Your mobile device can be many things, including a compass, and this little app is one of the neatest compass utilities, and one of the most visually pleasing. The awesome Holo dark themes look great at night, and I’ve been toying with it for the sake of the looks only, not to mention it turned out quite useful on my trip. You see, some countries don’t have street names and house numbers, but instead, name their locations on a ‘300 meters to the East of Pizza Hut’ format, which is stupefying when you don’t know where East is. Irrespective of whether you are traveling to such countries, or simply want to take your family camping, or go on a geological trip with your fellow students, a compass app in your Android smartphone can be very handy and cool.
Besides being completely free and resource-savvy, Field Compass Holo is also powerful. The app places all the information it gathers in one good-looking window, which is easy to navigate and keep track of the data that helps you stay on course. The analog compass occupies the main window real estate and displays your direction. Beside it, there is a digital center panel that displays your direction in degrees.
The reference point in Field Compass Holo is the True or Magnetic North, but you can manually adjust the Declination for your pending location. Now, the app has a setting to record up to three bearings, and you can overwrite a bearing if you need. The three middle buttons located at the top tool bar let you record compass bearings.
The stored bearings can be used to calibrate a three point compass fix. Other nifty features worth mentioning include the weird but nonetheless dazzling red colored night mode, orientation field with North, South, East, West, North-East and South-West, etc., True North reference, pitch and roll fields for boating, and user configurable Declination field.
A regular city dweller might not need it on a daily basis, but anyone interested in sailing, boating, hiking, climbing and regular outdoor navigation should definitely try it, especially considering the app comes free of charge and has great feedback.
If your smartphone has GPS and GLONASS capabilities, you can test the app to see how accurate are its readings for yourself. The app also has a setting that tells you when the reading is off, and urge you to re-calibrate when necessary.
Field Compass also has a paid version, Field Compass Plus, which will set you off for $2.50, and give access to such features as user selectable coordinate grid. MGRS grid for military use, 100+ map data, GPS-enabled auto declination and no ads.
The app does not show Magnetic and True North at the same time, though, but you can get it by using the magnetic declination value for the one, and setting one of the bearing values for the other. It would be probably more efficient to have it set for True North and not have it rely on sensors for Magnetic readings.
Overall, it is a powerful and beautiful little tool that can be indispensable for the right user, and it gets updated on a consistent basis.