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Geocaching app on an Android phone in South Africa


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I am about to upgrade my phone on a new 2 year contract.


As my service provider, does not yet have Windows phone 7 phones, I am looking at the HTC Wildfire, running Android 2.1


It has a built in GPSr. Just what I need for Geocaching when my Garmin is not around.


However I have reason to believe, due some blogs/posts/articles, that "Paid Apps" are not available for us South Africans.

Is this true?


Has anybody bought the Android geocaching app, here in South Africa and using it?

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When Android first came to SA, we had a very crummy version of the app market that was controlled by Leaf(Distributors for HTC). That was with all versions of phones running Android 1.5. Then they saw the light and released 1.6. We had full access the the proper market overnight. It was like seeing the internet for the first time! I have yet to buy an app and I have more than 60 on my G1 and my girlfriends Desire. This more than cover our every need. You can buy apps here in SA for some that offer payments via PayPal. But like I say, I have yet to need to buy one. With regards to geocaching apps, The best 2 are Geobeagle and c:geo. Both are free but having a geocaching.com premium account helps(!). Be prepared to experience frustration at the battery life. Another thing to look out for is the brut.mod version of Google Maps. This enables the turn-by-turn navigation in SA. We too use Android in those desperate times, but is no replacement for a proper device. The GPS may say 3m accuracy, but it really is dreaming. By the way, 2.1 is really great. But wait till you try 2.2, its mind blowing!

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Just make sure they will be updating the firmware - apparently 2.2 is avaialbale for the phone you are getting (which is almost a year old now) Apparently it is the fault of the networks who tweak and change android to suit their needs (not yours!) that result in delayed releases. For instance Android 2.3 is out but your year old phone is still stuck with 2.1 ( amd thats after 2.2 for it has been released!)


Its not Android or Googles fault though.


Enjoy your new Android Phone I don;t think you will be disappointed!


One day I will get one too..........



Edited by trevorh7000
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I have also decided not to hack and upgrade my phone - I just can't be bothered.

I guess I will have to wait for the Market to be available here.


My phone is on Android 2.1, the network say that it will be upgradable to 2.2 "sometime".

Not too sure as to how easy this is to do though.


I used c:geo last week on a trial run for one cache "Drive This Road"

Both my Oregon and the phone struggled a bit with the location - I guess sattelite reception at the time wasn't so great.

But when they both settled down they pointed to the same point and gave the same approximate distance to the cache.

I am not so keen to use the online maps with the app as it chews bandwidth, so I just used the compass screen.


Over the weekend I went to "Rooikrans Angling Ledges".

Sattelite reception up against the cliffs was poor, so I used the phone and c:geo app to look at all of the logs and then the spoiler image to make sure that I was in the right spot.

Worked like a charm without using up loads of bandwidth.


So far so good, I will try using the phone a little more for cache navigation over the weekend or soone if I get a chance.

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Well I managed to find one work around - will test it later http://getsmartphone.net/2010/08/get-paid-apps-on-your-south-african-android-phone/


I have c: geo and Geobeagle and they look Ok, but from what I can see they chew bandwidth. I'm looking at offline mapping apps as well.


I tried the market enabler on my galaxy but all I get is a "We got a problem Houston" error message. I tried rebooting and got the same error on all networks. I am not someone who plays with these too much because i just get bored... ooo look a pony... but I owuld love to hear if it works on yours or if there is a setting I need to tweak.


I'm going to the UK at the end of March and will try get onto their system that way if needs be.


Have you noticed Skype doesn't work on the Galaxy yet either? There is lots of complaining on the Skype forums about it.

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I have decided to give the market enabler a miss - from what I have read it requires hacking the phone which I am not prepared to do.

Haven't tried Skype either yet.


I really would like to find an app that has offline mapping and the ability to load my PQ's - that would satisfy me.

c: geo is pretty good but seems to want to use online maps - bandwidth hog of note !!

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Some phones do. Aparently I can do it with my Samsung, I'm going to try over the weekend.


There is software available to do this - http://www.companionlink.com/android/outlook/


Also the software supplied with my phone aparently can, will give it a go over the weekend.

Here is a link on synchronising with mine - http://www.amitbhawani.com/blog/how-to-sync-contacts-in-samsung-galaxy-s-backup-to-pc/


Perhaps do a google search for the phone you are interested in to see if there is software available - hopefully supplied on the disc that comes with the model you are looking at.


In the meantime I think I may have found out how to use offline maps with c: geo and to load Pocket queries - will work on it tomorrow.


Make no mistake, c: geo works well with online maps and calling up caches in the vicinity - I am just trying to save on bandwidth.

My main reason for using the phone for caching is to get to those caches that are published while I am out on site.

On more than one occasion I have returned to the office only to find that one has been published right near to where I was working !!!

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Yes - fortunately I found that feature. Just have to remember to turn on my Gmail contacts when I want to send mail !!


Also had an issue with my previous phone when doing a sync with Outlook - got loads of duplicate contacts because I had updated some details on one of the devices (phone or PC)

Must avoid doing that again - I can only imagine the mess in synchronising Facebook, Gmail, Outlook and my phone contacts .....

Edited by AndyT1
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I see with AutoPage Cellular I must pay in almost R900.00 for the HTC Wildfire. on a Anytime 100. (Around R150,00 per month)


I happened to click on a MTN advert somewhere on the internet, and went to www.mtnsp.co.za and see I can get the same deal for R140.00 a month with nothing to pay in.

So it now looks like I can get the phone even cheaper then before.


Is there any good reason not to go directly with MTN? (but rather stay with Autopage as a service provider)

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I dont believe you need to stay with Autopage. I had a bad experience with them in the past and moved away and have never regretted it. That being said, I know people who rave about them.


MTN and Vodacom are your better service providers with Cell C and Virgin Mobile riding their backbones still. MTN is also huge further up into Africa while it seems Vodacom is focusing more on the local market and Southern Africa and rather partnering with others in North Africa like Zain etc. So MTN is not a bad choice in my opinion, especially if roaming in Africa.

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I looked a little bit through the Autopage web site today and saw they have a special for new contracts, and would you believe it, it is R150.00 per month with a HTC Wildfire.

I have been with Autopage since 1996, and I have to pay in R900.00 odd to get the same phone. This did not sit to well with me, so I decided to give them a call.


The guy on the other end said, that special was only for new contracts .... "but let see what we can do".


In the end I am getting my HTC Wildfire delivered to me in 4 days time, with a Anytime 100, at R135.00 a month, and an admin fee of R95.00, and a once off payment of R100.00.

Both will be added to my next months bill. I think if I had gunned it a little more and mentioned the MTN deal, he might have come up with a slightly better deal, but I am happy with what I got.


So I will be staying with Autopage for another two years, and it shows you, it helps to shop around a little and not just jump in.


Looking forward to the phone, and trying out the GPS on it.


Will report back once I have it.


As I side note: This is quite a big step for me as I am a Microsoft fan. My last 3 phones were Windows mobile phones, and I program using .Net., although I like "open" software a lot as well.

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WOW! Wow! wow!


What a BIG change from the little stylus interface on my Windows Mobile 6 phone to this!


I am loving the interface!


I downloaded a Digotal compass, and a bubble level, and was the envy of my kids after showing it to them.


I downloaded c:geo, and very impressed with the interface.

Also tried to get to geobeagle in Android Market place, but I don't seem to find it.


Is there any other "must have" geocaching software I should look at?

or any other general software I should look at?

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You'll keep a kid happy for hours with the free games like angry birds. The metal detector is just plain cool too.


I haven't spent anywhere near enough time in the market but watch out for the high data bill if you get carried away. I do everything through home adsl which takes a big edge off it.


Have fun and let us know what you discover out there.

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Some useful apps:


Barcode Scanner - for solving some puzzles plus downloading apps

Caesar's Chipher - rot 13 decoder


GPS stuff - try them and decide which one you want to keep:


GPS Test

GPS Essentials

GPS status

My GPS Status

GPS averaging


Geocaching software:


Locus - works with offline maps and PQ's from Geocaching.com

Geobeagle - http://www.appbrain.com/app/geobeagle:-geocaching/com.google.code.geobeagle



Other stuff


Phone usage - tells you how much data you have used for the day and month

3G Watchdog - similar to the above.


There is plenty more.


If you create an account at AppBrain (free) you can browse the Market Place for apps from yor PC. Install their app on your phone.

When you find an app you like click on the "Add to List" button, select "Apps on the phone".

Next time you open the AppBrain app on your phone and sync it, all of the apps you selected on the PC will be available to download to the phone.

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Well it appears that the Geocaching app is one that is still not available. Now I don't know if this becasue of the phone or if it is the country. Maybe someone else knows the answer to this?


I use the Geocaching app on my Galaxy Tab. I also use the Apple Geocaching app on my iPod Touch. IMHO the Apple one [never thought I would say this] is far superior for paperless caching. I do not like the white lettering on the black background of the Android app and the "saved" features for off-line use I find far inferior to the Apple. Have a look at them both and decide yourselves. Both cost $4.99 if I remember correctly.


My 2c worth.

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Thanks for the feedback. It seems we droid users are destined to use a black background then since even cgeo does this. I find cgeo not very user friendly and am assuming that the official app is since it was, surely, developed by cachers themselves.


If i had a choice i would use gcz but really don't want to carry a third device for caching. I guess i will just wait and see when it becomes available...

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Please forgive me for adding my testimony here without thoroughly reading this thread --- I use an app called GeOrg on my HTT Desire running Android 2.2....


This app is beyond amazing! It does everything! Most importantly it reads offline map tile packs that one can make -- No bandwidth! Offline maps can be made from any maps source you can think of - Google maps, Google satellite, Yahoo maps... My favorite is OpenStreetMaps -- this map even displays hiking paths! Seriously!


Also has logging features; Has cool tools: Waypoint maker which averages your coords for super accurate readings; Geocache solving tools - ROT13 converter; a coordinate projection tool (where is 43m from here at 22deg for example)...


And lastly the author of the app is a most friendly guy. He emailed me the install file for the app and emails me updates - although this was a special favor...


Yesterday I saw that the market is allowing purchase of paid apps though! :) :)

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The only app i can find is the GeOrg BCaching Connector. Any chance you would be willing to send us this app or the creators details so I can get my hands no it? I managed to get the official Geocaching App and i found it quite easy to use but would like it to do all the same stuff gcz could.

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Hi there guys


I too am an android addict, HTC Desire for me and love c:geo. What makes it work even better it installing Rmaps which allows you to run off line maps. You install a programme called Mobile Atlas Creator (Windoze only I'm afraid) and then create maps from there, I also use OpenStreetMap Cyclemap for the map source. The great thing about the OpenStreetMaps is that you can contribute your tracklogs to them for inclusion on the main maps. All this for free.


As I do not have another GPSr I only use my Desire, the only issue I have is battery life so I have taken to saving the GC info in c:Geo and then running in aeroplane mode, because I'm not on the network I save a lot of battery drain and it can easily see me through a full days outing this way. I use an old Nokia for cell access, that battery lasts for days.


I must say that I love the Radar and Static maps features in c:Geo, they really work for me.

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@Andy - It is wonderful news that the app market is opening up more and more each day.


@Chingha - I have played with Locus quite a bit and it access OSM to get the offline maps. I will definitely try your option out as well. Re battery life: I see most of the cellphone shops are selling a generic brand of batteries (white ones) for between R120 and R180 depending on your phone model. It seems like a cheap enough backup plan for when the Desire runs low. As a matter of interest, if you Root your Desire you can download a rom that will probably increase your battery life further as well as allow you to upgade to Honeycomb :)

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