Be Handy – Use The Compass And Level Built Into iOS 7 Beta [iOS tips]

Level iOS 7 beta

iOS 6 gave us the Compass, which, honestly, I’ve never really used that much.

The new iOS 7 beta, however, has given me some functionality I’m much more likely to need and use. Heck, I even have a third-party app to make sure my handyman projects around the house aren’t crooked.

I’m talking about a level, and there’s a new one built right into iOS 7 beta, within the Compass app on the iPhone. I haven’t found a comparable app on my iPad running iOS 7 beta, but maybe in the future?

Either way, here’s how to find and use the compass and level app.

Launch the Compass app with a quick tap. If this is the first time, you’ll need to gyrate the iPhone around a bit to completely calibrate it. Now, just hold the iPhone out from your body, like you would reading a text message. Try to keep the iPhone parallel with the ground, and simply point in the direction you want to go. The app will figure out which way you’re facing and give you a pleasant little readout.

The level function in the Compass app is, to me, much more useful. I’d love to see the whole thing renamed as a Level app with a compass functionality. Or add the Compass into the Maps app. But I digress.

Once in the Compass app, swipe to the left to get a surprisingly art-deco styled level. To measure the level-ness of any object, place the edge of the iPhone on the surface of the object, either in portrait or landscape orientation. There will be two white circles on a field of black while the object is out of true, but the display will go green when the angle is at 0˚.

  • freedotz

    Does this site even have an editor? Compass was released with iOS 3, not iOS 6 — and their have been hundreds of level apps ever since, all of which work great if you need crooked shelves. I have never seen the compass come within 15 degrees accuracy — even when placed flat on a table the needle continues to jump around. Kill your internet connection and you kill the compass (note: most people lost in the woods have no signal). Anyone who needs to send a GPS signal to space to figure out where the sun is, or who uses a glass phone to guide a hammer has a serious screw loose — and anyone who finds this article to be news has been living under a rock since iOS 2.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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