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team thunder bear

Android App - Poor offline features

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So I got the GC.com Android app and am more then a little dissapointed in it, it cost $10 and has the worst feature set out of pretty much every geocaching app on the market but yet it costs the most, even the free ones have more options and better function.

 

My biggest gripe is with the lack of any sort of offline feature (unless I'm missing something?), there is no offline map support, the live map does not cache itself to be used while offline like it does in most other apps, even saving caches to the offline list is a pain because you have to do them one at a time.

 

Why is this app $10? It should be free or $1 at most, I just don't get it.

 

Most people do not have a data plan, one of your first priorities should have been to enable a feature rich offline map system where the live map gets automatically cached at multiple zoom levels and with a wide feather around the current location you are viewing so when you go offline you'll be able to view the map, of not just your location but the surrounding areas as well, instead of stare at a gray screen wishing there was a map there and wondering why you just spent $10 on this app.

 

Well, thats my rant, if you guys are gonna charge that much for something at least make it worth the money.

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It should be free or $1 at most, I just don't get it.

 

Most people do not have a data plan, one of your first priorities should have been to enable a feature rich offline map system where the live map gets automatically cached at multiple zoom levels and with a wide feather around the current location you are viewing

Which free or $1 Apps do that?

 

The GC App (and the rest, for that matter) are designed for Smartphones with data plans. I think most people do have data plans if they have Smartphones. I've never understood why any "App" needs fancy features for connected phones, when the users have full access to the GC site, but whatever. One issue with the maps is, how much room does a Smartphone have? The App is designed to run on many models of phone, and some have a lot of remaining memory, some have none.

 

saving caches to the offline list is a pain because you have to do them one at a time.

Not if you use Pocket Queries. Load a whole area of 1000 selected caches at a time. That costs even more (Premium Membership). But it saves time.

Edited by kunarion

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So I got the GC.com Android app and am more then a little dissapointed in it, it cost $10 and has the worst feature set out of pretty much every geocaching app on the market but yet it costs the most, even the free ones have more options and better function.

 

My biggest gripe is with the lack of any sort of offline feature (unless I'm missing something?), there is no offline map support, the live map does not cache itself to be used while offline like it does in most other apps, even saving caches to the offline list is a pain because you have to do them one at a time.

 

Why is this app $10? It should be free or $1 at most, I just don't get it.

Most people do not have a data plan, one of your first priorities should have been to enable a feature rich offline map system where the live map gets automatically cached at multiple zoom levels and with a wide feather around the current location you are viewing so when you go offline you'll be able to view the map, of not just your location but the surrounding areas as well, instead of stare at a gray screen wishing there was a map there and wondering why you just spent $10 on this app.

 

Well, thats my rant, if you guys are gonna charge that much for something at least make it worth the money.

 

For one, who says most people don't have a data plan? Are you American or Canadian? I'm Canadian and a lot of times in order to get a smartphones you have to have some form of data plan. Actually up until a few years ago for certain phone companies there was no option to not have a data plan...

 

And there is a simple solution to not using data. Use a GPSr. No data needed...No cell phone coverage to worry about. Longer battery life.

 

I've never had any problems with the Android app, and to be fair there is a free app, that you could have tried before you spent the $10.

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Given that all major US mobile operators force you into a data plan if they detect you using a smartphone on their network, I think it's safe to say that most (modern) smartphone users have a data plan.

 

Maps on mobile devices are a mess. There are a few major providers, but due to the way these services work, you will need many, many gigabytes of space to store maps for even a small area around you.

 

Garmin manages to store all of North America into a couple of gigabytes, but that's using their proprietary format which they will never share with the likes of Groundspeak.

 

If you want lots of rich maps on a handheld device without a data plan, get a traditional GPSr. If you want ease-of-use and on-demand downloading of caches, use a phone. If you want both, you have to have both.

 

Garmin's new Monterra may be able to bridge this gap; in theory it can download caches on demand using your mobile phone's data plan, but will have its own maps. Firmware should be stable about a year after whenever it comes out. :laughing:

Edited by JJnTJ

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I'm new and downloaded a app to my blackberry q10 it's not the official app and was free and uses offline maps which I downloaded free before I went out, I stored the caches I was looking for and off I went turned off data on my phone and found all 6 I was looking for no problems at all and no charges what so ever

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Funny, out of all the smartphone owners I know not a single one wastes money on a data plan, most people use wifi, everyone has wifi at home and just abut every coffee shop, fast food place and increasingly more and more public areas such as parks have free wifi. Not to mention many peoples work also has wifi, hotels all have free wifi, the list goes on, there is absolutely no reason to waste the ridiculous sums of money that a data plan costs. Also you most certainly do not have to get a data plan to get a smart phone, you won't get the $0 offer or whatever the deal is but most people are smart enough to realize they will have bought 5 of those phones with the money they will waste on the data plan over the next 3 years of their contract... or perhaps I just know a lot of smart people.

 

As for which apps cache maps for offline use, lets see... all of the ones I've tried? NeonGeo, c.geo, cachebox, they all save the maps and zoom levels you view and display them when you're offline, c.geo even lets you save static map images for offline use AND use offline maps.

 

I'm not saying it should have the entire country cached for offline but you should be able to chache cities or area's that you want to visit for offline viewing.

 

Even c.geo has much better features then the gc.com app and its FREE! The gc.com app is a complete rip off and they should be ashamed charging $10 for it.

Edited by team thunder bear

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You and your friends are obviously very smart. For those of us that are not, please share how you are able to use a smartphone on a major US network without them forcing you into a data plan. What model phone?

 

I bought my wife (who was using a feature phone at the time) an old iPhone. We put the SIM from her old phone into the iPhone, then turned off mobile data. She was happy using WiFi only. Within a week she got a text from ATT saying they'd forced her into their highest-tier data plan. We switched to a more sane data plan.

 

Obviously I'm not smart, so I would appreciate any help you can give.

Edited by JJnTJ

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please share how you are able to use a smartphone on a major US network

 

Well, not all of us live in the US ;) It's a big ole world and geocaching is a global pastime.

 

I also find that switching off data on my phone increases its battery life considerably. Whilst not an Android device, my old HTC Tytn has not had a sim card inserted in years, but is simply used as a pocket computer/gps/organiser. Not to mention if I were to travel abroad, data roaming charges would fast drive me to bankruptcy.

 

I would love a decent app that I can do all my downloads at home or the coffee shop and not have to watch my battery die each time I want to look at a cache or map.

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Well, not all of us live in the US ;)

Yes, that is not a secret.

 

My point in asking those (somewhat rhetorical) questions was to point out to "team thunder bear" that his blanket implications (i.e. that only dumb people have data plans) were ridiculous, and based on his own ignorance. It's really great that Canadians aren't forced into data plans like we Americans. But that doesn't mean we're not smart. :rolleyes:

 

team thunder bear pointed out several apps that cache map tiles. I've used Neongeo's map tile caching feature a few times. Be aware that Google's terms of service don't allow map tile caching, but other services (like OpenStreetMaps) do not have a restriction.

 

Also be aware that map tile caching will quickly eat up hundreds of Megabytes of storage, especially if you cache at the highest zoom levels.

Edited by JJnTJ

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use C:geo. this is a free app. if I know we are going to be in a location with no cell service. I store the caches I know we want to find in the "store to phone" section. then, when we are out, I can pull up the cache info with no issues as well as still use my radar (GPS Status also free) C:geo works with geocaching.com and many other cache sites. It is super easy and I love being able to log our finds on our phone right then and there. If we are out of service area, it saves the log info, including date and time until we get into an area with service.

 

It works for us.

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