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tadbaranddog

iPhone No Service Area

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Hello all,

 

We are so so so new to this geocaching. As of this date we have found 4!

Today we were in an area with no service for our iPhones, so when we tried to find the geocaches we had set out to look for, we were out of luck.

I have just learned how to "save offline" a geocache location. Will we be able to pull this up the next time we go up there and have no service?

 

Let's assume we can now see our "saved offline" location. Is there a good GPS app that lets you type in the coordinates? I found that Apple/Google maps only gets me to the nearest crossroads for this particular spot.

I have a walking app on my phone that found our GPS location just fine, so I know it's possible. I just don't know which one to use.

We were disappointed the geocaching app didn't have a offline GPS tool. Are we just missing something?

 

I really did try to find these answers on the boards here. I just know this question has been asked before, but I kept spinning my wheels trying to find it and I didn't want to give up (again), so I thought I'd just start a new post.

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What model iPhone are you using? If it's 4 or later, you most certainly can use the app with no cell service. Your phone has a GPS chip on board. You just have to make sure to save the caches to an offline list while you are in a service area.

 

Save a few caches on your phone, then turn off cellular service and play around with it. You'll see that it still works. Might take a little longer for the GPS to settle down (because you're not getting the cell tower assist) but everything should still be functional.

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We were disappointed the geocaching app didn't have a offline GPS tool. Are we just missing something?

The official Geocaching App definitely allows "saving to an offline list". At least the full version does. Either a single cache or an entire Pocket Query (if you're not using PQs, try them). And there's an option to save the cache map tile with the cache. It's all done in advance, of course, while connected. I do that with my wifi-only iPad.

 

And you can add waypoints (type your own coordinates). If you're navigating to a cache and the map is in view, "Add A Waypoint" is in the menu.

Edited by kunarion

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Oh, and when it gives you the option to save maps too, you may want to go ahead and do that, because with no cell service it won't be able to load map tiles on the fly. But if you've saved the relevant map images ahead of time you'll still have map functionality.

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I recently bought an iPad mini that has cellular capability, but I only intend to activate that occasionally, such as for a trip. This means, however, that I got the GPS receiver, and I've successfully tried it with a couple of mapping applications.

 

If I buy the Geocaching app, I understand from the Groundspeak support pages and this thread that while I have a Wi-Fi connection, I can save geocaches, and that will give me offline access to the cache description and apparently to the little map that's on the cache page. But will it save the accompanying .loc or .gpx file? And while I'm in the field, will I be able to view my location (as determined by the iPad's GPS receiver) relative to the cache? Or is all the offline information static and can't interact with the GPS receiver?

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Before I bought my gpsr, I used my cell phone successfully by downloading an offline map that I could direct my phone GPS to and then put my phone in airplane mode, with GPS still on, while outside of range. If you don't put it in airplane mode, you'll drain your battery quick.

It's accuracy varied when outside of cell range, I used it very successfully on Hebo Mt deep in the Tillamook Forest, however in another section of the Tillamook Forest, it was so bouncy the coords were going 500' from one direction to the next.

It'll get you to the general area, but won't be as precise deep in the woods.

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I recently bought an iPad mini that has cellular capability, but I only intend to activate that occasionally, such as for a trip. This means, however, that I got the GPS receiver, and I've successfully tried it with a couple of mapping applications.

 

If I buy the Geocaching app, I understand from the Groundspeak support pages and this thread that while I have a Wi-Fi connection, I can save geocaches, and that will give me offline access to the cache description and apparently to the little map that's on the cache page. But will it save the accompanying .loc or .gpx file? And while I'm in the field, will I be able to view my location (as determined by the iPad's GPS receiver) relative to the cache? Or is all the offline information static and can't interact with the GPS receiver?

 

When viewing a cache in offline mode it behaves exactly the same as it would in online mode.

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Thanks, Tassie, but since I don't have the app, I don't know how it behaves in online mode! Are you saying that, if you've downloaded the map, the app will display a constantly updating indication of your position vs. the location of the cache?

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Are you saying that, if you've downloaded the map, the app will display a constantly updating indication of your position vs. the location of the cache?
That's how the Android apps work, so I assume that the iPhone apps work the same way. The phone's GPS system can function independently of the phone's data and voice systems.

 

Of course, if you don't have a data connection, then you won't be able to download new data on the fly. That applies to geocache data, map data, email, SMS, etc. But the GPS system will work just fine using the data that is already on the phone.

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Thanks, Tassie, but since I don't have the app, I don't know how it behaves in online mode! Are you saying that, if you've downloaded the map, the app will display a constantly updating indication of your position vs. the location of the cache?

 

Just had a quick play with it and it saved a good half of the Tasmanian map. Simply while online select "Save to offline List" and it's all there ready to go when you select it from the list, even gives saved caches on a map now rather than just a list. Details, Logs, Hints, Attributes, Inventory and now even photos are there and there is no need to download anything as such, they are just saved from the app's menu while looking at the cache page.

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That's how the Android apps work, so I assume that the iPhone apps work the same way. The phone's GPS system can function independently of the phone's data and voice systems.

Oh yes, my iPad is perfectly capable of doing that. I've been using it with various mapping apps the past few weeks. I just wasn't sure whether the Geocaching app took advantage of that capability.

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Just had a quick play with it and it saved a good half of the Tasmanian map. Simply while online select "Save to offline List" and it's all there ready to go when you select it from the list

Excellent, thanks!

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