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Z3ROIN

Geocaching app for Windows 8 - Opinions?

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Hi guys,

 

i'm due a phone upgrade and i'm considering going over to the windows phone.

 

I've done some youtubing/googling but can't find many reviews of this app, likewise apologies if this has been covered here before.

 

One review i saw (which was in german!! (told you they are sparse!! :P ) Good job the girlfriend speaks it fluently!!) said when you exit the app, if you go back in you have to start from the beginning again, is this true? On the android, if you come out of the app with the back button all the way you have to start from the beginning, but if you come out of the app with the home button, then it's in the same place you left it, this is very useful when you're on a trial and want to preserve battery, or look at something else, a text for example.

 

What are your opinions of the windows phone geocaching app in general? Bad points and good?

 

Many thanks.

Edited by Z3ROIN

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Don't know if this will help, but I had the Geocaching Live app on my WP7 Samsung Focus. I recently upgraded to a Nokia Lumia 920, which is WP8, and re-installed the app on it. As far as I know there is no app from Geocaching Live for WP8. Having said that, when I attempted to install the current version, it installed fine on the phone. Geocaching does not yet list my device, or any other WP8 devices that I know of, so I updated my profile to show my device as a Lumia 900, which is a WP7 device.

 

I used the Geocaching app today on my 920 to locate a cache with no issues. The "start" (or home) button on Windows phone keeps the app running where you left it. At least this is the case for me today as I was navigating and switching to other functions of the phone, such as the camera. If you use the "back" button, then you are exiting out of whatever app is running and have to start over.

 

I haven't been at this geocaching hobby very avidly, and only have a few attempts at it, when I've had the time and ambition, so it would be good to hear comments from others who use a Windows smartphone to navigate. Personally, I think I'd prefer to use a handheld GPS because I believe it would be more responsive in areas with little or no cellular coverage. I need to try navigating under such conditions to warrant whether I'll actually buy a handheld GPS or not. For as little as I use it for geocaching, the phone works fine.

 

What platform are you switching over from? Apple or Android?

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Hi thanks for your reply, that helps a lot, i'm using android at the moment.

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Hello guys,

in fact, WP8 keeps applications in memory unless you press back button. If you go home pressing window button, then start new app and then you go back, you end-up in previous app in the state you left it. You can use long press of back button to invoke task manager and switch between recenly started apps.

WP8 also support "fast switching" mode which always bring you back to the same state, but it has to be enabled by the app developer.

 

My application xatcher leverages mainly offline maps that are available only on WP8. You can go out and stay completely offline to navigate to the cache. Also your log entries are cached locally so you can write them offline and they are sent later once you get online.

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Hi Steelspace, thanks for the info, i like the fact that you've made the maps available offline, i'll certainly be looking at your app if i go for the windows phone. Can you submit live logs too or is it only offline submission of logs? I like to submit them from teh field as it gives the CO a real time experience of me finding their caches.

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Sure, if you are online it is automatically published. If not, it is stored locally and sent as soon as possible (when you come back online).

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I have the HTC 8X which runs Windows Phone 8. The same Geocaching Live app that works with WP7 works just fine on my device. It's much more convenient than using a stand alone GPS device! The only thing that I don't like about Geocaching Live is that it doesn't specify whether a cache is Premium or not but I guess you could get around that by filtering with a Pocket Query. Caching is so much easier to accomplish on the fly now. I can search for caches on the phone or load them with a PQ, get driving directions, use the compass to get to GZ, and then finish up by logging the cache including any trackable activity & pictures that I've taken. I can even look up a trackable before I pick it up so that I can decide if I want to help with it's mission or not! Marking a waypoint is possible as well.

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I'm a happy user of Geocaching Live on my Nokia Lumia 920.

There's also an app called Geocaching Plus, but I think it is not that good.

One thing however. I cannot use the Geocaching Live for Multi-caches, I think it is possible to navigate to stages, but the question written in a note at each stage is not visible? Or, hopefully, am I just wrong?

Edited by zumba

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I also have a Lumia 920, and run both the Geocaching Live and Geocaching Plus apps. Geocaching Plus tends to be about 5-10 metres off (sorry, no clue what that is in feet...15-30, I think). I have not tried the multi caches, but I run LTE network, and with a decent data plan can likely log into the website for anything as I find information. I plan on a multi this weekend, so I will update.

 

As for the original question, when I have a screen open and hit the "windows" button, I am taken to the home screen. When I re-enter the app, I am at the beginning again. To get past this, I use wifi to save a cache for offline use, and then access through my offline (backpack) bookmarks. This way, it is only one extra step, rather than doing it ALL over again. I also tend to take the GPS unit with me, as I am not sure yet on the accuracy of the app's readings. One thing I REALLY dislike about the Geocaching Live app is that you cannot leave the download page while downloading a search or PQ. If you do, it is lost and will need to be re-started.

 

In the Geocaching Live app, you have the options of searching; nearby, by cache ID, by address, postal code or landmark, trackable code, keyword or cache name, or on a map. Downside is that any search run through the app maxes out at 30 caches/search, and also maxes out at a 35 mile radius...not so good if you are looking at going further abroad without more detailed information about a search area. However, it does also have driving directions for any cache as a search option.

 

Bonuses on the geocaching Plus app are: able to see caches from other sites as well; search is done vi a map, so it is more user-friendly for the technologically inept (like me) and it does not restart you at the "start screen" when you close and reopen the app. You are also able to mark a waypoint as needed for the return hike out of the middle of nowhere. (Handy if you tend to carry a cache with you, just in case you find a "perfect!" spot, or want to revisit somewhere another time) With this app, you can see cache description, any pictures, the log book, as well as details of the cache.

 

I think both apps are decent, although I prefer the geocaching live just for the ability to do everything on the go, as I cache...hope this helps!

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Much like Bob12dozen, I started with the Samsung Focus w/ WP7.5.

I saw the GeoCache Live app listed on the Marketplace back in Oct. but did not really get into GeoCaching until late Nov.

I loved it and as a Land Surveyor, found myself pulling it up every new job site to see what was near me.

 

I soon discovered I was lucky if I got 2 or 3 caches (5 or 6 if C&D) on a good day, before I would have to camp out on my car charger.

I few months ago I bought the Magellan eXplorist GC and now that is my main unit, but I still us my phone.

 

Just 2 days ago I upgraded to the Nokia Lumia 920. Still the WP7 app.

 

So here is my Short Pro/Cons:

 

Pro: Hand Held GPS is great for longer searches and harder one too. You will get tighter direction, particularly if in an area where Cell signal will crap out or get weak.

Con: You have to know where you are going to look ahead of time, whether it's syncing up and individually d/l the caches to it or Running a Pocket Query the day before.

 

WinPhone Pro: On the Spur, look where you are searches. Post right as you Find or DNF! Able to get up to date Logs and Photos.

Con: Will drain you battery, Bad Cell areas will make it harder to find some caches.

*I have a coworker who has the GeoCache Live on his iPhone 5 (cost $10 w/ no perk or boost to membership) Little smoother use of the app, and his can post to social network sights as well, not an option for the WP.

Con: The WP app has a Save search option, but there does not sem to be a way to save or upload these to GeoCaching.com to add to queries or watchlist. Also, the Selecting of these seach's is a bit broken at times (always jump to the 1st list and not any other.)

 

I'm hoping w/ the WP8 they will make a better app, not sure if I want to pay $10 or it, maybe $5, but if they want $10 I think they should at least toss 1 month of Premium.

 

-Scott

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History

 

I've been using a Samsung Mini 2 for about a year now which is an Android phone. For geocaching and walking I have an eTrex but also used the mobile. The app I used on there was c:geo which is a free app. It still has issues in not always showing all the caches but had a lot of good feature like storing for offline use etc so it was quicker to flip between the caches etc. Especially at the weekend there is a local series of 48 caches. I stored them all (even though we only did one loop half the caches) but it was only those that were shown on the map with all their data.

 

A couple of days ago I was sent the HTC 8X to test on the data side to see if we will issue it for our sales staff. The first thing after I got my two email accounts setup was to search for all the equivalent apps that I had on the Android. Now for those people who have experience of Android devices you will know that often one app will work on one device like my phone can run the Met Office app, but my tablet which is a newer Android build will not run that app. So knowing that Windows 8 doesn't have such an extensive app store I knew there were going to be several apps that are not available, like I'm struggling to find an app to control my wireless web cam that is broadcasting through the web.

 

I found this post and then decided I would try the two apps that were mentioned Geocaching Live and Geocaching Plus. I opted for the Live first as this was coming from the main site. First impressions I thought it was pretty good. That was until I got the message that only a basic member could download 3 caches every 24 hours. Now you can call me a skin flint if you like but I've thought about upgrading to a premium member and will do so when there is something extra that I want from the website. I will not be doing it for an app, especially if I end up going back to the Android in a few weeks. This quickly meant I had to install the Plus version. This also worked well. There are some minor differences between the two apps, the main being the different types of maps and the compass view. I've just been out lunchtime to test both of the apps. I decided to use the Plus first as it was fully free for all that I needed. It took me straight to GZ and was about 20 feet out. However it was partial tree cover and whilst standing still I flipped to the Live for a measurement to compare them both. The difference was 2 feet which considering the tree cover and flipping between apps was probably about the same as each other. I would be surprised if both apps reported different locations as they will both be using the same GPS device to record their current position.

 

So the end result is that Plus works very well for a basic member, I was able to log my visit whilst there and had all the information on the cache at hand whilst out in the field. The Live version is suited for premium members. However even as a basic member I would still have both installed as it's nice to flip between both for the maps. You can use either to navigate but after 3 downloads as a basic member you will have to rely on Plus for the cache info.

 

Two reasonably good apps as free versions for geocaching, I need to do further testing on their extra features to see which I prefer but for on the fly out in the field the Plus is the main use with the Live as a backup.

 

I still miss my Android apps especially as you can get a free app for almost anything that you may want.

 

Paul

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I have been using c:geo on my Android without problems. I recently upgraded to a windows phone and the main difference that I can see between c:geo, Live, and Plus is that in c:geo it has a live map that keeps me in the center of it as I travel. With droid mounted on dash beside GPS I can always tell if there is a cache near an exit before I get there. With Live it loads caches near my location and map doesn't change from those caches even if I scroll screen manually as I drive. In Plus, if I scroll screen manually, it does update caches available on map but it is not always safe to do this. I haven't had new phone but a week. If anyone knows of a setting that I missed to scroll map to my current location please let me know.

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I don't think there is an option to scroll the map as you travel on the live version. Android still has the better app overall.

 

 

I've since upgraded to premium, only because I bought an etrex20. No phone app i have found works as well as something like the etrex20.

 

 

Another drawback I've found with the live version is downloading the PQs. On the live version it takes a very long time even over wifi and often doesn't finish. I can copy several thousands caches with waypoints, logs and descriptions to the etrex in a matter of minutes.

 

langy

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