Best Compass Apps for Android [2018] – Must Have For A Travelers

For those who love adventure and exploring, compass can be a handy tool. But why use a physical compass when we can just install a compass app on our phone. We are living in a century where we can install applications for doing things. We are going to see some of the best compass apps for android.

A compass is a tool which is used to know directions. But with advancements in technology, we now have navigation technologies like GPS, GLONASS etc. Our smartphones are way more capable than we think.

Compasses tell the position in relation with the earth. For serious backpackers and hikers, it’s always handy to have a good compass. You can simply download a Compass app for your phone and use it like a normal compass.

How Compass Apps on Android Works?

Compass apps rely on the magnetometer on the phone to work. It measures the strength and direction of the magnetic fields. Analysing the magnetic fields of the earth, the sensor helps the phone to determine the orientation accurately.

image credit: Xiaomi

All Compass apps for Android requires calibration to be  done so that it can work perfectly and show the correct readings. When your compass application says that you need to calibrate the sensor, just swing the phone in a path resembling the number 8.

Advantages of Using a Compass App for Android

The first and foremost advantages is that you don’t have to spend money buying a physical compass. Many compass apps for Android is available for Free on the Google Play Store. They do come with ads, but still when it comes to convenience, compass apps are there up top.

You can have a compass with you wherever you go. Most of us have our phones with us for almost all the time. This means that you have your compass app with you the whole time.

Compass applications doesn’t need internet to work. It relies on the magnetometer in the phone. You can also use these compass apps in the dark, while you would find it difficult to use a physical compass at night.

Some compass apps also come with additional features like GPS, Coordinate finder etc.Quick Read
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Best FREE Compass Apps for Android

Here are some of the best compass applications that you can find on the Google Play Store.

Smart Compass:

Smart Compass app is available on the Google Play Store for Free. The app is rated 4.2 and has over 10 million downloads. It is among some of the most popular free compass apps for Android.

Using the app is pretty straight forward. You don’t have to do any sort of setup after downloading the application. You’ll have to calibrate the sensor to get the accurate readings from the app. Calibration of the application can be down by facing the phone towards the sky and then swinging it in shape of number 8.

It has different modes like Standard mode, telescope mode, night mode, digital mode, and more. The app can also utilize the camera on the phone to show the compass as an overlay to the camera feed. Some of the other features of the Smart Compass app are:

  • True north
  • Vertical line
  • Azimuth types (degree, mil, quadrants, back azimuth)
  • Coordinate types (decimal, degree, UTM, MGRS)
  • GPS Speedometer
  • Screen capture
  • Material design

The application size is under 4 Mb and so it’s pretty light weight and can be installed even on low end phones without any issues.

Digital Compass

Digital Compass by Axiomatic Inc is another popular compass app for Android which is available for free. The app, as the name suggests has a digital look to it. The interface is super cool and minimal. The compass is displayed in a digital way which gives it a futuristic look.


It’s very simple to use. You see the compass itself when the app is open and that’s pretty much it. I personally would prefer this Digital compass application over the Smart Compass app I’ve mentioned above. The main reason is that is does what it is supposed to and nothing more. I’m a fan of simplicity.


  • Latitude, longitude and address
  • Full-screen map
  • True heading and magnetic heading
  • Magnetic strength
  • Slope level meter
  • Sensor status

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You can download the free version of Digital Compass from the Google Play Store. The app also has a Pro version which can be bought through In-App purchase.


Here’s another compass app which is almost similar to the Digital Compass app mentioned above. The application is rated 4.4 and is downloaded over 5 million times. Its weighs just under 2 MB making it one of the lightest of the bunch.

The app is very simple but has a lot of features.

  • Show True North
  • Show latitude longitude
  • Show Altitude Speed
  • Show Sensor State
  • Show level
  • Show Magnetic Field Power
  • Show Device Slope Angle
  • Level Error Correction
  • Connect to Google Map

Best Compass App for Android with No Ads

Compass Steel 3D

If you are looking for a Compass App for Android without Ads, then you can try the Compass Steel 3D application which is really elegant and works well. The application has a No Ads version which doesn’t have ads in them.

Here are the features of the Compass Steel 3D(No Ads):

  • Ad-free digital compass
  • Multiple colour themes
  • Two heading modes – True heading (based on True north) and Magnetic heading (based on Magnetic north).
  • Sun direction indicator
  • Moon direction indicator
  • Sunrise and sunset times
  • Moonrise and moonset times
  • Self-calibrates as you use
  • Marine-style compass

The compass tilts according to motion of the phone giving a 3D effect which looks really cool. Another thing is that it has both heading modes and the app works without any internet connection. The app is rated 4.4 in the Google Play Store and is downloaded more than a million times.

Best Minimal Compass App for Android

Compass Galaxy

If you are the kind of person who needs just the compass and no additional feature or settings, then this is the app for you. It is simplest and most noob friendly compass. You open the app and you get a functional compass in your phone. End of story.

The compass application doesn’t need any unnecessary permissions and so you can be absolutely sure it’s safe. I personally would choose this one above all the others I have mentioned here. The application doesn’t have any ads. It will ask for calibration when needed.

Final Thoughts

For those do a lot of traveling or love hiking, a great compass app can be a lifesaver at times. You don’t have to get a physical compass for this purpose. You can simply download a compass application for your phone and use it. There are tons of compass apps available for download, we have listed only a few which are the best compass apps for Android.

If you are using a different compass application, do comment down below. Feel free to share it among your buddy travelers and friends.


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