watchOS 9 Brings Updated Compass App With Waypoints and Backtrack

Apple with the introduction of the Apple Watch Ultra showed off a redesigned and more expansive Compass app, which, as it turns out, is available to existing Apple Watch models in watchOS 9.

watchos 9 compass app
Available today, watchOS 9 adds the redesigned Compass app to the Apple Watch Series 5 and later and the Apple Watch SE, though select features are limited to the ‌Apple Watch SE‌ and the Series 6 and later.

The redesigned Compass app features an analog compass that displays a digital view of your current bearing and direction. You can tap into a zoomed view that shows your bearing, elevation, incline, latitude, and longitude for more information.

If you have an Apple Watch Series 6 or later, you can mark points of interest in the Compass app using the Waypoints feature, which has customizable colors and symbols. The Waypoints app adds a little marker to your current coordinates, and all Waypoints show up on the main Compass view so you can find your way back to them.

watchos 9 compass app backtrack
You can also use a new "Backtrack" feature if you have a Series 6 or later. Backtrack uses GPS to record the path that you take, so if you get lost, you can find your way back later. watchOS 9 is available on the Apple Watch Series 4 and later and it can be downloaded now.

Related Roundups: watchOS 10, watchOS 11
Related Forum: Apple Watch

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Top Rated Comments

Stromos Avatar
24 months ago
Wait us peasants get a cool new compass feature? That’s the most unApple thing I’ve heard in a long time!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
averagenerd81 Avatar
24 months ago

Wait us peasants get a cool new compass feature? That’s the most unApple thing I’ve heard in a long time!
That was one thing I really liked from the Ultra, but I am not forking over $800 for a watch. Very happy this is coming to us peasants!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
t0rqx Avatar
24 months ago
Too bad battery runs out to backtrack…
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Spinn_ Avatar
24 months ago
Very cool! I thought this was only coming to the Ultra.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gund1234 Avatar
24 months ago

They know how many, which and what kind of watches are active currently and which one need to be forced to upgrade.
i don't think it is fair, Apple products last longer then most other products and Apple is working hard to support software upgrades to older devices in general.
Apple does somethings that i don't like (repairability/upgradability) but not supporting products and forced upgrades in not one of them. We have to give them credit where it is due.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chickeneaster Avatar
24 months ago

Huh? Since when does the apple watch has a compass app? My series 7 on the watchos 9 RC doesn't have a compass app
It's had one since the series 4 or 5
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)