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Best tool or the one you're most comfortable with


tozainamboku
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In another topic the discussion started with speculation that in the past new users would browse the website, including the getting started pages and perhaps even visiting the forum to get answers to questions; while the Intro App users simply download the app and go geocaching without having read anything or taking the time to ask.

 

There are some who want the Intro App to direct people to the website to read and find out more about geocaching (perhaps before letting them find caches).

 

When I expressed an opinion that some people may see a website as a bit old fashioned and prefer to get all their information through a smartphone app, it appeared to touch a nerve. The old guys, like me and even some younger than me, can't understand why someone prefers to use the app over the website especially to learn more about geocaching. My guess is that some other people would find it strange that anyone would use the website when the app has all the capability you need.

 

Rather than debate whether the Intro App contributes to bad geocaching habits, I'm a bit more interested on what people think the future of technology is. Is the web really better than an App for certain things? If one is better would you - either as a web user or an app user - move to the other for that task - or would you stick with one way to get information.

 

I know many people find geocaches with the App, but still like to use the website to set up Pocket Queries or review their statistics. Some find using a phone app in rugged terrain with a weak signal unsatisfying, and will switch to a dedicated handheld GPS in this case.

 

Which ways do you cache and why?

 

I was originally going to start this in off topic - with a more general question on how people adopt new technology and whether we stick with old technology because it is still better than the new technology for certain things, or because we are just more comfortable sticking with the old technology. It is clear that there is enough to discuss just talking about geocaching to warrant a topic here. However, I'm still curious about the general view of new technology vs. old.

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The app is still not fully functional.

 

I'd like it to:

 

Add more than one pic a time

Be able to contact other cachers

See the find count next to the logs

Auto populate the map

 

And most importantly... ***Not use the GPS constantly. ***

 

Then I'd run a 90%/10% app/website rate

Get an iPad version of the app and it shoots to 100%

(And the ability to make PQs)

 

For me, I like to review logs and other peoples pictures. Add the map works better on GC.com than on my app. And run PQs. So I'm running about 75%/25%

 

Things like Foodspotting, Pinterest, FB... That's a 100% app usage

Edited by JesandTodd
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I see how we can say that "The intro app users are killing us" and by extension I see valid reasons to direct newbies to the website.

 

But there are two issues here-one is if apps are the new way, and websites are going the way of the cassette tape. The other is content related.

 

I get the feeling that most people here are not happy that geocaching is becoming more of a smartphone game, rather than something that affects other people(Maintaining caches, not putting out a cache made of cardboard) Yes I know not all app users are like that, yet that seems to be a prominent thought amung the oldtimers-and I have myself said not to rely on a smartphone more than once. Yet like it or not, this is the way geocaching is going, which brings me to my next point....

 

....The main issue with the app is it's download and go. Sure you have to make a username and such, but there is nothing else to it. And that is the problem-people will-to take a term from my RC hobby-Plug and play. Get your stuff and go. They have no clue you can use a real GPS, or have even seen the link to go read the guidelines. Like in the old days of RC-where you had to put everything together yourself, read the manual, take care of what you do, in caching, you read the guidelines, found caches to see what worked, what leaked and such.

 

The current incarnation of the app, is a companion, or a tool, not a substitute of the website itself. Maybe-just maybe, if they create a substitution for the website, perhaps an interactive feature, and provide it for free(and along with the paid app) people would at least have access to the answers of these "stupid" common questions and comments like- My cache was not approved because there was a mystery nearby, how do I know in the future- It's a simple answer to those of us who have read the guidelines, but those are available on website only(Far as I'm aware) and with the app some users don't even know there's a website.

 

These days, less people are using Desktops, and more are using smartphones and tablets. If all this information is included in the app-and prominently, not hidden behind a dozen menus, or obscure icons that could mean anything (How many people don't know how to enter an additional waypoint in the app?)

 

Now it won't solve it for everyone-even those that visit the main site sometimes don't appear to bright, but at least the information is provided, and if you build it, they will come.

 

Look at the new Lackey-Jayme H I think it is, is trying to be here and listen to us. Granted, one person on here occasionally on the forums isn't going to fix everything, but maybe this is Groundspeak feeling out what they should do in the future. Maybe Groundspeak can take this chance-take this whole thread-seriously. And if they do that maybe they won't make a better mistake tomorrow, and we might see some true progress for the future.

Edited by T.D.M.22
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*SNIP*

 

Well maybe I should answer the Question. I use all three-the app, a GPS, and the website. How much of each? Well I prefer my GPS to finding and placing caches. Yet I use the website to check out potential locations, and when I get to where I think would make a good cache location, I'll pull out my phone and search for the nearest cache to check for saturation.

 

While looking for a cache? Well I started with an app, and upgraded to a GPS. Since I got my GPS, I have used the app to search, only a few times. A couple unplanned caching trips, where I didn't have my GPS, or didn't have any caches on it. And then the time I left my GPS 800km away, and the time where I had issues with a PQ not working properly. I have also used the app to look at new logs that may have provided a hint. Like I said, it's a tool, a companion, not a replacement for a dedicated GPS, or the website. Yet.

 

My favorite part of the app, is when I'm somewhere new-say visiting family, I can pull out my Iphone and check for nearby caches.

 

I do believe-with the new Garmin with Android-that this distinction between a cellphone, and a GPS is getting faint. I believe within a year or two, there will be GPS receivers with a phone built in, rather than the other way. And for a cost cheaper the the current Iphone at that. If TPTB get it together they can design a great app, that can be used both online with a data connection and offline with GPS only. What that means for caching is that the website will be like a cassette tape-Nothing wrong with it, but people want more, and easier will turn to something else.

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Not counting forum time. I would say that I use my smartphone for about 80% of my geocaching activities, but I will go back to the website to edit logs, generate PQ's, and plan for larger trips away from the house. The app is very good at the "Hey, while I'm out, I wonder if there is a cache near me." type of expeditions. I find that most of the hunting is done with the smartphone using the newly acquired GPSr as a sort of "second (usually better) opinion".

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I use a GPSr and the website. I've never used the app, primarily because that would require me to increase my phone bill by getting a data plan which I otherwise to be honest have no need for (I don't use any other apps). I can imagine the app being helpful for when one leaves one's GPSr at home or when one is out of town and hasn't run a PQ and loaded caches for the area onto their GPSr, but these haven't so far posed problems for me and I don't think the app offers significant enough advantages to convince me to significantly increase my monthly cell phone bill just to be able to use it.

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Regarding emerging technologies. I'm sitting here watching the NASCAR race that my DVR recorded earlier, I'm researching two caches that were published a few hours ago on the web site. I'm also browsing the map looking at caches that are around those new caches. I'm doing this with a PC, keyboard, mouse and a 22" LCD display. The idea of holding a phone or a tablet in my hand and tapping at little parts of the screen seems like a step backwards to me. Yes, a smartphone would come in handy when I'm out in the field, but there is no way that it can replace my PC when I'm at home.

 

How do I geocache? Earlier, I went and found a cache and DNF'ed another with my now old fashioned Garmin 60CS. When I got home, I hooked it up to my PC and updated my main database in GSAK. I then used GSAK to write and send the logs to gc.com, and then moved the found cache to my Found database. Throughout the week, I download a series of PQs to update my main GSAK database. I have a bunch of pre-defined polygon filters that filter for the different areas locally so I can send just those caches to my GPS as it has a 1000 cache limit.

 

I use the map on the web site to find areas where I want to hike and find caches, then create a PQ for that area and load it into GSAK, export it with a macro to a Google map where I can draw a polygon around just the caches I want to look for. This gets sent back to GSAK so I can eliminate the ones I am not interested in. I can then send that set to the Google map again and click on each icon in the order that I plan on finding them, which updates GSAK with a consecutive number. I send those to my 60CS with the number in front of the name, send them to my Nuvi so I can use it as a paperless device, and send them to Google Earth where I can draw a track. It takes a bit of manipulation to get the track onto my 60CS, including running a batch file which runs GPSbabel and Mapsource to send it to the GPS. This seems like a lot of work, but I enjoy doing it. If I could change anything, it would be to get a better paperless GPS unit so I could leave the NUVI in the car where it belongs.

 

I also use the web site to maintain several Bookmark lists, I use notifications to keep track of new caches and caches close to home. When I see new names on the logs, I look at the profiles. If they are having problems finding a cache, I may go and check that it is okay and then contact them and offer to help. As far as I know, none of this can be done from any of the apps.

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I cache in the field with my Android, then I come home to log my finds on my laptop, browse cache pages and do other things like run pocket queries and submit new caches.

 

Even though my phone has an amazingly large screen for a phone, it's still smaller than my laptop. It's also limited in that it doesn't have a full keyboard (obviously!) and slow mobile connection (I bought the cheapest, slowest service there is). It's just easier typing my generally long logs at home with a full keyboard, although I do sometimes log them in the field if I have time. For reasons of screen size and slow mobile data service, it's much easier to read cache pages from my laptop at home.

 

I can see how someone who's just a casual cacher may never log onto geocaching.com, but for me, it's essential.

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I use an app (Neongeo, not Groundspeak's app) to load live data or to load PQ data, then I use it to choose a cache and to navigate to that cache. Then I use it to post a field note. With just a few exceptions (e.g., time-sensitive NM logs), I do everything else with a laptop or desktop computer. That includes posting online logs, maintaining PQs and bookmark lists, working on puzzles, saving puzzle solutions, bookmarking solved puzzles, reading Help Center articles, viewing stats, etc.

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My other 2/3rds will use the official app on iphone to navigate and log C&Ds when she's at lunch, doctor's, etc, but everything else is done on site and with a GPSr.

She did the same years ago when all there was, was Trimble and Blackberry.

- She's comfortable with both and doesn't feel either is best.

 

I tried at her request. Dyslexic, she figured windows phone (and the offial app) might be the closest (for me) to the pc.

Well, tiny screens and buttons left me wearing glasses unneeded elsewhere and tapping with a stylus while using the thing. I can't possibly have bigger thumbs than the rest of the population.

Finally realized it wasn't working when I was doing notes, then finishing things at home on the pc anyway. That just didn't make sense to me.

- Me, I'm better off with the site and a GPSr.

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We are strictly website/GPS users, though there have been a few times when a cache was just outside of our pocket query and we briefly considered downloding an app. I, too, prefer the screen size of my laptop and a full keyboard for typing long logs. Also, we have a few bookmark lists and we upload tons of pictures.

 

I can understand how the app could be useful for casual cachers, but it takes less than five minutes for me to create a 1000-cache pocket query of the area I'm visiting and dump it in my GPS. We have a Magellan Explorist GC and it holds 10,000 waypoints so we never worry about space. And because we enjoy get-your-hands/shoes/butt-dirty caching, I'd rather use my more durable Magellan for the task.

 

Plus, I like to stalk other cacher's profiles and I doubt the app will let you do that ;)

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Regarding emerging technologies. I'm sitting here watching the NASCAR race that my DVR recorded earlier, I'm researching two caches that were published a few hours ago on the web site. I'm also browsing the map looking at caches that are around those new caches. I'm doing this with a PC, keyboard, mouse and a 22" LCD display. The idea of holding a phone or a tablet in my hand and tapping at little parts of the screen seems like a step backwards to me. Yes, a smartphone would come in handy when I'm out in the field, but there is no way that it can replace my PC when I'm at home.

 

How do I geocache? Earlier, I went and found a cache and DNF'ed another with my now old fashioned Garmin 60CS. When I got home, I hooked it up to my PC and updated my main database in GSAK. I then used GSAK to write and send the logs to gc.com, and then moved the found cache to my Found database. Throughout the week, I download a series of PQs to update my main GSAK database. I have a bunch of pre-defined polygon filters that filter for the different areas locally so I can send just those caches to my GPS as it has a 1000 cache limit.

 

I use the map on the web site to find areas where I want to hike and find caches, then create a PQ for that area and load it into GSAK, export it with a macro to a Google map where I can draw a polygon around just the caches I want to look for. This gets sent back to GSAK so I can eliminate the ones I am not interested in. I can then send that set to the Google map again and click on each icon in the order that I plan on finding them, which updates GSAK with a consecutive number. I send those to my 60CS with the number in front of the name, send them to my Nuvi so I can use it as a paperless device, and send them to Google Earth where I can draw a track. It takes a bit of manipulation to get the track onto my 60CS, including running a batch file which runs GPSbabel and Mapsource to send it to the GPS. This seems like a lot of work, but I enjoy doing it. If I could change anything, it would be to get a better paperless GPS unit so I could leave the NUVI in the car where it belongs.

 

I also use the web site to maintain several Bookmark lists, I use notifications to keep track of new caches and caches close to home. When I see new names on the logs, I look at the profiles. If they are having problems finding a cache, I may go and check that it is okay and then contact them and offer to help. As far as I know, none of this can be done from any of the apps.

 

Wow, sounds like a fair bit of stuffing about. If I'm heading out somewhere and I think about it I might check the map on the website that morning and see what's around where I'm going, then pull up the map on the app when I'm there and go. Usually log from app aswell, so there, done. Might log in at Home to clear up lose ends on website like TBs but learnt how to do that in app today as well.

 

Even if heading to an area without reception, check map on website then lad them up into offline list on phone and go from there

Can still submit logs offline with the "submit later" function that's provided.

 

While accuracy may have been an issue with older models it is getting better and a good phone is as good as (if not better than) a cheap dedicated receiver. Enough of the phone cacher bashing. Seriously. It's old. Play the game your way and let us pay it ours.

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I prefer to use a gps because it has the better functionality. Plus at least the compass is working properly <_<

 

I must admit though that when I started geocaching I never really looked at the pages here, other than on the map/search pages. I gathered from somewhere that there's a minimum distance between caches and the rest was common sense. Plus there weren't that many caches around so distance issues were rather non-existent.

 

The rest really comes from reading the forums.

 

Mrs. Terratin

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I use both the paid app and the website equally. I think the App is awesome. I can "discover" trackables on the spot, I can read logs and hints and descriptions on the spot (can with my gps too, but yaknow), if I'm in a different area and have a bit of free time, I can just click "find nearby caches" and end up with 8 finds without even planning on caching. I log them from my phone usually as I go, and charge the phone while I drive.

 

However, when I'm home I usually have the website open and look around the island for a cache that may look interesting to me, and then I mark it down somewhere so that I can eventually go out and get it. I also use it to seek out potential hiding spots for myself. I usually always have the website open.

 

Also, my GPS is always in my car with a couple extra sets of batteries. If I'm out and realize there's one in the woods close by, I simply take the coords from the phone app, and put them into my GPS and away I go. The App is great, but the intro app needs improvement big time. The only thing I would change about the paid app is being able to view user profiles and message them if I need to.

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I generally use the web site for pocket queries, logging, or uploading photos - a significant difference for me is that these days it is generally done with my tablet since it is easier to carry and gives me direct access to photos taken with the phone ( or imported from the camera) and edited with photo apps.

 

Most of my caching is done through the phone - although I recently deleted the Groundspeak app since I have not been using it. I rely on Geosphere to identify caches I might want to find and get me to where I need to go. Recently, for the first time, I planned my caching for a recent trip without using the web site and did not bring a laptop. It worked well to use the tablet or phone to search, edit pocket queries, and transfer gpx files to my handheld (when the latter was needed) - before logging things when I had more time.

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While accuracy may have been an issue with older models it is getting better and a good phone is as good as (if not better than) a cheap dedicated receiver. Enough of the phone cacher bashing. Seriously. It's old. Play the game your way and let us pay it ours.

 

It's been old for 4 years. I imagine it must be old to keep saying it.

I used to take offense back when I had my 3GS. Today, when someone bashes me for using an iphone, I laugh, roll my eyes, and know better.

 

We are strictly website/GPS users, though there have been a few times when a cache was just outside of our pocket query and we briefly considered downloding an app. I, too, prefer the screen size of my laptop and a full keyboard for typing long logs. Also, we have a few bookmark lists and we upload tons of pictures.

 

I can understand how the app could be useful for casual cachers, but it takes less than five minutes for me to create a 1000-cache pocket query of the area I'm visiting and dump it in my GPS. We have a Magellan Explorist GC and it holds 10,000 waypoints so we never worry about space. And because we enjoy get-your-hands/shoes/butt-dirty caching, I'd rather use my more durable Magellan for the task.

 

Plus, I like to stalk other cacher's profiles and I doubt the app will let you do that ;)

 

I wish I could stalk other peoples profile,,,I mean, contact other cachers from my app. That time will come. I use geowatch to watch my friends logs and finds.

I have my bookmark lists set up and my PQs are on auto generate. I only crack open my PQ list when traveling. And when I need to, it takes about 30 seconds to run one. I remember heading off to Rainier and noticing the internet signal dying. I pulled over, ran a quick query for the area, it downloaded instantly to my iPhone, and back to the mountain I went.

 

I, at one point in time had thousands of caches on my iPhone. Close to 20000. In addition to the many more I can find on the fly.

Moun10bike called me a 'heavy user" at one time and it made me smile.

 

I'd like to think I'm a bit more than a casual cacher. Just a bit. In fact, I know I am.

 

And I have no problems getting dirty or wet or muddy or injured while geocaching! Just last week, on my last cache, I slipped and fell into a huge pile of muck. It was disgusting. I thought I broke my arm initially as I couldn't move it for 10 mins or so. I was covered in mud. Huge bruises on my arm and leg.

 

Gold iPhone? Just fine. I wiped the mud off the screen, and found the micro cache. In the forest. With a dead arm! Somehow, I managed to make the find. Did I mention it was a puzzle I had solved on my iPhone while at Starbucks?

 

I use the microphone button to compose my logs, and send them or pend them via field notes. If they are longer, I'll finish them off with my iPad. Usually I'll finish up my logs when I'm eating lunch, or on the top of the mountain chilling out.

I prefer to use a gps because it has the better functionality. Plus at least the compass is working properly <_<

 

Funny, my compass works just fine too! It's an awesome miracle!

 

I beg to differ on the better functionality though. I have an app that can do just about anything I need it to do. Granted, my Garmin is pretty basic, but who needs more when my iPhone is superior? My garmin has better topo maps (although I do have a fantastic topo map app on my phone).

 

But what my Garmin really has that my iPhone doesn't is NWTrails. If I could get my hands on those for the iPhone......holy smokes! I'd be in heaven. Then the Garmin will stay off in the bag when I solo hike.

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Which ways do you cache and why?

Because of how I approach this hobby, I use the website almost exclusively. I tend to get wordy... Real wordy. In my logs. Whilst I commend my kids in their ability to blast out 80 gazillion words per minute using just their thumbs, on a tiny smart phone screen, at my age, posting a "Found It!" would take me a week. :lol: Also, I like to browse the map to locate caches I want to hunt. I often scroll to a geographic region, then commence perusing the caches which show up, till I find one of interest. When I try this using the app, when I return to the map, I'm brought back to my starting point, instead of just bringing me back to that region. Then, I have to scroll back over to the region of interest and do a new search. That gets to be annoying.

 

For the most part, the only time I use the app is for unplanned caching excursions.

 

Even then, I won't log my finds with it.

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I love my iphone app for spur of the moment caching, or when my gps acts up. And, like yesterday when I thought I had my gps but it wasn't in my pocket - left it in my other coat pocket. I was royally p.o.'d with myself because I wanted to do about 5 caches over about 5 kilometers of trail. I tend to dawdle so I expected it would take about an hour and a half. I knew it was going to be dicey when it came to battery life on my phone, especially because I like to take photos and write field notes. So to use the GPS on the cell phone too was going to chew up batteries. Also, this area was quite woodsy, smartphones aren't as good in forests.

 

I prefer my GPS for accuracy in the woods, battery life, and ruggedness. I prefer my cell phone for the camera (I like taking photos of the caches to remember them), the ability to check the app for more logs if I need them, and I can check for nearby caches that aren't in the GPS. The best choice for me is to have both a smartphone and a GPS.

 

I'm guessing that those people who do everything on their smartphone, do more urban caching then hiking to caches in more natural or rugged environments.

 

When it comes to writing up my comments, I prefer a computer. Gives me time to think about the experience and it's easier to fix all of my typos.

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I have a relatively basic GPS (Garmin Legend HCx) and an iPhone with the official app.

 

I primarily use the web site for planning and logging caches, and the Garmin (via PQs and GSAK) for finding them. I use the iPhone to get cache details in the field (as the Garmin is limited as far as "paperless" goes). I will also use the iPhone to find "spur of the moment" caches when I am someplace without my GPSr.

 

Main advantages I see for the web site are: Better maps (especially with a plug-in which offers more detailed maps here in the UK), and easier to type logs. Main advantage of using the GPS is accuracy and battery life. The iPhone 4S isn't bad, but I find I do better with the GPS.

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While accuracy may have been an issue with older models it is getting better and a good phone is as good as (if not better than) a cheap dedicated receiver. Enough of the phone cacher bashing. Seriously. It's old. Play the game your way and let us pay it ours.

 

It's been old for 4 years. I imagine it must be old to keep saying it.

I used to take offense back when I had my 3GS. Today, when someone bashes me for using an iphone, I laugh, roll my eyes, and know better.

 

We are strictly website/GPS users, though there have been a few times when a cache was just outside of our pocket query and we briefly considered downloding an app. I, too, prefer the screen size of my laptop and a full keyboard for typing long logs. Also, we have a few bookmark lists and we upload tons of pictures.

 

I can understand how the app could be useful for casual cachers, but it takes less than five minutes for me to create a 1000-cache pocket query of the area I'm visiting and dump it in my GPS. We have a Magellan Explorist GC and it holds 10,000 waypoints so we never worry about space. And because we enjoy get-your-hands/shoes/butt-dirty caching, I'd rather use my more durable Magellan for the task.

 

Plus, I like to stalk other cacher's profiles and I doubt the app will let you do that ;)

 

I wish I could stalk other peoples profile,,,I mean, contact other cachers from my app. That time will come. I use geowatch to watch my friends logs and finds.

I have my bookmark lists set up and my PQs are on auto generate. I only crack open my PQ list when traveling. And when I need to, it takes about 30 seconds to run one. I remember heading off to Rainier and noticing the internet signal dying. I pulled over, ran a quick query for the area, it downloaded instantly to my iPhone, and back to the mountain I went.

 

I, at one point in time had thousands of caches on my iPhone. Close to 20000. In addition to the many more I can find on the fly.

Moun10bike called me a 'heavy user" at one time and it made me smile.

 

I'd like to think I'm a bit more than a casual cacher. Just a bit. In fact, I know I am.

 

And I have no problems getting dirty or wet or muddy or injured while geocaching! Just last week, on my last cache, I slipped and fell into a huge pile of muck. It was disgusting. I thought I broke my arm initially as I couldn't move it for 10 mins or so. I was covered in mud. Huge bruises on my arm and leg.

 

Gold iPhone? Just fine. I wiped the mud off the screen, and found the micro cache. In the forest. With a dead arm! Somehow, I managed to make the find. Did I mention it was a puzzle I had solved on my iPhone while at Starbucks?

 

I use the microphone button to compose my logs, and send them or pend them via field notes. If they are longer, I'll finish them off with my iPad. Usually I'll finish up my logs when I'm eating lunch, or on the top of the mountain chilling out.

I prefer to use a gps because it has the better functionality. Plus at least the compass is working properly <_<

 

Funny, my compass works just fine too! It's an awesome miracle!

 

I beg to differ on the better functionality though. I have an app that can do just about anything I need it to do. Granted, my Garmin is pretty basic, but who needs more when my iPhone is superior? My garmin has better topo maps (although I do have a fantastic topo map app on my phone).

 

But what my Garmin really has that my iPhone doesn't is NWTrails. If I could get my hands on those for the iPhone......holy smokes! I'd be in heaven. Then the Garmin will stay off in the bag when I solo hike.

 

Why would anyone bash you for using a Smartphone? I think that I have detailed my issues with phone caching in the other thread, but in a nutshell, I think it isolates new users and allows them to develop bad habits from the simple fact that they don't know any better. You are obviously an experienced cacher that has learned how to use your phone to your full advantage. You should be holding Phone app 101 presentations at your local events.

 

One thing though, don't people go up on Mt. Rainier, get lost and die? I think that even if I had mastered my iPhone, I'd keep the Garmin and a bunch of batteries on hand, just in case. I really wish I could justify the expense for a smartphone because I have a feeling that I would be able to figure out how to use it as you do. Even so, I think I would want my dedicated GPS when on the trail.

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Like others have said, I have used some version of a smartphone app 90% ever since I got my first smartphone. First one was in 2011, but I had an iPod Touch that could act as a paperless option for descriptions, etc. I still use my Legend Cx and Vista HCx when hiding caches because I feel more confident in my coordinates, and the averaging function is a pretty sweet deal when tree cover is a concern.

 

But, when it comes to researching, etc, I use the website. Period. I don't stare at my little smartphone screen when I can be on my desktop or laptop. If I'm out running errands, or I take a drive somewhere and I haven't done research, there isn't a replacement for a data signal and my iPhone's GPS when it comes to finding a cache. Live map, full descriptions, etc are all at my fingertips, and I don't have to pre-load them like on my GPS. I mean come on, my laptop or desktop aren't going to find a cache in the field...but a GPSr, smartphone or wireless networked tablet will. They are tools, and the site is where the game happens.

 

There is no replacement, IMO, for the full site viewed on a real screen. Even a tablet is better than my smartphone when it comes to that. But we're talking about hunting caches, right? The OP from Toz is really about apples and oranges.

 

In addition, there is no replacement for experience. I think most who have chimed in so far are pretty familiar with the knowledge books and guidelines. If we want to shift focus to new cachers who stumble upon the game via their app store and vague word of mouth, then there is no replacement for the time necessary to learn about the game. And the apps don't do that.

 

So, tool? Phone is great.

Data/information/rulebook? You need the website.

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I beg to differ on the better functionality though. I have an app that can do just about anything I need it to do. Granted, my Garmin is pretty basic, but who needs more when my iPhone is superior? My garmin has better topo maps (although I do have a fantastic topo map app on my phone).

 

But what my Garmin really has that my iPhone doesn't is NWTrails. If I could get my hands on those for the iPhone......holy smokes! I'd be in heaven. Then the Garmin will stay off in the bag when I solo hike.

 

I also have an iPhone but I'll never get rid of my Garmin. Another thing that the iPhone has is a monthly data plan, and more importantly for me is that there are very high data roaming charges while traveling abroad. Yes, one can preload PQs into the iPhone and use up a lot of memory with map tiles, but if you use any app that requires a data connection it''s going to get real expensive. I've already got maps for areas in Oslo, Copenhagen, and Hamburg loaded onto a micro-SD card and will generate the PQs for caches in those areas near the end of the week, and will have everything I need on my garmin for some some geocaching in three countries next week.

 

 

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I use the app for FINDING the cache, which is what it is for. I use the website for pretty much everything else...research, planning, looking up stats, reading cache pages. \

 

Logging the cache is different. I'd say about 80 to 90 percent of the time I use AN app for it. The small screen and keyboard are not ideal for longer logs, however, so I often will put in a short log and later go back in via the website and fix any grammatical or spelling errors or go into greater detail about the find.

 

What I DO wish for is a mobile-friendly version of the website. On a phone, the site as it is is just a huge pain in the neck to navigate...all that zooming in and out is not fun.

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...Logging the cache is different. I'd say about 80 to 90 percent of the time I use AN app for it. The small screen and keyboard are not ideal for longer logs, however, so I often will put in a short log and later go back in via the website and fix any grammatical or spelling errors or go into greater detail about the find. ...

Have you tried using the dictation function of your smartphone? (The microphone icon beside the space bar on an iPhone.) For example, using the GC app I can add a very detailed log without having to use the small keyboard. I generally do this while walking back to my car from the cache. It is surprisingly accurate and very fast. You can even move the cursor anywhere you want and insert more dictation if you wish.

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The app is still not fully functional.

 

I'd like it to:

 

Add more than one pic a time

Be able to contact other cachers

See the find count next to the logs

Auto populate the map

 

And most importantly... ***Not use the GPS constantly. ***

 

 

That's what the full version of the Geocaching app is for. There's a reason the INTRO app is limited in functionality.

 

If you don't use your GPS constantly, how would it know where you are at any given point in time?

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I am pretty much exclusively a website/GPSr user. I like using the website map to identify areas I may want to go caching, and then create pocket queries for that area (or along a route if I'll be traveling far). I'm good about loading up the GPSr prior to going out, and I almost always have a PQ in there of my "home areas" for general day-to-day/spontaneous caching. I have decent maps in my GPS unit so there's usually no issue with navigating, and I appreciate the accuracy I get, especially in forested areas.

 

I do have a geocaching app on my phone (not the official Groundspeak app), but the only times I'll break it out are when I'm having a tough time finding the cache and I want to read more than the last 5 logs, or if I'm caught without my GPSr and suddenly have a little free time where I might be able to find a cache (e.g., at an off-site meeting for work). My phone works fine for caching in open areas (I have a Galaxy S3), but I don't like how quickly it drains my phone's batteries, and since I'm more of a hiking-geocacher, I often don't have reception enough to load the caches anyway (unless I've stored them ahead of time). I never log caches with my phone - I greatly prefer coming home, reflecting on the entire day's adventures, and then writing up my logs.

 

I'd estimate that I use my phone while geocaching maybe one day per month (and I cache probably 10-12 days per month), and almost always in conjunction with my GPSr.

Edited by redwoodkestrel
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While accuracy may have been an issue with older models it is getting better and a good phone is as good as (if not better than) a cheap dedicated receiver. Enough of the phone cacher bashing. Seriously. It's old. Play the game your way and let us pay it ours.

 

It's been old for 4 years. I imagine it must be old to keep saying it.

I used to take offense back when I had my 3GS. Today, when someone bashes me for using an iphone, I laugh, roll my eyes, and know better.

 

We are strictly website/GPS users, though there have been a few times when a cache was just outside of our pocket query and we briefly considered downloding an app. I, too, prefer the screen size of my laptop and a full keyboard for typing long logs. Also, we have a few bookmark lists and we upload tons of pictures.

 

I can understand how the app could be useful for casual cachers, but it takes less than five minutes for me to create a 1000-cache pocket query of the area I'm visiting and dump it in my GPS. We have a Magellan Explorist GC and it holds 10,000 waypoints so we never worry about space. And because we enjoy get-your-hands/shoes/butt-dirty caching, I'd rather use my more durable Magellan for the task.

 

Plus, I like to stalk other cacher's profiles and I doubt the app will let you do that ;)

 

I wish I could stalk other peoples profile,,,I mean, contact other cachers from my app. That time will come. I use geowatch to watch my friends logs and finds.

I have my bookmark lists set up and my PQs are on auto generate. I only crack open my PQ list when traveling. And when I need to, it takes about 30 seconds to run one. I remember heading off to Rainier and noticing the internet signal dying. I pulled over, ran a quick query for the area, it downloaded instantly to my iPhone, and back to the mountain I went.

 

I, at one point in time had thousands of caches on my iPhone. Close to 20000. In addition to the many more I can find on the fly.

Moun10bike called me a 'heavy user" at one time and it made me smile.

 

I'd like to think I'm a bit more than a casual cacher. Just a bit. In fact, I know I am.

 

And I have no problems getting dirty or wet or muddy or injured while geocaching! Just last week, on my last cache, I slipped and fell into a huge pile of muck. It was disgusting. I thought I broke my arm initially as I couldn't move it for 10 mins or so. I was covered in mud. Huge bruises on my arm and leg.

 

Gold iPhone? Just fine. I wiped the mud off the screen, and found the micro cache. In the forest. With a dead arm! Somehow, I managed to make the find. Did I mention it was a puzzle I had solved on my iPhone while at Starbucks?

 

I use the microphone button to compose my logs, and send them or pend them via field notes. If they are longer, I'll finish them off with my iPad. Usually I'll finish up my logs when I'm eating lunch, or on the top of the mountain chilling out.

I prefer to use a gps because it has the better functionality. Plus at least the compass is working properly <_<

 

Funny, my compass works just fine too! It's an awesome miracle!

 

I beg to differ on the better functionality though. I have an app that can do just about anything I need it to do. Granted, my Garmin is pretty basic, but who needs more when my iPhone is superior? My garmin has better topo maps (although I do have a fantastic topo map app on my phone).

 

But what my Garmin really has that my iPhone doesn't is NWTrails. If I could get my hands on those for the iPhone......holy smokes! I'd be in heaven. Then the Garmin will stay off in the bag when I solo hike.

 

Why would anyone bash you for using a Smartphone? I think that I have detailed my issues with phone caching in the other thread, but in a nutshell, I think it isolates new users and allows them to develop bad habits from the simple fact that they don't know any better. You are obviously an experienced cacher that has learned how to use your phone to your full advantage. You should be holding Phone app 101 presentations at your local events.

 

One thing though, don't people go up on Mt. Rainier, get lost and die? I think that even if I had mastered my iPhone, I'd keep the Garmin and a bunch of batteries on hand, just in case. I really wish I could justify the expense for a smartphone because I have a feeling that I would be able to figure out how to use it as you do. Even so, I think I would want my dedicated GPS when on the trail.

 

It's general bashing (figuratively speaking of course. Haven't actually had anyone lay into me for caching with my phone..... Yet ;) ). I've only been coming to the forum for a few months and one of the first things I came across many, many statements proclaiming that caching with a phone was an evil thing and if it were allowed to continue then hell would rain down on us all.

 

Ok so that's a bit broad but so are the comments made at times.

 

New people are not going to kill the hobby, those not using a dedicated GPS are not going to bring an end to the world (apologies to the purists but the truth hurts sometimes).

 

I've got 2 GPS receivers, one is about 7 years old and while a good machine came with a dicky cable so was always difficult to charge. The other is probably good for Bush walking but not great for the precision required to find a bod vial in an open paddock. On top of that is the controls that only seem to make sense after a week straight of fiddling. I think that a dedicated GPS is a powerful thing but for 98% off the caching I do the phone is a hell of a lot simpler and more than adequate for the job.

 

Oh I realise things are probably different over there with data rates and such but if I NEED something off the website I fire up chrome and get what I need, Need data for the app so can use internet.

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The app is still not fully functional.

 

I'd like it to:

 

Add more than one pic a time

Be able to contact other cachers

See the find count next to the logs

Auto populate the map

 

And most importantly... ***Not use the GPS constantly. ***

 

 

That's what the full version of the Geocaching app is for. There's a reason the INTRO app is limited in functionality.

 

If you don't use your GPS constantly, how would it know where you are at any given point in time?

 

We are not discussing the INTRO app here. That's a different thread. It's more than obvious that JesandTodd are using the full app and would like to see these features added to it.

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The app is still not fully functional.

 

I'd like it to:

 

Add more than one pic a time

Be able to contact other cachers

See the find count next to the logs

Auto populate the map

 

And most importantly... ***Not use the GPS constantly. ***

 

 

That's what the full version of the Geocaching app is for. There's a reason the INTRO app is limited in functionality.

 

If you don't use your GPS constantly, how would it know where you are at any given point in time?

 

We are not discussing the INTRO app here. That's a different thread. It's more than obvious that JesandTodd are using the full app and would like to see these features added to it.

 

In that case, I'd be happy if it wouldn't crash when navigating to a cache more than a mile away. The rest of the features are available in Geosphere, which is far superior to the official GC app.

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In another topic the discussion started with speculation that in the past new users would browse the website, including the getting started pages and perhaps even visiting the forum to get answers to questions; while the Intro App users simply download the app and go geocaching without having read anything or taking the time to ask.

 

There are some who want the Intro App to direct people to the website to read and find out more about geocaching (perhaps before letting them find caches).

 

When I expressed an opinion that some people may see a website as a bit old fashioned and prefer to get all their information through a smartphone app, it appeared to touch a nerve. The old guys, like me and even some younger than me, can't understand why someone prefers to use the app over the website especially to learn more about geocaching. My guess is that some other people would find it strange that anyone would use the website when the app has all the capability you need.

 

Rather than debate whether the Intro App contributes to bad geocaching habits, I'm a bit more interested on what people think the future of technology is. Is the web really better than an App for certain things? If one is better would you - either as a web user or an app user - move to the other for that task - or would you stick with one way to get information.

 

I know many people find geocaches with the App, but still like to use the website to set up Pocket Queries or review their statistics. Some find using a phone app in rugged terrain with a weak signal unsatisfying, and will switch to a dedicated handheld GPS in this case.

 

Which ways do you cache and why?

 

I was originally going to start this in off topic - with a more general question on how people adopt new technology and whether we stick with old technology because it is still better than the new technology for certain things, or because we are just more comfortable sticking with the old technology. It is clear that there is enough to discuss just talking about geocaching to warrant a topic here. However, I'm still curious about the general view of new technology vs. old.

 

I did not take the time to read through all the post to this point. However, I find myself about evenly split between the website and the caching app(s) I use. Here is how I do it... I look at the caches from the webpage before going into an area to see what one(s) I want to look for, then I look through the logs for some clues and to judge if it may or may not be there. Once I have boots on ground, I fire up the app and GPS function on my phone... search for the cache, then make a quick log from the phone. Now once I get back to a comp, if I have anything to add to the log, I go back to the website and update the log (cache or trackable).

 

I can see most of the younger generation relying on the app more than the website, but since I have been using my phone, I have been wanting to get a dedicated hand held GPS unit for some of the caches that are in areas that have a thicker canopy or are in a more remote location, and if I get to travel to another country, I wont be able to use my phone.

 

I personally do not see the website going away completely, I think it will still be there, in a way it has to be to some capacity. The website is a collection of data that we see in a web browser. I see the app as an extension of the website kinda like another browser that is specific to that sites data. That being said the app is just a program that people use to geocache. Bad caching habits are formed not because of the app, but because people in general are too lazy to take the time to fully research the rules of the game and its etiquette. Then when some things are unclear or they dont ask, they do what they think, see they can get away with it, and the bad habit spiral starts.

 

Trying to stay on topic, as I said earlier, I use about a 60/40 (web/app) ratio. I rely on the web for most everything, then when I am in the field I use the app. If I am solving a puzzle, multi, or like cache, I will print off the site, the info I need from the cache page to take with me. Once there, if I am having trouble, I will check the cache listing in the app to read logs, check the clue (if given) etc.

 

The app itself is a good door to the geocaching site to view cache listings, however, there is a ton more info that can not be accessed from the app that can only be found on groundspeaks actual websites, like the rules and regulations, the forums, and the geocaching store to name a few. Yes, you can access the internet from a smartphone, but in most cases the words are small and difficult to read at times, so rather than make them bigger and scrolling left and right repeatedly, it is easier to forget it, I'll figure it out later. I know the one resource I would have loved to have when I first started would have been a caching mentor, a live human with more experience to guide me and teach me some tricks. I have had to figure it all out on my own so far and have spent countless hours on the websites looking up info, asking questions, emailing for hints, etc. Maybe I am a little "old fashioned" myself, but I believe that the only stupid question you can ask is the one you don't.

 

So in conclusion, the website or app for me is a combo of both. I do not thing the website is old fashioned the least, it is an invaluable tool to aiding in finding a cache. The app in my opinion does not have all the capability you need, that is the job of the website. The app has some of the capability you need, but not all. I cache for now solely with a smartphone since mine was build with the rugged outdoors in mind and a slightly better GPS function than most phones. I use it because it is all I have right now. I like to use a combo of the site and apps that I have, the app more for field use than my only way to cache and log.

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Why would anyone bash you for using a Smartphone? I think that I have detailed my issues with phone caching in the other thread, but in a nutshell, I think it isolates new users and allows them to develop bad habits from the simple fact that they don't know any better. You are obviously an experienced cacher that has learned how to use your phone to your full advantage. You should be holding Phone app 101 presentations at your local events.

 

One thing though, don't people go up on Mt. Rainier, get lost and die? I think that even if I had mastered my iPhone, I'd keep the Garmin and a bunch of batteries on hand, just in case. I really wish I could justify the expense for a smartphone because I have a feeling that I would be able to figure out how to use it as you do. Even so, I think I would want my dedicated GPS when on the trail.

 

The bashing has improved over time. Back in the day, I was told I'd never be capable of finding a micro at the end of a sidewalk with my iPhone, and that I would never be considered a real cacher, or hiker!

 

(Btw,,.I'm no fool. I have a Garmin that I keep on. I always check the batts before if head out, have two sets of back up. Map and compass. I have a mophie juice pack for the iPhone and 3 sets of external batts. All the extra batts can fit in my pocket, but are in my bag)

 

 

I also have an iPhone but I'll never get rid of my Garmin. Another thing that the iPhone has is a monthly data plan, and more importantly for me is that there are very high data roaming charges while traveling abroad. Yes, one can preload PQs into the iPhone and use up a lot of memory with map tiles, but if you use any app that requires a data connection it''s going to get real expensive. I've already got maps for areas in Oslo, Copenhagen, and Hamburg loaded onto a micro-SD card and will generate the PQs for caches in those areas near the end of the week, and will have everything I need on my garmin for some some geocaching in three countries next week.

 

True that!! I found that out when I dipped into Canada for the first time. I just made a slew of PQs and upgraded my International data plan for that month. But I used the data more to help me find restaurants and such and not geocaching.

 

 

The app is still not fully functional.

 

I'd like it to:

 

Add more than one pic a time

Be able to contact other cachers

See the find count next to the logs

Auto populate the map

 

And most importantly... ***Not use the GPS constantly. ***

 

 

That's what the full version of the Geocaching app is for. There's a reason the INTRO app is limited in functionality.

 

If you don't use your GPS constantly, how would it know where you are at any given point in time?

 

I don't need my GPS on when I'm reading descriptions, attributes, hints, looking at logs, reviewing photos, etc.

 

I *am* talking about the full app

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Why would anyone bash you for using a Smartphone? I think that I have detailed my issues with phone caching in the other thread, but in a nutshell, I think it isolates new users and allows them to develop bad habits from the simple fact that they don't know any better. You are obviously an experienced cacher that has learned how to use your phone to your full advantage. You should be holding Phone app 101 presentations at your local events.

 

One thing though, don't people go up on Mt. Rainier, get lost and die? I think that even if I had mastered my iPhone, I'd keep the Garmin and a bunch of batteries on hand, just in case. I really wish I could justify the expense for a smartphone because I have a feeling that I would be able to figure out how to use it as you do. Even so, I think I would want my dedicated GPS when on the trail.

 

The bashing has improved over time. Back in the day, I was told I'd never be capable of finding a micro at the end of a sidewalk with my iPhone, and that I would never be considered a real cacher, or hiker!

 

(Btw,,.I'm no fool. I have a Garmin that I keep on. I always check the batts before if head out, have two sets of back up. Map and compass. I have a mophie juice pack for the iPhone and 3 sets of external batts. All the extra batts can fit in my pocket, but are in my bag)

 

 

I also have an iPhone but I'll never get rid of my Garmin. Another thing that the iPhone has is a monthly data plan, and more importantly for me is that there are very high data roaming charges while traveling abroad. Yes, one can preload PQs into the iPhone and use up a lot of memory with map tiles, but if you use any app that requires a data connection it''s going to get real expensive. I've already got maps for areas in Oslo, Copenhagen, and Hamburg loaded onto a micro-SD card and will generate the PQs for caches in those areas near the end of the week, and will have everything I need on my garmin for some some geocaching in three countries next week.

 

True that!! I found that out when I dipped into Canada for the first time. I just made a slew of PQs and upgraded my International data plan for that month. But I used the data more to help me find restaurants and such and not geocaching.

 

 

The app is still not fully functional.

 

I'd like it to:

 

Add more than one pic a time

Be able to contact other cachers

See the find count next to the logs

Auto populate the map

 

And most importantly... ***Not use the GPS constantly. ***

 

 

That's what the full version of the Geocaching app is for. There's a reason the INTRO app is limited in functionality.

 

If you don't use your GPS constantly, how would it know where you are at any given point in time?

 

I don't need my GPS on when I'm reading descriptions, attributes, hints, looking at logs, reviewing photos, etc.

 

I *am* talking about the full app

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I don't need my GPS on when I'm reading descriptions, attributes, hints, looking at logs, reviewing photos, etc.

 

Which is one of the reasons I use an iphone app that allows me to turn off the gpsr. Since I use the app similar to the ways that many use GSAK, I should probably use that feature more.

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The app is still not fully functional.

 

I'd like it to:

 

Add more than one pic a time

Be able to contact other cachers

See the find count next to the logs

Auto populate the map

 

And most importantly... ***Not use the GPS constantly. ***

 

 

That's what the full version of the Geocaching app is for. There's a reason the INTRO app is limited in functionality.

 

If you don't use your GPS constantly, how would it know where you are at any given point in time?

 

We are not discussing the INTRO app here. That's a different thread. It's more than obvious that JesandTodd are using the full app and would like to see these features added to it.

 

In that case, I'd be happy if it wouldn't crash when navigating to a cache more than a mile away. The rest of the features are available in Geosphere, which is far superior to the official GC app.

 

Are you intentionally trying to take this thread off topic? If you have a Bug Report there are other parts of the forum to report this. If you have the time, perhaps you might want to tell us what online tools you use to find geocaches, and why.

 

With respect to the the actual moderators and the OP, I'll now remove my Junior moderator cap.

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I know the one resource I would have loved to have when I first started would have been a caching mentor, a live human with more experience to guide me and teach me some tricks. .

 

It's probably a little unfair to reduce a well written post down to a single sentence, but this really stood out to me. I think that this points out the the general degradation of the the online log. When I started geocaching in May of '05, it was the logs on my local caches that was my mentor. Through those logs I gained a perspective on how the game was played as well as the community that was playing in my area.

 

Looking back, I think that my self introduction to Geocaching was a perfect storm. While deciding if I wanted to buy the GPS reader at Walmart which was on sale for half price, I went to the web site, created an account and looked up the closest cache. It was named "Rarely Roaring Rio" and was a micro cache located next to one of Los Angeles' many concrete flood control channels. I happened to live about a mile south and directly next to the same channel which is properly known as Brown's Creek or Brown's Wash. The very fact that the cache owner took such a nondescript spot and gave it such an interesting, yet accurate name made me instantly intrigued. Reading the logs brought me a sense of community as cachers were referring to each other and their exploits in trying to find what turned out to be a difficult cache. On top of that, there were two caches up on the hiking trails two miles west of me in an area that I had been hiking in since I was a pre-teen. Researching all of this and reading all of the logs, I knew that I was going to be a geocacher before I even bought that GPS the next day at Walmart and then DNF'ed Rarely Roaring Rio. I then went up to those hiking trails and found my fist cache, which I posted a Happy Ten Year Birthday note to a couple of months ago.

 

I have very fond memories of all of this, and I think that it has made me a better geocacher and has given me more respect for the game as a whole. You and several others have described how you discovered the game through the app, but realized that there was more to it and looked at the web site to see what it is really all about. I feel that in a way the app is cheating those that don't have the intuitiveness to realize that there is more than then selecting the next cache on the screen, finding it, and then posting the generic template as a log.

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The app is still not fully functional.

 

I'd like it to:

 

Add more than one pic a time

Be able to contact other cachers

See the find count next to the logs

Auto populate the map

 

And most importantly... ***Not use the GPS constantly. ***

 

 

That's what the full version of the Geocaching app is for. There's a reason the INTRO app is limited in functionality.

 

If you don't use your GPS constantly, how would it know where you are at any given point in time?

 

We are not discussing the INTRO app here. That's a different thread. It's more than obvious that JesandTodd are using the full app and would like to see these features added to it.

 

In that case, I'd be happy if it wouldn't crash when navigating to a cache more than a mile away. The rest of the features are available in Geosphere, which is far superior to the official GC app.

 

Are you intentionally trying to take this thread off topic? If you have a Bug Report there are other parts of the forum to report this. If you have the time, perhaps you might want to tell us what online tools you use to find geocaches, and why.

 

With respect to the the actual moderators and the OP, I'll now remove my Junior moderator cap.

 

The title asks for tools that we are the most comfortable with.

 

- Official GC app. I use it in a pinch, but it tends to crash sometimes. I use it only when I don't have my GPSr with me, which is extremely rare since I go caching every day. I also use it to post a FTF note on newly published caches so other finders know that it has been found.

- Geosphere for iPhone. It allows me to load my PQ's so I am not constantly querying the area than I am in. It has many more benefits over the official app than I can list here.

- GSAK. It is indispensable for many, many reasons.

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The title asks for tools that we are the most comfortable with.

 

- Official GC app. I use it in a pinch, but it tends to crash sometimes. I use it only when I don't have my GPSr with me, which is extremely rare since I go caching every day. I also use it to post a FTF note on newly published caches so other finders know that it has been found.

- Geosphere for iPhone. It allows me to load my PQ's so I am not constantly querying the area than I am in. It has many more benefits over the official app than I can list here.

- GSAK. It is indispensable for many, many reasons.

You know that you can load a PQ to your Official app, right? You're not limited to the map view or nearby search.

 

And that's another cool thing I like about the app is that it gave me a full paperless experience without having to upgrade my eTrex Legend Cx. I suddenly had the use of the Palm Pilots I wished I had when I started caching. When I requested that Groundspeak consider a paperless app for iPod Touch, I never imagined that there was about to be a GPS-enabled phone that would have a program replacing the website and GPS option.

 

So perhaps that's the "best tool" for me, and certainly the one I'm most comfortable with: The website. There are more tools available to me (apps), but nothing makes me feel more comfortable about my caching experience over the website. I create my PQs, set them to run, download it to my computer and my Official App while at home on my Wifi, and I'm good to go. Both my phone and GPSr have the caches I want at my disposal. But I couldn't get that done without the website.

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The title asks for tools that we are the most comfortable with.

 

- Official GC app. I use it in a pinch, but it tends to crash sometimes. I use it only when I don't have my GPSr with me, which is extremely rare since I go caching every day. I also use it to post a FTF note on newly published caches so other finders know that it has been found.

- Geosphere for iPhone. It allows me to load my PQ's so I am not constantly querying the area than I am in. It has many more benefits over the official app than I can list here.

- GSAK. It is indispensable for many, many reasons.

You know that you can load a PQ to your Official app, right? You're not limited to the map view or nearby search.

 

 

Yes, I do know that, but it doesn't work as smoothly as it does with Geosphere, which has its own database(s). I use my GPSr, with caches pushed onto it from GSAK, as my main finding tool. As I find caches out in the field, I mark them as Found in Geosphere, which allows me to reference it again once I get home and am logging my caches. Plus, it's way easier to type any field notes on my iPhone than it is on my Montana.

 

When I'm driving around caching, my iPhone is docked in my car on the center console, so I have a constant view of any upcoming caches onscreen as I'm driving. The maps on my Montana are good, but not nearly as good as the maps on my iPhone.

 

If I could add one feature to both the official app and Geosphere, it would be routing. The best you get is a straight line to GZ. But, my Montana has routing so it's not the end of the world.

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- Geosphere for iPhone. It allows me to load my PQ's so I am not constantly querying the area than I am in. It has many more benefits over the official

You know that you can load a PQ to your Official app, right? You're not limited to the map view or nearby search.

Yes, I do know that, but it doesn't work as smoothly as it does with Geosphere, which has its own database(s).

Ok, just making sure. Based on your rationale for using Geosphere in the first quote, I thought that you were thinking that you can only PQ from the area you are in.

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- Geosphere for iPhone. It allows me to load my PQ's so I am not constantly querying the area than I am in. It has many more benefits over the official

You know that you can load a PQ to your Official app, right? You're not limited to the map view or nearby search.

Yes, I do know that, but it doesn't work as smoothly as it does with Geosphere, which has its own database(s).

Ok, just making sure. Based on your rationale for using Geosphere in the first quote, I thought that you were thinking that you can only PQ from the area you are in.

 

No worries, and you're right, the official app can use PQ's but Geosphere offers MANY more features that I have gotten used to over the past few years since it came out. The official app has gotten better, too.

 

Heck, when I first started geocaching in 2010, that's all I had. I didn't buy a dedicated GPSr until late 2011.

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I know the one resource I would have loved to have when I first started would have been a caching mentor, a live human with more experience to guide me and teach me some tricks. .

 

It's probably a little unfair to reduce a well written post down to a single sentence, but this really stood out to me. I think that this points out the the general degradation of the the online log..........and has given me more respect for the game as a whole. You and several others have described how you discovered the game through the app, but realized that there was more to it and looked at the web site to see what it is really all about. I feel that in a way the app is cheating those that don't have the intuitiveness to realize that there is more than then selecting the next cache on the screen, finding it, and then posting the generic template as a log.

 

Thank you for the kind words about my post... I realize after reading it, it can seem like I am all over the place...

 

Like you, its unfair to snip a well written post, yet this is the parts that spoke to me more... I actually signed up for my account though the website before getting the app, then through my app store I researched several apps to find the best free one to give caching a try. After about my 2nd or 3rd find, I purchased my go to caching app. There are several drawbacks to the app that I have found over time, but till I can get a real GPSr, it will do. I do mostly rely on the website over the app most of the time.

 

I like the way you put it, intuitiveness, much better way to say it than to call it laziness. I am a child of the 80's and 90's, I grew up in that blended era right as cell phones had just come out, so I still cling to the "old" ways and know their value. Some times the easier way is not always the better way of doing things, yet that is the way we are heading. And besides, the best tool I use that I am the most comfortable with, since that was the question asked at the beginning, is my brain, the only super computer that I can take with me that can get me both into and out of trouble. There is no tool better for a geocacher than a well sharpened mind.

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If I could add one feature to both the official app and Geosphere, it would be routing. The best you get is a straight line to GZ. But, my Montana has routing so it's not the end of the world.

 

I've often seen this feature request, and it may sound like a good idea but it's really not practical. A route is nothing more than a sequence of waypoints that are placed along a "linear" feature. A curvy road is represented as just a bunch of short lines. Typically that feature is a road, and a "routable" map is a collection of "routes". In order for a GPS to route to a cache, that cache would have to be on, or very near an existing route. If most of your geocaching involves finding caches very close to roads then routing might be useful. If, however, you want to find caches that are 1/4 mile down a trail, or basically any location that isn't on a route it's not especially useful. What routing is most likely going to is direct you to the nearest waypoint on the route, when the best way to access the cache may be at a trailhead further away. There is also the possibility that it will direct you to a location that puts you on the opposite side of private property from the cache.

 

 

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If I could add one feature to both the official app and Geosphere, it would be routing. The best you get is a straight line to GZ. But, my Montana has routing so it's not the end of the world.

 

I've often seen this feature request, and it may sound like a good idea but it's really not practical. A route is nothing more than a sequence of waypoints that are placed along a "linear" feature. A curvy road is represented as just a bunch of short lines. Typically that feature is a road, and a "routable" map is a collection of "routes". In order for a GPS to route to a cache, that cache would have to be on, or very near an existing route. If most of your geocaching involves finding caches very close to roads then routing might be useful. If, however, you want to find caches that are 1/4 mile down a trail, or basically any location that isn't on a route it's not especially useful. What routing is most likely going to is direct you to the nearest waypoint on the route, when the best way to access the cache may be at a trailhead further away. There is also the possibility that it will direct you to a location that puts you on the opposite side of private property from the cache.

Once could always copy/paste the coordinates into the mapping/navigation app on your phone and get turn-by-turn.

 

I'm glad that I have my GPS, and googlemaps on my laptop to plan and execute my trips, that's for sure.

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If I could add one feature to both the official app and Geosphere, it would be routing. The best you get is a straight line to GZ. But, my Montana has routing so it's not the end of the world.

 

I've often seen this feature request, and it may sound like a good idea but it's really not practical. A route is nothing more than a sequence of waypoints that are placed along a "linear" feature. A curvy road is represented as just a bunch of short lines. Typically that feature is a road, and a "routable" map is a collection of "routes". In order for a GPS to route to a cache, that cache would have to be on, or very near an existing route. If most of your geocaching involves finding caches very close to roads then routing might be useful. If, however, you want to find caches that are 1/4 mile down a trail, or basically any location that isn't on a route it's not especially useful. What routing is most likely going to is direct you to the nearest waypoint on the route, when the best way to access the cache may be at a trailhead further away. There is also the possibility that it will direct you to a location that puts you on the opposite side of private property from the cache.

Once could always copy/paste the coordinates into the mapping/navigation app on your phone and get turn-by-turn.

 

I'm glad that I have my GPS, and googlemaps on my laptop to plan and execute my trips, that's for sure.

 

You're only going to get turn-by-turn directions to the cache if the cache is on a route. Routes are generally limited to roads, though sites like Open Street Maps have created routes that include trails and bike paths. If the cache isn't on or very close to a route, turn-by-turn directions are only going to take you to some point on a route, which could still be a long ways from ground zero. For caches that might be 2 miles or more up a trail, unless that trail exists on the map as a route, turn-by-turn directions are essentially useless.

 

 

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If I could add one feature to both the official app and Geosphere, it would be routing. The best you get is a straight line to GZ. But, my Montana has routing so it's not the end of the world.

 

I've often seen this feature request, and it may sound like a good idea but it's really not practical. A route is nothing more than a sequence of waypoints that are placed along a "linear" feature. A curvy road is represented as just a bunch of short lines. Typically that feature is a road, and a "routable" map is a collection of "routes". In order for a GPS to route to a cache, that cache would have to be on, or very near an existing route. If most of your geocaching involves finding caches very close to roads then routing might be useful. If, however, you want to find caches that are 1/4 mile down a trail, or basically any location that isn't on a route it's not especially useful. What routing is most likely going to is direct you to the nearest waypoint on the route, when the best way to access the cache may be at a trailhead further away. There is also the possibility that it will direct you to a location that puts you on the opposite side of private property from the cache.

Once could always copy/paste the coordinates into the mapping/navigation app on your phone and get turn-by-turn.

 

I'm glad that I have my GPS, and googlemaps on my laptop to plan and execute my trips, that's for sure.

 

You're only going to get turn-by-turn directions to the cache if the cache is on a route. Routes are generally limited to roads, though sites like Open Street Maps have created routes that include trails and bike paths. If the cache isn't on or very close to a route, turn-by-turn directions are only going to take you to some point on a route, which could still be a long ways from ground zero. For caches that might be 2 miles or more up a trail, unless that trail exists on the map as a route, turn-by-turn directions are essentially useless.

Whether or not turn-by-turn directions to a particular caches is useful or not may depend on the type of caches your are looking for. I know lots of urban geocachers who will plot an entire route from cache to cache for a day's outing - and would probably love it if the app could give voice directions as they are driving to keep them on route.

 

The point that some app users would like this built-in underscores whats been said here already. Even if there are other existing - and perhaps better - tools, having a single app that has all these features where you can seamlessly switch to another function when needed is the consummate goal.

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If I could add one feature to both the official app and Geosphere, it would be routing. The best you get is a straight line to GZ. But, my Montana has routing so it's not the end of the world.

 

I've often seen this feature request, and it may sound like a good idea but it's really not practical. A route is nothing more than a sequence of waypoints that are placed along a "linear" feature. A curvy road is represented as just a bunch of short lines. Typically that feature is a road, and a "routable" map is a collection of "routes". In order for a GPS to route to a cache, that cache would have to be on, or very near an existing route. If most of your geocaching involves finding caches very close to roads then routing might be useful. If, however, you want to find caches that are 1/4 mile down a trail, or basically any location that isn't on a route it's not especially useful. What routing is most likely going to is direct you to the nearest waypoint on the route, when the best way to access the cache may be at a trailhead further away. There is also the possibility that it will direct you to a location that puts you on the opposite side of private property from the cache.

Once could always copy/paste the coordinates into the mapping/navigation app on your phone and get turn-by-turn.

 

I'm glad that I have my GPS, and googlemaps on my laptop to plan and execute my trips, that's for sure.

 

You're only going to get turn-by-turn directions to the cache if the cache is on a route. Routes are generally limited to roads, though sites like Open Street Maps have created routes that include trails and bike paths. If the cache isn't on or very close to a route, turn-by-turn directions are only going to take you to some point on a route, which could still be a long ways from ground zero. For caches that might be 2 miles or more up a trail, unless that trail exists on the map as a route, turn-by-turn directions are essentially useless.

Whether or not turn-by-turn directions to a particular caches is useful or not may depend on the type of caches your are looking for. I know lots of urban geocachers who will plot an entire route from cache to cache for a day's outing - and would probably love it if the app could give voice directions as they are driving to keep them on route.

 

The point that some app users would like this built-in underscores whats been said here already. Even if there are other existing - and perhaps better - tools, having a single app that has all these features where you can seamlessly switch to another function when needed is the consummate goal.

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If I could add one feature to both the official app and Geosphere, it would be routing. The best you get is a straight line to GZ. But, my Montana has routing so it's not the end of the world.

 

I've often seen this feature request, and it may sound like a good idea but it's really not practical. A route is nothing more than a sequence of waypoints that are placed along a "linear" feature. A curvy road is represented as just a bunch of short lines. Typically that feature is a road, and a "routable" map is a collection of "routes". In order for a GPS to route to a cache, that cache would have to be on, or very near an existing route. If most of your geocaching involves finding caches very close to roads then routing might be useful. If, however, you want to find caches that are 1/4 mile down a trail, or basically any location that isn't on a route it's not especially useful. What routing is most likely going to is direct you to the nearest waypoint on the route, when the best way to access the cache may be at a trailhead further away. There is also the possibility that it will direct you to a location that puts you on the opposite side of private property from the cache.

Once could always copy/paste the coordinates into the mapping/navigation app on your phone and get turn-by-turn.

 

I'm glad that I have my GPS, and googlemaps on my laptop to plan and execute my trips, that's for sure.

 

You're only going to get turn-by-turn directions to the cache if the cache is on a route. Routes are generally limited to roads, though sites like Open Street Maps have created routes that include trails and bike paths. If the cache isn't on or very close to a route, turn-by-turn directions are only going to take you to some point on a route, which could still be a long ways from ground zero. For caches that might be 2 miles or more up a trail, unless that trail exists on the map as a route, turn-by-turn directions are essentially useless.

Whether or not turn-by-turn directions to a particular caches is useful or not may depend on the type of caches your are looking for. I know lots of urban geocachers who will plot an entire route from cache to cache for a day's outing - and would probably love it if the app could give voice directions as they are driving to keep them on route.

 

The point that some app users would like this built-in underscores whats been said here already. Even if there are other existing - and perhaps better - tools, having a single app that has all these features where you can seamlessly switch to another function when needed is the consummate goal.

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Routing isn't that difficult. I don't care how far off the road the cache is. I don't care how far up the trail the cache is. I want it to get me as close as possible and then I can take it from there.

 

All of the limitations you guys have listed also apply to any GPS, including my Garmin Montana (which does do routing). Heck, even my Garmin Nuvi will route to any given coordinates if I tell it to. If Google Maps or Apple Maps can route to a destination, why can't the official GC app or Geosphere do it?

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Routing isn't that difficult. I don't care how far off the road the cache is. I don't care how far up the trail the cache is. I want it to get me as close as possible and then I can take it from there.

 

All of the limitations you guys have listed also apply to any GPS, including my Garmin Montana (which does do routing). Heck, even my Garmin Nuvi will route to any given coordinates if I tell it to. If Google Maps or Apple Maps can route to a destination, why can't the official GC app or Geosphere do it?

 

Geosphere links directly to many maps and routing apps so I can easily route to any given cache. My favorite is Navigon, which I prefer over the Montana's routing. I would rather the caching app focus on caching since it is easy enough to switch between apps on the same device. It is not that much different than switching between auto and direct routing on the Garmin.

Edited by geodarts
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If most of your geocaching involves finding caches very close to roads then routing might be useful. If, however, you want to find caches that are 1/4 mile down a trail, or basically any location that isn't on a route it's not especially useful.
When I've used turn-by-turn navigation for geocaches recently, I've targeted the parking waypoints rather than the cache locations. It's pretty useful when used that way.

 

I suppose turn-by-turn navigation to the cache location itself might be useful for caches near parking (not all caches near roads are near parking), but I don't often see the need for it then.

 

And FWIW, Neongeo doesn't implement turn-by-turn navigation itself. Instead, it allows me to link to Google Navigation. Personally, I think this is a better approach than reimplementing turn-by-turn navigation in a geocaching app.

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