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  1. Chris Bourque1's Avatar
    Has anyone else noticed their compass not working on their S20 phones??

    Mine just goes entirely unresponsive. So, for example, Google maps can no longer tell which direction I am facing.

    Oddly enough, it starts working immediately after a phone restart. But then stops working again after a few minutes of phone idle time.
    03-20-2020 08:26 PM
  2. mustang7757's Avatar
    Hi, welcome !

    Is location on in maps settings?
    03-20-2020 08:31 PM
  3. msm0511's Avatar
    Welcome to AC! I remember a couple users having the same issue with their Note 10+. Here's the post:
    https://forums.androidcentral.com/sa...ml#post6744269
    Can't remember if there's a fix there or not. Good luck!
    Chris Bourque1 likes this.
    03-21-2020 08:50 AM
  4. Chris Bourque1's Avatar
    Hi, welcome !

    Is location on in maps settings?
    Yup! I've been triple checking all location setting I possibly can. Maps, and all other Apps should have full Location permissions.

    Its weird. The sensor clearly works perfectly immediately after a phone restart. But eventually just goes completely unresponsive. And there doesn't seem to be a set time for this to happen. I've monitored for up to an hour, and it keeps working. But eventually stops after this.
    03-21-2020 09:43 AM
  5. Chris Bourque1's Avatar
    Welcome to AC! I remember a couple users having the same issue with their Note 10+. Here's the post:
    https://forums.androidcentral.com/sa...ml#post6744269
    Can't remember if there's a fix there or not. Good luck!
    Thanks for the link! I will check this out! Hoping this is just growing pains with the new S20s.
    03-21-2020 09:43 AM
  6. Chris Bourque1's Avatar
    Just to give you an idea of what's happening, I've attached an image of an App called "Accurate Compass". This app has a feature that allows you to check the status of your magnetometer. In this case, when the compass stops working, it just goes completely unresponsive, as if the phone can't even detect that a compass is present in the device at all.
    Attached Thumbnails Compass in the S20 Ultra not working-screenshot_20200320-161118_accurate-compass.jpg  
    03-21-2020 09:48 AM
  7. Chris Bourque1's Avatar
    Welcome to AC! I remember a couple users having the same issue with their Note 10+. Here's the post:
    https://forums.androidcentral.com/sa...ml#post6744269
    Can't remember if there's a fix there or not. Good luck!
    Thank you for the link! I will check this out for sure.
    I hope this is just fixable with a software patch!
    03-21-2020 10:08 AM
  8. mustang7757's Avatar
    Yup! I've been triple checking all location setting I possibly can. Maps, and all other Apps should have full Location permissions.

    Its weird. The sensor clearly works perfectly immediately after a phone restart. But eventually just goes completely unresponsive. And there doesn't seem to be a set time for this to happen. I've monitored for up to an hour, and it keeps working. But eventually stops after this.
    They have a way in maps to do the calibration for compass but not sure it will fix your issue since it's good for a little and then acts up
    03-21-2020 10:29 AM
  9. mustang7757's Avatar
    03-21-2020 10:45 AM
  10. Chris Bourque1's Avatar
    Thanks for the link!

    Yeah I saw this issue in other S20s. I think this may actually be a separate issue. As my GPS is actually spot-on all the time (so farm anyway)! In fact, when I go to try and calibrate the compass (using that figure eight pattern), nothing happens. Just seems like the compass goes completely unresponsive. However when its working, no calibration is needed at all! Works perfectly
    mustang7757 likes this.
    03-21-2020 11:15 AM
  11. Chris Bourque1's Avatar
    Thanks for the feedback guys! I am trying to reply to your posts, but right now my quick replies are being sent to a moderator for approval first.

    But just wanted to say thank you! I really appreciate the help.
    mustang7757 and msm0511 like this.
    03-21-2020 11:17 AM
  12. mustang7757's Avatar
    I just approved them , your welcome!
    Chris Bourque1 likes this.
    03-21-2020 11:46 AM
  13. Mike Dee's Avatar
    Thanks for the feedback guys! I am trying to reply to your posts, but right now my quick replies are being sent to a moderator for approval first.

    But just wanted to say thank you! I really appreciate the help.
    When does it usually go bad? I tested mine a few times since your first post and can't replicate your issue.
    03-21-2020 12:23 PM
  14. Chris Bourque1's Avatar
    @Mike Dee It was always about 1-2 hours after phone restart, and the compass would go totally unresponsive. Since it worked exactly as intended up to this point, I assumed it was probably software based, and not hardware.

    And actually, I am beginning to trace the problem. I decided to reboot my phone in Safe Mode (thank you Samsung support for NOT recommending I do this after talking to 4 agents), just to see if that affected the functionality.

    I left the phone plugged in overnight, remaining in safe mode the entire time. And wouldn't you know, the compass is still working perfectly this morning! Much longer than it has gone before. SO this all is starting to suggest a software conflict with the compass. And specifically, a piece of software I must have loaded onto the phone. This would also kind of make sense based on what I was seeing, since the compass always works for a certain time after restart. An app must be loading up in the background sometime after restart that interferes with the comms of the compass??

    Since the compass is still working nearly 12 Hrs later, I am going to assume its another app I am using that is interfering.
    But now my issue is... how can I determine which app, short of uninstalling each one, one at a time!? (this is no small task, since I copied over ALL apps from my previous S8, so there are quite a few).

    Question to the community: is there an app which can monitor the usage and background processed of other apps over time?

    If I could closely watch when the compass stops working, and then trace the background activity of the phone at the same time, that should tell me which app is interfering.
    03-22-2020 07:57 AM
  15. Mike Dee's Avatar
    @Mike Dee It was always about 1-2 hours after phone restart, and the compass would go totally unresponsive. Since it worked exactly as intended up to this point, I assumed it was probably software based, and not hardware.

    And actually, I am beginning to trace the problem. I decided to reboot my phone in Safe Mode (thank you Samsung support for NOT recommending I do this after talking to 4 agents), just to see if that affected the functionality.

    I left the phone plugged in overnight, remaining in safe mode the entire time. And wouldn't you know, the compass is still working perfectly this morning! Much longer than it has gone before. SO this all is starting to suggest a software conflict with the compass. And specifically, a piece of software I must have loaded onto the phone. This would also kind of make sense based on what I was seeing, since the compass always works for a certain time after restart. An app must be loading up in the background sometime after restart that interferes with the comms of the compass??

    Since the compass is still working nearly 12 Hrs later, I am going to assume its another app I am using that is interfering.
    But now my issue is... how can I determine which app, short of uninstalling each one, one at a time!? (this is no small task, since I copied over ALL apps from my previous S8, so there are quite a few).

    Question to the community: is there an app which can monitor the usage and background processed of other apps over time?

    If I could closely watch when the compass stops working, and then trace the background activity of the phone at the same time, that should tell me which app is interfering.
    Hardware problems can be intermittent especially if it's heat related. I was going to suggest safe mode next. It's tough to pinpoint the actual app that might be causing the conflict though. Sometimes the only way is to start with a clean install and install a few apps at a time. It's probably one of the more obscure apps.
    Chris Bourque1 likes this.
    03-22-2020 09:54 AM
  16. Chris Bourque1's Avatar
    SO! Another quick update. *knock on wood* I think I found the culprit...

    Short of finding an app that tracks the activity of all Android apps and processes, I decided to start disabling things one by one. Checking after each "Force Stop" to see if the compass started working.

    It is looking like it may have been caused by a live background app called "BETTA" (a cool animated Beta Fish for your Home Page). Turning off the live background immediately allowed the sensor to start working again. It has been working steadily since yesterday!

    Not a CLUE as to why the live background would interfere with the compass. Probably the darn ads in the background. I am testing the same app on my Galaxy S8, but it doesn't seem to affect this phone. Something about the S20 and this app appears to interfere.

    I don;t think its the live wallpaper function itself either. As I have another one loaded to test functionality, and all is working fine. Seems to be this app called "BETTA" specifically.

    Hope it keeps working!! I will update accordingly with what I find if anything changes.
    Many thanks to the input from everyone!
    Cheers
    -Chris
    msm0511 likes this.
    03-23-2020 06:10 AM
  17. Mike Dee's Avatar
    SO! Another quick update. *knock on wood* I think I found the culprit...

    Short of finding an app that tracks the activity of all Android apps and processes, I decided to start disabling things one by one. Checking after each "Force Stop" to see if the compass started working.

    It is looking like it may have been caused by a live background app called "BETTA" (a cool animated Beta Fish for your Home Page). Turning off the live background immediately allowed the sensor to start working again. It has been working steadily since yesterday!

    Not a CLUE as to why the live background would interfere with the compass. Probably the darn ads in the background. I am testing the same app on my Galaxy S8, but it doesn't seem to affect this phone. Something about the S20 and this app appears to interfere.

    I don;t think its the live wallpaper function itself either. As I have another one loaded to test functionality, and all is working fine. Seems to be this app called "BETTA" specifically.

    Hope it keeps working!! I will update accordingly with what I find if anything changes.
    Many thanks to the input from everyone!
    Cheers
    -Chris
    Tested the app on my Note 10 and it caused issues. Compass read West pointing North
    and sensor was disabled. I took the app off and after about 30 seconds everything went back to normalCompass in the S20 Ultra not working-screenshot_20200323-125159_compass.jpeg
    Chris Bourque1 likes this.
    03-23-2020 11:56 AM
  18. Mike Dee's Avatar
    SO! Another quick update. *knock on wood* I think I found the culprit...

    Short of finding an app that tracks the activity of all Android apps and processes, I decided to start disabling things one by one. Checking after each "Force Stop" to see if the compass started working.

    It is looking like it may have been caused by a live background app called "BETTA" (a cool animated Beta Fish for your Home Page). Turning off the live background immediately allowed the sensor to start working again. It has been working steadily since yesterday!

    Not a CLUE as to why the live background would interfere with the compass. Probably the darn ads in the background. I am testing the same app on my Galaxy S8, but it doesn't seem to affect this phone. Something about the S20 and this app appears to interfere.

    I don;t think its the live wallpaper function itself either. As I have another one loaded to test functionality, and all is working fine. Seems to be this app called "BETTA" specifically.

    Hope it keeps working!! I will update accordingly with what I find if anything changes.
    Many thanks to the input from everyone!
    Cheers
    -Chris
    I left a review with issues and also emailed developer
    Chris Bourque1 likes this.
    03-23-2020 12:01 PM
  19. Chris Bourque1's Avatar
    I left a review with issues and also emailed developer

    Mike Dee
    Many thanks for double checking and validating that it was the app causing this issue!
    Yep, I think this all but confirms there is a problem with this app. I will do the same, posting a review and emailing the developer. Hopefully they can look into it. What an odd one this was.

    Thank you again! Hopefully this helps someone else if they run into the same issue.
    Cheers
    -Chris
    03-24-2020 01:16 PM
  20. Mike Dee's Avatar
    Mike Dee
    Many thanks for double checking and validating that it was the app causing this issue!
    Yep, I think this all but confirms there is a problem with this app. I will do the same, posting a review and emailing the developer. Hopefully they can look into it. What an odd one this was.

    Thank you again! Hopefully this helps someone else if they run into the same issue.
    Cheers
    -Chris
    You're most welcome. The app did a nice job otherwise.
    Chris Bourque1 likes this.
    03-24-2020 01:22 PM
  21. Chris Bourque1's Avatar
    Just a minor correction to my above posts (for tracking purposes):
    App is called "Betta Fish Live Wallpaper FREE" and it is made by a group called "Maxelus".
    I have reviewed the app with my findings. And additionally have emailed the company. Hoping that it gets resolved, as its a very cool app!
    03-24-2020 01:50 PM
  22. Chris Bourque1's Avatar
    You're most welcome. The app did a nice job otherwise.
    Yeah, agreed! I hope they can resolve the issue, to be honest. I think its a very cool app!
    03-24-2020 01:50 PM

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