Where Is Compass In Samsung Galaxy S8 And Galaxy S8 Plus?
Your Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8 Plus smartphone has a built-in magnetic compass. You’ve probably seen your compass in action if you’ve ever used Google Maps or a similar program and saw the directional arrow in the map display showing you which way you were facing. However, the built-in compass app does not display by default on your phone.
Whether you’re using it for fun, to prove someone wrong (which can certainly fall into the “fun” category), or you’re in need of a quick and convenient compass, the Galaxy S8 phone offers this utility.
In this article, I will show you how to get your compass to display, and I’ll also talk about some other improved third-party compass apps you can download, as well as the procedure for recalibrating your compass if it gets out of adjustment for some reason.
Finding Your Compass
Although your Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8 Plus has a compass, the interface for the compass isn’t displayed by default as one of your widgets or in your app list. You won’t find this utility in the app drawer or on the home screen. Instead, there is a procedure you will need to follow to gain access to the compass functionality.
The Edge screen is accessed by swiping away from the far right side of your phone’s body. You may notice a small digital bump on the right side of your screen. Tap and pull that indicator to access your edge. You will notice your favorite contacts, a few apps, your reminders, and ultimately; a compass.
Enabling Your Samsung Native Compass
If you do not see your compass, follow these steps to enable it:
- Select Settings
- Select Display->Edge Screen->Edge Panels
- Select Quick Tools
- Select Compass
Now the compass will appear whenever you swipe to open the Edge screen. If you don’t immediately see your compass simply swipe again, there are several panes in the Edge screen and you can swipe to reveal more.
Recommended Compass Apps
There are thousands of free compass apps available for Android and most of them work in basically the same way. Below we’ve listed a few apps that should work fine if you decide you want more than the built-in compass app. As always, read the reviews before downloading any third-party applications on your phone.
The Physics Toolbox Sensor Suite comes in with 4.7 stars and has several educational, fun, and necessary utilities including a compass.
Compass Galaxy is a very simple compass app with a clean UI. It is ad-supported but the ads are not obtrusive, and the app is very highly rated.
Compass Steel 3D is a full-featured compass app that features the ability to display either true (map) north or magnetic north. The app can be customized with colors and themes, will show the direction of the sun and the moon is self-calibrating and has no advertisements.
Orienteering Compass & Map is a compass app that integrates with Google Maps to turn your phone into an orienteering tool. Unfortunately, it doesn’t let you download a map while you have Internet service, so it is of less use in the actual wilderness than it is in an inhabited area, but it’s still pretty cool.
Calibrating Your Compass
The magnetic compass in your phone can become uncalibrated for any number of reasons. Generally, your compass app will inform you that the magnetic compass is uncalibrated; some apps (like Compass Steel 3D) will auto-calibrate the compass when it is being used. In any event, recalibrating your compass is simple.
- Open your Phone app
- Dial *#0*# (As if you were making a phone call)
- Select Sensor
- Scroll down to “Magnetic Sensor”
- Spin your phone all the way around in a figure-8 until it is calibrated
Now your Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8 Plus compass is calibrated and ready for use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a way to use the native compass without the Edge Screen?
Unfortunately, no. If you’d like to have an app that you can tap on from your app drawer, you will need to download one from the Google Play Store.
My compass still isn’t working after re-calibrating. What can I do?
First, try recalibrating your compass again. If that doesn’t work your S8 may have an internal hardware issue. If the culprit is the latter it’s best to take your phone to a certified Samsung repair shop for further assistance.
How accurate is the compass on a phone?
Compared to a handheld compass, most Galaxy compasses have the right idea, to say the least. If you’re an avid hiker, you practice Feng Shui, or you need a reliable compass for boating trips it’s probably just safer to take a quality handheld compass with you. The reason a phone may not be as reliable as a good old fashion compass is that you’re relying on software and hardware (that can easily be thrown off with a good drop) rather than a simple needle/magnet combination.
Does the Samsung Compass require a cellular connection to work?
Based on tests performed, no. But, the compass should be calibrated before going out of the cellular area as it may not accurately display directions.
How does the compass on a smartphone work?
Smartphone compasses are different than handheld compasses because there is too much interference in the former to actually use a simple magnet/need combo. Smartphones rely on an accelerometer in the phone to locate your position between the North and South poles giving you a sense of direction. To reiterate, depending on what you’re using the compass for, it may be a good idea to have a good old fashioned device for travel and navigation.
Have any other tips on using the compass feature of the Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8 Plus? If so, then please share them with us below in the comments section!