How to use the new Compass app on Apple Watch

With watchOS 9, Apple has added a lot of new things to the Apple Watch. There’s a new low power mode to extend battery life, an improved sleep tracking feature in watchOS, and a powerful new compass app. So if you’re going for a hike or exploring the road less travelled, you should know that the new compass app can do a lot to help you find your way and even retrace your steps. If that sounds interesting to you, read on as we discuss how to use the new compass app on Apple Watch.

Learn how to use the WatchOS 9 Compass app

The new compass app in watchOS 9 enables many useful features. Obviously you can do the basics like finding your heading, elevation, and coordinates; however, you can also do more, adding waypoints or recording your steps to retrace later. We will take a look at all these things in this article. As always, you can use the table of contents to navigate to any section you want to learn more about.

Check bearings, elevation, tilt, and coordinates

The new compass app displays a lot more information, including things like your bearing (which was also available in the old app), elevation, tilt, and even your current coordinates. Verifying all this information is also quite easy.

Just open the Compass app on your Apple Watch and you can see information like the heading you’re facing. If you turn the Digital Crown, you can see additional information such as the elevation, tilt, and even the coordinates (latitude and longitude) of your location.

Image: apple

Alternatively, you can tap on the menu icon in the top left corner. Here you can see the elevation, slope and other information.

add new course

This is what you need to do to add a new bearing in the compass app.

  • Tap the menu icon in the top left.
  • Scroll down and tap ‘Heading’.
  • Rotate the Digital Crown to set the heading and tap ‘Done’.

clear bearing

  • Tap the menu icon in the top left.
  • Scroll down and tap ‘Clear Course’.

Add elevation information to the watch face

The compass app in watchOS 9 also supports some really cool complications for your favorite Apple Watch faces. So if you want, you can easily add the elevation information right on your watch screen. That is how:

  • Long press on the watch face and then tap ‘Edit’.
  • Here, scroll down to the ‘Complications’ screen and then tap on a complication where you want to add the elevation information.
  • Go to the ‘Compass’ category and choose ‘Elevation’ as the complication for your watch face.

Note: You can also choose Tilt Complications among other Compass Complications.

Waypoints in watchOS 9

One of the coolest new features in the compass app is the ability to create waypoints. Waypoints are a great way to navigate outdoors, whether you’re hiking or exploring off the beaten track. With waypoints, your Apple Watch will remember the coordinates of a location and you can return to it with the compass app. This is how you can create waypoints in the Compass app on watchOS 9.

Create waypoints in the Compass app

  • In the Compass app, tap the ‘location arrow’ icon.
  • Enter a label for the waypoint.
  • You can even choose a color and symbol for the waypoint if you like.
  • Once done, just tap ‘Done’, and that’s it. The waypoint will now appear in the compass app.

Ver/Navegar a Waypoints

  • Tap any waypoint in the compass app to access a list of all your waypoints.
  • Choose the one you want and tap ‘Select’.
  • The compass app will now show you the direction you need to move, along with the distance, to get to the waypoint.

Delete waypoints

  • Tap any waypoint in the compass app to access a list of all your waypoints.
  • Choose the one you want and tap ‘Select’.
  • Tap the ‘pencil’ icon to edit the waypoint.
  • Scroll down and tap ‘Delete Waypoint’.

Agregar waypoints a Watch Face (Apple Watch SE, Serie 6 y posterior)

The great thing about waypoints is that you can even add them to your Apple Watch face as a complication for easy access when you need them. This is how you do it.

  • Long press on the watch face and then tap ‘Edit’.
  • Here, scroll down to the ‘Complications’ screen and then tap on a complication where you want to add the elevation information.
  • Go to the ‘Compass’ category and choose any ‘Compass Waypoints’ complication for your watch face.

Registration and monitoring steps

If you’re going on a hike or are in a place where you want to make sure you can retrace your steps back to where you started, the new Record and Retrace Steps feature in watchOS 9 will be a boon to you. Here’s how to record and retrace steps with Apple Watch.

  • In the Compass app, tap the ‘foot’ icon in the bottom right corner of the app screen.
  • The app will start recording your steps. You will see a pause icon instead of the steps icon at the bottom right. If you want to retrace your steps, just tap the pause icon.
  • You can now tap ‘Retrace Steps’ to retrace your route, or ‘Delete Steps’ to remove the recorded route.

Take a look at the new and improved Apple Watch Compass

Well, that’s pretty much all you can do with the new Compass app in watchOS 9. As you can see, the app can do a lot of things now. It can retrace your steps, record waypoints for easier explorations into the unknown, and of course it can show you your elevation, heading, pitch, and more. Plus, you can now add Compass complications to get important information at a glance. So what do you think of the new compass app in watchOS 9? Let us know in the comments.

 

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