Ah, this is a topic I love to discuss! It does not hurt at all learning to navigate without software, since in many beautiful and remote natural environments you won't have cell phone signal.
I have an electronic compass on my wrist watch (an inexpensive Casio, ~$50), but I also carry a simple analog compass (a "military" compass, ~$20), that will never run out of battery or signal. I wholeheartedly agree with SolaceEasy and Hikermor that the most important skill is being aware of your surroundings and the lay of the land; knowing where the north is won't help you if you lost track of where you approximately are. I would add another skill that is very helpful: learning to estimate (guesstimate is fine) the distance you cover on foot, since this impacts directly the ability to locate your position on a map. The most precise analog way is knowing the measure of your steps and counting them, but most of the time such precision is not really necessary.
For hikes covering a lot of terrain you should always have a topographic map, with elevations, for you will use prominent heights to triangulate your position on the map. But for most hikes you can even do with a "flat" map and a simple compass, or no compass at all provided that you can locate the position of the sun and more-or-less know the time. I'm pretty good at navigating almost unconsciously with the sun or the stars, but I have been in situations where it has been overcast and I have had a hard time finding my bearings. Also, I have been in places where my compass was no working at all (interestingly, one place was called "Iron Mountain"), so being able to use a mix of techniques for orienting yourself is absolutely necessary.