1. zektor666's Avatar
    Are the compass apps only functional when used with a BB phone? I have downloaded two of them so far on the PB and neither does anything. I thought it had an internal magnetometer?
    02-27-12 04:49 PM
  2. FF22's Avatar
    NO. The pb has its own gps. Initially, it needs 15-30 minutes with a really good view of the sky (not indoors or near tall buildings or even forest and keep your body out of it view). The FREE compass app can take time to start working. The other day on the new OS2 where I figure all of the gps data had been erased, it took 15 or so minutes.

    After an initial lock, it is usually faster unless it has been off for a while or moved a couple of hundred or so miles.

    Which apps did you try? (Bing can be slow or fail but works after compass gets a reading)
    02-27-12 05:40 PM
  3. zektor666's Avatar
    I only tried a pay compass app (I think it was $2.99) and some free compas app some time back. I thought it would initially function, but thanks for the heads up on it requiring the use of GPS. I am still slightly new to this
    02-27-12 05:41 PM
  4. robsteve's Avatar
    There is a fluxgate compass in the Playbook, but there has been no way for the programmers to access it. The current compass apps are using the GPS and course over ground to determine the direction you are traveling. You need to be moving for the to work.

    There is an Astronomy app that has access to the fluxgate. I am not sure how he did it, but it works. He is a member here and may post the details. The App's name is Whats Up.
    02-27-12 05:48 PM
  5. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    I only tried a pay compass app (I think it was $2.99) and some free compas app some time back. I thought it would initially function, but thanks for the heads up on it requiring the use of GPS. I am still slightly new to this
    When using a GPS compass, you must be in motion. Be careful when using these so you don't walk into a tree or something.

    You will see some "real" magnetic compass apps available now that an API is available for the PlayBook's on-board magnetometer. One or two apps are already in App World that make use of the magnetometer - one of them is some kind of astronomy app.
    kbz1960 likes this.
    02-27-12 05:50 PM
  6. zektor666's Avatar
    That is great! Yes, I was looking for a "true" compass app to be honest. I'll look into those apps and see what I can find. Thanks for the input!
    02-27-12 05:54 PM
  7. robsteve's Avatar
    One or two apps are already in App World that make use of the magnetometer - one of them is some kind of astronomy app.
    I bought that app as soon as I read there was a working compass in it. I was out walking the dog last night and a neighbor said "Look at the two bright planets up by the moon." I then said "I have an app for that" and got the PlayBook from the house and started Whats Up to find the names the planets. The App worked perfectly.

    A quick question on the compass in the PlayBook or even the phones. What orientation do you hold the playbook to read the compass accurately?
    02-27-12 05:59 PM
  8. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    A quick question on the compass in the PlayBook or even the phones. What orientation do you hold the playbook to read the compass accurately?
    By default, PlayBook's magnetometer returns the direction that the device's media buttons are pointing. Currently my app needs to be held in landscape orientation with the buttons facing away from you. A future update will be smart enough to determine if you are pointing it the "wrong" way and adjust for it.

    Also, for the record, the app is not yet using the official API. I am not a C programmer and there is a bit of a learning curve. This iteration needs to be manually recalibrated as necessary. There are instructions in the help screens but please ignore point #7. The calibration process in ongoing and automatic - so there is no stop button.
    02-27-12 06:15 PM
  9. dugggggg's Avatar
    One or two apps are already in App World that make use of the magnetometer - one of them is some kind of astronomy app.
    Hey! That astronomy app's magnetometer does seem to be working, now that the PB is running 2.0. Of course, this test was done during the day---when the PB is smart enough to use the camera and figure out its orientation by computing the precise angle of the doppler shifted polarized sunlight, or something like that.

    The real test will come in three hours when I check out the Big Three.
    BuzzStarField likes this.
    02-27-12 06:31 PM
  10. zektor666's Avatar
    I'm going to buy "What's Up" as soon as I get home! It looks very very cool!
    BuzzStarField likes this.
    02-27-12 06:47 PM
  11. saudadeii's Avatar
    I've used 2 of the free Compass apps. They both suck. Try reading Moss instead.
    02-27-12 07:38 PM
  12. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    I've used 2 of the free Compass apps. They both suck. Try reading Moss instead.
    Especially if this Moss app uses the PlayBook's magnetometer sensor (and not the GPS receiver).
    02-27-12 07:48 PM
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