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Do I have to use the official app or could I use a different one?


ecumountaineer
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You can use any app you want to use. There are free ones and ones that you must buy. The best thing to do would be to do a little research and decide which is best for you and your phone. No matter which you choose, DO NOT USE IT AS YOUR ONLY GPS WHEN HIDDING CACHES! Phones are great for finding caches, but they can give some of the worst coordinants when placing a cache.

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Is there a reason you don't want to use the official app?

I am a new geocacher and have done only ONE cache. I am not going to pay 10.00 yet, but I probably will in the future

 

Fair enough. I'll say it's the best $10 I've ever spent. But I understand what you're saying. Don't want to rush into anything. Heck, I think I found 3 caches before taking the plunge 😜

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Like, could I use c:geo

 

You could, but let me explain how that program works. It "scrapes" the Geocaching website taking its data directly from the webpage. It is considered to effectively stealing the data. Because it doesn't take the data in the official manner it often stops working when Geocaching make changes to its website.

 

Other programs (aside from the "official" one) use the Geocaching API which is a protocol developed by Geocaching which allows outside programs take the data from the website in a controlled manner. There are some that are free. You can see them at http://www.geocaching.com/live/partners/.

 

How do you think Geocaching affords to maintain its data farms; pay developers to enhance the features of the website; etc? A lot of it comes from the paying Premium members such as me who have paid the $30 sub. I resent people freeloading on my contribution.

 

How much does a cup of coffee or a Big Mac cost where you are? $4? $5?

 

Skip your next hamburger and coffee and instead load an API app. Then go out find a few more caches. If you like it, pay for a premium membership which will give you better access to the site.

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I've been happy with Neongeo. It has a free demo version.

 

Any app that uses the API will limit basic members to downloading the full details of only 3 traditional caches per 24 hours. There is no limit on the overview info (name, GC code, size, difficulty, terrain) that can be downloaded; it's just a limit on the full descriptions.

 

There's a list of partners that use the API here:

http://www.geocaching.com/live/partners/

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I'll start out by saying I have used both apps and yes, I did pay the $10 for the "official app", which truly is more polished looking. I have some problems with the limitations of the official app, though. I was first introduced to geocaching when I was browsing the Play Store and found the c:geo app and installed it when I was on a hike in a nearby state park. At the time I knew nothing about geocaching nor about the whole API deal that the developer seems to be skirting. The official app is my go-to app since it seems to pull stuff up quicker, has a cleaner interface and yeah, because it is the official app and I believe in supporting the site. But like I said, c:geo was my first introduction to geocaching and, having used both, I've come to appreciate some of the functionality that the c:geo app has that is either lacking or inferior in the official app:

 

1 - Any personal note you input on the site will show up in the description on the app. The official app does not do this. When I type in my answers on a mystery cache, for instance, I can't see it when I'm in the official app. For instance, this cache requires obtaining data from nine other caches before you are able to get coordinates for the final: http://coord.info/GC2RQPT . I put my answers to each cache in the series in the personal cache notes, but in the official app those notes are not available to me.

2 - Better navigation in c:geo. I found the compass in the c:geo app was more reliable and stable...not sure why. The official app compass is herky-jerky and often spins me around too much. I haven't yet made the decision whether to buy a standalone GPS device. I may never. Unless and until I do, I am dependent on my phone app to get me to the cache.

3 - "Live map" in c:geo is much more convenient than the three step process for pulling up a large area map of nearby caches in the official app. A minor annoyance, for sure...but these minor UI differences can turn some folks off one app or another.

4 - The "Any destination" app in c:geo allows you to input coordinates for mystery/multi caches and navigate to those points directly within the app. I don't know any way to do this in the official app. If I'm wrong on this one, let me know!

 

I do appreciate the time and effort it takes to develop and produce the official app, which is why I purchased it; however, there does seem to be quite a bit of innovation in c:geo that I'd love to see go into the official app.

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4 - The "Any destination" app in c:geo allows you to input coordinates for mystery/multi caches and navigate to those points directly within the app. I don't know any way to do this in the official app. If I'm wrong on this one, let me know!

 

 

You can cross off #4, there is a way to do this in the official app. While navigating to a cache, tap the flag icon in the upper right hand corner, next to the compass button. Input your new coordinates and hit "Done". A flag will show up on the map at the new waypoint. Tap on it, select "Set as Target". Off you go!

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4 - The "Any destination" app in c:geo allows you to input coordinates for mystery/multi caches and navigate to those points directly within the app. I don't know any way to do this in the official app. If I'm wrong on this one, let me know!

 

 

You can cross off #4, there is a way to do this in the official app. While navigating to a cache, tap the flag icon in the upper right hand corner, next to the compass button. Input your new coordinates and hit "Done". A flag will show up on the map at the new waypoint. Tap on it, select "Set as Target". Off you go!

 

I don't see any such thing anywhere in the app. maybe it's not on the Android version...?

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It's there in the Android version. It just has a different UI. While viewing the cache description, try either of these:

 

Navigate to Geocache > Map > Menu > Add Waypoint

 

Navigate to Geocache > Compass > Menu > Destination > Add Waypoint...

 

And FWIW, Neongeo supports adding waypoints, the live map feature (although I leave it disabled), and the PCN (including coordinates in the PCN). And it respects Groundspeak's TOU by using the API.

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I also use NeonGeo. It seems to have lots of great features that I like, and is only 1/2 the price of the geocaching.com app (plus there is a free demo).

 

It is really cool because it will (is setup correcctly) cache all the maps that you view. You can also add in additional map providers. This makes it great for cacheing off-line.

 

Edit to add

In answer to J Grouchy's question, NeonGeo has an easy way to update coordinates of puzzles etc. You just update the personal cache note (either form the webpage, or within the app), this will result in the cache coordinates being updated.

Edited by Andronicus
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4 - The "Any destination" app in c:geo allows you to input coordinates for mystery/multi caches and navigate to those points directly within the app. I don't know any way to do this in the official app. If I'm wrong on this one, let me know!

 

 

You can cross off #4, there is a way to do this in the official app. While navigating to a cache, tap the flag icon in the upper right hand corner, next to the compass button. Input your new coordinates and hit "Done". A flag will show up on the map at the new waypoint. Tap on it, select "Set as Target". Off you go!

 

I send you wholehearted thanks for the above - I was tearing my hair out not knowing how to input co-ords not only in the IPhone5 GeoApp, but also in Iphone MapsApp. Now I can forget trying with the mapsApp. Geo App is my only Geocache hunting tool, and I had almost decided to just ignore offset caches, or puzzles, anything that required manual co-ords input. Thanks to the valuable info you have provided, this side of Geocaching can now be open to me:-)

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Good to know. I'll try out the Neongeo app.

 

So, I got the Neongeo app...but man, it is SOOOO slow for me. So much so I find myself closing out of it to open up a different app to get anything done.

That is strange... It works at a good speed for me. I am using it on a Samsung Skyrocket HD. What phone are you using it on?

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Good to know. I'll try out the Neongeo app.

 

So, I got the Neongeo app...but man, it is SOOOO slow for me. So much so I find myself closing out of it to open up a different app to get anything done.

That is strange... It works at a good speed for me. I am using it on a Samsung Skyrocket HD. What phone are you using it on?

 

Galaxy S3...even on wifi it works slow for me, so I don't think it's just a slow Sprint network speed (Atlanta is on 4G, which is VERY fast)

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Good to know. I'll try out the Neongeo app.

 

So, I got the Neongeo app...but man, it is SOOOO slow for me. So much so I find myself closing out of it to open up a different app to get anything done.

That is strange... It works at a good speed for me. I am using it on a Samsung Skyrocket HD. What phone are you using it on?

 

Galaxy S3...even on wifi it works slow for me, so I don't think it's just a slow Sprint network speed (Atlanta is on 4G, which is VERY fast)

Maybe you have too many apps running in the background. Press and hold the Home button until the Recent Apps opens up. Click the Task Manager button, Click Exit All. If that's not your problem, you may have too many services running. Not sure if it is the same on S3, but on my phone, you click Settings, Applications, Running services to see what is running in the background. If you see something you don't want running in the background, you can stop the service here, but it is better to disable it from the app itself so it doesn't reenable itself when you restart the phone.

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Like, could I use c:geo

 

You could, but let me explain how that program works. It "scrapes" the Geocaching website taking its data directly from the webpage. It is considered to effectively stealing the data. Because it doesn't take the data in the official manner it often stops working when Geocaching make changes to its website.

 

Other programs (aside from the "official" one) use the Geocaching API which is a protocol developed by Geocaching which allows outside programs take the data from the website in a controlled manner. There are some that are free. You can see them at http://www.geocaching.com/live/partners/.

 

How do you think Geocaching affords to maintain its data farms; pay developers to enhance the features of the website; etc? A lot of it comes from the paying Premium members such as me who have paid the $30 sub. I resent people freeloading on my contribution.

 

How much does a cup of coffee or a Big Mac cost where you are? $4? $5?

 

Skip your next hamburger and coffee and instead load an API app. Then go out find a few more caches. If you like it, pay for a premium membership which will give you better access to the site.

 

Seriously????? FREELOADING????? Only a stuck-up, pretentious snob would say something like that..... How many caches placed by basic members have you found? We have just as much right to find seek and use the site and it's resource as you.

Just because some of us don't require pocket queries or favourites etc doesn't mean we FREELOAD.

Some of us just pay to use the gs app....so before you jump down people's throats with your holier than thou attitude perhaps you might look in the mirror and see who uses the efforts of those supposedly freeloading basic members. You have no more RIGHT than anyone on this site.

Deal with it. People like you make this site a real nasty place to be sometimes.

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Like, could I use c:geo

 

You could, but let me explain how that program works. It "scrapes" the Geocaching website taking its data directly from the webpage. It is considered to effectively stealing the data. Because it doesn't take the data in the official manner it often stops working when Geocaching make changes to its website.

 

Other programs (aside from the "official" one) use the Geocaching API which is a protocol developed by Geocaching which allows outside programs take the data from the website in a controlled manner. There are some that are free. You can see them at http://www.geocaching.com/live/partners/.

 

How do you think Geocaching affords to maintain its data farms; pay developers to enhance the features of the website; etc? A lot of it comes from the paying Premium members such as me who have paid the $30 sub. I resent people freeloading on my contribution.

 

How much does a cup of coffee or a Big Mac cost where you are? $4? $5?

 

Skip your next hamburger and coffee and instead load an API app. Then go out find a few more caches. If you like it, pay for a premium membership which will give you better access to the site.

 

Seriously????? FREELOADING????? Only a stuck-up, pretentious snob would say something like that..... How many caches placed by basic members have you found? We have just as much right to find seek and use the site and it's resource as you.

Just because some of us don't require pocket queries or favourites etc doesn't mean we FREELOAD.

Some of us just pay to use the gs app....so before you jump down people's throats with your holier than thou attitude perhaps you might look in the mirror and see who uses the efforts of those supposedly freeloading basic members. You have no more RIGHT than anyone on this site.

Deal with it. People like you make this site a real nasty place to be sometimes.

I think the "freeloaders" he's referring to are those who use free apps that steal information from the site, instead of using the API that's there for that purpose. I didn't see it as referring to basic members, but it could have been.

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