Big Arrow

Big Arrow is now open source! The code is hosted on GitHub:

Big Arrow is a simple navigation app designed to direct you towards your destination when you are unwilling or unable to use cellular data, when there is no road to follow, or when you simply want a big arrow to point you towards your destination.

Download on the App Store

The eponymous big arrow will indicate the direction pointing towards your selected destination, depending on your current direction (for example, if you are moving directly towards your destination, the arrow will point upwards). Only on iPhone, enabling the magnetometer allows the arrow to point in the correct direction when standing still.

New destinations are added on your iPhone, and you will be able to navigate back to them using your iPhone or Apple Watch (Series 2 or above) GPS, using no cellular data.

GPS accuracy while navigating is indicated by a number of dots (top right). It is shown only when accuracy is suboptimal.

• red (1 dot): low accuracy (error margin above 66 m or 72 yd).
•• yellow (2 dots): medium accuracy (error margin below 66 m or 72 yd).
••• green (3 dots) / hidden: good accuracy (error margin below 16 m or 17 yd). The indicator should disappear shortly after the 3 dots are shown.

On Apple Watch, it also supports a compass mode that will point you towards north, using the Apple Watch (Series 2 or above) GPS functionality.

Additional features:

• Notifications to alert when you are nearby a destination, or about to reach it
• Battery saving mode
• Handoff from Watch to iPhone
• Apple Maps extension to add destinations from Apple’s Maps app

Download on the App Store

17 thoughts on “Big Arrow”

  1. Hi Marco,

    Love you app! I am skydiving and this one can really help me find my way back in bad weather. It would be really nice if there would be an option to leave the display on though 🙂 could that be arranged? 🙂

    1. Thanks, I’m glad the app can be helpful! Unfortunately there’s no way to control how long the display stays activated from the app side. The only option you have is to increase the duration in Apple Watch Settings > General > Wake Screen. In case a future watchOS release will allow the screen to stay on, I’ll definitely add the option.

  2. Thanks for your app! Very use full. Thé best i have found. But i am experiencing problem with the Apple Watch. The app relaod automaticaly on the Watch althaugh i close it!
    Thanks for your help

    1. Hello!

      When the arrow is shown, the app keeps running in the background. Please make sure to go back to the main view (the list of destinations) to stop navigation, that should stop the app.

  3. Ciao Marco
    Ti ringrazio x l’ottima app che hai creato.
    Se non ti offendi ti elenco alcune funzioni che la renderebbero il top.
    – opzione schermo sempre attivo
    – vai verso foto
    – punta una direzione e vai
    – salvare una posizione con touch 3d.

    Grazie 👍

  4. Ciao, grazie per i suggerimenti! Mi sembrano quasi tutte fattibili però sviluppo l’app nel mio tempo libero quindi a volte ci vuole un po’ per aggiungere funzionalità.

    L’unica cosa che purtroppo non si può fare è la prima (schermo sempre attivo), su Apple Watch non è possibile tenerlo acceso più di 70 secondi.

    1. Ciao Marco
      Intendevo schermo sempre attivo su iPhone
      Sarebbe comodissimo nel deserto col fuoristrada
      Grazie 👍😉

      1. Ah capito! Ho aggiunto un’opzione per tenere lo schermo sempre attivo su iPhone / iPad / iPod, dovrebbe essere già disponibile nello store.

  5. Congratulations on a wonderfully simple and functional iPhone app. The only frustration I have is that I am unable to determine my direction while standing still using the Apple Watch 5. Can you add magnetometer functionality for the Apple Watch 5?

    1. Hi, thanks for your comments! I don’t have an Apple Watch 5 to test, but what we could do is trying a beta version and see if that works using your device. If you want to try this, contact me privately using the contact form on the support page using your apple id e-mail and I’ll send you an invitation via TestFlight.

  6. Great app, exactly what I was looking for. Didn’t find any option to support your work though, is there a donation option?

    1. Hi, thanks for wanting to donate! There is not an option to do that though, the maintenance work needed for this app is not much so I do it as a hobby

  7. Thanks a lot for the great app, it works perfectly with apple watch s5, only thing i see missing is to be able to enter coordinates instead of map, as i use it for fishing and i hope to switch from physical gps navigation app to big arrow app only if i get coordinates feature.

    1. Hello,

      you can use coordinates when you add a new destination. When the map appears, you can put coordinates in the search bar, for example 38.6060,-0.0693 and tap on the first result that appears. This will then center the map on the coordinates you typed.

  8. honestly this app helps me to work perfectly in the sea and the desert and i would like to thank you 😊 for creating this one.
    how can i export coordinates from any location i saved from the app

    1. Hi, at the moment the only way is to tap on a destination to navigate to it, then top on “Show in Apple Maps” (right top corner). Then you can export from there. I’ll work on a bulk export / import functionality in the future.

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