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Blackberry Curve vs. iPhone


adventurer17
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I am in the market for a new phone so I would like to incorporate everything into one unit.

Phone, web access, and GPS tracking for geocaching capabilities. Salespeople have not been able to answer my question if I am able to locate caches with either of these "phones". Anyone use either of these and how were they? Cost? Reliability? Any Information would be helpful. Thanks.

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Unfortunately at this time there is no GPS in the iPhone, nor can you add one via Bluetooth. Apparently someone is working on one to clip into the dock connector. Also you can't add software to it yet, so that will only give you the built-in Google Maps which may not work with that GPS. In the first part of 2008, the iPhone will reportedly be open to new software, so there's no telling what's coming from that point on. There's also the rumor of an iPhone 2 sometime in mid-late 2008, but if you can't wait that long (I couldn't), it won't do you much good right now.

 

I'm not sure about the Blackberry, but this thread may be of some help.

 

:D

 

robert

(happy iPhone owner)

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If you are planning on using it as your GPS for caching your pretty much out of luck.

 

#1 both the iphone and the blackberry curve dont have a built in GPS.

 

#2 with the blackberry curve you can still get a bluetooth GPS and conectit wirelessly to the curve to recieve GPS coordinages but the Iphone does not let you connect any bluetooth gps devices.

 

#3 Both get internet so looking up the geocaching info will be ok on both, However the blackberry allowes you to install other browsers and programs and you can pick what you like best. The iPhone dosnt currently allow you to install programs unless you HACK the phone.

 

 

I currently use my blackberry curve to look at the hints for the caches and to log my finds. I use my Mio Digiwalker GPS to get me to the cache.

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If you are planning on using it as your GPS for caching your pretty much out of luck.

 

#1 both the iphone and the blackberry curve dont have a built in GPS.

 

#2 with the blackberry curve you can still get a bluetooth GPS and conectit wirelessly to the curve to recieve GPS coordinages but the Iphone does not let you connect any bluetooth gps devices.

 

#3 Both get internet so looking up the geocaching info will be ok on both, However the blackberry allowes you to install other browsers and programs and you can pick what you like best. The iPhone dosnt currently allow you to install programs unless you HACK the phone.

 

 

I currently use my blackberry curve to look at the hints for the caches and to log my finds. I use my Mio Digiwalker GPS to get me to the cache.

 

The new Curve, the red one, does have a built in GPS. I've used it with GoogleMaps, there are some downloadable options software wise, but I haven't gotten that far with it yet.

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There are two versions of the Blackberry Curve. The 8300 (sold by T-Mobile) has WiFi but NO GPS. The Curve 8310 sold by AT&T has NO WiFi but HAS built-in GPS. I've been using the AT&T GPS Curve for about a month and it's really good. The GPS chip is SiRFStar III (same as new Garmin units) and the GPS performance is outstanding. Those of you with an AT&T Curve (or BB 8800, or BB 8820) that want to check out Geocache Navigator for a free trail can get it here: Geocache Navigator . Let us know what you think!

 

Rich at Trimble

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There are two versions of the Blackberry Curve. The 8300 (sold by T-Mobile) has WiFi but NO GPS. The Curve 8310 sold by AT&T has NO WiFi but HAS built-in GPS. I've been using the AT&T GPS Curve for about a month and it's really good. The GPS chip is SiRFStar III (same as new Garmin units) and the GPS performance is outstanding. Those of you with an AT&T Curve (or BB 8800, or BB 8820) that want to check out Geocache Navigator for a free trail can get it here: Geocache Navigator . Let us know what you think!

 

Rich at Trimble

 

Very nice on the 8800, one stop shop for getting the info, finding the cache, and makeing the log!!

 

AZMark

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There are two versions of the Blackberry Curve. The 8300 (sold by T-Mobile) has WiFi but NO GPS. The Curve 8310 sold by AT&T has NO WiFi but HAS built-in GPS. I've been using the AT&T GPS Curve for about a month and it's really good. The GPS chip is SiRFStar III (same as new Garmin units) and the GPS performance is outstanding. Those of you with an AT&T Curve (or BB 8800, or BB 8820) that want to check out Geocache Navigator for a free trail can get it here: Geocache Navigator . Let us know what you think!

 

Rich at Trimble

 

I've been using it for a little over a week now. I like it!

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There are two versions of the Blackberry Curve. The 8300 (sold by T-Mobile) has WiFi but NO GPS. The Curve 8310 sold by AT&T has NO WiFi but HAS built-in GPS. I've been using the AT&T GPS Curve for about a month and it's really good. The GPS chip is SiRFStar III (same as new Garmin units) and the GPS performance is outstanding. Those of you with an AT&T Curve (or BB 8800, or BB 8820) that want to check out Geocache Navigator for a free trail can get it here: Geocache Navigator . Let us know what you think!

 

Rich at Trimble

 

Super, how is the resolution on your BB. Is it near what your GPS would get, i.e. 3 meters within coordiantes?

 

Thanks

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There are two versions of the Blackberry Curve. The 8300 (sold by T-Mobile) has WiFi but NO GPS. The Curve 8310 sold by AT&T has NO WiFi but HAS built-in GPS. I've been using the AT&T GPS Curve for about a month and it's really good. The GPS chip is SiRFStar III (same as new Garmin units) and the GPS performance is outstanding. Those of you with an AT&T Curve (or BB 8800, or BB 8820) that want to check out Geocache Navigator for a free trail can get it here: Geocache Navigator . Let us know what you think!

 

Rich at Trimble

 

Super, how is the resolution on your BB. Is it near what your GPS would get, i.e. 3 meters within coordiantes?

 

Thanks

 

The resolution is great on my BB. I get to GZ every time. The only issue I have is when I am in a remote area the geocache navigator does not respond. It works with cell towers and not satellite like a Garmin or Magellan. I am rethinking the use of the geocache navigator since I am usually in remote areas.

I have the red AT&T curve BB. 8310.

:mad::P

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There are two versions of the Blackberry Curve. The 8300 (sold by T-Mobile) has WiFi but NO GPS. The Curve 8310 sold by AT&T has NO WiFi but HAS built-in GPS. I've been using the AT&T GPS Curve for about a month and it's really good. The GPS chip is SiRFStar III (same as new Garmin units) and the GPS performance is outstanding. Those of you with an AT&T Curve (or BB 8800, or BB 8820) that want to check out Geocache Navigator for a free trail can get it here: Geocache Navigator . Let us know what you think!

 

Rich at Trimble

 

Super, how is the resolution on your BB. Is it near what your GPS would get, i.e. 3 meters within coordiantes?

 

Thanks

 

The resolution is great on my BB. I get to GZ every time. The only issue I have is when I am in a remote area the geocache navigator does not respond. It works with cell towers and not satellite like a Garmin or Magellan. I am rethinking the use of the geocache navigator since I am usually in remote areas.

I have the red AT&T curve BB. 8310.

:laughing::laughing:

 

Mmmmmm, I see. So the Blackberry is not actually a GPSr but a GPCTr(Global Positioning Cell Tower recvr). I don't know if I am interested in this functionality. I should probably stick with my Vista and get a cheaper phone with internet access for viewing GC.com.

 

Thanks for the feedback

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There are two versions of the Blackberry Curve. The 8300 (sold by T-Mobile) has WiFi but NO GPS. The Curve 8310 sold by AT&T has NO WiFi but HAS built-in GPS. I've been using the AT&T GPS Curve for about a month and it's really good. The GPS chip is SiRFStar III (same as new Garmin units) and the GPS performance is outstanding. Those of you with an AT&T Curve (or BB 8800, or BB 8820) that want to check out Geocache Navigator for a free trail can get it here: Geocache Navigator . Let us know what you think!

 

Rich at Trimble

The Trimble website doesn't even mention AT&T as a carrier option (under the purchase section).... Edited by TrailGators
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There are two versions of the Blackberry Curve. The 8300 (sold by T-Mobile) has WiFi but NO GPS. The Curve 8310 sold by AT&T has NO WiFi but HAS built-in GPS. I've been using the AT&T GPS Curve for about a month and it's really good. The GPS chip is SiRFStar III (same as new Garmin units) and the GPS performance is outstanding. Those of you with an AT&T Curve (or BB 8800, or BB 8820) that want to check out Geocache Navigator for a free trail can get it here: Geocache Navigator . Let us know what you think!

 

Rich at Trimble

The Trimble website doesn't even mention AT&T as a carrier option (under the purchase section)....

 

 

I spoke to Rebecca at Trimble and they do support the Blackberry 8310 and 8820 through AT&T. I am still not sure the Blackberry uses real GPS technology or Cell Tower signals. I am researching the Blackberry manuals now.

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Since one of your original options is the iphone, I'm assuming that AT&T is you carrier. If that is the case, you should take a serious look at both the Blackjack II and the Moto Q Global. Both have built in GPS that is easily unlocked, and both will run Cachemate for Windows Mobile. Also, they are both pretty affordable at $50 with a two year contract (for refurbs). Once the GPS is unlocked, you can actually navigate to a cache right from the cachemate page. I can't speak to the accuracy, as I have yet to field test it versus my 60csx, but in a pinch (i.e., traveling) it would be nice to only carry one piece of equipment.

Edited by Fitzdawg
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There are two versions of the Blackberry Curve. The 8300 (sold by T-Mobile) has WiFi but NO GPS. The Curve 8310 sold by AT&T has NO WiFi but HAS built-in GPS. I've been using the AT&T GPS Curve for about a month and it's really good. The GPS chip is SiRFStar III (same as new Garmin units) and the GPS performance is outstanding. Those of you with an AT&T Curve (or BB 8800, or BB 8820) that want to check out Geocache Navigator for a free trail can get it here: Geocache Navigator . Let us know what you think!

 

Rich at Trimble

The Trimble website doesn't even mention AT&T as a carrier option (under the purchase section)....

 

 

I spoke to Rebecca at Trimble and they do support the Blackberry 8310 and 8820 through AT&T. I am still not sure the Blackberry uses real GPS technology or Cell Tower signals. I am researching the Blackberry manuals now.

 

Found this link from Trimble on how the GPS and Cell Phone work together on the Blackberry at least. A bit tech and geeky. May be the same with other units:

 

http://www.gpsworld.com/gpsworld/article/a...p;sk=&date=

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Unfortunately at this time there is no GPS in the iPhone, nor can you add one via Bluetooth. Apparently someone is working on one to clip into the dock connector. Also you can't add software to it yet, so that will only give you the built-in Google Maps which may not work with that GPS. In the first part of 2008, the iPhone will reportedly be open to new software, so there's no telling what's coming from that point on. There's also the rumor of an iPhone 2 sometime in mid-late 2008, but if you can't wait that long (I couldn't), it won't do you much good right now.

 

Partfoundry has dropped the plug-in GPS for iPhone / iPod touch. They're currently working on a Wi-Fi connected GPS "server" to be released in Summer 2008. Since it's vaporware at the moment, don't go holding your breath...

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Unfortunately at this time there is no GPS in the iPhone, nor can you add one via Bluetooth. Apparently someone is working on one to clip into the dock connector. Also you can't add software to it yet, so that will only give you the built-in Google Maps which may not work with that GPS. In the first part of 2008, the iPhone will reportedly be open to new software, so there's no telling what's coming from that point on. There's also the rumor of an iPhone 2 sometime in mid-late 2008, but if you can't wait that long (I couldn't), it won't do you much good right now.

 

Partfoundry has dropped the plug-in GPS for iPhone / iPod touch. They're currently working on a Wi-Fi connected GPS "server" to be released in Summer 2008. Since it's vaporware at the moment, don't go holding your breath...

 

I think someone will do either a clip on (via the serial port) version or the wi-fi "server" version for the iPhone. It just makes too much sense and I think the demand is there. If they don't, I'm going to cobble one up using components you can buy from Sparkfun Electronics but that wouldn't be a project for the faint hearted. I'm just more focused at the moment more on the software side of things. While you can't yet install software on a "stock" iPhone (non-jail broken) there are webapps available that work very well which a number of folks here are using to go "paperless" in conjunction with a conventional hand held GPS. Some are listed in the Apple catalog.

 

I'm still trying to make up my mind on the best way to go. It's good to hear that the Blackberry GPS works well. I tend to be wary of combo's like that. It's hard to make a sensitive GPRS and cram it in with a lot of other RF electronics. I tend to believe that the outboard units work significantly better but that may be due to chip set. I know my little BlueTooth Wintec outboard unit is way more sensitive than my eTrex Legend but that may be because the former is SRFIII. Much as I would have liked to see Steve Jobs put a GPS in the iPhone, given the minimum footprint of those devices and an antenna efficient enough to work without compromise, I'm not sure how he could have fit it into the case. Besides, when you are doing the road warrior thing traveling down the highway at 100 feet per second, three meter accuracy doesn't buy you anything. Cell tower triangulation is superior for that use case, works faster, is more immune to "urban canyon" scenarios that block satellite reception, etc. I really wouldn't want to see the case bigger or the battery life shorter by having a built in GPS when you can get what most folks really need from the cell towers and the cell receiver that had to be there for the phone anyway. At first I was disappointed as a cacher but upon reflection I think they probably made the best choice.

 

One nice thing about the "separate" approach is that I can upgrade the GPSR when better chips come out without having to buy a new phone. I guess I'll wait to see what comes out this summer but I'm still thinking of rolling my own with the Sparkfun approach just for grins. But then as a HAM radio op and EE, such things are my hobby. The software side is easy given what we now have in the Apple SDK. That will definitely be here in a couple of months. The hardware is a bit more speculative.

 

-dB

www.ayefon.com

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Since one of your original options is the iphone, I'm assuming that AT&T is you carrier. If that is the case, you should take a serious look at both the Blackjack II and the Moto Q Global. Both have built in GPS that is easily unlocked, and both will run Cachemate for Windows Mobile. Also, they are both pretty affordable at $50 with a two year contract (for refurbs). Once the GPS is unlocked, you can actually navigate to a cache right from the cachemate page. I can't speak to the accuracy, as I have yet to field test it versus my 60csx, but in a pinch (i.e., traveling) it would be nice to only carry one piece of equipment.

 

So many choices. I ran into someone with a Blackjack II. They really like it, but are not using the GPS function. It does have a data package and is less than a third the Blackberry price. I will give the BJ II a look. I did find it for around 50.00. Even without the GPS function, it is cheaper for internet access.

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... I'm going to cobble one up using components you can buy from Sparkfun Electronics but that wouldn't be a project for the faint hearted. I'm just more focused at the moment more on the software side of things.

I think that's what partfoundry started with - there are videos on the web of their prototype board, looking very home-made, working on an iPhone. The software side is the hard part. I guess the SDK wasn't what they were hoping for. Heck, I had a hard time finding (affordable) GPS software for the Palm platform. I had a Palm from my job and a Bluetooth GPS I bought, but I found the free/cheap software available to be lacking in functionality. It made me miss my eTrex Legend.

 

The advancements are all right there on the horizon. It's one of those things we'll laugh about with our grandkids - <old man voice>Back in my day . . . </old man>.

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... I'm going to cobble one up using components you can buy from Sparkfun Electronics but that wouldn't be a project for the faint hearted. I'm just more focused at the moment more on the software side of things.

I think that's what partfoundry started with - there are videos on the web of their prototype board, looking very home-made, working on an iPhone. The software side is the hard part. I guess the SDK wasn't what they were hoping for. Heck, I had a hard time finding (affordable) GPS software for the Palm platform. I had a Palm from my job and a Bluetooth GPS I bought, but I found the free/cheap software available to be lacking in functionality. It made me miss my eTrex Legend.

 

The advancements are all right there on the horizon. It's one of those things we'll laugh about with our grandkids - <old man voice>Back in my day . . . </old man>.

 

RROM ;-)

 

Actually, all you really need to be able to do for the Sparkfun approach in SDK terms is read the serial NMEA stream and that's just basic serial I/O. Essentially that's what I did with my Wintec project (www.btgeocacher.com) and the Sony W810i. I still use that today. So the math and the calcs are all there (thought I'd have to port them from Java to C/Objective C - not a huge leap there.) The SDK is still "beta" and they haven't got the full gui builder in it yet but that's promised by the summer. That will make designing the GUI a lot easier. Basic serial I/O should be MUCH easier than the extra discovery/selection steps involved in basic serial BlueTooth. I do wish that Apple had seen fit to open up the Bluetooth API. They have reserved it just for the headset stuff. I kind of like the wireless idea so that I don't end up with an umbilical of sorts. Those tend to get snagged on branches and stuff in the woods. My little Wintec unit is sensitive and you can put it on your ball cap while you are using the phone as the readout. The wi-fi "server" style of GPS would work similarly except you'd be reading the NMEA data via a URL instead of a serial port but after that the parsing would be the same. I thought about trying to build the wi-fi "server" version using something like gumstix micro PC's but if someone is already doing it, I'd rather just buy one. I can envision all kinds of cool nav displays possible using the beautiful screen real estate offered on the iPhone.

 

-dB

www.ayefon.com - iGeocacher - geocaching webapp for your iPhone.

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Heck, I had a hard time finding (affordable) GPS software for the Palm platform. I had a Palm from my job and a Bluetooth GPS I bought, but I found the free/cheap software available to be lacking in functionality. It made me miss my eTrex Legend.

 

response: while not free, GeoNiche for the Palm OS, with a BT GPSr, is outstanding. no affiliation. (I hope something like it becomes available for iPhone.)

ffordable) GPS software for the Palm platform. I had a Palm from my job and a Bluetooth GPS I bought, but I found the free/cheap software available to be lacking in functionality. It made me miss my eTrex Legend.

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I have both, the BlackBerry Curve 8310 (With GPS) and an iPhone. The Curve is AWESOME with geocache navigator, it will get me within 0-3 ft! I have been geocaching with this phone ever since I started geocaching. The iPhone is good to use google maps to see where the cache is, but since there is no gps in the phone, that is all that is good for.

 

The BlackBerry Curve does have a TRUE gps reciver built into it, not a tower base location system. I have used it in remote areas without cell service by typing in the coords and it works great!

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[i have found that even when I type in coord. manually on my BB8310 w/ geonavigator I still get a message to call Trimble to solve the problem.

I did post this topic way back in December and do now have a BB Curve. I do love all its features and use all of them often. I just wish my geocaching can be done with better results.

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Here is the skinny on the Blackberry GPS performance and Geocache Navigator. FYI - I work for Trimble.

 

First, the Blackberry Curve GPS operates independent of the cell carrier's network. It is as close to a conventional GPS unit as you can get including using a SiRFStar III GPS chipset. For example, I was backpacking in Grand Canyon last week (believe me....no AT&T coverage) and I used the Trimble Outdoors off-road navigation application on my Blackberry Curve very successfully. Not all phones are independent of the wireless network though. Many require assistance from the wireless network to get rapid GPS fixes and if they are not in the network then they cannot acquire GPS. Some phones (Blackberry units, Nextel GPS phones, Nokia GPS phones and the Sanyo 7050 Sprint phone) are GPS autonomous.

 

The only reason that Geocache Navigator requires cell carrier connectivity is because the cache information comes off Groundspeak and Trimble computer servers in real-time as it is requested by the user. That real-time access to cache logs, hints, and caches around you no matter where you are in the World is what makes Geocache Navigator unique. Instant satisfaction :P Unfortunately, to get real-time info you need to be in the cell network. But...the Blackberry GPS will still work fine outside the cell network. Trimble makes several applications that do not do network transactions until you are back in coverage allowing GPS to continue to operate normally but they are not specific to geocaching. We are considering a future version of Geocache Navigator that will allow you to "cache" your geocaches ahead of time and then geocache outside of the network. For now our Blackberry Trimble Outdoors application will take a GPX file pocket querry result and navigate you to geocaches the same way a conventional GPS will - all without cell network coverage. We have a lot of customers that dump hundreds of cache coordinates into their Blackberry units for out of network use using the Trimble Outdoors application. But, you don't get to read cache logs, hints, etc. - just like you don't with most conventional GPS units.

 

I hope this makes sense. The cell phone World is full of inconsistencies and unique situations based on the carrier you use and the phone you use. Sometimes the exact same phone will behave differently on different carrier networks!

 

Rich at Trimble

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I have a BB8130 from Verizon which as anyone on Verizon knows, has the GPS disabled. But I have an external bluetooth GPS puck (BT-359) which works well. I download the trial of GN to try it out while I was on vacation in FL.

 

I have mixed feelings about it but I think it's more of it being a new product that will evolve vs a program that falls short. Here's my experience using it for a couple days.

 

I haven't had any application issues with it. I'm on vacation in a populated part of Florida so there's been cell service wherever I have been. It's neat the way it finds the nearby caches. Would be nice to maybe allow customization of the search results screen to maybe show the GC # minus the GC as 1 column.

 

An issue I have with the search results is that it does filter caches that gc.com knows I have found, but it doesn't filter out ones I've found and not yet logged. If the application could either also interrogate the Field Notes that the app creates as a caches is marked found or not found, that would be helpful. Right now it doesn't seem to do that. When cache names are similar, it's hard to tell which ones were already attempted.

 

The search criteria itself is pretty varied. Might be nice to see some additional options such as a max difficulty/terrain option as well as an option to display it on the search results page.

 

The compass works well with the exception of the update being slow. I don't think it's the GPS not providing accurate enough info fast enough, but I'll have to verify that by using another program simultaneously to see if the update frequency is different. It feels like I have a Magellan and the slingshot effect of overshooting the cache location and having to backtrack. My Garmin GPS which I also had along showsa more accurate and more frequently updated distance/direction from the cache.

 

When a cache is marked found/not found, it would be nice, if it isn't filtered from the list, to somehow be marked in the results with a different icon or additional display showing the cache was found. It would also be nice to easily see which were marked or the app know and not allow it. Today I marked 2 caches multiple times since the option is always available.

 

I haven't looked into Field Notes enough to know if there's a way to, at the time it's created, provide text related to the find (or not find). If I have to carry paper with me in order to take notes about the cache (or take them separately in my Blackberry), it kind of defeats some of the benefit.

 

I also think it would be nice to be able to somehow export to BB Maps or Google Maps the current lat/long of the selected waypoint so I can route to it vs just have a compass pointer. I still need to have my 76CS to get me to the general cache location (assuming I'm driving and not hiking) and then switch to compass mode on the 76CS and/or Blackberry to get to ground zero.

 

As for an offline version, just buy out whoever wrote CacheBerry since it's very similar. It has a more pleasing cache detail page display.

 

I'm going to register when the trial expires. I hope they continue to enhance the application.

Edited by Team DEMP
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I have a BB8130 from Verizon which as anyone on Verizon knows, has the GPS disabled. But I have an external bluetooth GPS puck (BT-359) which works well. I download the trial of GN to try it out while I was on vacation in FL.

 

I have mixed feelings about it but I think it's more of it being a new product that will evolve vs a program that falls short. Here's my experience using it for a couple days.

 

I haven't had any application issues with it. I'm on vacation in a populated part of Florida so there's been cell service wherever I have been. It's neat the way it finds the nearby caches. Would be nice to maybe allow customization of the search results screen to maybe show the GC # minus the GC as 1 column.

 

An issue I have with the search results is that it does filter caches that gc.com knows I have found, but it doesn't filter out ones I've found and not yet logged. If the application could either also interrogate the Field Notes that the app creates as a caches is marked found or not found, that would be helpful. Right now it doesn't seem to do that. When cache names are similar, it's hard to tell which ones were already attempted.

 

The search criteria itself is pretty varied. Might be nice to see some additional options such as a max difficulty/terrain option as well as an option to display it on the search results page.

 

The compass works well with the exception of the update being slow. I don't think it's the GPS not providing accurate enough info fast enough, but I'll have to verify that by using another program simultaneously to see if the update frequency is different. It feels like I have a Magellan and the slingshot effect of overshooting the cache location and having to backtrack. My Garmin GPS which I also had along showsa more accurate and more frequently updated distance/direction from the cache.

 

When a cache is marked found/not found, it would be nice, if it isn't filtered from the list, to somehow be marked in the results with a different icon or additional display showing the cache was found. It would also be nice to easily see which were marked or the app know and not allow it. Today I marked 2 caches multiple times since the option is always available.

 

I haven't looked into Field Notes enough to know if there's a way to, at the time it's created, provide text related to the find (or not find). If I have to carry paper with me in order to take notes about the cache (or take them separately in my Blackberry), it kind of defeats some of the benefit.

 

I also think it would be nice to be able to somehow export to BB Maps or Google Maps the current lat/long of the selected waypoint so I can route to it vs just have a compass pointer. I still need to have my 76CS to get me to the general cache location (assuming I'm driving and not hiking) and then switch to compass mode on the 76CS and/or Blackberry to get to ground zero.

 

As for an offline version, just buy out whoever wrote CacheBerry since it's very similar. It has a more pleasing cache detail page display.

 

I'm going to register when the trial expires. I hope they continue to enhance the application.

 

Team DEMP - thanks for the great feedback. A version of Geocache Navigator for the Blackberry that allows you to filter out caches already found will be available next week. Nope....we're not that fast but we have been working on this feature for a while. If you want a general purpose waypoint navigator (like your Garmin 76) we have another product called Trimble Outdoors for that purpose. It comes with free mapping software that allows you to pre-plan your routes (and maps) and download them to your BB. It's fully GPS functional outside the cell network if you have the right BB unit. It will also import pocket querries to navigate to remote caches that are outside cell coverage. Additionally, you can record GPS tracks, waypoints, audio clips, photos (if you have the right BB unit). Contact Rebecca at Trimble Outdoors support and she will set you with a free trial to see for yourself ( support@trimbleoutdoors.com or 1-800-773-5996). As for your other thoughts to improve the product, some are on the list and the rest we'll add for future updates. :rolleyes:

 

Thanks,

 

Rich at Trimble

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Here is the skinny on the Blackberry GPS performance and Geocache Navigator. FYI - I work for Trimble.

 

First, the Blackberry Curve GPS operates independent of the cell carrier's network. It is as close to a conventional GPS unit as you can get including using a SiRFStar III GPS chipset. For example, I was backpacking in Grand Canyon last week (believe me....no AT&T coverage) and I used the Trimble Outdoors off-road navigation application on my Blackberry Curve very successfully. Not all phones are independent of the wireless network though. Many require assistance from the wireless network to get rapid GPS fixes and if they are not in the network then they cannot acquire GPS. Some phones (Blackberry units, Nextel GPS phones, Nokia GPS phones and the Sanyo 7050 Sprint phone) are GPS autonomous.

 

The only reason that Geocache Navigator requires cell carrier connectivity is because the cache information comes off Groundspeak and Trimble computer servers in real-time as it is requested by the user. That real-time access to cache logs, hints, and caches around you no matter where you are in the World is what makes Geocache Navigator unique. Instant satisfaction :lol: Unfortunately, to get real-time info you need to be in the cell network. But...the Blackberry GPS will still work fine outside the cell network. Trimble makes several applications that do not do network transactions until you are back in coverage allowing GPS to continue to operate normally but they are not specific to geocaching. We are considering a future version of Geocache Navigator that will allow you to "cache" your geocaches ahead of time and then geocache outside of the network. For now our Blackberry Trimble Outdoors application will take a GPX file pocket querry result and navigate you to geocaches the same way a conventional GPS will - all without cell network coverage. We have a lot of customers that dump hundreds of cache coordinates into their Blackberry units for out of network use using the Trimble Outdoors application. But, you don't get to read cache logs, hints, etc. - just like you don't with most conventional GPS units.

 

I hope this makes sense. The cell phone World is full of inconsistencies and unique situations based on the carrier you use and the phone you use. Sometimes the exact same phone will behave differently on different carrier networks!

 

Rich at Trimble

 

Rich, thanks for the great reply. I think you have answered all my questions regarding smartphone caching. I have only one more question. I am going to purchase a smartphone this week, either with my existing ATT service or change to Sprint. If you were making this decision, which phone model would you go with, what service provider apps to I need to purchase and do you have a preference of ATT vs Sprint. I guess that was three questions.

 

Thanks,

Tom

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Here is the skinny on the Blackberry GPS performance and Geocache Navigator. FYI - I work for Trimble.

 

First, the Blackberry Curve GPS operates independent of the cell carrier's network. It is as close to a conventional GPS unit as you can get including using a SiRFStar III GPS chipset. For example, I was backpacking in Grand Canyon last week (believe me....no AT&T coverage) and I used the Trimble Outdoors off-road navigation application on my Blackberry Curve very successfully. Not all phones are independent of the wireless network though. Many require assistance from the wireless network to get rapid GPS fixes and if they are not in the network then they cannot acquire GPS. Some phones (Blackberry units, Nextel GPS phones, Nokia GPS phones and the Sanyo 7050 Sprint phone) are GPS autonomous.

 

The only reason that Geocache Navigator requires cell carrier connectivity is because the cache information comes off Groundspeak and Trimble computer servers in real-time as it is requested by the user. That real-time access to cache logs, hints, and caches around you no matter where you are in the World is what makes Geocache Navigator unique. Instant satisfaction :) Unfortunately, to get real-time info you need to be in the cell network. But...the Blackberry GPS will still work fine outside the cell network. Trimble makes several applications that do not do network transactions until you are back in coverage allowing GPS to continue to operate normally but they are not specific to geocaching. We are considering a future version of Geocache Navigator that will allow you to "cache" your geocaches ahead of time and then geocache outside of the network. For now our Blackberry Trimble Outdoors application will take a GPX file pocket querry result and navigate you to geocaches the same way a conventional GPS will - all without cell network coverage. We have a lot of customers that dump hundreds of cache coordinates into their Blackberry units for out of network use using the Trimble Outdoors application. But, you don't get to read cache logs, hints, etc. - just like you don't with most conventional GPS units.

 

I hope this makes sense. The cell phone World is full of inconsistencies and unique situations based on the carrier you use and the phone you use. Sometimes the exact same phone will behave differently on different carrier networks!

 

Rich at Trimble

 

Rich, thanks for the great reply. I think you have answered all my questions regarding smartphone caching. I have only one more question. I am going to purchase a smartphone this week, either with my existing ATT service or change to Sprint. If you were making this decision, which phone model would you go with, what service provider apps to I need to purchase and do you have a preference of ATT vs Sprint. I guess that was three questions.

 

Thanks,

Tom

 

Tom, both Sprint and AT&T generally carry the same Blackberry models including the Pearl, Curve (soon for Sprint) and the enterprise 8820 (AT&T) or 8830 (Sprint) unit. AT&T uses a wireless network technology called GSM while Sprint uses a technology called CDMA. So while the Blackberry units look the same they are very different inside. This difference also extends to the GPS chips. The GSM units use the SiRF StarIII GPS chips (same as most new conventional GPSr's). The CDMA units use a GPS chip from Qualcomm. The SiRF chip performs better in my opinion. So my personal favorite Blackberry is the AT&T Curve and I use this phone with all of the Trimble applications. The AT&T Pearl or 8820 work just as well (GPS wise) but I have found the battery life on the Pearl and the Curve to be better than the 8820. So, if I were making a new Blackberry purchase and wished to use Geocache Navigator I would buy the 8110 Pearl or the 8310 Curve on AT&T (or another GSM carrier).

 

You do not buy the Geocache Navigator application from AT&T though. Instead you can buy it from a Trimble partner called Handmark. You can purchase directly from your new Blackberry or on the web. All of this info is on Trimble's web site here: Geocache Navigator Info

 

Trimble is offering a free 30 day trial though so try that first before you buy. Furthermore, if you end up buying and annual Geocache Navigator subscription ($39.99 per year) Trimble has been "known" to provide the Trimble Outdoors waypoint navigation Blackberry software and the Trimble Adventure Planner PC mapping software to Geocache Navigator users for free. This software is very helpful if you hike, backpack, boat, etc... I use it a lot for outdoor fun.

 

Hope that helps and let us know how it goes -

 

Rich at Trimble

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Here is the skinny on the Blackberry GPS performance and Geocache Navigator. FYI - I work for Trimble.

 

First, the Blackberry Curve GPS operates independent of the cell carrier's network. It is as close to a conventional GPS unit as you can get including using a SiRFStar III GPS chipset. For example, I was backpacking in Grand Canyon last week (believe me....no AT&T coverage) and I used the Trimble Outdoors off-road navigation application on my Blackberry Curve very successfully. Not all phones are independent of the wireless network though. Many require assistance from the wireless network to get rapid GPS fixes and if they are not in the network then they cannot acquire GPS. Some phones (Blackberry units, Nextel GPS phones, Nokia GPS phones and the Sanyo 7050 Sprint phone) are GPS autonomous.

 

The only reason that Geocache Navigator requires cell carrier connectivity is because the cache information comes off Groundspeak and Trimble computer servers in real-time as it is requested by the user. That real-time access to cache logs, hints, and caches around you no matter where you are in the World is what makes Geocache Navigator unique. Instant satisfaction :) Unfortunately, to get real-time info you need to be in the cell network. But...the Blackberry GPS will still work fine outside the cell network. Trimble makes several applications that do not do network transactions until you are back in coverage allowing GPS to continue to operate normally but they are not specific to geocaching. We are considering a future version of Geocache Navigator that will allow you to "cache" your geocaches ahead of time and then geocache outside of the network. For now our Blackberry Trimble Outdoors application will take a GPX file pocket querry result and navigate you to geocaches the same way a conventional GPS will - all without cell network coverage. We have a lot of customers that dump hundreds of cache coordinates into their Blackberry units for out of network use using the Trimble Outdoors application. But, you don't get to read cache logs, hints, etc. - just like you don't with most conventional GPS units.

 

I hope this makes sense. The cell phone World is full of inconsistencies and unique situations based on the carrier you use and the phone you use. Sometimes the exact same phone will behave differently on different carrier networks!

 

Rich at Trimble

 

Rich, thanks for the great reply. I think you have answered all my questions regarding smartphone caching. I have only one more question. I am going to purchase a smartphone this week, either with my existing ATT service or change to Sprint. If you were making this decision, which phone model would you go with, what service provider apps to I need to purchase and do you have a preference of ATT vs Sprint. I guess that was three questions.

 

Thanks,

Tom

 

Tom, both Sprint and AT&T generally carry the same Blackberry models including the Pearl, Curve (soon for Sprint) and the enterprise 8820 (AT&T) or 8830 (Sprint) unit. AT&T uses a wireless network technology called GSM while Sprint uses a technology called CDMA. So while the Blackberry units look the same they are very different inside. This difference also extends to the GPS chips. The GSM units use the SiRF StarIII GPS chips (same as most new conventional GPSr's). The CDMA units use a GPS chip from Qualcomm. The SiRF chip performs better in my opinion. So my personal favorite Blackberry is the AT&T Curve and I use this phone with all of the Trimble applications. The AT&T Pearl or 8820 work just as well (GPS wise) but I have found the battery life on the Pearl and the Curve to be better than the 8820. So, if I were making a new Blackberry purchase and wished to use Geocache Navigator I would buy the 8110 Pearl or the 8310 Curve on AT&T (or another GSM carrier).

 

You do not buy the Geocache Navigator application from AT&T though. Instead you can buy it from a Trimble partner called Handmark. You can purchase directly from your new Blackberry or on the web. All of this info is on Trimble's web site here: Geocache Navigator Info

 

Trimble is offering a free 30 day trial though so try that first before you buy. Furthermore, if you end up buying and annual Geocache Navigator subscription ($39.99 per year) Trimble has been "known" to provide the Trimble Outdoors waypoint navigation Blackberry software and the Trimble Adventure Planner PC mapping software to Geocache Navigator users for free. This software is very helpful if you hike, backpack, boat, etc... I use it a lot for outdoor fun.

 

Hope that helps and let us know how it goes -

 

Rich at Trimble

 

Well all, it has been almost three weeks since purchase of my BB Curve and install of the Trimble app. All I can say is "what the heck took so long"? I have had nothing but extreme satisfaction with my new setup and now can't imagine being on the road with out it. The GPS function is every bit as good as my Vista and the onsite logging features of GPS Navigator are outstanding. Thanks to Rich and Rebecca at Trimble for your patience, coaching and advice with my purchasing decision.

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Just addiding my 2cents here. I have been using a Garmin 60csx for about a year now and I have been very happy with it. Yesterday I purchased a BB Curve (8310, at&t) and I immediately loaded Trimble's Geocache Navigator on it. I am VERY impressed. I drove to a near by town today and had 100 % success. The BB put me within just a few feet every time. Great package, I highly recommend it! :blink:

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I just bought the 8310 here in Germany, downloaded the trimble trial and later purchased trimble geocaching from handmark. Had a bit of difficulty getting the trial to transfer into a subscription, but the guys at handmark responded within a couple of hours to my request and I got it working fine. I don't think the carrier matters as I'm using vodafone in Germany which was not listed on the trimble website.

 

I have just ordered a bike holder for it and am very excited about the prospect of cycling round some multi-caches I've been planning for a while.

 

Prior to getting the trimble blackberry combo I used to print off all the cache sheets before I went on a business trip or other travel. Often I would end up on a different side of town than planned and had wasted all that paper. If I forgot any info, or wanted to read some logs I would log into geocaching.com and search for them which took ages and cost a fortune!

 

The trimble software allows me to search for a cache in my current vicinity (or enter an address of course) any time, access all the information and hopefully find a lot more caches than before! I love being able to read logs and get the hints right off the phone as well.

 

When you find the cache you can log it right there and when you get home, complete your note on geocaching.com.

 

The gps is every bit as accurate as my garmin. The reason I got the blackberry instead of the nokia is that I was using a blackberry for work and knew the gps worked great. Unfortunately I have had to buy another blackberry as my work one is blocked for 3rd party applications.

 

So all I need now is a pencil, scrap of paper and my blackberry/trimble combination

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I've just discovered a problem with the cache finding functionality of trimble geocacher, for those of us who want to geocache outside the United States or the UK (and possibly a few other countries that might work)

 

If you use the find cache/near address function, the country defaults to US. So if you try to change the code, for instance to UK it works fine. But it won't take any code I have tried for Germany. I've tried DE/GE/BR/Al, and a few others. You can only enter two letters,

 

Example: If I delete the US code from the country line and search for the city of Heidelberg, it comes up with some cache's in a town called Heidelberg in the United States.

 

Unfortunately this means that I can't find caches in Germany unless I'm in the immediate area.

 

It also completely ignores Zip codes from germany as well, so that option doesn't work either.

 

I wrote to trimble and asked whether they can tell me what the code is for Germany and am waiting to hear back.

Edited by kathiella
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Just wanted to post an update, in case anyone else is struggling with the country code issue in their blackberry/trimble set up.

 

So the country codes used are FIPS codes and here is a list of them in English and in German

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_FIPS_country_codes

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_FIPS_...%29#GM:_Germany

 

You can enter a region code in the State/provinde line and it will search by German States as well.

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I have found a few caches with my Blackberry using only Google Maps Mobile, after my daughter borrowed my Garmin and took it across the country. Google Maps is limited in what it can do, but plugging in/saving the location and getting a satellite view of the cache area is good enough for me until I get my Garmin back.

 

I gave up on Geocache Navigator when the customer service person for some reason didn't respond to my query if it would work with AT&T.

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