How Does A Metal Detector App Work?

Mobile phones, being effective communication devices, have made life easier since their invention. They are taking over the world, connecting people, and expanding their social circles with just a click.

Your cell phone is like a best friend because it can be your alarm clock, calculator, calendar, and source of entertainment. It holds everything that interests you.

Metal detecting is becoming a popular hobby, so there are many apps for this purpose. This makes hobbyists curious. They often wonder, “How does a metal detector app work? Can it be as effective as a physical metal detector?” In this article, I will explore the mechanics of metal detector apps and share my experience to save you time and effort.

If you are interested in metal detection and want to start it as a hobby, then check out – Is metal detecting a good hobby?

Let’s Find Out How Metal Detector App Works

Dependency on Sensors

From what I’ve seen, these apps use sensors to check if your device can work as a metal detector. When you download such an application, it is crucial to determine if your phone is capable of serving as a metal detector. Let’s delve into the possibilities.

First and foremost, it depends on the built-in sensors of your device. Most metal detectors require a compass within the sensors. A compass consists of a magnetic needle that measures and records magnetic variations. 

Another technology called “Magnetometer” detects all materials without discrimination. It can provide greater depth.

Similarly, your cellphone has a compass based on its hardware. When an object touches the phone, the compass within the phone’s sensor allows it to function as a mini magnetometer.

Depth Limitations

If you are good with technology, you probably know that mobile phones can’t find metal as well as real metal detectors.

If you dream of taking your phone to the beach and uncovering a treasure trove, I must burst your imaginary bubble.

Mobile phones offer very limited depth detection, and even that is only possible when the object is in direct contact with the phone.

These apps cannot replace proper metal detectors; therefore, I do not recommend relying on them.

If you’re bored and need temporary fun, you can try them. But don’t replace real metal detectors. Allow me to explain why.

Mobile phones lack the necessary components, such as coils, which are crucial for metal detection. Coils are large and require power to receive and emit signals.

Phones do not have sensors that support coils, making them incompatible with functioning as metal detectors. This is also why these apps may be misleading you.

How to Determine if Your Phone Can Function as a Metal Detector

If you are still curious about the possibility of using your phone as a metal detector, consider the following:

Check Your Phone’s Specifications

Inspect the product specifications of your phone to determine if it has a compass or if its sensors include a compass.

Modern smartphones can have different types of sensors. These can be proximity, gyroscopic, and pulse-induction sensors.

However, basic or mid-range phones may not include these features. Compass availability can vary, especially between Android phones and iPhones.

iPhones tend to have compasses naturally, particularly those higher than the 3GS model.

Android or iPhone?

If you are an Android user, you can utilize third-party apps to identify the sensors available on your phone. Apps like Castro can analyze your phone’s system.

They can give you information about the version, brand, technical specs, and sensor details. These apps can determine if your phone has a compass or has the potential to function as a magnetometer. On the other hand, iPhones already have these sensors available.

Find out Do metal detectors really work. If yes then how much accurate they are?

Applications of a Metal Detector App

Metal detector applications are primarily used for three reasons:


If you are bored and enjoy metal detecting as a hobby, you can use your cell phone as a source of entertainment. You can determine the depth and explore how your phone works, adding an element of enjoyment to your pastime.


If you want to know if an object is metal or not, or its makeup, you can use the app. The finishes of some products may not reveal whether they are metallic, but your phone can help provide an answer.


In terms of security, you can use your cellphone, but not as a serious alternative to a reliable security device. If you are curious or have no other option available, you can use the mobile application in rare emergency cases.

The success of Metal Detector Apps

These applications are unsuitable if you search for treasure, coins, relics, or gold. Their detection capabilities are limited, and their practical applications are nearly non-existent. These apps offer little benefit to users. 

Sometimes, metal detector manufacturers create special apps to improve their devices. For example, if a metal detector doesn’t have a color display, can connect to a mobile device using secondary apps. These apps have basic features like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

These apps allow the processing of scanned data on the mobile device. These apps use metal detectors to collect data. Then the mobile app processes the data.

Find out Is metal detecting is profitable.


How Does a Metal Detector App Work? – Metal detector apps found in the Play Store are not associated with actual metal detectors.

These applications are mainly for fun and don’t have practical uses or real metal-detecting abilities. Many of these apps are designed to attract mobile users so that they download their application, which benefits the app developer.

They use gimmicks to increase downloads, clicks, or views. They are not beneficial to consumers in any significant way. 

Some apps work with metal detectors to improve the experience by adding extra features.

These are the only applications that work because an external physical metal detector is there to support them.

This is why we only recommend buying a metal detector and downloading the app relevant to it that the manufacturer suggests if any at all. 

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