Apple Watch Compass Explained

Having access to a reliable compass can make your life so much easier. Whether you have a kayaking mission or are hiking with friends, the Compass app is a great way to know the direction.

With a compass, you can easily negotiate the map and explore even unknown places. Fortunately, you can have access to reliable directions with an Apple Watch Compass. Here’s what you must know about Apple Watch Compass and how to use it.

Apple Watch Series that have a compass

If you own an Apple Watch Series 5, Apple Watch Series 6, and Apple Watch SE, you’ll have access to a built-in dedicated compass app.

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How Do I Download the Compass on My Apple Watch?

First, you need to ensure that your Apple Watch supports the compass app. If you have the right model but the compass app is missing, check if the paired iPhone has the Compass app installed on it. The compass app must be installed on your iPhone for it to show up in your watch.

Install the Compass App on Your Apple Watch

  • Go to the App Store on your paired iPhone (open the App Store on your iPhone).
  • Search for the compass app and ensure that it’s developed by Apple.
  • Download and install the app.
  • Restart your iPhone and your watch.
  • Open your watch and tap on the Compass app.

If the compass app doesn’t show up even after installing it on your phone, restart your watch and your phone. If the problem persists, ask Siri to launch the Compass app. Siri will locate it for you and will show up on your Apple Watch.

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Crucial Tips You Need to Know

It’s common knowledge that a non-digital compass reacts to magnetic fields. As a result, the compass needlepoints in the wrong and irregular direction. This also happens to the compass sensor and digital compass on Apple Watch. Things like Leather Loop, Apple’s Leather Loop, Milanese Loop, and earlier Sport watch bands have magnetic properties since they have small magnets in them. This can disrupt the functioning of the Apple Watch compass.

How Do I Use the Apple Watch Compass?

The Compass app gives the direction the Watch is facing, the elevation, and information like your current location. Here are some steps you need to follow to use the Compass on your Watch:

  • Go to the Compass app on your Apple Watch.
  • Change the direction to True North.
  • Calibrate your Apple Watch.
  • Line up the crosshairs at the center of the compass.
  • Turn the Digital Crown to view your incline, elevation, and coordinates.

To change the direction to True North, you need to conduct an Apple Watch calibration. When you start to move, the red cone around the compass needle will show the heading’s accuracy. A narrow cone means greater accuracy, while a wider cone indicates average accuracy.

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How to Allow the Compass Access Your Location

This process is easier than you think. The Compass app will need to access your location when setting up the app on your Apple Watch. Here are some steps you need to follow:

  • Go to the Settings app on Watch.
  • Scroll down to Privacy and click Location Service, and then Compass.
  • Tap While Using the App to grant permission.

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How to Ensure Accuracy with Compass App

The Apple Watch Compass app functions differently, but if you want accurate readings, hold your watch flat and align the crosshairs at the center.

When you move, the red cone will give you the accuracy of the reading.  A narrower cone represents a more accurate reading. For accurate readings, play around with the compass until you achieve the desired results.

How to Use the Compass from Your Compass App

Apple Watch Compass Explained

Another advantage of the Apple Watch Compass app is that it can function as a complication from your watch face. Go to your iPhone and select a face that allows complications, and choose Compass as an option. Choose a setting to show a compass, your incline, and your elevation. However, this setting has an impact on the battery life.

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Why Does My Apple Watch Not Have a Compass?

The Compass app is only available on the Apple Watch Series 5 or above. You cannot access the compass app if you have an older model because it requires hardware only available on Series 5 and above.

Final Thoughts

That’s how you can use the Apple Watch Compass app. Once you’re done, just turn off the compass on your Apple watch. The good thing about this app is that you can use it without a Cellular or Wi-Fi connection. Additionally, ensure that the watch bands don’t have magnets or magnetic materials because they can interfere with the compass.