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I have a Xiaomi Redmi 10C running Android 12 SKQ1.211103.001 and MIUI Global version 13.0.0 Stable. I bought it new in Malaysia about 8 months ago in early/mid 2022.

This phone does not have a built-in compass, neither did my two previous phones, both also Redmi phones that did not have this problem.

The problem is that map apps including MapsME and Google Maps started pointing the arrow indicating my position in the wrong direction after I'd had the phone for roughly three months.

In this screenshot I'm actually walking towards the destination marked by the flag. But the phone thinks I'm facing the other way so mainly shows the area behind me, making it look like it's in front of me:
I'm walking in the direction of my destination but the map shows the destination behind me and me pointing away from my destination

At first I only noticed it pointing backwards, exactly 180° opposite the direction I was facing and moving. But later I noticed it would also sometimes be 90° to the left or right. Initially I thought it was a bug in MapsME which I use most of the time, but it definitely happens just as often in Google Maps.

Is this a known bug with Android, or with Xiaomi or Redmi phones? Maybe a regression on Android phones without compass as this never happened on my previous Redmi phones without compass running older Android versions.

I've tried to search for this problem using various wordings and failed to find anything similar to my problem, so I turn to the Android experts here.

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If this is a temporary occurrence then it's quite normal. When you/the car pause, the error in the GPS can make the app think that you are displaced. Then it would show you as going in a different direction. But this soon corrects itself, especially if you move.

For example, GPS-enabled smartphones are typically accurate to within a 4.9 m (16 ft.) radius under open sky (VIEW SOURCE AT ION.ORG). However, their accuracy worsens near buildings, bridges, and trees.

From gps.gov

More discussion at gis.stackexchange

Without a compass -

Google maps uses gps, so it will work fine. The actual direction your phone is facing is the only thing unknown. So if you are standing still it can't tell what direction you are facing.

From androidhiro forum

Meaning that if you are still, it can't tell, there is no compass. In this case, the calculation of direction from GPS can only come from movement.

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  • No for me it doesn't correct. It persists pointing in the wrong direction and I have to rotate the map since it shows more of the region it's pointing to than where I'm actually going. Sometimes it will pick a new random direction out of the four possible ones if I've had it in my pocket for a while or use another app for a while and come back, but I can't figure out the exact conditions in which it does that. Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 4:22
  • Updated the answer for movement. Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 4:44
  • Added a screenshot. I don't have a compass but I am moving when this happens. It may only happen when I'm walking on foot, about 5km/h. Now that I think of it I don't remember it happening when in a car. Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 15:37

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