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Indian-Jonas

New iPhone app is devastating for the beginner!

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This new iPhone app is completely devastating for a beginner and a would-have-been devoted geocacher. I led a guiding for beginners in which i tried to use the app for these newbies but I really had to give up! The little trip I was guiding was impossible to go unless every beginner immediately payed and engaged in a premium membership as all geocaches in the neighborhood were greygreen and thus impossible to access! These were kids in the age of 8-10, and they don't have a possibility to even decide to get a premium membership! I had no idea that it was so bad... since i am a premium member and can't see the effects for a non-premium member. Luckily some newbies had Android and had installed C:Geo (Thank god it exists!!!) so I really had to rely on them for the finding and visibility of info for the geocaches in the trip I had prepared.

 

Another example of this stupid restriction was for my wife that doesn't have a premium membership. She went to "Omberg" in Sweden for some hiking and she had plans of taking a lot of caches. These plans were completely crushed since all caches were greygreen. She got one cache. She could have had 20 at least! Bad credits!!!

 

Next weekend I am having another trip with geocaches that I intentionally made easy so it would be possible to go with beginners. I had a look at it with my wifes phone - and not a single cache was possible to take. Another area I also planted a series of caches is greygreen too! It is completely destroyed! Good work!!!

 

I have spent a lot of time and money now preparing geocaches and planning guided trips to inaugurate people into this fascinating hobby, but now I realize that Groundspeak doesn't want newbies to get a taste for it.

 

I really can't see the point of these restrictions since it all is possible to see in Safari, but You can't navigate with Safari, so - You can see the info about a geocache in Safari, and then You just have to realize that it is not possible to navigate to it using your iPhone... making you very inclined to give it all up. Was that the intention of it all??? It all seems stingy and stupid. In swedish we call it "Dumsnålt"

 

All thumbs down for this!

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If you were aware that the new app only allowed 1.5/1.5 traditionals for basic members, leading newbies in an area that has few of those low D/T caches does seem off.

- That's not the fault of the app though.

Isn't it (really) yours for not being prepared ?

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He said he didn't know because as a PM those restrictions aren't visible to him. He placed caches he thought were appropriate for beginners, and in other apps they show up just fine. In the non-PM official app which the rest of the group was using, they don't, and thus the planned and expected experience (due to every other non-PM app experience) was ruined.

Of course, next time, he'll know that if his group only has the non-PM version of the official app, then the experience will have to be designed around the very minimal allowed public settings. Therein lies the complaint, as I see it...

Edited by thebruce0

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If you were aware that the new app only allowed 1.5/1.5 traditionals for basic members, leading newbies in an area that has few of those low D/T caches does seem off.

- That's not the fault of the app though.

Isn't it (really) yours for not being prepared ?

 

Since it is possible to view all basic caches in Safari i find it stupid and stingy not to make them viewable in the iPhone app. This is not my problem, it is the apps problem. C:Geo works just fine with all caches not being restricted to premium users. (though i can say i like the iPhone app interface a lot more, and it is very much better and userfriendly - that is once you pay premium membership)

 

The makers should give that a good thought that the nature of the app might really scare people away from geocaching - and i sincerely don't think any of the makers really want that to happen.

 

/Lasse aka. Indian-Jonas

Edited by Indian-Jonas

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I need to point out that c:geo is not an authorized Geocaching Live! API partner application. c:geo obtains its information by scraping the website, so that is why it is not subject to similar limits. Authorized API partner applications have restrictions (built into the API) for the number of caches which a non-premium member can view per day.

 

There are no restrictions for obtaining cache information from the Geocaching.com website and using it on a handheld GPS receiver or in any smartphone application that permits input of coordinates and then navigates the user to that location. (Exception: premium member only (PMO) caches.)

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You can't be serious that we should tell our beginners to use geocaching.com to fetch the coordinates and paste them into another app that can navigate them to the spot - when we sit on an app that should be able to do this in one move! It is ridiculous!!!

 

Effectively You recommend people not to use the geocaching app at all! What do the API-makers say to that? You tell me that i can't use an app to 'scrape' the website for info, but doing that manually is OK?

 

I'm puzzled.

Edited by Indian-Jonas

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It would probably be best to have beginners use one of the other geocaching apps, or use a general app that enables navigation to a specific set of coords.

 

Groundspeak provides all cache listings for free, via the website. Of course, PMO caches can only be viewed by PM's.

 

Groundspeak also provides an app, but that app is not free. I can understand the economics of this. App developers are not cheap, especially in Seattle. If someone wants to use the full features of the app, then they need to pay. In theory, they either pay for a premium membership or they pay to download the app. Of course, the latter option no longer exists. In either case, a cacher would have to pay in order to use a full-featured app to access geocaching.com. One-time revenue from a paid app does not compare to recurring revenue from a premium membership.

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It would probably be best to have beginners use one of the other geocaching apps, or use a general app that enables navigation to a specific set of coords.

 

Well since those apps use the same restricted API the best way i can see as for now is copy-pasting into GCTools and use that. This is what i will recommend my adepts to do pending their decision to sign up as premium members.

 

There is always an aspect of good-will - especially from API-makers to create an API usable for beginners giving a taste for how it really can be to go geocaching. This would surely render a greater amount of paying premium members in time. As it is now a beginner will be scared off feeling it is too much of fiddling around to make it worthwhile - getting sick and tired - and finally skip the whole business in favor of Turf (free) or other activities.

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It would probably be best to have beginners use one of the other geocaching apps, or use a general app that enables navigation to a specific set of coords.

Well since those apps use the same restricted API the best way i can see as for now is copy-pasting into GCTools and use that. This is what i will recommend my adepts to do pending their decision to sign up as premium members.

Have you tested the other free apps to see if this is true? I've read others comment that the other free apps do not have the same 1.5/1.5 restriction for basic members, but I don't know if that has recently changed.

 

As part of your preparation for these intro events, it would be worthwhile to test the behavior of the other apps to be certain they don't work, rather than just assume they don't work.

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This new iPhone app is completely devastating for a beginner and a would-have-been devoted geocacher. I led a guiding for beginners in which i tried to use the app for these newbies but I really had to give up! The little trip I was guiding was impossible to go unless every beginner immediately payed and engaged in a premium membership as all geocaches in the neighborhood were greygreen and thus impossible to access! These were kids in the age of 8-10, and they don't have a possibility to even decide to get a premium membership! I had no idea that it was so bad... since i am a premium member and can't see the effects for a non-premium member. Luckily some newbies had Android and had installed C:Geo (Thank god it exists!!!) so I really had to rely on them for the finding and visibility of info for the geocaches in the trip I had prepared.

 

Another example of this stupid restriction was for my wife that doesn't have a premium membership. She went to "Omberg" in Sweden for some hiking and she had plans of taking a lot of caches. These plans were completely crushed since all caches were greygreen. She got one cache. She could have had 20 at least! Bad credits!!!

 

Next weekend I am having another trip with geocaches that I intentionally made easy so it would be possible to go with beginners. I had a look at it with my wifes phone - and not a single cache was possible to take. Another area I also planted a series of caches is greygreen too! It is completely destroyed! Good work!!!

 

I have spent a lot of time and money now preparing geocaches and planning guided trips to inaugurate people into this fascinating hobby, but now I realize that Groundspeak doesn't want newbies to get a taste for it.

 

I really can't see the point of these restrictions since it all is possible to see in Safari, but You can't navigate with Safari, so - You can see the info about a geocache in Safari, and then You just have to realize that it is not possible to navigate to it using your iPhone... making you very inclined to give it all up. Was that the intention of it all??? It all seems stingy and stupid. In swedish we call it "Dumsnålt"

 

All thumbs down for this!

 

I agree, completely. taking a new crowd out for a hike means someone will want THEIR iPhone, or Android, to do caching. they then realize that it's not really a game, but a cooperate entity that wants money. instead of taking ten seconds to use a different application, they just giggle and ask "so if ONE of us bus premium, what's preventing all of us from using the same account and just tossing the cache in a creek?" with a sly grin.

 

yup, I can see this becoming a trend.

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I have tested the only app among the three iPhone apps that was free - and was met with he same disclaimer for NP-users. The only way it seems is the way i mentioned before. It is - as also mentioned before - this gc live API that causes all trouble in apps since it is a restriction built into the API.

 

I still can't see the thinking! It is illogical!

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Geosphere is $8, and its only restrictions are API-based, which is not the same as the official app's restrictions unique to itself.

 

If the other apps all cost $, but show everything one would expect to see for a non-PM (exactly what one would see on the website), and the only free app has additional limitations encouraging you to 'upgrade' your membership, then it doesn't look like any mobile experience will provide an all-in non-MP 100% free experience, and website use with workarounds for free navigation is the only option.

Unless of course you want free despite all that and go with the unauthorized third party app.

 

Seems those are your only options:

* Pay for an app granted full access to non-PM content

* Use the official free app and pay for a PM upgrade

* Use the web interface with another free navigation tool

* Use the unofficial, illegitimate, TOU-breaking alternate (yet praised) 3rd-party app

 

Do your other devices' users need to have their own accounts? What about setitng up one secondary account that you make use of for tutoring and classes, and connect that single account to multiple devices used in the class? One PM membership that gives you access to everything, and every user can make use of it. Call it a "team" account for your geocaching class.

 

Heck, if you group love it, they may go and then also buy a PM for themselves and continue caching...

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taking a new crowd out for a hike means someone will want THEIR iPhone, or Android, to do caching. they then realize that it's not really a game, but a cooperate entity that wants money. instead of taking ten seconds to use a different application, they just giggle and ask "so if ONE of us bus premium, what's preventing all of us from using the same account and just tossing the cache in a creek?" with a sly grin.

Or...

They may well say, "Since one of us is a premium member, we can go together, and find & log caches using one of the methods allowed basic members to also log pmo caches !" - cheering for joy over their well-informed idea. :)

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You can't be serious that we should tell our beginners to use geocaching.com to fetch the coordinates and paste them into another app that can navigate them to the spot - when we sit on an app that should be able to do this in one move!

On Android, you can use coords from any cache page, and navigate to that cache, with a much simpler App.

 

Here's an idea to try if you have a decent-sized Android Tablet, where you often use the web browser. It's most suitable for one with a data subscription, but also works while at a hotspot where you may load one cache and go. It will also work on a smartphone, but be aware that a web page may be super tiny on phones. Still, you do not need to “paste” coords from the cache page into another App, the phone can do that automatically.

 

Install “GPS Status” from the Play Store. Now browse in Chrome to the Geocaching.com site and open a cache page. To hunt that cache, tap “Driving Directions”. “Radar” (the GPS Status compass) will be one of the Apps listed. Select that, and you're directed to the cache as the crow flies. It's not driving directions, it's distance and direction, what most Geocaching compasses show.

 

Now you can use the web site as usual, then quickly switch to hunting a selected cache.

 

I have the pro version of GPS Status, but I think this also works with the free version. You can do a similar thing with Locus Map Pro (but that one is not free and I didn't test the free Locus Map App, so if you want, test it). There are probably other "free" compass Apps that work.

 

[EDIT]: Cool, I see one way to run a compass App from the Geocaching.com cache page using Safari!

Install the free version of "Commander Compass". Open a cache page on the web site. Tap the "GPX File" button, and select "Open in Commander Compass". This particular method works only for Premium Members, of course. I haven't figured out how to do that for basic members. Working on it :anicute:.

 

Make a note of this, test it and refine it for your purposes (if you can't get it working, let me know, and I'll try to post better steps). You can use the features of the web site to search and sort caches, then find one cache at a time, using a compass App, and at least for Android, without Official Free Demo App restrictions. Get the word out.

Edited by kunarion

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I still can't see the thinking! It is illogical!

Don't look now, but the App stores are chock full of "free" Apps, demos. Many "free" games have no limit on what you may pay (for "coins" to continue past difficult levels, or to provide more add-ons or power to the player). The Geocaching App is a demo. Try a cache or two, test that the App basically works on a specific phone, with no monetary obligation -- and even without providing an email address "verification" (I hate having to sign up and provide personal info to "verify my account" to get one "free" file or whatever, and I'm looking at you, Adobe! :ph34r:). Find a couple of caches, like it, pay up (pay for PM). That's the way the demo Apps work. Sure, the App Stores are also full of bad "reviews" about how "I'll give you 5 stars when I get more paid bennies for free!", but that's not how the demo Apps work. :anibad:

 

The web site is paid by ads, more or less. An App is paid by buying the App, or by In-App purchases (IAP), and for the GC App it was until recently a one-time thing. The old plan was, buy the App once and get extra features, now it's on-going, just like an IAP App. Think of the free Official App as a demo/IAP, and you'll develop a better understanding of what TPTB are thinking.

Edited by kunarion

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You can't be serious that we should tell our beginners to use geocaching.com to fetch the coordinates and paste them into another app that can navigate them to the spot - when we sit on an app that should be able to do this in one move!

On Android...

 

[EDIT]: Cool, I see one way to run a compass App from the Geocaching.com cache page using Safari!

Install the free version of "Commander Compass". Open a cache page on the web site. Tap the "GPX File" button, and select "Open in Commander Compass". This particular method works only for Premium Members, of course. I haven't figured out how to do that for basic members. Working on it :anicute:... Get the word out...

 

Hi! One of the most valuable answers so far! Thanks a lot! I installed "Commander Compass Lite", tried it with "GPX"-button on a cache - chose it as "Primary Target" in CCL and suddenly I had a high tech compass! The only hitch is that this only works - as you said it - when you're a premium member... so there we're back at square one.

 

As for the beginning of this comment I don't have any problems with Android devices at all except the fact that geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far.

 

Once again thanks for this tip! CCL will be useable in other duties anyway!

 

Indian-Jonas

Edited by Indian-Jonas

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As for the beginning of this comment I don't have any problems with Android devices at all except the fact that geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far.

I'm not understanding this part of your post. Can you explain what you mean when you say "geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far"?

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As for the beginning of this comment I don't have any problems with Android devices at all except the fact that geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far.

I'm not understanding this part of your post. Can you explain what you mean when you say "geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far"?

Hi. Well there is no option for android other than C:Geo afaik. If the official geocaching app exists for android (which i would be the last to know since i am an iphone user) it would still be using the geocaching live API, right? So it is not an alternative.

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As for the beginning of this comment I don't have any problems with Android devices at all except the fact that geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far.

I'm not understanding this part of your post. Can you explain what you mean when you say "geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far"?

Hi. Well there is no option for android other than C:Geo afaik. If the official geocaching app exists for android (which i would be the last to know since i am an iphone user) it would still be using the geocaching live API, right? So it is not an alternative.

Android has a good option. Get "GPS Status", then use Chrome and pick a cache page, tap "Driving Directions", then select "Radar" from the popup window. That works for PM or non-PM. You're not limited to API, since this plan uses the web site.

 

Using that process of selecting "Driving Directions", IOS goes straight to "Maps" without allowing a selection. Commander Compass doesn't recognize "LOC" files, so non-PMs can't use the LOC File button instead. But that almost works. If there was a "GPX File" button for non-PMs (a special file that had nothing but coords), you'd be golden. Maybe the "Driving Directions" trick offers some options if "Maps" isn't installed.

 

But there's good news: I found out that the ability for Commander Compass (iPhone/iPad) to open LOC files is planned to be added at some time. If that happenned, cachers could open a simple compass from the cache page, whether using Android or IOS, PM or not.

Edited by kunarion

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I have tested the only app among the three iPhone apps that was free - and was met with he same disclaimer for NP-users. The only way it seems is the way i mentioned before. It is - as also mentioned before - this gc live API that causes all trouble in apps since it is a restriction built into the API.

 

I still can't see the thinking! It is illogical!

 

The API allows some degree of flexibility so perhaps you need to experiment more with the apps. One of the free third party iOS apps explains:

 

These are limitations of the API, not limitations of this app. All 3rd party apps using the official Geocaching Live API haves this limitations.

 

You can only search for traditional geocaches and have less filter possibilities. You can download any geocache type, if you know their GC-Code.

 

You can download up to three full geocache listings per 24 hour period. But you can view up to 6000 basic versions of geocaches in this period. For example basic versions does not include the descriptions, the waypoints and the logs.

 

Corrected coordinates can´t be uploaded to geocaching.com.

 

In other words, in one day, a basic member can download the coordinates and essential information for more caches that I will find in a year.

 

Using one of the free apps (looking4cache) with a non-premium account, I viewed the basic cache information (coordinates, d/t level, size) for most of the traditionals in my area and could navigate to them if I chose to do so. You may have to change settings in the app so that you are downloading basic information rather than seeking full cache information.

 

The cache description section in the app indicates that only the basic cache information can be downloaded once I have exhausted the "three in a day" limitation, but pressing on the description opens up the web page for the cache in a separate browser window. If you have data service the information is available to you.

 

The caching app I normally use (Geosphere) is not free, but works in a similar fashion, allowing a basic member to download the essential traditional cache information that can be used offline - and to view the full cache description using the in-app browser if you have data access in the field.

 

A basic member can also use safari, press the loc waypoint button on the cache page for any type of cache, and open that in Geosphere to import the coordinates. (Looking4cache does not appear to support this.) Because Geosphere allows users to edit cache descriptions, it is also possible to copy and paste the cache description into the app, so that the information is available offline.

 

While there are significant limitations regarding the types of caches that can be searched through the apps, the system is not completely illogical. When I first began caching, it was only possible to load the basic cache information to my gpsr - the hardware did not support anything else - and we were able to enjoy the game. Today, it is not that different using a third party app as a basic member to download the coordinates of traditionals for offline use - or to import other types of caches. And if you have data, or have prepared in advance, you have access to paperless information regardless of the API.

 

With that said, it is a lot easier with premium membership, which perhaps is how it should be.

Edited by geodarts

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taking a new crowd out for a hike means someone will want THEIR iPhone, or Android, to do caching. they then realize that it's not really a game, but a cooperate entity that wants money. instead of taking ten seconds to use a different application, they just giggle and ask "so if ONE of us bus premium, what's preventing all of us from using the same account and just tossing the cache in a creek?" with a sly grin.

Or...

They may well say, "Since one of us is a premium member, we can go together, and find & log caches using one of the methods allowed basic members to also log pmo caches !" - cheering for joy over their well-informed idea. :)

 

i'm all for being positive, but given the number of trashed cache sites i've found, i'm thinking otherwise. it's better than 20%, but i haven't found very many total caches yet.

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As for the beginning of this comment I don't have any problems with Android devices at all except the fact that geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far.

I'm not understanding this part of your post. Can you explain what you mean when you say "geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far"?

Hi. Well there is no option for android other than C:Geo afaik. If the official geocaching app exists for android (which i would be the last to know since i am an iphone user) it would still be using the geocaching live API, right? So it is not an alternative.

Android has a good option. Get "GPS Status", then use Chrome and pick a cache page, tap "Driving Directions", then select "Radar" from the popup window. That works for PM or non-PM. You're not limited to API, since this plan uses the web site.

 

Using that process of selecting "Driving Directions", IOS goes straight to "Maps" without allowing a selection. Commander Compass doesn't recognize "LOC" files, so non-PMs can't use the LOC File button instead. But that almost works. If there was a "GPX File" button for non-PMs (a special file that had nothing but coords), you'd be golden. Maybe the "Driving Directions" trick offers some options if "Maps" isn't installed.

 

But there's good news: I found out that the ability for Commander Compass (iPhone/iPad) to open LOC files is planned to be added at some time. If that happenned, cachers could open a simple compass from the cache page, whether using Android or IOS, PM or not.

 

that's pretty convoluted. if that's what it takes to cache with iphones, i understand now why people that own iphones another device to do their caching.

it's much easier on android:

open locus

download 500 caches around x location

press one cache and select 'navigate to'

drive/hike/ride/fly to the coordinates

log cache

 

all from within one application.

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As for the beginning of this comment I don't have any problems with Android devices at all except the fact that geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far.

I'm not understanding this part of your post. Can you explain what you mean when you say "geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far"?

Hi. Well there is no option for android other than C:Geo afaik. If the official geocaching app exists for android (which i would be the last to know since i am an iphone user) it would still be using the geocaching live API, right? So it is not an alternative.

There are multiple geocaching apps for Android. You can see the official partners here. I'm not sure how well these work for Basic Members.

 

The official geocaching app also does exist for Android. It does have the Traditional 1.5/1.5 restriction though, same as the official geocaching app on iPhone.

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that's pretty convoluted. if that's what it takes to cache with iphones, i understand now why people that own iphones another device to do their caching.

...it entirely, completely, depends on the user experience of app(s) used, not the device. I paid $8 for Geosphere, and have never questioned or doubted that purchase. The features and usability and flexibility of the app cover much more than I personally need, and seeing how other people in the geosphere community make use of many of its complex abilities for their own purposes (including pairing with a handheld device, and gsak on the PC) is fascinating.

 

it's much easier on android:

open locus

download 500 caches around x location

press one cache and select 'navigate to'

drive/hike/ride/fly to the coordinates

log cache

 

all from within one application.

Ditto with geosphere. And my app database is now close to 100,000 offline caches around North America (mostly local of course), over 300MB in size (including numerous images), and intricately organized the way I like it, with custom bookmarks to integrate other apps' strengths (mainly navigation, alternate map sets, and websites I prefer to use with an external browser more than in-app) seemlessly.

Sure 'navigate to' throws the waypoint into google maps for routing, but I'd vastly prefer that than a sub-par in-app navigational workaround feature. Take me to an app that specializes in live navigation.

There may be general operating system differences between iOS and various Android phones, but at that level you get used to it universally, and begin preferring it over the idea of switching.

 

Use what works for you, enjoy it, and own it :P

Now, there's a good chance that your caching experience may be more sub-par if you're a blackberry user :lol: I kid I kid. or do I? :)

Edited by thebruce0

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that's pretty convoluted. if that's what it takes to cache with iphones, i understand now why people that own iphones another device to do their caching.

it's much easier on android:

open locus

download 500 caches around x location

press one cache and select 'navigate to'

drive/hike/ride/fly to the coordinates

log cache

 

all from within one application.

 

Which is pretty much what I can do on the iphone - although usually I cache in different ways.

 

Even if I were a basic member, I could easily find traditionals using the API. Some apps will have different features. Geosphere, for instance, allows basic users to download the basic cache information for offline use; non-traditional caches can be imported using the .loc button from the in-app browser or safari; the full description can be copied and pasted from the browser to the cache page in the app; users can navigate using google or apple or link the cache page to other offline maps for trail information or voice routing (I use Here, Navigon, GaiaGPS, and Pocket Earth).

 

But all of the third-party iphone apps that I have tried (geosphere, cachly, geobucket, looking4cache) allow basic members to use the API to obtain the coordinates for thousands of traditional caches a day and import other types of caches into the app one way or the other.

 

As a premium member, of course, the process is seamless for either online or offline caching. Although I have only tried iphones and android, either platform will allow caching through the API and give you access to more caches than you could find in one day.

Edited by geodarts

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As for the beginning of this comment I don't have any problems with Android devices at all except the fact that geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far.

I'm not understanding this part of your post. Can you explain what you mean when you say "geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far"?

Hi. Well there is no option for android other than C:Geo afaik. If the official geocaching app exists for android (which i would be the last to know since i am an iphone user) it would still be using the geocaching live API, right? So it is not an alternative.

Android has a good option. Get "GPS Status", then use Chrome and pick a cache page, tap "Driving Directions", then select "Radar" from the popup window. That works for PM or non-PM. You're not limited to API, since this plan uses the web site.

 

Using that process of selecting "Driving Directions", IOS goes straight to "Maps" without allowing a selection. Commander Compass doesn't recognize "LOC" files, so non-PMs can't use the LOC File button instead. But that almost works. If there was a "GPX File" button for non-PMs (a special file that had nothing but coords), you'd be golden. Maybe the "Driving Directions" trick offers some options if "Maps" isn't installed.

 

But there's good news: I found out that the ability for Commander Compass (iPhone/iPad) to open LOC files is planned to be added at some time. If that happenned, cachers could open a simple compass from the cache page, whether using Android or IOS, PM or not.

 

that's pretty convoluted. if that's what it takes to cache with iphones, i understand now why people that own iphones another device to do their caching.

it's much easier on android:

open locus

download 500 caches around x location

press one cache and select 'navigate to'

drive/hike/ride/fly to the coordinates

log cache

 

all from within one application.

I know there are Geocaching Apps. But I was specifically addressing the issue in the OP. It's not convoluted, it takes a couple of taps.

Edited by kunarion

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But there's good news: I found out that the ability for Commander Compass (iPhone/iPad) to open LOC files is planned to be added at some time. If that happenned, cachers could open a simple compass from the cache page, whether using Android or IOS, PM or not.

 

I know there are Geocaching Apps. But I was specifically addressing the issue in the OP. It's not convoluted, it takes a couple of taps.

 

I agree that the ability to open a .loc file is important for basic members. Of the apps that I use (or installed just to test) the only ones that opened a .loc file are Geobucket and Geosphere. Commander compass was listed in the "open in" menu, but returned an error message whenever I tested it with a .loc file. Geosphere's features - including its offline functions - make it a bargain, but since the OP mentioned free apps in one of his posts, geobucket might be a good one to try. It uses the API to download basic cache information and will import the coordinates by opening .loc files.

 

(The apps on my iphone/ipad that I tested are commander compass, geosphere, geobucket, looking4cache, cachly, motionx, and various routing aps).

Edited by geodarts

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If you were aware that the new app only allowed 1.5/1.5 traditionals for basic members, leading newbies in an area that has few of those low D/T caches does seem off.

- That's not the fault of the app though.

Isn't it (really) yours for not being prepared ?

 

Since it is possible to view all basic caches in Safari i find it stupid and stingy not to make them viewable in the iPhone app. This is not my problem, it is the apps problem. C:Geo works just fine with all caches not being restricted to premium users. (though i can say i like the iPhone app interface a lot more, and it is very much better and userfriendly - that is once you pay premium membership)

 

The makers should give that a good thought that the nature of the app might really scare people away from geocaching - and i sincerely don't think any of the makers really want that to happen.

 

/Lasse aka. Indian-Jonas

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I agree. It doesn't make sense that the iPhone app prohibits non-premium members from accessing ON THE APP all the caches that they can access ON GEOCACHING.COM.

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I agree. It doesn't make sense that the iPhone app prohibits non-premium members from accessing ON THE APP all the caches that they can access ON GEOCACHING.COM.

The difference between GPSr and app access has been like this since GC apps started.

What makes it such an issue now?

 

When the site started, it was a GPSr hobby.

Even a "non-premium" member had to invest in this hobby (by buying a GPSr) to play, and that's whether they owned a smartphone or not.

Most read the guidelines, or asked others to mentor 'em (we mentored a few).

 

Today, a kid who already has a smartphone (and most do...) can load a free app and never even enter the site.

Our better hides are rated so those try-it-a-weekend-without-learning-how-to-play kids can't access 'em.

It makes perfectly good sense to me. :)

Why do you think there's suddenly so many pmo hides?

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that's pretty convoluted. if that's what it takes to cache with iphones, i understand now why people that own iphones another device to do their caching.

...it entirely, completely, depends on the user experience of app(s) used, not the device. I paid $8 for Geosphere, and have never questioned or doubted that purchase. The features and usability and flexibility of the app cover much more than I personally need, and seeing how other people in the geosphere community make use of many of its complex abilities for their own purposes (including pairing with a handheld device, and gsak on the PC) is fascinating.

 

it's much easier on android:

open locus

download 500 caches around x location

press one cache and select 'navigate to'

drive/hike/ride/fly to the coordinates

log cache

 

all from within one application.

Ditto with geosphere. And my app database is now close to 100,000 offline caches around North America (mostly local of course), over 300MB in size (including numerous images), and intricately organized the way I like it, with custom bookmarks to integrate other apps' strengths (mainly navigation, alternate map sets, and websites I prefer to use with an external browser more than in-app) seemlessly.

Sure 'navigate to' throws the waypoint into google maps for routing, but I'd vastly prefer that than a sub-par in-app navigational workaround feature. Take me to an app that specializes in live navigation.

There may be general operating system differences between iOS and various Android phones, but at that level you get used to it universally, and begin preferring it over the idea of switching.

 

Use what works for you, enjoy it, and own it :P

Now, there's a good chance that your caching experience may be more sub-par if you're a blackberry user :lol: I kid I kid. or do I? :)

 

that's interesting about geosphere. looks like a SLICK application, but unfortunately it's ios only.

 

i'm curious about the part i highlighted. are you asking for a recommendation, or saying it's very rare to find one ? the internet makes it hard to tell if things are inferred or just plain jane questions sometimes. :) I'll answer it the way i thought it was asked:

 

that happens in-app. if there is a street, or a widely recognized trail which is found on openstreetmaps, you can actually generate a turn by turn navigation right to the trail head, and then again once on the trail. it's kind of silly to have 'turn left in x feet' announced, while hiking, but i've tested it and it works, however odd it is to do.

 

i've tried passing off waypoints (this is android i'm speaking of) for navigation, and it's always clunky. either the app (google) doesnt' like the format, or there is no routing data (offroad) available, or it just goes "nope!" without much fanfare.

 

what i mentioned above is all in the app. (clarification only) :)

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As for the beginning of this comment I don't have any problems with Android devices at all except the fact that geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far.

I'm not understanding this part of your post. Can you explain what you mean when you say "geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far"?

Hi. Well there is no option for android other than C:Geo afaik. If the official geocaching app exists for android (which i would be the last to know since i am an iphone user) it would still be using the geocaching live API, right? So it is not an alternative.

Android has a good option. Get "GPS Status", then use Chrome and pick a cache page, tap "Driving Directions", then select "Radar" from the popup window. That works for PM or non-PM. You're not limited to API, since this plan uses the web site.

 

Using that process of selecting "Driving Directions", IOS goes straight to "Maps" without allowing a selection. Commander Compass doesn't recognize "LOC" files, so non-PMs can't use the LOC File button instead. But that almost works. If there was a "GPX File" button for non-PMs (a special file that had nothing but coords), you'd be golden. Maybe the "Driving Directions" trick offers some options if "Maps" isn't installed.

 

But there's good news: I found out that the ability for Commander Compass (iPhone/iPad) to open LOC files is planned to be added at some time. If that happenned, cachers could open a simple compass from the cache page, whether using Android or IOS, PM or not.

 

that's pretty convoluted. if that's what it takes to cache with iphones, i understand now why people that own iphones another device to do their caching.

it's much easier on android:

open locus

download 500 caches around x location

press one cache and select 'navigate to'

drive/hike/ride/fly to the coordinates

log cache

 

all from within one application.

I know there are Geocaching Apps. But I was specifically addressing the issue in the OP. It's not convoluted, it takes a couple of taps.

 

assuming all the applications needed to complete those taps are installed, have offline data downloaded prior, etc

 

what i'm saying is it's much easier to do it all from within one application. :)

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Sure 'navigate to' throws the waypoint into google maps for routing, but I'd vastly prefer that than a sub-par in-app navigational workaround feature. Take me to an app that specializes in live navigation.

i'm curious about the part i highlighted. are you asking for a recommendation, or saying it's very rare to find one ? the internet makes it hard to tell if things are inferred or just plain jane questions sometimes. :) I'll answer it the way i thought it was asked:

 

that happens in-app. if there is a street, or a widely recognized trail which is found on openstreetmaps, you can actually generate a turn by turn navigation right to the trail head, and then again once on the trail. it's kind of silly to have 'turn left in x feet' announced, while hiking, but i've tested it and it works, however odd it is to do.

 

i've tried passing off waypoints (this is android i'm speaking of) for navigation, and it's always clunky. either the app (google) doesnt' like the format, or there is no routing data (offroad) available, or it just goes "nope!" without much fanfare.

 

what i mentioned above is all in the app. (clarification only) :)

Yeah it wasn't a question, but there's definitely a difference in how the operating system handles app features. iOS doesn't use cross-app widgets, it allows one app to effectively 'send' content to another app if it's programmed to handle such incoming data. I prefer that because it just feels much more solid and less convoluted. I think the experience I was describing that I wouldn't prefer would be either

a] a Google Maps app widget that runs within Geosphere and handles navigation without switching apps - and while that functionally would be acceptable to me, it just feels like a memory burden, and certain native app features wouldn't be available because it's been reduced to a widget, etc; Plus the app switching is quick and seemless so it's already as if the two apps are linked (just running side by side)

b] Geosphere having its own native navigational functionality. Definitely wouldn't want that since Google Maps navigation is much more capable and specialized to providing the best experience. Most of the time I'm not needing live navigation for roads/trails while searching for a cache, really only in between and for greater distances. In which case switching apps is absolutely no problem.

 

So my comment was more a statement - I really prefer having a custom bookmark which sends the coordinates using iOS url scheme to the Google Maps app, so while viewing a cache listing, one tap takes me there and it's one more tap to start navigating.

 

The Android OS experience is slightly different, and I'm sure it works for you if you're used to it otherwise it wouldn't be as popular as it is :) Whatever the operating system, it's good to have that ability to jump from browsing caches on the map to a solid navigational feature on the device (and not the bird's eye single line connecting your location to the waypoint; I've never found a good use for that :P)

Edited by thebruce0

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As for the beginning of this comment I don't have any problems with Android devices at all except the fact that geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far.

I'm not understanding this part of your post. Can you explain what you mean when you say "geocaching.com doesn't have an option for Android users so far"?

Hi. Well there is no option for android other than C:Geo afaik. If the official geocaching app exists for android (which i would be the last to know since i am an iphone user) it would still be using the geocaching live API, right? So it is not an alternative.

Android has a good option. Get "GPS Status", then use Chrome and pick a cache page, tap "Driving Directions", then select "Radar" from the popup window. That works for PM or non-PM. You're not limited to API, since this plan uses the web site.

 

Using that process of selecting "Driving Directions", IOS goes straight to "Maps" without allowing a selection. Commander Compass doesn't recognize "LOC" files, so non-PMs can't use the LOC File button instead. But that almost works. If there was a "GPX File" button for non-PMs (a special file that had nothing but coords), you'd be golden. Maybe the "Driving Directions" trick offers some options if "Maps" isn't installed.

 

But there's good news: I found out that the ability for Commander Compass (iPhone/iPad) to open LOC files is planned to be added at some time. If that happenned, cachers could open a simple compass from the cache page, whether using Android or IOS, PM or not.

 

that's pretty convoluted. if that's what it takes to cache with iphones, i understand now why people that own iphones another device to do their caching.

it's much easier on android:

open locus

download 500 caches around x location

press one cache and select 'navigate to'

drive/hike/ride/fly to the coordinates

log cache

 

all from within one application.

I know there are Geocaching Apps. But I was specifically addressing the issue in the OP. It's not convoluted, it takes a couple of taps.

 

assuming all the applications needed to complete those taps are installed, have offline data downloaded prior, etc

 

what i'm saying is it's much easier to do it all from within one application. :)

There are many threads (including the OP) where people are asking why the App doesn't do exactly what the web site does. In the case of the OP, Safari is available and the web site is working, so there's no need for another site App in the OP's case, that App is on the phone already, and it works as the OP asks except for one thing: It doesn't have a compass.

 

In the OP's particular case (actually in many cases where people ask for whole web site functionality in an App), they can open the compass from any cache page and go. Everything else is already there on the phone.

 

I have Locus Maps Pro with maps and caches loaded for offline use. Apps are fine. But in this thread, the OP asked about specific things that the Official App does (and as it turns out, it's a demo, just an App you test before becoming a PM), and the other issue is what Apps do when a non-PM uses them, which is limit the cache info you can get each day.

 

When the question is how to get the capabilities of the web site, the answer may be that you use the web site. And to use a compass App. It may not all be in one App in order to get get all functionality for free. But it's fewer clicks than it takes to open the cache compass in Locus Maps Pro. :anicute:

 

And yet, yeah, an App that works is cool, too. If the OP were to buy a couple of cheap used smartphones (no data, just for offline use) and set up Locus Maps Pro or whatever App with PQs loaded, the phones could be passed around to the kids at the Geocaching Introduction. Then everybody has the same caches in view, and they don't have to even sign up on Geocaching.com at that time. Also, not everyone in a group needs a GPSr at all times, so you don't need a lot of phones. Each person can give it a try, in turn.

Edited by kunarion

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Sure 'navigate to' throws the waypoint into google maps for routing, but I'd vastly prefer that than a sub-par in-app navigational workaround feature. Take me to an app that specializes in live navigation.

i'm curious about the part i highlighted. are you asking for a recommendation, or saying it's very rare to find one ? the internet makes it hard to tell if things are inferred or just plain jane questions sometimes. :) I'll answer it the way i thought it was asked:

 

that happens in-app. if there is a street, or a widely recognized trail which is found on openstreetmaps, you can actually generate a turn by turn navigation right to the trail head, and then again once on the trail. it's kind of silly to have 'turn left in x feet' announced, while hiking, but i've tested it and it works, however odd it is to do.

 

i've tried passing off waypoints (this is android i'm speaking of) for navigation, and it's always clunky. either the app (google) doesnt' like the format, or there is no routing data (offroad) available, or it just goes "nope!" without much fanfare.

 

what i mentioned above is all in the app. (clarification only) :)

Yeah it wasn't a question, but there's definitely a difference in how the operating system handles app features. iOS doesn't use cross-app widgets, it allows one app to effectively 'send' content to another app if it's programmed to handle such incoming data. I prefer that because it just feels much more solid and less convoluted. I think the experience I was describing that I wouldn't prefer would be either

a] a Google Maps app widget that runs within Geosphere and handles navigation without switching apps - and while that functionally would be acceptable to me, it just feels like a memory burden, and certain native app features wouldn't be available because it's been reduced to a widget, etc; Plus the app switching is quick and seemless so it's already as if the two apps are linked (just running side by side)

b] Geosphere having its own native navigational functionality. Definitely wouldn't want that since Google Maps navigation is much more capable and specialized to providing the best experience. Most of the time I'm not needing live navigation for roads/trails while searching for a cache, really only in between and for greater distances. In which case switching apps is absolutely no problem.

 

So my comment was more a statement - I really prefer having a custom bookmark which sends the coordinates using iOS url scheme to the Google Maps app, so while viewing a cache listing, one tap takes me there and it's one more tap to start navigating.

 

The Android OS experience is slightly different, and I'm sure it works for you if you're used to it otherwise it wouldn't be as popular as it is :) Whatever the operating system, it's good to have that ability to jump from browsing caches on the map to a solid navigational feature on the device (and not the bird's eye single line connecting your location to the waypoint; I've never found a good use for that :P)

 

excellent.

(there isn't a 'like' button, so you getsa excellent instead) :)

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excellent.

(there isn't a 'like' button, so you getsa excellent instead) :)

 

ohgood! ;)

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I have found my ways now - for Android it was already settled - for the iPhone I have a solution - which i of course don't mention since it seems my posts are banned as long as I don't stay on the ranch.

 

My opinion stands fast - agreeing with hoards of other users... The Geocaching app sucks! (sorry but it really does!)

 

Remember - All beginners wants to try it out before they start heaving money into it.

Also - Many beginners are quite new to using smartphones and are definitely not prone to piping data from one app to the other like some hacker.

 

Think of the goodwill the app would get if it lets a beginner try it out fully first... finding that this is the thing! They would soon be prone to become premium members.

 

Most solutions here are quite complex and calls for a good habit with electronic devices. I can do it - I am used to computers and do a lot of hacking myself but my beginners are youngsters from 7 years up! They need a simple solution which as i said i have found.

 

Best wishes... Cache is king!

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I have found my ways now - for Android it was already settled - for the iPhone I have a solution - which i of course don't mention since it seems my posts are banned as long as I don't stay on the ranch.

 

My opinion stands fast - agreeing with hoards of other users... The Geocaching app sucks! (sorry but it really does!)

 

Remember - All beginners wants to try it out before they start heaving money into it.

Also - Many beginners are quite new to using smartphones and are definitely not prone to piping data from one app to the other like some hacker.

 

Think of the goodwill the app would get if it lets a beginner try it out fully first... finding that this is the thing! They would soon be prone to become premium members.

 

Most solutions here are quite complex and calls for a good habit with electronic devices. I can do it - I am used to computers and do a lot of hacking myself but my beginners are youngsters from 7 years up! They need a simple solution which as i said i have found.

 

Best wishes... Cache is king!

I agree - the new app is the pits.

 

If I recall correct, when I had let my PM lapse, I was still able to use the old app as a basic member, and was able to load caches (save offline) etc... it allowed me to cache as a basic member and enjoy the game. Then, I re-enjoyed the game so much, I wanted to use PQs to rfurther my fun.

 

So -

1 - the new app is the pits

2 - the reduced functionality of the new app will stop beginners from wanting to get fully into the game.

 

You're making a few bucks now, but you're driving people away...

I dislike the new app so much I'm looking for an alternative...

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This new iPhone app is completely devastating for a beginner and a would-have-been devoted geocacher. I led a guiding for beginners in which i tried to use the app for these newbies but I really had to give up! The little trip I was guiding was impossible to go unless every beginner immediately payed and engaged in a premium membership as all geocaches in the neighborhood were greygreen and thus impossible to access! These were kids in the age of 8-10, and they don't have a possibility to even decide to get a premium membership! I had no idea that it was so bad... since i am a premium member and can't see the effects for a non-premium member. Luckily some newbies had Android and had installed C:Geo (Thank god it exists!!!) so I really had to rely on them for the finding and visibility of info for the geocaches in the trip I had prepared.

 

Another example of this stupid restriction was for my wife that doesn't have a premium membership. She went to "Omberg" in Sweden for some hiking and she had plans of taking a lot of caches. These plans were completely crushed since all caches were greygreen. She got one cache. She could have had 20 at least! Bad credits!!!

 

Next weekend I am having another trip with geocaches that I intentionally made easy so it would be possible to go with beginners. I had a look at it with my wifes phone - and not a single cache was possible to take. Another area I also planted a series of caches is greygreen too! It is completely destroyed! Good work!!!

 

I have spent a lot of time and money now preparing geocaches and planning guided trips to inaugurate people into this fascinating hobby, but now I realize that Groundspeak doesn't want newbies to get a taste for it.

 

I really can't see the point of these restrictions since it all is possible to see in Safari, but You can't navigate with Safari, so - You can see the info about a geocache in Safari, and then You just have to realize that it is not possible to navigate to it using your iPhone... making you very inclined to give it all up. Was that the intention of it all??? It all seems stingy and stupid. In swedish we call it "Dumsnålt"

 

All thumbs down for this!

 

Went out yesterday for the very first time, using iPhone. Found 2/3 quite easily and the coordinates were quite exact. If I had read your post before I went out, I might not have even given caching a first chance, as I would have thought it impossible without a better system. Just wanted to let you know it was a good experience for me. Maybe they have improved the app.

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Why not just have the approved app be free to download and run as a premium membership for 30 days? Then those new to the game can check it out and have several chances to see if they like it.

 

Seems to me that the company is just trying to make a buck on a game that was conceived to be free.

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Why not just have the approved app be free to download and run as a premium membership for 30 days? Then those new to the game can check it out and have several chances to see if they like it.

Most of our remaining caches have higher terrain ratings, because we lost a few ammo cans from another free "approved" app with D/T ratings a bit higher than this current one.

The folks who made their hides PMO to do the same, I'd bet, would be real happy to see free app users able to access their caches...

 

Those who remain interested in this hobby will try to learn (at least) it's basic rules/guidelines, and might become PMs, or load an API-partnered app instead.

Those who play a "weekend n done", with little, or no interest in how this hobby's played, I'd like to remain basic thanks. :)

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