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gginnj

This device does not have a compass.....Where'd it go?

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about 2 months ago, our Samsung J7 stopped showing the compass when navigating - now it says the device

doesn't have a compass - use the map to navigate.

 

So it seems the J7 lacks a magnetic sensor - but why did it work in the geocache app a few months ago for the

previous year or so? and just recently stopped working.

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19 minutes ago, gginnj said:

about 2 months ago, our Samsung J7 stopped showing the compass when navigating - now it says the device

doesn't have a compass - use the map to navigate.

 

So it seems the J7 lacks a magnetic sensor - but why did it work in the geocache app a few months ago for the

previous year or so? and just recently stopped working.

I posted the same thing under release notes! I'll try to include a link.

 

My post is on Nov. 20. My compass always worked until this last update. Now I either have to buy a phone with a compass sensor or go without. It's maddening!! I used the compass feature a lot!

Edited by Max and 99

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That seems MADNESS :o:wacko::blink:. I would guess most people use the compass most of the time. I certainly do. I rarely use the map, except maybe in very built up cities, but I rarely cache in such a place. A map isn't as good where there are no roads and paths.

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8 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

That seems MADNESS :o:wacko::blink:. I would guess most people use the compass most of the time. I certainly do. I rarely use the map, except maybe in very built up cities, but I rarely cache in such a place. A map isn't as good where there are no roads and paths.

There is no other word to describe how I feel except MADNESS!  Why just this app update was affected? Regardless of the reason I am so frustrated!

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2 minutes ago, gginnj said:

Wait...this was because of an app update? or because of an Android OS update?

 

GG

It happened to me as soon as I updated my app, right around the time of the release notes on app navigation.

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Which app are you talking about? A friend (sitting right next to me, who uses his phone a lot) still has a compass and it has recently been updated. It's an Android based phone and uses the geocaching app for Android.

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48 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Which app are you talking about? A friend (sitting right next to me, who uses his phone a lot) still has a compass and it has recently been updated. It's an Android based phone and uses the geocaching app for Android.

The official Geocaching app. My phone is Android.

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49 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Which app are you talking about? A friend (sitting right next to me, who uses his phone a lot) still has a compass and it has recently been updated. It's an Android based phone and uses the geocaching app for Android.

this seems to be isolated to the android phones that do not have a magnetic sensor. In our case it's a samsung J7 - not the S7

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5 minutes ago, gginnj said:

this seems to be isolated to the android phones that do not have a magnetic sensor. In our case it's a samsung J7 - not the S7

Apparently so, but it always worked before on the same phone!

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1 hour ago, Max and 99 said:

Apparently so, but it always worked before on the same phone!

Yeah, they seem to have linked access to the "compass" screen to the device having a magnetic sensor "compass". They aren't the same thing though, and Groundspeak's app was apparently working fine displaying the "compass" screen to those who did not have a magnetic sensor "compass".

 

3 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I would guess most people use the compass most of the time.

I generally use the map screen with the compass overlay turned on. The fact that Groundspeak's app doesn't have this feature is part of why I avoid using it.

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For those of you whose devices are registering as having no compass, can I ask what the compass screen was displaying before? Would the compass face still rotate?

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15 minutes ago, rocketgarden said:

For those of you whose devices are registering as having no compass, can I ask what the compass screen was displaying before? Would the compass face still rotate?

I believe it did. I have screenshots that I took for Waymarking. 

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21 hours ago, rocketgarden said:

For those of you whose devices are registering as having no compass, can I ask what the compass screen was displaying before? Would the compass face still rotate?

it looked just like a compass - the needle would rotate - but the display was a north up display.

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Some Android phones don't have a compass sensor (like the Moto G4) so any compass related apps won't rotate. Google is migrating their internal sensor software to more advanced versions to be more accurate with less battery usage. As apps update to use this newer internal Android software that's dependent on a compass sensor they may no longer function as before. It's really not the app's fault as they are dependent on Google/Android so must adapt as Android changes. The blame really goes to the hardware manufacturers who chose not to include important sensors to save money.

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I've got a J7 as well and am having the same issues. I've had the phone for over a year and it's been fine... now it's not working.  Was the general consensus that we're screwed?

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On 12/11/2018 at 5:02 AM, Goldenwattle said:

Which app are you talking about? 

 

Since this is the Geocaching® Android App sub forum, I think it's safe to assume for the sake of argument that if someone just refers to "the app," they mean the Geocaching® Android App.

 

:anibad:

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I've got a J7 as well and am having the same issues. I've had the phone for over a year and it's been fine... now it's not working.  Was the general consensus that we're screwed?

That summarizes how I feel.

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7 hours ago, hzoi said:

 

Since this is the Geocaching® Android App sub forum, I think it's safe to assume for the sake of argument that if someone just refers to "the app," they mean the Geocaching® Android App.

 

:anibad:

Okay, well mine still works. I have an Android phone.

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The problem with losing this screen, for me, is that it also displays my current lat/long and the cache's lat/long, side by side. These values are not dependent on having a compass sensor, but for some reason the app now denies me the ability to see them because my phone lacks unrelated hardware.

 

I especially liked using this screen when hiding a cache. It was a good check against the lat/long my GPSr reported.

 

It's very frustrating this feature has been blocked for no apparent reason.

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I've just been directed to this topic thread by one of our New Zealand retired reviewers.  I too feel a bit paralysed in both my searching and my hiding.  I hadn't updated the app in a while, so only lost my compass about 6 weeks ago.  If I'd known I wouldn't have updated.  I used that view quite often.  Looks like I'll have to buy a new phone. 

 

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Seems to be the same problem for everyone who unwittingly bought an Android phone without a hardware compass.  :(

 

 

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Just bought a tablet. For geocaching this summer . Then loaded geocaching program but they changed to needing magnetic sensors , compass not working. Being retired can not afford the EXPENSIVE tablets with magnetic sensors.none of my other devices have the magnetic sensors either. They are going to eliminate a lot of people from the hobby, unless someone know's another third party program or work around to use GPS sats to use compass.  Longtime member. Help appreciated always used compass especially to zero in.

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7 minutes ago, ScouterGerry said:

Just bought a tablet. For geocaching this summer . Then loaded geocaching program but they changed to needing magnetic sensors , compass not working. Being retired can not afford the EXPENSIVE tablets with magnetic sensors.none of my other devices have the magnetic sensors either. They are going to eliminate a lot of people from the hobby, unless someone know's another third party program or work around to use GPS sats to use compass.  Longtime member. Help appreciated always used compass especially to zero in.

 

I have never used the compass on my GPS's, I always look at the map. I guess the arrow will point to the cache when you're moving so you could always use the compass that way. There are other apps you could use if the GS app doesn't do what you want.

 

 

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2 hours ago, ScouterGerry said:

can not afford the EXPENSIVE tablets with magnetic sensors.

What do you consider expensive? I recently replaced my Android phone and was looking at devices in the $100-200 range. They all had electronic compasses (magnetic sensors).

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On 5/20/2019 at 10:54 AM, ScouterGerry said:

They are going to eliminate a lot of people from the hobby, unless someone know's... a work around to use GPS sats to use compass.  Longtime member. Help appreciated always used compass especially to zero in.

Long time members used to use GPS devices.   I still do.  My old phone didn't have a compass, but my new one does. I use the phone occasionally but still prefer the GPS. 

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38 minutes ago, NanCycle said:

Long time members used to use GPS devices.   I still do.  My old phone didn't have a compass, but my new one does. I use the phone occasionally but still prefer the GPS. 

Agreed.

"Longtime" cachers for years after we started still used a GPSr for finding caches. 

Phones just didn't work like today.   By golly they were phones, and you talked on them.  :D

The other 2/3rds did have a third-party app for geocaching in '05 that did okay (Trimble for blackberry)... but she'd return to a GPSr most times too.

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On ‎5‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 12:54 PM, ScouterGerry said:

unless someone know's another third party program or work around to use GPS sats to use compass. 

 

Look at Locus Maps, which can use GPS for compass direction if the magnetic sensor is not available.  It has Geocaching features to load caches and Pocket Queries.  There are also GPS Sat compass Apps, but I wouldn't recommend one that requires loading cache coordinates from other Apps.

 

The GPS compass is of course not affected by the magnetic interference of a car or whatever, and doesn't need to be calibrated.  That's cool.  The uncool thing is that you must be moving in a consistent direction and at enough speed for the device to calculate the compass needle.  But if you were fine with that previously, an App that has a "GPS compass" feature is the way to go.

 

Edited by kunarion
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I have an Etrex20x and almost always use the compass. I also have a Motorola G4 with official app and on the rare occasion I've used it I have it on the map because I never thought to set it to compass. So today, after reading through the previous posts, I fired it up and found there is a compass button on the map screen I had never noticed before. So, I pressed the compass button and I saw this message "This device does not have a compass Use the map to navigate to geocaches". Now I feel like I'm missing out on something that I had previously never missed. Dadgum it.😣

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2 hours ago, colleda said:

I have an Etrex20x and almost always use the compass. I also have a Motorola G4 with official app and on the rare occasion I've used it I have it on the map because I never thought to set it to compass. So today, after reading through the previous posts, I fired it up and found there is a compass button on the map screen I had never noticed before. So, I pressed the compass button and I saw this message "This device does not have a compass Use the map to navigate to geocaches". Now I feel like I'm missing out on something that I had previously never missed. Dadgum it.😣

Welcome to the club!

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If you KNOW it doesn't have one ... well, shucks!  If you don't know, just Google [your phone type] magnetometer (or magnetic sensor), just on the off-chance that it's just not turned on.

 

My phone does have a magnetometer; however, I wonder if many of the COs where I cache have their GPSrs set to True North when determining placement coordinates.  (I do, because (unless otherwise instructed), required projections (around here) seem to be based on True North.)  Perhaps this is why I have rarely found my phone compass to be of much use, except in getting to the general area?

Edited by VAVAPAM
snef elling ... & clarify CO stuff

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9 minutes ago, VAVAPAM said:

I wonder if many of the COs where I cache have their GPSrs set to True North when determining placement coordinates.  (I do, because (unless otherwise instructed), required projections (around here) seem to be based on True North.)  Perhaps this is why I have rarely found my phone compass to be of much use, except in getting to the general area?

 

That should work anyway.  Except for waypoint projections, setting "True North" has no effect on GPS coordinates.  With a phone that has a compass sensor, the "compass" points at the cache.

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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16 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

That should work anyway.  Except for waypoint projections, setting "True North" has no effect on GPS coordinates.  With a phone that has a compass sensor, the "compass" points at the cache.

 

 

Hm.  I thought it would be off by the declination [but know very little about it].  Perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but from what I've read, in central Virginia and NC (where I do much of my caching), this could be around 8 degrees different.

 

image.png.27b88080735063e021dd9c01da837d7d.png

Edited by VAVAPAM
more or less

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I just installed the android Groundspeak caching app. I'm using an old HTC Desire 626 phone. The specs on GSM Arena says i have Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity, compass. I get the same "compass not available" message. Looked through all the settings including developer options.No mention of an option to turn the compass off. 

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Posted (edited)

It sounds like reverting to the earlier version of the Geocaching App might solve the problem. It's not too difficult to do this, just carefully follow the steps:

You will need to uninstall the current App. NOTE: This will remove all downloaded lists and any drafts so document or save any of this info that you'd like to keep.

You will also need to disable automatic updates on your android device, so a newer version of the Geocaching App does not get installed automatically. This means you will need to regularly visit the Play Store to manually update other apps on your device.

 

First, disable the auto update in the Play Store. Search in Google for "how to disable automatic updates on android" and follow the directions.

 

Now you can down grade to the last Geocaching version that worked:

 

1) Go to the Play Store, search for the Geocaching APP and click on the Uninstall button. It wouldn't hurt to reboot your phone, but it's worked for me without doing this.

2) Open your browser and go to APKMirror.com

3) Search for Geocaching

4) In the list of versions, click on version 8.7.1 from October 9, 2019 (from what I read here, this appears to be the last version that worked without a magnetic compass).

5) It's not very clear, but to download the app, you need to tap on Variant number - 186

6) After the app has downloaded, slide down from the top of the screen to show the notifications, Tap on the downloaded app and it will start to install.

7) After installing, you will need to log in and the startup screens will be displayed just like when you first installed the app.

 

Hope this helps

Marc (aka 51MarLin)

 

 

Edited by 51MarLin

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1 hour ago, 51MarLin said:

It sounds like reverting to the earlier version of the Geocaching App might solve the problem.

Maybe. Until Groundspeak's API changes, and the app can no longer communicate with Groundspeak's servers. Or until Google's APIs change, and the app can no longer communicate with Google's map servers. Or until something else changes.

 

It's a temporary workaround at best. BTDTGTTS...

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On 1/5/2020 at 12:50 PM, niraD said:

Maybe. Until Groundspeak's API changes, and the app can no longer communicate with Groundspeak's servers. Or until Google's APIs change, and the app can no longer communicate with Google's map servers. Or until something else changes.

 

It's a temporary workaround at best. BTDTGTTS...

 

Yes it's temporary. But (a) it won't break anything, (b) if the app stops working, it can be fixed by simply updating it, and (c) it puts off the need to buy a new phone. That's a pretty good temporary fix - as long as you remember to check the Play Store for other updates regularly. 

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I have set aside the android app for now. I will check this thread periodically in the event the current app is updated to read the sensors on my phone. 

Edited by Keystone
removed prohibited promotional reference

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