How to Calibrate Compass on Android

Before the dawning of navigation apps, we used to rely on large maps to find our way around. For some, this can be really challenging because not a lot of people can follow maps. Thankfully, smartphones nowadays come with pre-installed Google Maps. But what if your location is off? So you search “how to calibrate compass on Android” on Google.

Calibrating your compass on your Android phone can be a fairly simple task. It only takes a few steps to do so and you’ll be working with only 1 application. But if you want to take it a step further, you’ll have a few more steps to take than the usual calibration.

Let’s dive into it!

How to Calibrate Compass on Android – Google Maps

Before we do anything complicated with our Google Maps, let’s establish first where we stand in calibration. It’s important to identify first if our calibration is okay and if it’s off, how off is it? This will save you time through the whole process because if it’s already good, then there’s no need to recalibrate it. 

First off, launch your Google maps and find the blue dot. This blue dot indicates your current location. If you can’t see the blue dot, you might be in a different place. You can easily locate this blue dot by tapping on the Location icon. This icon is located on the lower right side of your screen and it looks like a bullseye. 

Once you locate the blue dot, you’ll also notice a blue beam coming from the dot. It’ll look like a flashlight shining a light in the dark when represented in animated videos. 

With this beam, you can tell if your compass is accurate. If it’s short and moves with you correctly if you turn around in place, then your compass is accurate. If it extends too far out, this means that your compass isn’t very accurate. This will bring up a prompt from your Google Maps that you need to recalibrate your Android phone. 

So how do you do that?

  1. Tap on the blue dot. This will open up the Location menu. This provided detailed information about your location and the things around you. This includes shops, establishments, malls, parks, etc.
Tap on the blue dot
Tap on the blue dot.
  1. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see the Calibrate compass option. Once you tap on it, it will open up the Compass Calibration section. You’ll have to follow the instructions that will appear on your screen.
Tap on Calibrate
Tap on Calibrate
  1. The instructions will tell you to move your phone in a number 8 figure. This needs to be done in a specific manner. This is why the instructions will come with a visual representation of how you should move your phone. 
Instructions that are shown on your screen as to how you're supposed to move your phone.
Follow the instructions shown on your screen as to how you’re supposed to move your phone.
Instructions that are shown on your screen as to how you're supposed to move your phone.
Follow the instructions shown on your screen as to how you’re supposed to move your phone.
  1. The accuracy of your compass will be indicated on your screen. It can be low, medium, or high. Once you finish the calibration, it will automatically bring you back to the homepage of Google Maps. 
Compass accuracy will be shown once you complete calibration
Compass accuracy will be shown once you’re done.

How to Calibrate Compass on Android – Secret Service Menu

This option can be done in selected Android phones since not all phones will let you access the secret service menu. If you’re lucky, opening up this menu will be easy since you only need to type in a code in your dial pad. If you’re not lucky, you have to root your Android phone first to access this menu. 

Generally, this menu will allow you to test various sensors on your phone. Some steps may vary from phone to phone but try out these steps to see if it works for you.

  1. To open up the menu, you’ll need to open your Dial pad first. Type in  “*#0*#” and hit the call button and it will open up the secret service menu.
  2. A list of options in tiles will then appear. Tap on the “Sensor” option. This will open up a list of all the sensors on your phone along with the real-time data that they are collecting. 
Tap on the Sensor
Tap on the Sensor
  1. In this menu, the compass will be named as “Magnetic sensor.” You’ll find a small circle with a dial indicator pointing towards the north like an actual compass under this section. As with the previous process, we need to identify first the current condition of your compass.
  2. Look at this little circle closely and see if the line passing through it is blue or not. Another thing that you should look out for is if there is a number 3 written beside it. If you see that it’s blue and you see the number 3, then your compass is calibrated. If you see a green line with a number 2 then your compass needs to be calibrated.
A blue line and a number 3 mean that your phone is well calibrated.
If the line is blue and you see a number 3, your phone is well calibrated.
A red line and a number 0 mean that your phone needs calibration.
If the line is red and you see a number 0, your phone needs calibration.
  1. To calibrate your compass, you’ll need to move your phone in a figure 8, similar to what Google Maps showed you. You will need to do this multiple times to properly calibrate your compass.
  2. Once your compass turns blue and a number 3 appears, you’re done!

Final Thoughts

Having Google Maps or any kind of navigation app on your phone can be very useful. It can get you out of a very sticky situation when you’re lost. This is why it’s important to check if your phone is properly calibrated from time to time. 

Whether it’s through your Google Maps or through the Secret Service Menu, what’s important is you took the time to calibrate it.

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