compass.watchHeading

At a regular interval, get the compass heading in degrees.

var watchID = navigator.compass.watchHeading(compassSuccess, compassError, [compassOptions]);

Description

The compass is a sensor that detects the direction or heading that the device is pointed. It measures the heading in degrees from 0 to 359.99.

The compass.watchHeading gets the device's current heading at a regular interval. Each time the heading is retrieved, the headingSuccess callback function is executed. Specify the interval in milliseconds via the frequency parameter in the [compassOptions](parameters/compassOptions.html) object.

The returned watch ID references references the compass watch interval. The watch ID can be used with [compass.clearWatch](compass.clearWatch.html) to stop watching the compass.

Supported Platforms

  • Android
  • iPhone
  • Windows Phone 7 ( Mango ) if available in hardware
  • Bada 1.2 & 2.x
  • webOS
  • Tizen

Quick Example

function onSuccess(heading) {
    var element = document.getElementById('heading');
    element.innerHTML = 'Heading: ' + heading.magneticHeading;
};

function onError(compassError) {
        alert('Compass error: ' + compassError.code);
};

var options = { frequency: 3000 };  // Update every 3 seconds

var watchID = navigator.compass.watchHeading(onSuccess, onError, options);

Full Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <head>
    <title>Compass Example</title>

    <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="cordova-2.1.0.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8">

    // The watch id references the current `watchHeading`
    var watchID = null;

    // Wait for Cordova to load
    //
    document.addEventListener("deviceready", onDeviceReady, false);

    // Cordova is ready
    //
    function onDeviceReady() {
        startWatch();
    }

    // Start watching the compass
    //
    function startWatch() {

        // Update compass every 3 seconds
        var options = { frequency: 3000 };

        watchID = navigator.compass.watchHeading(onSuccess, onError, options);
    }

    // Stop watching the compass
    //
    function stopWatch() {
        if (watchID) {
            navigator.compass.clearWatch(watchID);
            watchID = null;
        }
    }

    // onSuccess: Get the current heading
    //
    function onSuccess(heading) {
        var element = document.getElementById('heading');
        element.innerHTML = 'Heading: ' + heading.magneticHeading;
    }

    // onError: Failed to get the heading
    //
    function onError(compassError) {
        alert('Compass error: ' + compassError.code);
    }

    </script>
  </head>
  <body>
    <div id="heading">Waiting for heading...</div>
    <button onclick="startWatch();">Start Watching</button>
    <button onclick="stopWatch();">Stop Watching</button>
  </body>
</html>

iOS Quirks

In iOS compass.watchHeading can also get the device's current heading when it changes by a specified number of degrees. Each time the heading changes by the specified number of degrees or more, the headingSuccess callback function is called. Specify the degrees of change via the filter parameter in the [compassOptions](parameters/compassOptions.html) object. Clear the watch as normal by passing the returned watch ID to [compass.clearWatch](compass.clearWatch.html). This functionality replaces the previously separate, iOS only functions, watchHeadingFilter and clearWatchFilter, which were removed in 1.6.

In iOS only one watchHeading can be in effect at one time. If a watchHeading via filter is in effect, calling getCurrentHeading or watchHeading will use the existing filter value for specifying heading changes. On iOS watching heading changes via a filter is more efficient than via time.