Compass logo and text

Mobile App Review: Compass, by Apple Inc.

Learn how to use the Compass app while running VoiceOver!

Basic functionality: Navigation and Level:

Find compass directions, see your latitude, longitude, and elevation, or match a slope, all with Compass from Apple.


Specific examples of how this app might be used by Blind individuals

Image 1:The App Appearance on the iPhone (Enlarged)

Opening the Compass APP in VoiceOver

Information Provided

Location, heading degrees, cardinal direction NSEW, coordinates.

Speech Says

“Compass 349 degrees, N, Rutland, VT
(tilt) Hold the device flat for accurate bearing
(turn left) 270 degrees, W.”

Touch explore at the base to place focus on “Cooridinates”,
then “double tap” to open in Apple Maps.

The image below includes the compass app screenshot on the right and text with arrows pointing to the screenshot explaining different areas.

Red – Diviation from the Locked Heading (arrow pointing to red bar)

Align the crosshairs to level for accuracy (arrow pointing to crosshairs in the middle of the compass rose)

Direction the iPhone is pointing (arrow pointing to 235 degrees)

Screenshot of Compass app; North is 4:00. Red bar between SW and West (268)

Current location

Tap on the GPS coordinates in the Compass App to launch Maps (arrow pointing to Maps screenshot)

Image below includes the text, “Apple Maps launched – Tap or double tap Navigation icon “Tracing button” to turn on Compass Mode, which will orient the map with magnetic north. App will announce nearby things, streets or search for Domino’s Pizza and being walking. (Hypothetical example; I have not tested out the accuracy of Apple Maps.)

2 Screenshots of Apple Maps with arrow pointing to Navigation button and arrow pointing to Search textfield.

Leveling – Up or flat surface orientation

1 finger swipe left to open Level

3 finger swipe left (VoiceOver) to open level

three screenshots of Compass App; Two overlapping white circles on black background with -8 degrees in overlap; black circle with -1 on top of white circle on black background; outline of a circle with 0 degrees on green background.

Leveling – Horizontal Orientation

Turn phone

2 Screenshots of Compass app: diagonal line higher on the left with 9 degrees. Below the line is black, above the line is white. Straight line with 0 degrees, below the line is green, above the line is white.

Leveling – Vertical Orientation

Turn Phone

2 screenshots of Compass app; almost horizontal line with 1 degree, below line is black, above line is white. horizontal line with 0 degrees, below line is green above line is white.

The first screenshot below has the text, “Copy an Angle. Tap or Double Tap to set the angle.” 

The horizontal image has a diagonal line (slightly higher on right side) with 0 degrees in the red bar. The width of the red bar is the same from the left to right side of the image. Below the red bar is black space and above the red bar is white space.

The second screenshot below has the text, “Adjusting the angle till it reaches Zero Degrees.”

The horizontal image has a red bar that crosses and becomes wider at the top right. 8 Degrees is just to the right of the cross. Below the red is black space and above the red is white space.

The third screenshot below has the text, “Then manipulate the othr object to Zero Degrees.”

The horizontal image has a green bar with 0 degrees which is slightly higher on the right side. The green bar is the same width across the screen.  Below the green bar is black space and above the green bar is white space.

Three screenshots of the compass app





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