iPhone 4 compass

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by moussekateer, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. moussekateer macrumors 6502a

    moussekateer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #1
    I've been through 3 iPhone 4's (don't ask) and on all of them I have the same problem. When I try to use the compass it ALWAYS tells me there's interference and I have to do the hand wavey thing for a good 30s, which gets boring quickly. I skipped the 3GS, so is this how it's always been?
     
  2. Charadis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #2
    The compass app on mine usually asks me to wave the phone in a figure-8, but most of the time takes under 10 secs...usually a few secs. You must be waving it wrong.

    -C

    Sent from my iPhone 4.
     
  3. RiceRacerDX macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    #3
    Why don't you do a control experiment? Drive out to the middle of a field, football field or whatever. Then try out your compass. If there is interference, then I have bad news for you...someone put metal and/or magnets in your body.
     
  4. fsck-y dingo macrumors 65816

    fsck-y dingo

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    #4
    I skipped the 3GS too, but my compass works fine. The iPhone compass picks up a low frequency RF signal transmitted from the North Pole. Magnets will interfere with the reading and will cause the compass to be wrong or not work. Are you having trouble in just one area or everywhere you go? If it's just in one spot then maybe there's interference. If it's everywhere then maybe you're being EMP'd...lol!
     
  5. moussekateer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    moussekateer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #5
    It's everywhere I go, even in parks. I have come to the conclusion that it is probably my positron heart powering my metal body
     
  6. ddoolin macrumors regular

    ddoolin

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #6
    :D
     
  7. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, US
    #7
    LOL - Do you dream of electric sheep?
     
  8. ddoolin macrumors regular

    ddoolin

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #8
    Robotic sheep.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Mike84 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #9
    I get the same issue as of late. I called Apple care and they said it was an accelerometer issue. Who knows.
     
  10. pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    #10
    Same issue on my 3Gs. Good thing it doesn't affect my GPS software. The compass Apple provides is a useless joke anyway. GPS systems are better.
     
  11. coasterider macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #11
    I've only gotten the compass to work once and a few minutes later it stopped working, so..
     
  12. rasmusonline macrumors regular

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    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Ryanair's planes.
  13. Ntombi macrumors 68040

    Ntombi

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Bostonian exiled in SoCal
    #13
    I only get interference in the car. Everywhere else, it works just fine.
     
  14. bushbaby macrumors 6502

    bushbaby

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Location:
    SoCal
    #14
    On the Apple board, many people have mentioned their compass reading is way off. Mine was too.

    (Perhaps some are accurate, but most people don't use their compass and most don't test it against another compass to know that it's off)
     
  15. mackmgg macrumors 65816

    mackmgg

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #15
    On my 3GS, I rarely get that figure 8 message. A lot of the time it shows the wrong direction, but it doesn't tell me there is interference
     
  16. moussekateer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    moussekateer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #16
    Seems like a common thing. I would have thought it was broken on my phone, but on all 3 (and my friends)? Also when the interference message finally disappears the compass is still usually about 90 degrees off.
     
  17. bushbaby macrumors 6502

    bushbaby

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Location:
    SoCal
    #17
    The problem is, the antennae issue drew everyone's attention to all the other potential issues with this phone. It's not on every phone, but there have been reports of battery drain, of course the proximity sensor, the overheating sensor (either going off when the phone is cool or not going off and the phone is hot), the yellow-skin white balance issue on the camera. Scattered reports of odd sounds.

    The speaker hiss is quite strong, try making a video recording in a quiet room and don't speak for a moment. Listen with speaker and then listen with earphones (and hear the hiss disappear). You can also test with voice memo.

    Most people don't test this far, esp when the phone is new. I love all the great features of this phone and am still an Apple fan, but I suspect they moved up the launch too early due to the lost tester phone. Because with that state-of-the-art testing facility, how did so many phones get by with all these problems?
     
  18. herkenham macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    #18
    Compass problems maybe fixed with iOS 4.0.1

    My iPhone 4 compass was essentially pointing random directions, making it entirely useless after the comic effect wears off in about 15 seconds. This is very disturbing to me, because I DO USE the compass. There are several apps that use the compass to good effect, including apps that orient a sky map, apps that show you what store is directly in front of you when you are in a shopping area, apps that tell you which way to go to reach a geocache, etc. The compass is a fun and interesting part of the phone, and it REALLY SUCKS when it doesn't work at all.

    I called AppleCare and the technical support person suggested that I upgrade to the latest version of the iOS operating system, which is 4.0.1 (8A306). It takes me about 2 hours to download an upgrade at my home. I commenced it today, without much enthusiasm, and with low expectations for getting the compass problem improved. I can't say for sure how this will work out in the long run, because I have only tested it for a few minutes out in the front yard, but initial indications are cautiously positive. Apps that use the compass are not completely fluid, but at least the compass seems now to be consistently pointing within about 10 degrees of true north, which is at least good enough to be useful again. I will test it out under other circumstances and see how it goes. If you care about the compass, it may be worthwhile to upgrade to the latest version of iTunes and iOS and see how it works out for you. (For those of you who just want to complain about phone flaws and flame Apple, it would be nice if you'd go somewhere else.)
     
  19. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #19
    I hope this is a case of "if you don't know, don't guess". If not, please spend a few minutes researching basic science topics. Sorry if this sounds a bit harsh, but bad science has to be nipped in the bud.

    The compass in the iPhone senses magnetic fields, NOT RF. In any event, there is no RF, low frequency or otherwise, being transmitted from the North Pole.

    Otherwise, you are correct in stating that other, stray, magnetic fields will interfere with the compass.
     
  20. herkenham macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    #20
    No benefit from iOS 4.0.1 after all

    I spoke too soon. There is not any benefit from the 4.0.1 upgrade. My compass is still behaving completely erratically. It is more than 90 degrees off at the moment. North on the compass is pointing a little south of west. I'm ready to call Apple back now.
     
  21. phillipjfry macrumors 6502a

    phillipjfry

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Location:
    Peace in Plainfield
    #21
    You using bumper or case or nothing at all?
    Compass performance (or rather basic functionality) improved overall with the bumper on my phone. Although I really won't roll the compass issue in with the antenna one I suffered greatly from, I just wanted to inform you the observation I made!
     
  22. jwlussow@mac.co macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    #22
    My iPhone 4 is always off 90°. North arrow is always pointing east. It is very annoying.
     
  23. iceterminal macrumors 68000

    iceterminal

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas Tx.
    #23
    More important, do you have velcro gloves?
     
  24. mackmgg macrumors 65816

    mackmgg

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #24
    This isn't a problem. Before 4.0, the compass was VERY rarely accurate. Now, it asks me to calibrate it the first time I open it after restoring. After the initial calibration, its accurate! I used an iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and real compass and they all pointed in the same direction
     
  25. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #25
    My first iPhone 4 had issues with the compass but my replacement (which I got because my camera was taking pictures with an angle down to the right) doesn't have the issues.
     

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