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Jeremy

Geocaching on the iPhone - Submitted to Apple

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all i can say is thankyou. just last week i was in dallas (I live in SoCalif) coming in from a long night at work. cellphone went off with a publish notification in the area. pulled up to a McDonalds (free wifi for att users) pulled out my touch and was trying to get the info from the GCwebsite. Even though have done this before, it just was not working that night. got zoomed into a map so my attempt to scroll the page was moving the map and all I could do was say to myself... this could be so much better.... problem solved. bought within minutes of hearing about it. thankyou

 

ok, i now take back everything i said before... Why? failed on two real world cases. New cache published notification hit my cellphone. tried to look up a cache in pod app, it returned a cant find with no other suggestions. as it was new listing i was really interested to find it for an attempt at a FTF. as other have reported, which i hadnt read, it was a members only. all i got was nothing, moved over to WAP (on ipod) and got everything i needed in seconds, as well as FTF! next wanted to check up on a cache that had gone out recently to FTF and found it missing. as the waypoint was still in my gps, I had the GC on hand. did a search... again nothing, as above, did WAP on POD and got everything i needed. which I fould that it was still temp disabled. Again GC Pod App failed to provide the support i had expected.

 

so for ten buck i got, something that tells me all the caches in the area i have already found and for the two that i really wanted to find, it came up empty as if they dont exist. As I have a pocket querry run each morning to my mailbox which is loaded into cachemate then gps and throwaway palm, I am not using this to look for hundreds of caches, just a way to quickly pick up new caches that show up when on the road.

 

on a postive side, it has a nice interface, finger friendly, kinda cool features. It is a great 1.0 application for a proof of concept. but my ability to really use it in a real word situation? NOPE If your serious about caching on a ipod as addtional support to your primary equipment, try WAP on the pod again!

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This may be a tiny bit off topic, but it is a response to the previous post:

 

Use notifications to have gc.com send you an e-mail via the text message service on your AT&T account. This way, you will get pinged even when the phone is asleep. Have the same notification sent to yourself as an e-mail. This way, you will get a link to the cache page. Use that link to get info on new caches.

 

Just keep in mind the gc app does not filter out finds (yet), does not list member only caches (yet), and does not appear to list disabled caches.

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I can't do what the new app does, whether with Safari and Google Maps or anything else.

 

The new app will "cut and paste" the coords for a cache into the map and give me a route to drive to get to the cache. I'm not bright enough to remember the coords and therefore can't just type them into the map. I've got to write them down first.

 

While I can get driving directions using Safari to browse the cache page, it gives me a route based on my home as a starting point. That is usually not very helpful. And, while I can get a map using Safari to browse the cache page, it is awkward to move around on the map and/or to enlarge or shrink it.

 

Finally, getting and rendering the cache page using Safari is a lot slower than using the app.

 

You don't need to write down coordinates when using Safari and Google Maps built into the phone.

 

1) Using Safari, go to a cache page while logged into the website.

2) Go to the "Google Maps" link among the mapping options (not the GC.com Google Map).

3) This will automatically open the Google Maps application on the iPhone and place a pushpin with the GC# of the cache at its given coordinates. You can route to it as you see fit (from current location, bookmarked address, etc) with the Directions tab.

 

As for rendering the page vs. using the app, I have never been so delayed by a page being rendered in Safari that my life was ruined. Also, once I have visited a cache page in Safari, once I find the cache, I can then log it. Something not yet possible in the $10 app. As I said, I'll revisit it later when it meets all of the possibilities of just using the website for free at the very least (never mind being able to do any of the premium member abilities if you happen to be one).

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This may be a tiny bit off topic, but it is a response to the previous post:

 

Use notifications to have gc.com send you an e-mail via the text message service on your AT&T account. This way, you will get pinged even when the phone is asleep. Have the same notification sent to yourself as an e-mail. This way, you will get a link to the cache page. Use that link to get info on new caches.

 

Just keep in mind the gc app does not filter out finds (yet), does not list member only caches (yet), and does not appear to list disabled caches.

 

exactly what I do... what i am looking for is a solution when I dont have access to computer email that allows the links to function (cellphone email version of yahoo or google from sprint/att only gives you the link in text mode) which is exactly why I like the idea of a ipod or something like that to pull stuff up on the road. and was hoping that this app would replace my use of WAP in these situations. which now it has failed me three times and I have had to fall back to WAP. PS to the WAP DEVELOPER THANK YOU!

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I just want to say thank you for taking the time to put this app together. I understand that it, like all things, is a work in progress, but it does a great job out of the gate. I am sure that in subsequent versions we will get more functionality, included the found filter that we are all looking for and that this tool will continue to evolve to become ever more useful. I used it off and on this weekend and was generally pleased with the way it worked, but then I always keep in mind that I am geocaching with my phone, not a dedicated and much more expensive gpsr. I don't think this will ever replace my gps, but it is a great tool to have in your pocket. So thank you and congratulations on a great starting place for this app, I am looking forward to version 2.

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A further thought on filtering caches one has already found ... Filtering finds is not nearly so critical when one is caching in a new area.

 

For caching near home, I have 2 PQs totaling 800 caches I have not found downloaded to my GPS and Palm. The GPS will show caches based on what is nearest nearest and will give me a map. I rely on it when I go caching or am near home and have the urge to grab one or two caches. I use my Palm to get info on the caches that I'm going after. I update the PQs every week or two.

 

I have started using my iPhone with the new app to supplement these tools and to check on whether there are recent logs on the caches I'm seeking. I also use it to see if there are any brand new caches nearby. And, I will use it to give me a route from where I am to the approximate location of the cache I'm seeking. This is extremely convenient ... maybe the best use of the new app.

 

For caching away from home, I just use the iPhone with the new app. I do not need to worry about filtering finds. I do not need to worry about doing a PQ before I leave. And, of course, it gives me a route.

 

While I REALLY WANT to be able to filter my finds, I won't die if I don't get that.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please do not require us to log in in order to seek caches. I know that to filter finds, one must log in, but please make logging in and filtering finds optional. For as often as one must pop out of the app, e.g. to use a map, take another call, etc., having to keep logging in will be a real pain. Thanks.

 

I wonder if they could make it so if you sign in using Safari - you are signed in on the app. That's what I did with Geopher - once I signed in on Safari on the iPhone I am always signed in - no need to stop to do it.

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I'm relieved to announce that we have submitted our first geocaching application for the iPhone to Apple yesterday.

 

Bought it yesterday, already love it. I don't yet have a 3G phone, but it still works as I just keep my regular GPS around for the heavy lifting...lol.

 

A much needed, and much appreciated App. Thanks Jeremy!!

 

From a long time fan,

 

Mac McKinney

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bought the app and used it to find two caches today. works finely but could do with some touching up. a downer is that when you search for caches located near your location it doesnt always give your coordinates and can be quite a bit off. also it would be nice if when your navigating it was in metric aswell. not just imperial. looking forward to the updates, :)

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This must be the silliest question ever and probably more related to itunes than the app: I downloaded the app to my laptop. Went to sync the phone to install the app and got an error message: "Some of the applications in your iTunes library, including "Geocaching", were not installed on the iPhone because you are not authorized for them on this computer." ????? Everything else syncs up fine from my laptop, so how could this app not go over?

 

I must be missing something really silly here. :laughing:

 

Ideas?

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...I must be missing something really silly here. :laughing:

 

Ideas?

Hopefully at least one of these steps will help you out:

 

1) Start with disconnecting the iPhone and restart iTunes. Re-open iTunes and connect the iPhone and try to sync again.

 

2) Double click on the Geocaching app icon in iTunes. Does an Apple account login dialog appear (iTunes Store account)? Enter your login and password and try syncing again.

 

3) Remove the app from iTunes. Re-download from App Store and try syncing again.

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...I must be missing something really silly here. :laughing:

 

Ideas?

Hopefully at least one of these steps will help you out:

 

1) Start with disconnecting the iPhone and restart iTunes. Re-open iTunes and connect the iPhone and try to sync again.

 

2) Double click on the Geocaching app icon in iTunes. Does an Apple account login dialog appear (iTunes Store account)? Enter your login and password and try syncing again.

 

3) Remove the app from iTunes. Re-download from App Store and try syncing again.

 

Thanks greatly! I'll take another run at it shortly.

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I purchased the application for my iPod almost as soon as it came out, and my wife bought a copy for her phone as well. We went for a trip to my Mom's (500k away) on the long weekend and found a few caches with it, and I thought I'd give some of my feedback here.

 

I was mainly looking at the app for a way to quickly see cache information to plan trips when my laptop wasn't available, and to make paperless caching a little easier. Currently I use my iPod for paperless caching by creating html files from my pocket queries using gpsbabel. I then copy these to my iPod and use AirSharing to browse them. While this works it is difficult to navigate, and air sharing is very slow to render pages.

 

I realize that there are other apps coming out that can handle large pocket queries, but they cannot access the GC.com site, so I figure that they will complement the geocaching.com app, not replace it. When I can use my laptop to plan a trip and create the GPX files that I will need that will be the way to go, but if I want to do some spontaneous caching the live access feature should be quite useful. Ideally I'd like to be able to plan out and save the caches for a small trip on my iPod since unlike the laptop I can pull it out anywhere and see what's nearby. The comments I'll be making about the app are in light of this kind usage.

  • First the good: I really liked the browsing interface - much nicer than browsing html files. It was very quick to access most of the information that I wanted.
  • One thing that was very frustrating on the iPod was that the app didn't remember my location. I would like to be able to set my location (either by entering co-ordinates or a waypoint code) and have the application remember it. This would make performing repeated searches much easier.
  • As others have mentioned I would like to be able to edit my previous search when returning to the home page. This would make it much easier to refine a search.
  • It would be very useful if the app downloaded addional waypoints (parking, trail head etc) for the cache.
  • Being able to sort the saved caches by distance from my 'current' location would make the saved cache list much easier to browse.
  • Having a 'nearby caches' button on each cache page would make it much easier to find different caches in an area. I was constantly finding the coordinates of a cache, and then going back to the main search page and using those as the root of another search in order to explore caches in an interesting area (this would be an issue on the iPhone as well as the iPod). Ideally the 'nearby' button would work with saved caches when offline. The nearby button could just save the cache location as the 'current' location and then jump to the search page to display nearby caches.
  • For iPod paperless caching a bulk save option would be really appreciated. Saving all caches in a list at once would make it much faster to prepare for a caching trip. (It would also help if there were a saved/not saved icon on the cache listing page).
  • Browsing for caches using a map is much easier. While a map of all caches on the device would probably be a tall order (but very useful) would it be possible to send the thumbnail map from GC.com? (and then store it on the device when the cache was saved?) For the iPod saving the satellite and terrain maps at high resolution along with the cache would be a very handy feature. This should be fairly easy since the map could be generated on the server.

On the whole I found the first experience slightly frustrating, but I think that it is possible to make a reasonable paperless caching and planning app for the iPod by adding a few features. The app is obviously designed to grab the nearest caches quickly which is really only possible on the Phone, but I hope that iPod development does continue because I do see potential there.

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After reading all the replies I've been hesitant, but then I started to think that the features are probably "good enough" for me right now, and that adding my $10 to the growing pot would help motivate the programmer(s?) to add more updates and features and fix bugs. :lol:

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After reading all the replies I've been hesitant, but then I started to think that the features are probably "good enough" for me right now, and that adding my $10 to the growing pot would help motivate the programmer(s?) to add more updates and features and fix bugs. :anicute:

 

Well decided to go ahead and purchase it, will try it out today with my dogs (there's a large off-leash dog park with a nice river flowing through it, supposedly 3 caches in the area. :D )

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I bought the app, despite the reviews and put it to the test yesterday. I was thrilled to be able to walk out of the house without either shuffling paper or adding the cache information I wanted as ICal events and syncing them to the phone. I put the system to the ultimate test as I was geocaching on an island in international waters and I knew it would pick up the 20 in Canada I could not get to if I was not careful. It did, but as I shifted my location, it all worked out fine. I could make a list of the problems (and bugs) but for the most part, it was a wonderful compliment to my Old version of the iphone and my old ExTrex. I got my ten dollars worth in just two days.

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I bought the app, despite the reviews and put it to the test yesterday. I was thrilled to be able to walk out of the house without either shuffling paper or adding the cache information I wanted as ICal events and syncing them to the phone. I put the system to the ultimate test as I was geocaching on an island in international waters and I knew it would pick up the 20 in Canada I could not get to if I was not careful. It did, but as I shifted my location, it all worked out fine. I could make a list of the problems (and bugs) but for the most part, it was a wonderful compliment to my Old version of the iphone and my old ExTrex. I got my ten dollars worth in just two days.

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First off. Great app. Was just curious if there was any type of time frame on that first update? Reason I ask is that I have started to use it more & more and it's getting more difficult to remember what caches I have found. Not complaining as I love the app and can't wait to use it more.

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Hi,

 

I've bought the software and went out yesterday for the first time. I went with a friend who had a GPSr device (Garmin). I'm rather new to this, and have some questions/comments. Is there a manual for the software to be found?

 

- Choosing the cache close to my current location is great and works fine.

- Looking up information on the chosen cache was great too.

- Once chosen I used the compass to navigate. What is the refresh interval? What are the dots (refresh signal)? Is there a manual refresh? We often had to stop at an intersection and wait quite some time for the Iphone to adjust it's course, not knowing if it was refreshing or had no signal, .....

- When we were close to the cache site, the Iphone showed 180ft (+-60m), where the GPSr showed 3 m. With the refresh rate on the Iphone it took ages to close in on the cache after this.

- When we found the cache the GPSr showed still 3m and the Iphone was at 150ft? Anybody made the same experience?

 

To be honest that first try was quite frustrating, and without the GPSr it would have been impossible for me to find the cache. At the moment I don't know if I misused the software or not.

 

A manual or FAQ would be really useful.

 

Cheers

Tom

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I'm still in 2 minds.

For all you techie cachers...version 1.2 or 2.0 will hopefully come soon. [:laughing:]

After all, the amount of cash GC.com receives from us cachers is a tidy sum indeed.

What is really putting me off is the usual GC (and Apple) arrogance.

Even Jeremy's avatar is annoyingly smug.

Thank goodness mine isn't. :anibad:

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Hi,

 

I've bought the software and went out yesterday for the first time. I went with a friend who had a GPSr device (Garmin). I'm rather new to this, and have some questions/comments. Is there a manual for the software to be found?

 

- Choosing the cache close to my current location is great and works fine.

- Looking up information on the chosen cache was great too.

- Once chosen I used the compass to navigate. What is the refresh interval? What are the dots (refresh signal)? Is there a manual refresh? We often had to stop at an intersection and wait quite some time for the Iphone to adjust it's course, not knowing if it was refreshing or had no signal, .....

- When we were close to the cache site, the Iphone showed 180ft (+-60m), where the GPSr showed 3 m. With the refresh rate on the Iphone it took ages to close in on the cache after this.

- When we found the cache the GPSr showed still 3m and the Iphone was at 150ft? Anybody made the same experience?

 

To be honest that first try was quite frustrating, and without the GPSr it would have been impossible for me to find the cache. At the moment I don't know if I misused the software or not.

 

A manual or FAQ would be really useful.

 

Cheers

Tom

 

OK. My first suggestion would be not to use the compass in the software. Once you have found a cache you would like to pursue. Try these steps and see if it works better for you.

 

1. Find the cache you want to locate in the software.

2. Save the cache so you can look at logs, hints and such quicker while out on the trail.

3. Click on the map link to open Google Maps on the iPhone.

4. The red pin is the cache. Click the crosshairs in the bottom left corner to turn the GPS on in Google maps.

5. It should lead you to your destination. Once onsite, zoom the map all the way in for better accuracy but also be carefull as the GPS can get a little funky when zoomed in that far.

 

*Side Note* If you use the directions tab in Google Maps, be carefull once getting on site as it moves the red cache pin to the closest road. You will need to go back into the GeoCaching app on your iPhone and hit the map link and the gps link in Google maps again.

 

Hope this helps, if it doesn't please let me know and i will try to be of more help.

Edited by AmbBra

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I would like to know when they plan on releasing an update so we can FILTER out PREVIOUS FINDS!!! Its almost worthless because I cant scroll through a list of search results and If Im not in a new area Ive already found all the 20 maxx results it shows me.

 

We MUST be able to log into our account or this is just worthless. If they get that squared away it will be priceless.

 

Ive gone back to using Geopher Lite and just checking everyday to see if Groundspeak has made an update.

 

The compass works GREAT!!! I will just be glad when it will recognize us as our user log in!!!

Thanks and please make the obvious changes that everyone thinks is no brainers and if geopher lite a $1.99 app can do all that why cant Groundspeak put it out for $10?

 

Please dont get me wrong love it but it is broken right now in my opinion just fix the ability for us to log in to our accounts and use it !

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With this app. are you able to load your Pocket Queries and then view them if there is no network connection. If it will only work with WiFi or cellular coverage it is pretty much worthless here in So. Oregon.

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I may have mentioned this before. If so, sorry.

 

The app is very useful when you are away from your usual stomping ground. Today I was doing some errands and decided to look at what caches were nearby. Since I did not have any finds in the area, the app on my iPhone was great, though I did use my Garmin to actually find GZ.

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With this app. are you able to load your Pocket Queries and then view them if there is no network connection. If it will only work with WiFi or cellular coverage it is pretty much worthless here in So. Oregon.

 

No, this app doesn't load and/or store PQ's.

 

It's pretty much a front-end for the website. As that it works pretty well. But this particular app doesn't replace a PDA.

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If you want an iPod app that will process gpx files.....then try igeocacher. Works great for me.

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@AmbBra

 

Thanks, I will give it a try this week.

Do you know what the refresh rate of the compass is?

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I only have the Ipod Touch.....no gps....so I just use it to view the gpx files.

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I only have the Ipod Touch.....no gps....so I just use it to view the gpx files.

 

Sorry if this has been asked / answered already...

 

How good is the GPS in the 3G? Are you able to strictly use the iPhone (no handheld GPS)? Or is it not as accruate? Good enough?

 

Thanks!

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I only have the Ipod Touch.....no gps....so I just use it to view the gpx files.

 

Sorry if this has been asked / answered already...

 

How good is the GPS in the 3G? Are you able to strictly use the iPhone (no handheld GPS)? Or is it not as accruate? Good enough?

 

Thanks!

 

My experience with the Iphone GPS is that it is plenty accurate enough. I have used it side by side with a Garmin Colorado, and while the Colorado was reporting accuracies of 10-20 feet vs the iphone reported accuracy of 56-128 feet, the iphone was often as close or closer to the actual cache when found. It is possible that the IPhone is just more conservative when reporting accuracy.

 

I am confident enough with the iphone to have sold my Colorado. I do keep the iPhone in a waterproof "dry pac" if I am going to be in an area where I might get it wet if dropped.

 

On a side note, I have been relatively pleased with the geocaching.com application for use in areas where i have not run any pocket queries. It is a pretty nice tool for this kind of impromptu caching.

 

However, there is another application, slightly more expensive than the Groundspeak application that works great for downloading filtered pocket queries. I use both applications and they complement each other very well. So, $ 25 you can have all bases covered.

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I only have the Ipod Touch.....no gps....so I just use it to view the gpx files.

 

Sorry if this has been asked / answered already...

 

How good is the GPS in the 3G? Are you able to strictly use the iPhone (no handheld GPS)? Or is it not as accruate? Good enough?

 

Thanks!

 

Personally i think it is absolutely awesome. That's all i use. I do not own a GPSr and have no desire to buy one. I cache only with my shiny new 3G iPhone. Get the app though or you will be screwed if you wind up in an area with no cell service.

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@AmbBra

 

Thanks, I will give it a try this week.

Do you know what the refresh rate of the compass is?

 

Sorry bud. Can't help ya there as i don't use the compass. I only use the Geocaching app to find the ones i'm after and google maps to lead me.

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I have both the Groundspeak app and Igeocacher. First let me say the iphone 3G GPS does not work without wifi or towers, at least mine don't. I hear it may show a blue pin but no maps, second I have found the 3g accuracy I have seen is average 56' at best and a lot of 150' but I have found caches with the 3g.

 

Now regarding the programs, with Igeocacher you can down load searches up to 500 like I can in my 60GSX. Igeocacher works well but is expensive to purchase. I really like the Groundspeak product especially you can download caches wherever you are with wifi or 3g, this is a great feature because I always wind up somewhere where I didn't plan without the GPS loaded.

 

So Both programs are good in my opinion, they go about it a bit differently, but If I hadn't bought Igeocacher first before the Groundspeak product came out , i would have been happy with the Groundspeak product.

 

Iphone 3G, WOW, don't leave home without it. I hope this mini review helps.

 

John

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It's a good start, but this app obviously needs a lot of work. I hope the addition of filtering is a top priority. Filtering will make this app much more useful.

 

I too would love to know when the first update will be available. It's frustrating to have this app, seeing all of its potential, and having to wait to really be able to use it for much. Glad you released it though, since it'll be fun to watch it develop.

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I spent another day with the app and my GPS. Not once did I use my Palm. I was in an area where I'd never cached, so I didn't need a found filter.

 

However, I have a feature request: The ability to track found or not found caches. I can live without being able to log my finds onto gc.com until I get home. But it would be nice if the app could create an internal list, for later reference on which caches I found or didn't find.

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Although it's more than good enough for enthusiasts to have at least this, if they add these:

 

1. geocaching.com login

 

2. Adding logbook entries

 

3. Uploading photos

 

4. Adding new geocaches with full information

 

5. Search results in Google Maps

 

6. Filter for search results

 

then it will be a lot better. And I'm sure they'll add these functions with a future update!

 

I have to second this (or third or fourth etc, I didn't read the last pages...)

But I have to use the "Other" app until I get login, logs, filter finds, and METRIC! :unsure:

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I downloaded the Iphone App to help me go paperless but I am having issues with the save option. After saving 2 or 3 caches when I click on the saved menu the phone always crashes and goes to the main menu. I've deleted and re-installed the app but still have the same problem. Any ideas how can I fix this issue???

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The above post was originally submitted as a separate thread. I merged it into this existing discussion of the iPhone application. Hopefully someone can respond with an answer. ;)

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I downloaded the Iphone App to help me go paperless but I am having issues with the save option. After saving 2 or 3 caches when I click on the saved menu the phone always crashes and goes to the main menu. I've deleted and re-installed the app but still have the same problem. Any ideas how can I fix this issue???

I had this same problem. For me it seemed to be only when I added 3 or 4 specific caches, that would cause it to crash like that. Any other caches added worked fine. Have you tried adding other caches and has that caused it crashed too?

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The above post was originally submitted as a separate thread. I merged it into this existing discussion of the iPhone application. Hopefully someone can respond with an answer. :D

 

Yes, I am having the same problem...I have yet to have the App not crash when I try to look at Saved Items... ;) I do not have the iPhone, only the iPod Touch. I bought the App. with the express need to use the Saved Items feature. That's one thing that really would like to know HOW TO FIX! Can ANYONE help???

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I am also having the same problem. Whenever I check on saved items it crashes.. every time!!

This is particularly unhelpful when I am out of signal range.

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Thank you very much for all your feedback on the Geocaching application, both in this forum and as reviews via Apple. Our developers have been listening and working hard. Yesterday, an update was submitted to Apple. Bugs have been fixed and new features have been included. Hurray!

 

I'll close this thread so that we can continue the conversation over there.

 

Geocaching.com/iPhone has more information, including the direct link to visit iTunes.

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