Tip: your iPhone’s stock Compass app has a level built into it

By , Jul 14, 2016

iPhone level in Compass App

There’s a feature hiding inside of your iPhone’s Compass app that could come in handy in many scenarios.

You’ve probably downloaded third-party level apps from the App Store at one time or another to make sure that a picture frame or something you built turned out nice and flat without any signs of being crooked, but did you know you didn’t have to?

Indeed, your iPhone’s stock Compass app actually has a level feature built right into it. I know many of you probably throw that Compass app into some kind of folder and never look back at it again, but perhaps this is a feature that will breathe new life into it for you.

It’s a feature that many people don’t really seem to know about, but it’s there!

How to get to it

To get to the level in your Compass app, app you have to to do is swipe over to the left. When you do, the compass interface moves out of view, and the level interface comes into view instead.

Compass app hidden level

As you use the level, your iPhone’s accelerometer and gyroscope are used to stabilize the interface as your device moves. The interface turns white and green when you hit a perfect 0º level surface, but any other time, it will be a white and black interface.

The interface also works in landscape orientation, as well as portrait orientation, depending on your needs:

level in compass app landscape

And… one more thing

There is one additional feature of the level in the Compass app we wanted to show you, and that was how you can actually put your iPhone on its back, flat on a surface with the screen facing the sky, and it will also let you know if the surface is level or not.

iPhone level in compass app face up

In this interface, two white circles are displayed on top of a black background and the degree you’re off is shown in the center. Your ultimate goal is to line up the two circles.

When you’re finally spot on, the entire screen turns green and 0º is shown in the center:

green level spot on

Going back to the compass

Alright, so you finished your leveling and you’re happy with the results. Now, you’re done with your job as a carpenter and you want to navigate back home. No problem folks!

To get back to the compass interface, just put your iPhone back into portrait mode and swipe to the right, and you will be presented with the compass interface once again:

Level back to Compass app

Wrapping up

And now that you know how to get into the level section of your Compass app, you can make sure that everything in your house is straight and get major props from all your visitors who see just how tidy your home looks. Ha.

Did you know your Compass app had a hidden level inside of it? Share below!

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  • onesimpleclik

    people still don’t know about this?

    • leart

      there are always new people … new users

  • Rob

    I literally just came across this new design spirit level last night when putting up shelves, that feature where the screen turns green awesome. The spirit level has been there for a long time but dunno when this new design came in..?

  • “(…) you can actually put your iPhone on its back, flat on a surface with the screen facing the sky, and it will also let you know if the surface is level or not.”

    no. we can’t since the back of the iphone isn’t flat anymore.

    • Danuel Carr

      I’ll bet money they compensated for the shift in the software.

    • that wouldn’t make sense:
      imagine you put your iphone in a case which surrounds even the camera lense in a way that the back is flat again. than this compensation would lead the software to wrong results.

    • The way I’ve always done it is I’ve let the camera hang off the edge. And it works like a charm. No problems here.

    • Imagine there’s no edge….

  • ios 10 seems to have some beta bugs

    • well the mods removed the attached picture. so the comment makes no sense any more.

  • armyk

    Someone is using IE…

  • jaimem17

    Back in the days where the iPhone 4 and the iphone 5 were flat I used them quite often in woodworking, now the edges are curved and the back has the camera. I wish we could get a refreshed iPhone 4 design with the iPhone 6 size