometer sensor to find out the north direction at your location. The user interface is designed to mimic the traditional magnetic compass that rotates to indicate the north, east, west and south directions along with the degrees.
Since all Android phones also come with some sort of GPS chip built inside, “Just a Compass” also uses the GPS data retrieved from different satellites hover around our planet. For this you have to enable high-accuracy location setting in Android and then stand in a place where you have clear view of sky so that your device can fetch data from the GPS satellites.
Using the GPS data, “Just a Compass” can find not only the longitudes and latitudes for the location where you are standing with your Android phone, but it also displays your address. The accuracy of the address and your location is also displayed in terms of meters. In order to improve the accuracy, you have to stand in an open area with no interference between the device and the sky so that your device can fetch data from a large number of satellites and precisely locate your position.
You can get Just a Compass app for Android from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.androgames.compass.