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jdawson

Paperless Geocaching with an iPod Touch

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I know someone started a topic about this around a year ago. But that thread ended and no solution was found. So as a year has passed I thought some more solutions may be around.

 

I should also let other iPod users know that CacheMagnet the paperless geocaching solution for other iPods will not work on the iPhone or iPod Touch. Both the iPhone and Touch don't allow you to access the device as a remote storage drive so CacheMagnet can't write the files to the device the way it can on other iPods.

 

Has anyone else has found a good solution they like on an iPod Touch for paperless geocaching.

 

I have mine hacked so if it requires installing more software into the Touch I am game to try. I have tried the PDF viewer and downloaded and saved PDF's to the touch. That can work but is not the full solution yet.

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I figured out a good solution this weekend, at least it's the best I can come up with until an actual GPX viewer for iPod touch comes out.

 

You can use Safari to load the html output from GSAK (or whatever program you use to convert GPX -> HTML) and browse it that way. I get around the Mobile Safari limitation of not being able to load local html files by installing apache (in Installer.app under Network) and putting the html files from GSAK into the doc root for apache. Then I just setup a Mobile Safari bookmark to point to http://127.0.0.1 to browse the files :anibad:

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I was able to come up with a method that does not required you to "hack" your iPod Touch.

 

Basically you export your caches to a vCard (VCF file) from GSAK. Then import them to Yahoo! Address Book. Then sync with Yahoo! Address Book.

 

I wrote up a more detailed explanation here at my blog.

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Jailbreaking will void your warranty.

 

However, once the Touch is "jailbroken" there are a couple of ways to load the information. Tools for uploading various file formats are available.

 

I can paste the text directly into notepad. One of the tools creates a web interface to upload to the touch's notepad. (Uploading to the notepad is a function that should have been included when they released the application back in January.)

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You can browse the app store today and see what apps will be available for the 2.0 Update (which should be available tomorrow), I was sad to see no one had added a geocaching app yet. :anitongue:

 

So I think I will stick with my caches as contacts solution until someone comes up with an app.

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I am new to caching in general, and am not up to date on paperless either. the few that I have found, I did paperless, as in, I knew the general area they were in, send the coodinates to my Garmin, and kept the rest in my wet buffer (brain). it has worked, since I have only gone after one cache at a time.

 

from what I get about paperless, its so you can have all the info from the cache listing page there with you for reference. is this correct? if so, here is how I might go about it. I have a PDA phone that is capable of reading PDFs. the iPod touch does this as well. on a PC, there are freeware apps such as CutePDF Writer. it works as a printer driver, but creates a PDF instead. I actually use this daily to send invoices to clients. from the cache listing page, I would just print it to a PDF, and then sync it to my phone. not having an iPod touch, I dont know the exact way to do this, but Im sure that its similar.

 

again, I am new, and could be totally off base on this.

 

-Cambo

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I don't think the iPhone and iPod Touch allow for PDF reading by default, but I did run across an app in the new app store this morning called "File Magnet" that has good reviews. This app will allow you to sync PDF files with your iPhone/iPod Touch. So this also could be a nice method.

 

The nice plus to this method is that you get the cache attributes, something you don't get with PQ results. The downside is that you have to do it one cache page at a time, unless someone knows a trick I don't.

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reading up on it, yes, the iPod touch and iPhone can read PDFs. however, you dont sync it, you email it from a computer and then pull it in with the handheld. however, the new app does seem much easier.

 

on a related-yet-different note, is there any sort of app for windows mobile 6 devices that does support the PQ functions? I know there are apps that work on Palm and Symbian.

 

-Cambo

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Screen Shots!

 

You can capture screen shots on the iphone and ipod using OS 2.0.

 

It will get the job done. If you press the home button and your sleep/power button at the same time for a moment, then release, the screen will flash letting you know you captured your screen shot. Open the Photos app and you now have a album named "Saved Photos". Photos saved from Safari and Mail are stored here too.

 

The beauty of the screen shot method is no desktop machine is required.

photo.jpg

 

The odd part is when you capture a landscape screen, photos treats it as portrait as seen above. If you view the screen capture in the photos app and turn the ipod landscape to read the text -the image flips upside down. (I submitted feedback about this feature.) I hold the ipod flat and look down so I can turn it and view the ipod and screen capture in landscape mode without the image flipping. This will probably make sense once you play around with some screen captures and view them in Photos.

 

I plan and do routes with my 5 yo son. I email myself a text-only safety-net email with decrypted hints for each cache. Simple, I paste the GC# and the decrypted hint below it, press return, and repeat. I email the hints with the name of the run as the subject. This is text only and I can retrieve this in mail away from wifi as long as you download it before you leave.....

 

In my pocket I have the cache page in photos and a decrypted hint in mail if needed. Paperless and free, works for me.

Edited by bridaw

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Screen Shots!

 

You can capture screen shots on the iphone and ipod using OS 2.0.

 

It will get the job done. If you press the home button and your sleep/power button at the same time for a moment, then release, the screen will flash letting you know you captured your screen shot. Open the Photos app and you now have a album named "Saved Photos". Photos saved from Safari and Mail are stored here too.

 

The beauty of the screen shot method is no desktop machine is required.

photo.jpg

 

The odd part is when you capture a landscape screen, photos treats it as portrait as seen above. If you view the screen capture in the photos app and turn the ipod landscape to read the text -the image flips upside down. (I submitted feedback about this feature.) I hold the ipod flat and look down so I can turn it and view the ipod and screen capture in landscape mode without the image flipping. This will probably make sense once you play around with some screen captures and view them in Photos.

 

I plan and do routes with my 5 yo son. I email myself a text-only safety-net email with decrypted hints for each cache. Simple, I paste the GC# and the decrypted hint below it, press return, and repeat. I email the hints with the name of the run as the subject. This is text only and I can retrieve this in mail away from wifi as long as you download it before you leave.....

 

In my pocket I have the cache page in photos and a decrypted hint in mail if needed. Paperless and free, works for me.

 

Great idea! I thought the screenshot feature was useless!

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What I use is Select All when I open the GC info page in Firefox and paste it into an e-mail messageto myself in Gmail; I created a new tag and filter so all GC info pages I send to myself are archived automatically under that tag. Following that I open my Gmail Account in the iPhone and download the messages.

 

This way I can watch the info for any GC inlcuding logs where and when I want.

 

Regards,

 

Sebastian

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I have an 80 gb and Maccaching works fine to download paperless

May I ask how? Do you use the iPod contact list (vcard) or some other method?

 

thanks in advance,

Carole

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I just use some sort of text editing app for the iPod , and copy and paste the info.

It works for me , but maybe not someone who caches tons in a day , since it would suck to do all that copying and pasting.

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Jailbreaking will void your warranty.

 

True, but if you just reformat before you take it in for repairs....

 

Not that I'm advocating screwing a giant corporation out of several hundred dollars worth of apps or anything. Really.

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Stanza is an free e-book app. Some clippings from the Stanza home page.

 

Stanza contains built-in reading support for Amazon Kindle, Mobipocket, Microsoft LIT, PalmDoc, Microsoft Word, Rich Text Format, HTML, and PDF. More details can be found on Stanza's Supported Formats page.

 

If you do not have a wireless network that can be shared between your desktop/laptop and your iPhone/iPod, but you do have a wireless card on your desktop, you can still share books between the devices by using Internet Sharing. You can enable this by opening the System Preferences application, selecting "Sharing", then "Internet Sharing", and then "Airport". Once you have enabled internet sharing on your laptop/desktop, you can then go to your iPhone/iPod's preferences section, enable WiFi, find your computer in the list, and connect to it. Once you have connected, you should be able to share books

 

more info on: http://www.lexcycle.com/

--

DagS.

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For me I email the printable web page to my gmail account and then download the email to the Ipod touch.

The page is then visible as an email even when I have the wi-fi off.

So far I have been happy with this simple solition.

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I'm using iGeoCacher and it's great! I've loaded the GPX file from a pocket query today to find eight caches. The text is easily readable, but any maps or images are accessible only if you've got a WiFi connection. Very easy to set up from a Mac... don't know how well it plays with a PC. Definitely better than using MacCaching with an old 3rd generation iPod.

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Second that for iGeocacher. Though a bit high on the $$ for an iPod app, ($14.95), it does a great job at offline caching. If I had an iPhone, the solution would be pretty much all in one- however, I'm not willing to pay the deathstar tax for that. AND I love our Magellan SportTrak and you would have to pry it from my cold dead hands before I'd switch platforms for the hunt.

 

Check it out. Developer's a good dude and although the documentation is pretty gawdawful, it's nothing a user forum couldn't help improve. :rolleyes:

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Here's my solution to paperless caching with my iPod Touch. I go to the cache page with my desktop computer, then click on PDF with 10 logs. I can then do one of two things - I can email the pdf to myself and retrieve that with my Touch, or, using a really cool application called Air Sharing (available in the App Store) I can connect to my Touch wirelessly from my desktop and simply drag the PDF's into a folder that I create. This can help you arrange by Type, location, etc. Works like a charm for me. I have all the info I need in the field.

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+1 on Air Sharing

 

I scored this app when they gave it away free the first few weeks but it is worth the current price at the itunes app store. Hands-down the easiest way to get any type of files onto your ipod touch or iphone.

 

While Air Sharing is running, your ipod becomes a WIFI WebDAV server that you can mount from any desktop machine. In addition to mounting Air Sharing as a wireless disk, you can browse the files and folders from any computer's web browser because Air Sharing includes a web server and file server. No itunes or cable required, very nice.

 

I hit a cache page, print the first three pages of cache info and logs to a PDF file on my desktop. Repeat for each cache on a route and drag the PDFs to a "GC" folder I created on my ipod touch.

 

I store and view iWork, MS Office, rich text RTF/RTFD, safari web archives, PDFs and image files on my ipod using Air Sharing.

 

iPod view:

photo2.jpg

 

Desktop browser view:

Picture2.jpg

Edited by bridaw

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I started using Air Sharing for some other things but am thinking about using it to move info from a GPX file to my iPhone.

 

My plan is to write program that will decode the GPX file into something that makes sense and then save it as either a Word, Excel or PDF file.

 

I like the idea of iGeoCacher a whole lot. However, while I'm a good strong programmer in about a dozen languages, I don't understand networking enough to even attempt to figure out how to move data onto my iPhone for iGeoCacher. If I can't, then my guess is that some others can't either.

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I started using Air Sharing for some other things but am thinking about using it to move info from a GPX file to my iPhone.

 

My plan is to write program that will decode the GPX file into something that makes sense and then save it as either a Word, Excel or PDF file.

 

I like the idea of iGeoCacher a whole lot. However, while I'm a good strong programmer in about a dozen languages, I don't understand networking enough to even attempt to figure out how to move data onto my iPhone for iGeoCacher. If I can't, then my guess is that some others can't either.

I'm a third vote for iGeocacher. Don is VERY accessible to answer questions or troubleshoot. All you need to do is "host" your gpx files or PQs on a server and you'll have completely accessible cache listings out and about. Super simple, too, if you have a Mac!

 

As soon as Groundspeak works out kinks on their app, you may likely get the same kind of off-line capability. :rolleyes:

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I've used Air Sharing to Google Earth satellite images (as PDFs) into my iPod Touch. Works like a charm. I also use iGeoCacher to get my Pocket Query results in there. The only thing I'd like iGeoCacher to do is actually download the various images instead of keeping links to images. Out in the woods, there ain't no WiFi!

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reading up on it, yes, the iPod touch and iPhone can read PDFs. however, you dont sync it, you email it from a computer and then pull it in with the handheld. however, the new app does seem much easier.

 

on a related-yet-different note, is there any sort of app for windows mobile 6 devices that does support the PQ functions? I know there are apps that work on Palm and Symbian.

 

-Cambo

Great idea, works fine, except how do you then delete the saved photos from the ipod touch or iphone?

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Great idea, works fine, except how do you then delete the saved photos from the ipod touch or iphone?

 

You just display the photo, and in the lower right corner of the screen is a trash can...click it, and confirm you wish to delete the photo (iTouch 2nd gen)

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at the risk of cross-posting, here's a copy of what i put in another forum related to this topic:

 

OK, i got an iTouch 2nd gen (16 gig) for my birthday and of course, the first thing was to use the WiFi and get to gc.com. Looking around a little, i figured out how to use it for paperless caching:

 

It took me 20 minutes to figure all this out, and i'm now paperless:

 

Purchase and install "Air Sharing" (Apple Apps store, $6.99 CDN...a bargain!!)

Use the very excellent instructions to set up your iTouch as a wireless remote storage volume (took me less than 5 minutes) (Note that you need to hook up to a wireless router...anywhere, i did it at work...)

Generate a PQ.

Load up GSAK (what, you're not using it? Get it...it's GREAT) and use it to parse your PQ zip file

Use File>Export>HTML to generate html code for each cache...put the export in a folder by itself

Start "air sharing" on your iTouch by tapping the icon.

Use your Windows explorer window to drag the folder with the html files onto the iTouch

On your iTouch, tap the "_1index.htm" file to open the index onto all the caches

 

That's it! The files will open on the iTouch's browser (Safari).

 

I ran a test with a PQ that returned 187 caches, it took less than 3 minutes to get it onto the iTouch.

 

Ain't technology wunnerful? ;)

Edited by xTerraCacher

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What about the Geocaching WAP? You could take screenshots even easier and when you do have wifi, load stuff faster.

 

wap.geocaching.com

 

Besides, the iPhone and iPod Touch don't have copy and past yet! ;)

Edited by Mr.Moo

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at the risk of cross-posting, here's a copy of what i put in another forum related to this topic:

 

OK, i got an iTouch 2nd gen (16 gig) for my birthday and of course, the first thing was to use the WiFi and get to gc.com. Looking around a little, i figured out how to use it for paperless caching:

 

It took me 20 minutes to figure all this out, and i'm now paperless:

 

Purchase and install "Air Sharing" (Apple Apps store, $6.99 CDN...a bargain!!)

Use the very excellent instructions to set up your iTouch as a wireless remote storage volume (took me less than 5 minutes) (Note that you need to hook up to a wireless router...anywhere, i did it at work...)

Generate a PQ.

Load up GSAK (what, you're not using it? Get it...it's GREAT) and use it to parse your PQ zip file

Use File>Export>HTML to generate html code for each cache...put the export in a folder by itself

Start "air sharing" on your iTouch by tapping the icon.

Use your Windows explorer window to drag the folder with the html files onto the iTouch

On your iTouch, tap the "_1index.htm" file to open the index onto all the caches

 

That's it! The files will open on the iTouch's browser (Safari).

 

I ran a test with a PQ that returned 187 caches, it took less than 3 minutes to get it onto the iTouch.

 

Ain't technology wunnerful? :lol:

Just set my Ipod Touch up according to your info.....heck yea! it worked just as you said. I'm paperless now!

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The best way I've found for paperless caching on the iPod Touch is to get an excellent app from the app store called iGeocacher. It's a premium cost of $14.99 but to me its totally worth it. Just get your PQs from Groundspeak, then the app uses the same .gpx file and saves them to the iPod as a portable cache database! It's got loads of great search features and tells you everything about the caches, including the hints. It works fantastic and I highly recommend it! Check out the link above for some cool videos of how it works! Within 4 minutes of using it I had over 1600 caches loaded into it and ready to rock! :D

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I am moving this thread from the Geocaching Topics forum to the GPS and Technology forum.

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The best way I've found for paperless caching on the iPod Touch is to get an excellent app from the app store called iGeocacher. It's a premium cost of $14.99 but to me its totally worth it. Just get your PQs from Groundspeak, then the app uses the same .gpx file and saves them to the iPod as a portable cache database! It's got loads of great search features and tells you everything about the caches, including the hints. It works fantastic and I highly recommend it! Check out the link above for some cool videos of how it works! Within 4 minutes of using it I had over 1600 caches loaded into it and ready to rock! :(

I tried this one out and it does looks good! :D Not Cheap B) but.. it has features (like loading a GPX file) that beats anything else!! (saving caches one by one is very long and tedious, unless you plan a raid of 2-3 caches!).

 

I now have 2 apps that cost me 24.90$.. Now, I have to try them out in the field to see which one is easier, more convenient to use.. :rolleyes:

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I now have 2 apps that cost me 24.90$.. Now, I have to try them out in the field to see which one is easier, more convenient to use.. :D

 

I've been very happy with the iGeocacher app. It's perfect for the iTouch because we have no data plan to get the cache info in the field. Having the ability to take 2500 cache info pages with you is incredible! Let's face it, you're never going to find 2500 in one outing, or even on a lengthy trip! The convenience of using the .gpx files is sheer awesomeness! B)

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I got a new Kindle-2.

 

It looks AWESOME for caching.

A bit expensive, but the display is GREAT for outdoor viewing, and it displays the maps and text well.

The screen is bigger than an I-Phone, and the battery life is really good.

 

I haven't taken it yet, but I imagine it will change caching for me forever!

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I got a new Kindle-2.

 

It looks AWESOME for caching.

A bit expensive, but the display is GREAT for outdoor viewing, and it displays the maps and text well.

The screen is bigger than an I-Phone, and the battery life is really good.

 

I haven't taken it yet, but I imagine it will change caching for me forever!

 

I just ordered my Kindle2 - I was wondering how i might use it caching, can you explain how you plan to do this?

 

Cyndi53

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I got a new Kindle-2.

 

It looks AWESOME for caching.

A bit expensive, but the display is GREAT for outdoor viewing, and it displays the maps and text well.

The screen is bigger than an I-Phone, and the battery life is really good.

 

I haven't taken it yet, but I imagine it will change caching for me forever!

 

How do you get the maps to display? My Kindle 2 won't show anything but a big blank area where the map is supposed to be.

 

jmd65

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Last weekend I bought GBHomeTech's GeoSphere from the AppStore.

I use it on an ipod Touch along with my eTrex.

Fantastic app!

I'm really really pleased with it.

I won't go into all the features, but if you google it youll find lots of info.

 

Been trying to go totally paperless for a while now.

At last I think I'm there!

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So I'm going to break down and buy a Touch. Is an 8GB enough? Is 32GB overkill? Will caches fill up the memory quickly?

Thanks in advance for the help!

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So I'm going to break down and buy a Touch. Is an 8GB enough? Is 32GB overkill? Will caches fill up the memory quickly?

Thanks in advance for the help!

 

I bought a refurbished 16GB from the Apple store for the same price as a new 8GB. I have 20 or albums of music, 10 other apps and have loaded 600 caches with a lot of room left. Problem is, once you get a touch, you will find a lot of other uses for it other than caching. So far, I haven't seen a need to have more memory other than bragging rights.

 

I use the Geosphere and the Groundspeak apps, trying to decide which one is THE one. So far, Geosphere is winning.

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My daughter has a touch which I have jailbroken so it can use a BT GPS via Roqybt.I am also using Geosphere.

Not really used it in the field yet,but it remains a useful backup option.

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Why are you guys doing this when you can get a Garmin Nuvi for $125 and do paperless caching and have it guide you to the location of the cache. OK ...that is a simple answer...but let's start there...

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I'm not positive, but I don't think anyone is buying an iPod Touch just for geocaching (at least not in the last 2 years - this thread is old). More like, they want to get an iPod Touch, but also use it for geocaching.

 

Anyway, I found info on GeoSphere here :

 

http://www.apptism.com/apps/geosphere

 

There are some things it can do that the Nuvi cannot (specifically, field notes and nicer UI). But optimized for fewest things to carry around, I think the best solution is Nuvi in the car (with geocaches as custom POI) and a paperless handheld GPSr for the trail.

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I'm not positive, but I don't think anyone is buying an iPod Touch just for geocaching (at least not in the last 2 years - this thread is old). More like, they want to get an iPod Touch, but also use it for geocaching.

 

Anyway, I found info on GeoSphere here :

 

http://www.apptism.com/apps/geosphere

 

There are some things it can do that the Nuvi cannot (specifically, field notes and nicer UI). But optimized for fewest things to carry around, I think the best solution is Nuvi in the car (with geocaches as custom POI) and a paperless handheld GPSr for the trail.

 

Bingo!I lost my old iPod so I was due for a new one anyways. We are now using a Geko201 and an ETrex. Both can get us where we are going but aren't so hot for reminding us of what we are looking for. So now I'm the proud owner of an iTouch with the Geocaching app. I just got it today though so I haven't figured a darn thing out about it other than loading my tunes.

Wish me luck! Any and all suggestions are appreciated! :)

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I just ordered my Kindle2 - I was wondering how i might use it caching, can you explain how you plan to do this?

 

There was a post a couple months back about this. I posted a ton of pictures on using the Kindle for Geocaching. You can view the thread by Clicking Here. .

 

The best feature about the Kindle that I think a lot of people don't know is it has 100% free wireless Internet access though AT&T. Yes you heard that right, you get free Internet access from anywhere in the country and you don't have to pay a dime (other than the cost of the Kindle of course.). I think this device is overlooked by a lot of cachers and makes a great device to take along in the car to get all the paperless info.

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I just ordered my Kindle2 - I was wondering how i might use it caching, can you explain how you plan to do this?

 

There was a post a couple months back about this. I posted a ton of pictures on using the Kindle for Geocaching. You can view the thread by Clicking Here. .

 

The best feature about the Kindle that I think a lot of people don't know is it has 100% free wireless Internet access though AT&T. Yes you heard that right, you get free Internet access from anywhere in the country and you don't have to pay a dime (other than the cost of the Kindle of course.). I think this device is overlooked by a lot of cachers and makes a great device to take along in the car to get all the paperless info.

 

I think this post is a little misleading. You won't have free wireless internet everywhere. The only places around here that do it (I have the same thing because of my iPhone) are Starbucks and Barnes and Noble and those are pretty far in between.

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I think this post is a little misleading. You won't have free wireless internet everywhere. The only places around here that do it (I have the same thing because of my iPhone) are Starbucks and Barnes and Noble and those are pretty far in between.

 

See this is the thing I don't think anyone understands so let me make it more clear. It's not free "wifi" you get, but free Internet via the cell towers. Anywhere you are in the U.S.A that gets AT&T cell phone coverege will have free Internet with the Kindle. I have taken mine deep in the woods and still been able to find caches off of

groundspeaks site.

 

I think most people think it uses wifi like an iPod touch. No it's free Internet anywere you can get cell phone coverege.

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I have a Kindle 2, have had it since it first launched. It's an outstanding ebook reader, but the internet is SOOOO slow using it's Whispernet, I think it's rather misleading trying to sell it as a geocaching tool. Even the wap site, with the Kindle's UI and slow connection speed, is just not worth the hassle.

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regarding the topic....

I now use my iPhone just like a Touch, as I no longer have a contract.

The "GC.com" app is perfect for storing caches as PQ's which can be read in the field, sorted by distance, name or GC code, and writing field notes (which I upload once back in wifi world).

Saves me a lot of time at home writing logs.

It doesn't find the caches though, but that's why we have gps receivers. :anibad:

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Haha, Ya back to the topic...

 

I also use my touch as a paperless device and it works very well with the official geocaching app or the geosphere app. The only feature I really would like to add to either would be to mass add aerial photos for my entire pocket querry before I leave the house. Right now you have to download them one by one which can be very time consuming.

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