Recently, there has been a boom in the Marketplace for apps related to navigation and maps. Nokia Maps was hacked to work on any unlocked WP7 device, and a few days before that, Navigon finally made its way to Windows Phone 7. But most navigation apps for the metro OS can gain more in terms of productivity if they have a compass incorporated with them. WP7 has suffered a few issues regarding the internal compass of devices, but with Mango, the compass seems to have been fixed and is working just fine. So it was about time we got an app like Compass VO, which not only lets you use a compass anywhere, but can also be superimposed on images of maps.
The first step of getting this free app up and running on your Mango phone is calibration. On start up, Compass VO displays a message telling you how to calibrate the compass. People have reported problems with this step, but on our Samsung Omnia 7 it was past the calibration screen in just a few seconds. At first glance, you might be disappointed with the interface of the compass. Good thing is, you can customize the look and feel of the app completely. There are four themes you can choose from, and the purpose of these themes is not just to provide users with a different look, there are some functionalities exclusive to each theme. The default theme just shows a rough direction, whereas the Rose and Digital compasses show the coordinates and exact orientation of your device. There is also the Nighttime compass that sports an interface more suited for viewing in dark surroundings.
The best feature of the app is maps integration which means you can take an offline map and superimpose Compass VO over it. This allows you to easily navigate to a location on the map. You can pinch to zoom in and out of map as you see fit. This feature has been missing from many popular navigation apps and so, makes Compass VO a welcome addition to the Windows Phone Marketplace. As screenshots are not yet available in Mango just yet, you can download an image of your desired map online or you can use apps like gMaps to do the same.
If you rely on your cellphone for navigation, then Compass VO is a must-have for WP7. You can check it out at the Web Marketplace link below.