Magellan Compass for Blackberry PlayBook updated with some new features

Magellan Compass
By James Richardson on 13 Jun 2012 10:32 am EDT

It was only earlier this week that we published the details of an ace new application for the BlackBerry PlayBook called Magellan Compass. I managed to speak with the developer yesterday, who was a very nice chap, and he informed me that the app had actually been updated to version 3.1.0 since our announcement post.

The update includes better search options, easier directions for destinations and regional map caching. Having used the application myself I have now found a new love! I am pretty sure more updates will follow in due course.


  • Map Quest data provider
  • Open Street Maps data provider
  • Easy navigation to accelerate panning and easy finger zooming
  • Multiple types of GPS heads up display
  • Multiple map types including maps, satellite, and hybrid
  • Automatic map caching for off-line usage
  • Real-time traffic for the U.S.
  • Real-time traffic incidents for the U.K.
  • Real-time weather radar overlay for the U.S. Along with radar animation.
  • User-defined Points-Of-Interest markers associated with bookmarks
  • Directions and guidance system

More information and download of Magellan Compass

Reader comments

Magellan Compass for Blackberry PlayBook updated with some new features


Which are you planning to get? So far I've discovered 2 iGrip models which CB sells, one of which appears to be a universal model (out of stock at the moment) and the other is the one made specifically for the PlayBook. Many people indicate the latter model is really difficult to remove from the plastic casing which connects to the windshield mount. There is also one called an Arkon SM517 which is popular for the Galaxy Tab and some people use for their PlayBook. Read some reviews on that one and several reported that it's not an ideal fit for PB as the top part of the clip or hook makes contact with the power and volume buttons.

Does anybody else have the following issues with this and other navigation apps:

Takes a very long time to get a Gps fix

Gps position jumps around all over the place when navigating, including jumping on to neighboring roads on the map, or moving your position forward or backward when you are standing still.

I just purchased the app yesterday as I've been waiting for something like this. Tested it on my way home and it worked well. I had it tethered (not bridged) to my 9900 and I found the GPS, speed reading and direction to all be accurate - with one exception. I found as I was going under some high voltage power lines that my speed started fluctuating - 80km/hr up to 120/km/hr, but I was actually doing about 103km/hr. Most of the trip it had the right speed, just not under the wires.

As I'm new to the app I'm still learning the ins and outs, but the voice also stopped working 1/2 way home, but not sure if that's just a user error or to do with the app.

Other than that I've been quite pleased with it and I'm now also seeking a car mount & charger for both devices.

I I'm sure you can expect the GPS fix is a veriable. It doesn't take (noticeably) longer than my Blackberry phone (9810), or than my dedicated GPS unit under the same conditions (in door, outdoor, weather, etc.)

I have not noticed it jumping roads, but depending on the GPS update interval that can be set by the user, I have noticed that it kind of jerks around in place slightly.

It is definitely the best GPS app that I have used.

I have used many combinations of Gps hardware and software over the last 10 I expect the Gps fix to vary a bit, but this is way outside of what I have ever seen and I am wondering if it is my PB. I have never had the experience of driving on a highway, and the fix shows me jumping onto an off ramp or putting me off the road and then jumping back. Also, inside my car, if the pb isn't actually sitting in view of the windshield, I can actually lose my fix. That never happens with my 9860. Does anybody know of a way to check the operation of the Gps?

Sounds like you have a genuine issue. Have you tried changing the GPS update interval? I'm not sure that it will help, but it may. Do you have the newest version?

Try contacting them for help, they were chick to respond to me when I had questions about regional caching.

One tip I would like to pass on to the developer is that when you press and hold down a toolbar icon it shows a tooltip as to its purpose. Handy for new users of the app. Even the pdf help file does not have a standard help icon (?).

Downloaded yesterday after reading here in CB. Not impressed because it is not user friendly. The Google map I side loaded works better. i feel like wasted 5.99.

I hope RIM brings more voice guided Nav options with memory caching/saving so that we don't need to use data

I too, have noticed the GPS positioning jumps all over and affects the function of the voice guidance (as you can imagine). I have activated the app inside my home and it has picked up my position but even if the Playbook is stationary with Magellan activated, the voice guidance will state that I must slow down! I am waiting for future updates and fixes before I purchase this app as it seems too inconsistent for normal use.

You and scelop seem to be experiencing somewhat similar issues. I have never encountered them and hope that they get resolved for you guys soon.

I am using v3.1 and my update is set to (I assume you mean the 'record' interval?) 10 seconds and 6 meters.

Anybody know of some software to test Gps?

I am in the UK. So after reading this article and seeing some great reviews I downloaded the app, which cost GBP 6.00. In my excitement I didn't notice that the version available in App World was 2.2, not 3.0. So now, I will no doubt have to shell out another GBP 6.00 for an update when and if it becomes available here in the UK. But I sincerely hope not.

And where is the f---g HELP????

Lesson One for all smartphone and Playbook users: you have to be pyschic. Don't expect the developer or tablet manufacturer to actually tell you how to use the app or device. You have to figure it out for yourself by trial and error, guesswork, and employing all the experience in computers and phones that you can bring to bear. My sister bought an HTC smartphone and hasn''t the faintest idea how to use it. There is no instruction book, except for the absolute basics, no help CD, zilch. How the f---k is she supposed to use the phone to its maximum advantage if she can't figure out how to use it? I told her "Oh, you will have to online and seek help if you want to find out how to switch it on. You need to join the secret society for your iPhone/Android/Blackberrry smartphone. Otherwise you'll never, ever get to the bottom of it.".

"But I'm not online! I don't have a computer!"

Listen up developers: we are not all geeks. If you want to sell shedloads of your app, provide easy, obvious routes to INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE.

Meanwhile, if I've missed something with my version of Magellan, please enlighten me. But that's the whole point. It shouldn't be necessary.

I also have problems with the GPS. First, I can't tell when it has started working. I have to be out on a main road and then if it is not working, I have to pull over to try and reset it. The GPS does wander. On the highway, I watched it roam above and below the route I was on. I was on route, and then suddenly, I was told to take a u-turn when possible. Since the program does not give you the names of any streets or turns, you have to try and read the writing below the screen on the PB. I have only tried this app when I knew the correct route. I think that this app is dangerous for users, particularly if you don't know the route already and are trying to read the message on the screen. Oh, one funny moment. I was stopped at a red light, and the GPS item kept moving to the destination, calling out turns. It got home 10 minutes before I did. All of t his has been reported to the developer. More testing is definitely needed before someone has an accident..

Magellan Compass 3.1.2
Waiting for the GPS to lock onto my PB.
This message comes up
"The application has not received GPS updates. you can continue to wait. if it continues, it is best to either verify the application is authorized to receive GPS information or restart the device to reset GPS."
Can someone help?

4.0 has just been approved for appworld. Downloading now.

All new map providers: The map provider interface has been completely redone. We had to break backwards compatibility in how map tiles are stored on the device, so previous map data will not be accessible with this release. It is best to clear the map cache so that the old tiles just don’t sit around. Map providers now include:

Map Quest (existing)
Open Street Maps (existing)
Google Maps (only map provider that is not allowed to be cached to the device because of licensing)
Bing Maps
MapBox (2 standard styles available, plus you can create your own from
Stamen map series (kind of cool)
Open Cycle
Open Transport
Open Landscape
U.S. Aviation Sectional (not at lower map levels)

New places provider: Version 4 now includes Yelp, MapQuest and CitySearch. Search changed to be able to obtain low density areas better.

Improved Map Caching: As mentioned above, how data is stored changed, but not only can you cache a lot more map providers, but those map providers that provide satellite and hybrid maps can be cached as well.

Route map tiles: Much improved performance in obtaining map tiles along a route.

Long Press: The map can be pressed for about a minute to show a context menu. The menu allows the user to navigage easier, show POIs, etc.

New Layers: New map layers have been added and existing one enhanced.

Weather points (display worldwide weather icons and temperature on map)
Display GPS Tracks
KML import

More Import and Export: User can now import and export POI date from GPX files.

All the above features and more will be in the BlackBerry 10 version as well.