Tip of the Day: How to Use the Compass and Level App

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The compass app may be one of those Apple apps that you've forgotten you even have on your iPhone. Apple even has it hidden away in the Extras folder. But it could come in handy if you get lost or need to check if a picture you're hanging is level.

The compass part of the app requires minimal set up. When you open it, you'll have to calibrate the directionality by rotating the phone around in your hand, following the prompt on the screen. After a few seconds, compass will be ready to use. Just use it as you would a regular compass—hold the phone flat, parallel to the ground, and rotate the phone around. When the little "+" sign in the middle of the screen is lined up with the center of the compass, the bolded white line will show you the direction your phone is pointing. The app even gives you the degree of your position.

Once you’re pointed in the right direction, tap the screen to lock the position. After that, the compass will display a red band when you go off course.


But that's not all. You can swipe left to use your iPhone as a level! This simple tool can be useful if you don't have your own level. It works the same way as the compass. Rest your phone on its back or side on a surface to get the degree measurement of the surface. 


When the iPhone is level, the screen will turn bright green.

Note: there may be a margin of error in both the level and the compass. Other pro note: the compass can be used without service in case you do get lost without a signal!

Top image credit: bikeriderlondon / Shutterstock.com

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Author Details

Abbey Dufoe's picture

Author Details

Abbey Dufoe

Abbey Dufoe is a freelance writer and a web producer at a nonprofit based in Princeton, NJ. She's always itching for the newest iOS gadget (current favorite - the Apple Watch). She tweets and blogs about the earth and the Internet on Twitter at @abbeydufoe and at abbeydufoe.com.