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Mike Dalisay

Android Compass Code Example

Today I’m going to share a working code to make a very simple compass application for your android device.
 
Some android device (like Huawei Y300 and Lenovo P700i) does not have full support of motions sensors so this code will not work for them.

Video Demo

Our code for today will run just like this:
 
 
 
 

Files Needed

You need to create your own compass image. For this example, I’m using a stock photo. Your image must be a PNG with transparent background, do not use this jpg file I used.

img_compass

Let’s Code

Here’s our MainActivity.java

package com.example.compassapp;

import android.app.Activity;
import android.hardware.Sensor;
import android.hardware.SensorEvent;
import android.hardware.SensorEventListener;
import android.hardware.SensorManager;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.view.animation.Animation;
import android.view.animation.RotateAnimation;
import android.widget.ImageView;
import android.widget.TextView;

public class MainActivity extends Activity implements SensorEventListener {

    // define the display assembly compass picture
    private ImageView image;

    // record the compass picture angle turned
    private float currentDegree = 0f;

    // device sensor manager
    private SensorManager mSensorManager;

    TextView tvHeading;

    @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);

        // 
        image = (ImageView) findViewById(R.id.main_iv);

        // TextView that will tell the user what degree is he heading
        tvHeading = (TextView) findViewById(R.id.tvHeading);

        // initialize your android device sensor capabilities
        mSensorManager = (SensorManager) getSystemService(SENSOR_SERVICE);
    }

    @Override
    protected void onResume() {
        super.onResume();

        // for the system's orientation sensor registered listeners
        mSensorManager.registerListener(this, mSensorManager.getDefaultSensor(Sensor.TYPE_ORIENTATION),
                SensorManager.SENSOR_DELAY_GAME);
    }

    @Override
    protected void onPause() {
        super.onPause();

        // to stop the listener and save battery
        mSensorManager.unregisterListener(this);
    }

    @Override
    public void onSensorChanged(SensorEvent event) {

        // get the angle around the z-axis rotated
        float degree = Math.round(event.values[0]);

        tvHeading.setText("Heading: " + Float.toString(degree) + " degrees");

        // create a rotation animation (reverse turn degree degrees)
        RotateAnimation ra = new RotateAnimation(
                currentDegree, 
                -degree,
                Animation.RELATIVE_TO_SELF, 0.5f, 
                Animation.RELATIVE_TO_SELF,
                0.5f);

        // how long the animation will take place
        ra.setDuration(210);

        // set the animation after the end of the reservation status
        ra.setFillAfter(true);

        // Start the animation
        image.startAnimation(ra);
        currentDegree = -degree;

    }

    @Override
    public void onAccuracyChanged(Sensor sensor, int accuracy) {
        // not in use
    }
}

Our layout file activity_main.xml

<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    android:background="#fff" >

    <TextView
        android:id="@+id/tvHeading"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"
        android:layout_marginBottom="40dp"
        android:layout_marginTop="20dp"
        android:text="Heading: 0.0" />

    <ImageView
        android:id="@+id/imageViewCompass"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_below="@+id/tvHeading"
        android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"
        android:src="@drawable/img_compass" />

</RelativeLayout>

Source Code Download

You can download this sample project here: CompassApp.zip

Some notes

My app orientation is locked to portrait mode. There are no special permissions in the Manifest file.

Further Readings

 

Reference: Android Compass Code Example from our JCG partner Mike Dalisay at the The Code of a Ninja blog.
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31 Comments on "Android Compass Code Example"

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ArtOne
Guest

error in the code
need to change
image = (ImageView) findViewById(R.id.main_iv);
to that
image = (ImageView) findViewById(R.id.imageViewCompass);

Mike Dalisay
Guest

Hi @ArtOne, thanks for the catch, it was fixed and updated in my original post http://www.codeofaninja.com/2013/08/android-compass-code-example.html

Javier Cifuentes
Guest

Hi Mike
This is late reply but I am looking for someone that can build a special compass for me.
The compass must be white, no marks, a round circle on the outside and a car drawn
at a given angle, that is placed over the circle. The angle is the real angle between the cell and the car
so when the compass points north the car will signal the direction of the car
Can you develop this?
rgds

MG
Guest

Hi, do you have an .apk file with this example?
Thanks!

MG

Md Reza
Guest

please update the drive link

Byron Kiourtzoglou
Guest

The download link is updated! Have fun!

Chandu
Guest

Nice Dude
awesome app

omar
Guest

hello Mike Dalisay
good work. I would like to ask you if you like to work with me in android projects and I can pay a money to you for each project… please contact me . thank

BelgianExile
Guest

That’s a really neat little app Mike – thanks.

ragna
Guest

Help me plss… Why This…?

The Application compass (Process android.compas.try) has stopped unexpectedly. please try again.

T.T

nrj
Guest

this app is not working, the image remains static, no motion ever occurs in this app, worst tutorial ever.!!

Akhilesh
Guest

The mobile in which you are running this might not have the gryo or comapss sensor

Luis
Guest

The first time the image point different places in each launch, so it depends on the device position where the image point to the “north”. isn’t it?
How can you fix it?

zimeun
Guest

Hi I want to see your source code for compass application but there is no reply mail from your website! Ive done subscribing my email address but no reply so I couldn’t download your application..:( plz give me the answer Thanks.

mithilesh
Guest

I have run this app in device but image is not move value is also not change. it is 0.0. Please solve this issues ?

Maulik Patel
Guest

plss check with your device
its has magnetic sensor or not?

June
Guest

Thank you for your tutorial, Mike!
I’m trying to customize your code and have one question.
Is there any way to blend compass image and background image with Multiply-like blending mode??

Muhammad Babar
Guest

Hi,

Nice use of Rotation Animation. What i can see the following code will work for “Horizontal axis” not for “Vertical”.
Am i right!

Thanks for sharing the code.

Regards
Muhammad Babar

Muhammad Babar
Guest

Why using -degree?

Muhammad Babar
Guest

Also i notice imageview.setRotation works better than RotateAnimation as animation producing a lot of gliches

Ben
Guest

Thanks! works like a magic !!!! <3

Mahmud
Guest

How to get direction of the compass

adeel
Guest

sir,

how to customize that simple compass as qibla compass

Meenu
Guest

its not working on my tablet z1000 zync. The image is not rotating! I don’t know why?!

Anil
Guest

Image is moving along with the mobile orientation as it wants . but its not showing the correct direction as in compass..

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