Northern Compass & Navigation 4+

Precision Compass & Navigation


    • 4.4 • 612 Ratings
    • $3.99


Compass Navigation Speedometer

Now with Apple Watch Series 5 Magnetometer support.


1. Precision GPS Heading Compass
2. Magnetic compass - Apple Watch supported using pointer mode unless installed on Apple Watch Series 5
3. GPS Path Recording
4. Precision Speedometer
5. Destination Pointer
6. Google Maps integration

How are we different from other compass and navigation apps?

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

- Now available on Apple Watch Series 5
- 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 Series 5 is currently the only Apple Watch model with magnetometer hardware. Previous Apple Watch models sample magnetometer readings from paired iPhone hardware. All GPS location and heading readings also come from your paired iPhone hardware.

What’s New

Version 4.3.1

Feature Changes
- Renamed "scrambled message" to "Buried Treasure Message" and cleaned up instruction and sharing info.

Ui Improvements
- Updated menu and settings user interface.

Sharing Improvements
- Added apples native sharing feature letting users e-mail, text, or post "Star" locations.

Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
612 Ratings

612 Ratings

Rikkiw ,

now works with Watch 3

The team fixed a bug with the watch display and now all is working great.

Developer Response ,

We are very happy the fix worked! Thank you for reporting the issue along with your Apple Watch hardware version. Please reach out to us at if you come across any additional issues or if you have any questions.

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 ,

UPDATED - Apple has since included a magnetometer on their latest Apple Watch Series 5 and our new app update fully supports this hardware as well. Northern also still supports our advanced GPS compass on earlier Apple Watch models.

Original 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!

App Privacy

The developer, TreesWithLeaves, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Linked to You

The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

  • Location
  • Usage Data
  • Diagnostics

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More


  • Family Sharing

    Up to six family members can use this app with Family Sharing enabled.

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