How to set up and use the Compass in BlackBerry 7

How-To

Compass in BlackBerry 7

A new feature available in select BlackBerry® 7 smartphones (such as the BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900/9930 and BlackBerry® Torch™ 9850/9860 smartphones) is the Compass functionality. You can also use the Compass with location-based applications – such as the BlackBerry® Maps application that might be preloaded on your BlackBerry® smartphone – and is designed to provide you with information like driving directions, or your position in relation to points of interest. You can also use the Compass application to determine your direction in relation to the Earth’s magnetic poles or to true north.

Today I’ll show you how you can get up and running with the Compass so you use can take advantage of Augmented Reality apps such as Wikitude – a great way to explore the world around you!

Setting up the Compass

To access the Compass, open the Applications folder from the home screen and select the Compass icon. The first time you use the Compass app, you’ll be shown the Compass Tune Up screen which is designed to help calibrate the Compass. If you haven’t used the Compass before and launch an app that uses the Compass, such as Wikitude, you’ll be shown the Compass Tune Up Screen as well.

Compass in BlackBerry 7

When this screen appears, move away from any metal objects and start flipping and tilting the BlackBerry smartphone. After a few moments, the BlackBerry smartphone is designed to vibrate, which indicates that the Compass has been successfully calibrated.

After calibrating the Compass, here are a few things you should know:

Change options for the Compass

1. On the home screen or in the Applications folder, click the Compass icon.
2. Press the Menu key and select “Options”.

  • To change the way latitude and longitude coordinates are displayed, change the Location LAT/LON display format field.
  • To change where the Compass points, change the Magnet/True North field.

3. Press the Menu key and select “Save”.

Calibrate the Compass manually

Compass in BlackBerry 7

When “Calibration Required” appears at the bottom of the screen, you should calibrate the Compass manually for a more accurate Compass reading. To do this, complete the following steps:

1. On the home screen or in the Applications folder, select the Compass icon.
2. Press the Menu key and select “Calibration”.
3. Flip and tilt your BlackBerry smartphone until it vibrates.
4. The Compass is now calibrated.

View location on a map from the Compass

You can view the Compass and your location on a map at the same time.

1. On the home screen or in the Applications folder, click the Compass icon.
2. Press the Menu key and select “Location on Map”.

Compass in BlackBerry 7

Navigate to a destination

You can use the Compass application to help you navigate by direction rather than by a driving route; for example, if you are in an area with no roads, or if you are walking to your destination. Before you begin, GPS technology must be turned on.

Compass in BlackBerry 7

1. On the home screen or in the Applications folder, click the Compass icon.
2. Press the Menu key and select “Set Destination”.

  • To find your destination on the map, place the cursor on the map.
  • To search for a specific location, type the address or the latitude and longitude coordinates in the “Search” field. Click the destination.
  • To search for a point of interest, such as a business or landmark, in the Search field, type the information for the point of interest. Click the destination.

3. The Compass displays the direction of the destination.

Troubleshooting

If you are not receiving an accurate reading from the Compass, try some of the following things:

  • If the Compass doesn’t point north, move your BlackBerry smartphone away from metal or magnets.
  • If “Calibration Required” appears at the bottom of the screen, calibrate the Compass manually using the steps provided earlier.
  • To help prevent metal and magnets from interfering with the Compass, close the Compass application before you get in a vehicle or insert your smartphone in a holster.

Got a question about the Compass functionality? Leave a comment and let me know!

About Ty Williams

Community Content Manager & Blogger @ BlackBerry. Follow me on Twitter or Google+

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