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Compass issues

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Journeyman

Compass issues

Anyone having trouble getting the compass to output accurate information?  I've tried a couple compass apps, and compass mode in google maps, and for me, it's all over the place.  Sometimes it will point in the right direction, then it will just spin around and be way off.  Doesn't matter where i'm at, and there's no other electronic/magnetic devices near the phone.

12 REPLIES 12
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Journeyman

The moment doesn't have a real compass in it (unlike the droid that does) it uses a combination of the accelerometers, gyros and gps to determine what direction you are facing at any given time..

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Journeyman

Really?  I was under the impression that it needed an acutal magnetometer.  After a reboot it seems to be working much better, but it's just kinda slow.

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Journeyman

Samsung and sprint installed a patch in the moment that allows you to fake an actual compass so program sthat require it (like google maps, google skys and others) still will work with a pretty good accuracy.. Since this is based on multiple sensor input, if you are running low on memory you will have a lag on the data analysis... There is no compass in the moment..

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Journeyman

Well, if that's the case, then i'm not sure how the compass is still working the same in Airplane mode with GPS disabled.  Weird.  Secondly, the metal detector app from the market also works.  I don't see how this could work without a magnetometer?

It's mostly only laggy in Google Maps compass mode, and it has nothing to do with memory (nothing else running).  The 3D Compass from the market runs pretty smooth and responsive though.

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Journeyman

I am going to look into this.. but i am 99.9% sure i read the report that said it doesn't actually have a magnometer, that it is using the other sensors (the compass works piss poor in google skys then if it does because it shows south all the time if i move the phone around fast from south to east...

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Journeyman

Yeah, I had all but forgotten about the metal detector app though.  Go grab it from the market and test it out.  That app requires a magnetometer to work, and it works pretty well for me.  Hold something metal up to the phone and it definitely recognizes it.  Hold it up to something non-conducive and it does nothing.  I don't know how that app could function without a magnetometer.

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Journeyman

Sorry.. yes it has a magnometer.. but we are talking about localized fields only with a piece of metal close to the phone.. as for it being able to tell magnetic north (compass) i do not believe it has the ability to do so without using multiple sensors.. while the droid has an actual digital compass...

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Journeyman

But the compass functions the same with all wireless and GPS signals disabled.  What exactly would the accelerometer do to find north?  I find it hard to believe they would include a magnetometer with little function.  I mean, would it really be more expensive for them to purchase the hardware (cheap hardware at that), than to develop software to half-ass a compass?  I could be wrong though *shrug*.  It would be nice if Sprint or Samsung would officially confirm/deny.

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Journeyman

I agree.  If you say it has no compass, what official report or document are you citing?  "I heard it on the internet" is not a valid reference.  And some of the early pre-reviews are just flat wrong, so take them with a grain of salt, as well.  If you have access to a Samsung or Sprint document that substantiates this claim (that it has no compass), I would like to read it as hardware information is scarce, then I would agree with you.

To me, it acts like it has a compass that needs some software tweeks to average it out a little or to correct for some sampling errors.  It would be hard to fake a compass in a non-moving GPS reciever with your only other reference being gravity.

I'm just sayin'

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Journeyman

Depends on how you interprate david owens.. He states: "  Both products have the hardware to make sure the compass works effectively." Very choice words instead of saying yes it will work as a compass or no it doesn't have a compass... with a GPS and/or cell triangulation to have an intial reference direction then gauge movement by the accelerometers and gyro it can very "effectively" simulate that of a compass... This is speculation off of David Owens statement... But since neither google maps, google sky, tricorder or compass application have succesfully given me magnetic north as compared to my friends droid, a garmin venture and a physical compass.. i am going to say either it is the worest digital compass in the world, or it is attempting to simulate the functions based upon gps, cell triangulation, and reference data from gyros and accelerometers...

How about this.. when you find proof anywhere that actually says, "Yes it has a compass" then i will not go under the speculation it is attempt to simulate a compass.. since it is much easier to prove it has one then it doesnt...

Message was edited by: numus

Journeyman

Also, I agree.  I'm a compass agnostic but I'm leaning towards the compass' existence.  However, A GPS by itself, can only give a bearing while in motion, comparing where you were to where you are.  It is impossible to get a compass reading from a stationary GPS only device.  The same applies to Cell Tower triangulation (which Android 1.5 devices, or at least the moment does not support yet (see SarahK's comments)).

If you set the Moment on a table with the GPS receiver off, then turn on a compass application (not tricorder which even says it's a toy in the app description) and it gives you a direction, then it has a 'compass', even if it's a bad one.  You cannot get direction from accelerometers alone; you can only get acceleration.

Based on the evidence of my own eyes, the moment must have a method of detecting stationary magnetic fields, and whether it's a flux gate or a magnetic needle floating on a cork, that says compass to me. I think (hope) it will work better when it gets a software patch.

And Google Skymaps works well enough for me to find the planets reliably and impress my friends with my new toy.

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