1. Apple Watch Support
2. GPS Path Recording
3. Precision GPS Heading Compass
4. Precision Speedometer
5. Magnetic compass - Apple Watch supported using pointer mode *
6. Destination Pointer

Not just any old magnetic compass, Northern is a powerful navigation tool that lets users cross validate and compare multiple directional/navigational readings within a single unified interface.

We believe this is a fantastic solution to a hard problem, namely that no one source of information is ever 100% accurate. In short, Northern is designed to help our users more confidently and reliably decide which direction they are heading.

Our specialized, dual compass display is shown alongside Google Maps, providing a single, simple, focused interface, designed from the ground up to more effectively orient you within your environment.  More reliably locate North South East and West, or even better, select a destination from our map - Northern will then display an arrow that locks onto these coordinates even while you move from one point to the next.

Compass Types *

Compass #1 - GPS Heading Compass

- Extremely accurate given a strong enough GPS signal and straight enough path
- Works on your Apple Watch while your phone is in your pocket
- Users can select how many samples they want to include with each direction reading - up to 60 for very long paths or as few as 3 for more responsive readings
- Each new GPS location sample is analyzed along with all other samples providing a continuous solution
- Each solution is then run through a specialized algorithm that calculates an approximate accuracy
- GPS hardware doesn't suffer the same type of magnetic interference as the magnetometer driven magnetic compass (Compass #2 below)

Compass #2 - Magnetic Compass

- More sensitive then the GPS Heading Compass
- Includes hardware accuracy reporting
- Our new pointer mode lets you view your iPhones magnetic compass readings on your Apple Watch

Path generation
Simple start/stop path recording lets you track your location over time.

Precision GPS analysis returns your speed in miles/kilometers per hour. Utilizes our high accuracy heading compass algorithms.

Northern is Great for ...

... wanderers ...
... those with a poor sense of direction ...
... people who like to explore, know where they are, but not necessarily require a rigid set of directions.

Extra Features...

Integrated Apple Maps into our Apple Watch extension. Users can reference surrounding streets and other landmarks right from their wrist.

Northern also uses Google Maps on your mobile device. Users can toggle between terrain, satellite or hybrid modes. We've also integrated Google Places, letting users quickly search for any destination with only a few taps.

Fun sharing features, including a scavenger mode, let users leave scrambled messages for one another - just find the location to unscramble.

* Apple Watch does not have magnetometer hardware. All compass magnetometer and GPS heading readings are sampled from paired iPhone hardware.

What’s New

Version 4.0.4

NEW Path Recording Functionality. One of our largest updates to date!
- Track and record your location over time.
- Export and import your path as a GPX file.

4.0.4 changes
Updated Apple Watch setup UI on iPhone.

Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
492 Ratings

492 Ratings

mck91707 ,


Best, most accurate, and easy to read compass offered on Apple. Completely simple, as real compass. Just point and you know exactly the direction in which you’re pointing.

Developer Response ,

Hello mck91707, thank you for the positive feedback! It is always helpful to get info from our customers about what’s working (and not working) with our product.

fayerbam ,

No magnetic compass on Apple Watch

This has a great interface on the phone and purports to allow you to use the compass on the watch. However it only lets you see the directions feature and does not show the simple compass feature on the watch. All i wanted was to be able to look at my watch and see a compass. If improved to show the compass on the watch, would be a great app.

Developer Response ,

Hello fayerbam. We would love it if you could download the latest version of our app. We have put a ton of improvements into the Apple Watch Compass since this review, including your request for a Cardinal Compass displayed on the Apple Watch. Even though there is no magnetometer on the Apple Watch we think that our GPS Track compass and the 6+ months of work developing and testing it deserves a second look and we sincerely hope our improvements this past year make Northern the great app you were hoping for.

marsmons0518 ,

Wish it worked on the watch

Pretty disappointed in this app. I was hoping to use it as an easily visible compass on my watch, but no matter what I do to it, it only displays instructions on how to turn on background activity and the “force sleep” screen. And yes, following the instructions on the screen DOES NOT make it go away. The app is nice enough on my phone, but it’s totally useless to me there since I already have maps and compass installed.

Developer Response ,

Please check out our latest update - Version 1.9.9. We believe we have corrected a bug the kept the “Enable Background Mode” from properly toggling on and off on the Apple Watch extension. We are also finishing up testing on our version 2.0 update which has many behind the scenes improvements. We really hope that some of these changes fix or makes it easier to setup the compass and location pointer on your Apple Watch and we hope you give this a second chance as Northern’s Apple Watch integration is far and away our favorite feature!


TreesWithLeaves LLC
58 MB

Requires iOS 11.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.



Age Rating
Rated 4+
This app may use your location even when it isn't open, which can decrease battery life.
© TreesWithLeaves LLC


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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