You may know iPhone 3GS comes with a built-in magnetometer (i.e. digital compass) which works exactly the same as the magnetic needle compass. Built as a standalone application, the digital compass app comes with a beautifully designed interface. When it’s launched, the app shows you the position you’re facing along with the coordinates.
From some feedback I’ve heard, some claimed the compass application is the most useless application on iPhone 3GS. Most users hardly needs to know which direction he/she is facing, except you’re having an adventure trip. I totally agree with those users’ feedback. When you use the compass application alone, it’s just an ordinary compass. It does nothing more than showing where the north is.
However, when the compass is paired with other applications, it’s not so ordinary and empowers them to improve your navigation. One great example is the marriage of digital compass and Google Maps.
When using Google Maps on iPhone, you can tap the “Your Location” button (i.e. the little button in the lower-left corner) to find your current location. The map shows your current location as a blue dot. Let me ask you. How many times are you confused with the direction you’re facing when using the map? The blue dot only tells your current location but it doesn’t show you the way you’re facing. Normally, you figure out the direction by recognizing the buildings around you. However, it’s not always easy especially you’re unfamiliar with the area.
I guess not all iPhone 3GS owners know about this feature. In iPhone 3GS, the Google Maps tightly integrates with the built-in digital compass. Now, the blue dot shows the direction you’re facing with a triangular beam. This feature is not obvious as the beam is not displayed when Google Maps locates your position. You have to tap the “Your Location” button again to enable the triangular beam. As you move around, the beam always points to the direction you’re facing. With the digital compass in iPhone 3GS, you should know which way to walk and never accidentally walk in the wrong direction.
Personally, I really find this feature useful and it sets a great example on how the compass can power other iPhone applications. What do you think about this feature and the introduction of digital compass? As always, let us know your thought by leaving comment below. Or, you may want to visit from time to time to know the Latest News on Technology.