Windows Phone 7 does have its perks, but there is no denying that some basic features are missing in the Mango platform. Take compass, as an example. While iOS does have a stock compass app, WP7 has to rely on third party options for this purpose, but luckily, quite a few are available. SuperCompass is a new addition to the Marketplace, and brings a lot of new options to the mix in addition to just an ordinary orientation indicator. The app makes navigation a whole lot easier by overlaying the compass with camera view, as well as maps. The Maps hub in WP7 employs Bing maps, and is pretty good for casual navigation. However, if you can even see yourself tagged at a particular place in the maps, you won’t be able to determine the direction that you are facing. This can prove to be a crucially important piece of information in case you are told to go North from a specific point in the map. Sure you can go to a compass app and find the direction from there, but SuperCompass ensures that you get the compass right over the maps and don’t have to navigate away from Maps.
The app starts off with a view of the compass on offer, and the orientation of your device is displayed on the top of the screen. In that area, you can also view the longitude and latitude of your current location. However, before you start using the compass, it is better to calibrate, and that can be done by going to the three dot menu, and choosing calibration, after which you have to rotate the device in a figure 8 pattern. After you have done that, the compass on the main screen will rotate in accordance with your movements, but you can lock this rotation by tapping the rotate button. To check your exact heading coordinates, you can tap the respective button.
The most useful options in SuperCompass are the map and camera overlaying. The camera option can be useful when you are walking, and using it, you can keep track of your movements without having to look up from the screen. This gives the app a touch of augmented reality. Similarly, overlaying the compass with maps is great for navigation, especially if you are not very good with maps and roads.
SuperCompass is a free app (though ad-supported), and you can download it from the web Marketplace link below.