When do Mobile Applications Involving Navigation Activities Work Improperly?

It is known that performing mobile testing one should consider operation of various sensors that are used by mobile applications. There is no need to worry about any sensors during desktop testing or web site testing because personal computers usually are not equipped with sensors.

Magnetometer is one of sensors that are usually installed on mobile devices. It determines the strength of magnetic fields and works as a compass. Magnetometer is utilized by software products involving navigation activities.


A software testing company claims that there are certain conditions in which magnetometer and, as a consequence, software products utilizing this sensor, do not work correctly. Usually these are the same conditions in which a compass works improperly.

Magnetometer May Operate Incorrectly If:

  • there is a magnet near the mobile device;
  • there is much steel around the mobile device, for instance steel parts of near buildings;
  • the mobile device is in motion.

In case tested software product needs to verify direction and uses magnetometer, it is important to check the tested software behavior under mentioned conditions, performing mobile application testing.

If tested software has nothing to do with navigation one may execute mobile testing without paying attention to magnetometer.