Closer Look at the BlackBerry Digital Compass; Apart of OS 7 & Using the Magnetometer

During DevCon Asia, RIM announced that OS 6.1 (now known as OS 7) would support a magnetometer. This meant the next-generation BlackBerrys would be full digital compass capable. We captured a quick glimpse at the compass in the first live shots of a Bold 9930 (Montana) ‘Bold Touch’.

The BlackBerry digital compass is a simple app, yet the implications are far reaching as it coincides with RIM’s developmental progress. With the digital compass app in OS 7, you can see you current location, set a location to see how far away it is, calibrate the compass, and manage different options. Hit the break for more on its features.

The digital compass app lets you select a destination to see how far away it is. You can also see your current location utilizing BlackBerry Maps.

The digital compass app has many options. You can change the latitude/longitude display format with options such as: Decimal degree, Decimal degree with direction, degree.minute.second, and degree.minute.decimal. You can change the display mode from 2D to test mode. Perhaps we’ll see 3D eventually? Last option is that you can select if you’d rather use magnetic north or true north.

Occasionally, you’ll need to calibrate the digital compass, as settings can sometimes be way off. We’re very excited that RIM made the decision to have a magnetometer in some of the upcoming next-generation BlackBerrys. We’re as equally excited to see how 3rd party developers can utilize this new technology for games, apps, and more.

To calibrate, you simply move the BlackBerry device in a figure 8 motion.




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