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5 Best Compass App for Android: For the Modern Explorer

Not all who wander are lost. Or so they say.

But you could get lost when you’re navigating through forests, hiking mountains or entering unknown terrains. While you can use a trusty old map or compass, you can do it with style using the best compass app for Android.

If you’re feeling like being a modern explorer or a navigator, you can always use a compass. Sure, you can rely on offline GPS navigation apps for Android. Those are great too.

But…

A compass just feels different. It’s more rooted in the old ways of exploration and navigation. However, if you like to use it with a modern twist, there are compass apps you can use to guide you through the world of the unknown and the undiscovered. The app bridges the gap between tradition and modernity.

You might be asking: “Why should I use a compass?”

Because it’s fairly easy to use. As what we’ve learned about compasses when we were still young:

The needle always points towards the North Pole.

So that gives you a sense of direction wherever you are on the planet. Just pair it with a map and you’re good to go. You can download maps on your phone or you can use traditional paper maps to feel more like a real explorer. However, if you’re just too modern and can’t go without GPS, you can always go back to GPS navigation apps just in case.

Still:

Compass apps are just way cooler. They also tend to use very less battery when compared with other dedicated GPS navigation apps. So if you want to keep your phone going for long hours while you’re out there in the woods or the wilderness, it’s better to use a compass. Save your phone’s battery for other important tasks or in case of emergency.

Just in case:

We recommend that you bring a power bank or a portable solar charger for Android for emergency purposes. Always prepared…like a real explorer.

With this, we have made a list of some of the best compass apps you can use anywhere you go. Whether you go sailing, hiking in the woods, exploring new terrains, you can always rely on a compass app for Android. Like a dear old friend.

1. Compass 360 Pro Free

Compass 360 Pro Free App icon

If you need a compass which works all over the world, this is the one you should get. There are many compass apps that work perfectly fine in America but failed to do so in Australia or even some regions of Asia.

The Compass 360 Pro Free works perfectly fine all over the world with extremely high accuracy. It is a simple to use app that can be used as a real compass.

The professional design of the app allows you to navigate quickly and trace your location. The app comes with a dampened compass card that allows you to know the orientation in just a single glance. There is also a decimal bearing which is essential in knowing detailed directions.

The app also provides magnetic and true North and takes care of the variations automatically. Compass 360 Pro can be used completely offline which is very important when you are traveling in no coverage zones. A portable signal booster may also prove helpful for your wilderness adventure.

Free Version

2. Field Compass

Field Compass App icon
Field Compass is one of those apps that give you everything you need right on the main screen. On any other app, this amount of information might feel daunting and may strain the user experience in a negative way. However, a compass app needs to convey important information just at one glance, and this is exactly what this app does.

If you want to know almost everything about your location and direction, this is the app made for you. Sure, there are many simple compass apps on Android, which simply tell you where the North Pole is but this one goes above and beyond.

There are a night mode and declination field that comes with user-changeable values. This app can be used in sailing and boating as well, thanks to the pitch and roll fields that are included.

Free Version

3. Minimal Compass

Minimal Compass App icon
There’s something special about minimal designs and this compass app does exactly that. As the name suggests, Minimal Compass is a very simplistic compass that allows you to know the directions. The app does not connect to a server which saves your data and is easily accessible all over the place.

When camping or hiking you are always conscious of saving your battery life and having a compass app that regularly connects to the Internet can dampen your ambition.

This compass app doesn’t even ask for any social media interaction; it doesn’t spy on you, and it doesn’t even run in the background. This is a very light app that completely closes when you exit. It’s an app that lets you get more in touch with your surroundings than with the virtual world.

Free Version

4. 3D Compass Plus

3D Compass Plus App icon
If you want something unique in your compass apps, 3D Compass Plus just might be up your alley. This is a compass app with an augmented reality view which makes it highly interactive and fun to use.

While this isn’t exactly the best app for traveling, it’s still a great choice if you are only looking for a simple app with directions. Of its kind, this is the most entertaining one.

The app shows an augmented reality view, map, address, speed and time on the screen. It shows a 3-D Compass and coordinates as well. As it is a very futuristic-looking app, it allows you to take screenshots of whatever is on your screen.

It’s very entertaining to see the compass floating midair in the middle of the road. You can also attach the date, time, and location to the screenshot file. You can even record videos on devices that are Android 5.0 above.

Free Version

5. Digital Compass

Digital Compass App icon
A simple app that is designed well is hard to come by. However, Digital Compass combines simplicity with ease of use extremely well.

It is a simple compass app for Android which provides all the necessary information right on the main screen. However, it is not minimalistic by any means, as there are some features included other than direction telling.

The app may look plain, but tap on the map button, and you can check out where you are. It is a great feature for those who don’t have access to a physical map. Switching between apps can be cumbersome on some smartphones and this app gets rid of the need to alternate between the compass and map.

Apart from that, the app can also show you the magnetic field strength. It will also be able to keep the screen on when the app is being used with a simple check in the settings.

Free Version

FAQs About Compass App for Android

What is the best Android compass app?

For overall performance and features, we believe that the best compass app is Compass 360 Pro Free. Not only is it accurate, but it is also easy to use and it works wherever you are in the globe. You can even use it offline. Another great app is Field Compass. It offers all the essential things you need in a compass at a glance. But ultimately, what is the best would still boil down to what you personally prefer.

How to use a compass app?

It depends on what app you are using. But they have 1 thing in common: they work similarly to a real compass. Only, they’re digital versions of it. Just launch the app, and hold your phone flat. Holding your phone, spin it around until you hit the degrees (technically called the bearing) you want to follow. For example 50 degrees north-west. Just remember the most basic thing: the needle always points to the north.

How accurate are Android compass apps?

Truth be told: they’re not 100% accurate. But the margin of error, if any, is pretty slim. They are accurate within a few degrees, accurate enough to guide you where you want to go.


A Companion in Next Your Adventures

Let’s face it. A real compass is still cooler. It’s more fitting for a real adventurer, navigator or explorer. But compass apps aren’t bad at all. They’re a great alternative to the traditional compass. They offer other features too, and they’re more convenient especially if you want to rely so much on your smartphone.

The 5 digital compass apps listed here are some of the best you can download and use. Whichever compass app for Android you choose, you’ll still be in good hands. They’re a great companion to your next travel and adventures. Try these apps and start exploring the different corners and hidden nooks of the world.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to ask them in the comments below.

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18 Comments

    1. Hi There,
      I am glad that you found the information useful. Don´t forget to keep coming back for more useful tips and tricks for Android. Thanks for commenting. =-)

  1. Can you also include cell phone battery life when using the apps and whether they work without cell phone coverage?

  2. I have an Android tab and have tried various compass apps, but none simulate a real compass using GPS without a magnetometer. Any ideas? Thanks, Howard

    1. Right now there isn’t the specific need for the general public to have a magnetometer in every device. That being said, compasses are going to be functional, but not as accurate as something specifically designed for navigating.

      I think devices like the Samsung Active phones should have a magnetometer in them… they are for active use. What do you think?

      1. I think you didn’t answer the question. Howard asked about apps that work on devices without a magnetometer — your response was to suggest that he buy a device that has a magnetometer. That’s not helpful.

        After a lot of searching, I haven’t found a simple compass app that works off GPS. One consideration is that in order to get a direction (heading) from GPS you have to be moving. However, just walking at a normal pace is enough to generate a reading. The only app I have found that will do this is one made for avionics, called A-EFIS Free. If you ignore things we don’t need on land, such as rate of climb, A-EFIS Free provides latitude and longitude coordinates, altitude (from GPS), speed, and compass heading displayed both in a dial and digitally in a box. For cell phones and tablets that don’t have a lot of internal sensors, all inputs can be set to use GPS. At first, it’s a bit startling to see the compass suddenly rotate to due north when you stop, but you get used to that quickly. Walk a few yards/meters in a straight line, and it tells you what direction that is.

        There’s nothing else like it that I’ve been able to find.

  3. Would be helpful to know if there is an ad-free version and the cost for th a t version, if any.

  4. Do you know if their are any android compass apps that allow you to have a compass on the screen at all times, even when you’re not in the app?

    1. Hi, Tom. I can’t find any apps that show a compass on the screen at all times. What may work for you instead would be to download a compass widget. This wouldn’t allow you to see the compass while accessing other apps, but would allow you to see the compass from your home screen.

  5. Hi, I have a MOTOG4 play android. I installed the “Minimal Compass” from your top 5 list, it shows the North East, etc but no indicator. Does this phone have compass capability?

    1. Hi Jeanine! Could you clarify what you mean by indicator? Are you talking about the needle of the compass?

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