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G&N Geocachers

Iphone Vs. GPS

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I have been caching for 6 months now and have had no problem using my phone. I was thinking of buying a GPS. Any advantages of GPS over phone? Would anyone recommend GPS over just using my iPhone?

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I bought an iPhone 5 so that I could easily update cache info on-the-fly. My Garmin Oregon has a map of the US, and Pocket Queries of places I intend to visit, but I load those caches in advance. The iPhone is best with a live data subscription, but I was using wifi only. Since you're already paying for the data and not traveling off-grid, you don't need Apps designed to pre-load the caches. And that's one of the differences.

 

The Garmin Oregon doesn't require you to find an app that works. The iPhone does. The Oregon allows me to customize the displays and menus just as I like, the iPhone Apps don't. Also the Oregon's interface just plain makes sense to me, it's easy to select a cache and go. The iPhone App may be 100 miles away when I arrive to hunt a cache, and stay there (this has happened, a lot, with “L4C Pro”), or refuse to show the map tiles that I need which I was certain I had pre-loaded ("Cachly"). I really hate the “Apps”, although the IOS Apps are slicker than Android, and if I had a data subscription, I'd probably dump them all for the Official Geocaching App, and use it in conjunction with the actual Geocaching.com web site. But I'd carry the good old GPSr, too. :anicute:

 

The iPhone 5 is in no way waterproof, nor shockproof, and if placed in a case, it will overheat. That's not the case with the Oregon, which I can leave on all day without concern that it will go dead when I'm not looking. Or that I may be walking into a dead zone with no phone signal. Plus for some weird reason, I always use my phone as a phone. Go figure.

 

If you have no issues, you don't even need to change what you're doing. When choosing between handhelds and phones, there are trade-offs, so if you can afford phones and GPSrs and data subscriptions, plus have the time and gumption to learn and operate both, you get the best of both worlds. If you require thorough discussions of phones vs. dedicated GPS, you've come to the right place. There are many, many threads that start with the questions that you asked. And the discussions never end.

Edited by kunarion

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Here are just a few of the GPSr vs Smartphone threads. Some of the threads specifically refer to the iPhone, while others are a general phone vs GPSr discussion.

 

IPhone vs hand held GPS

Iphone6 V GPS

Benefit of GPS device vs iPhone?

GPS vs iPhone

Do I need GPS?

GPS vs Phone App

GPS Or Smartphone

GPS device - can I use my iPhone6?

Smartphone not good with too many clouds

Can a Smartphone Replace a Dedicated GPS?

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I have a GPSr and only because I go camping and hiking at a lot of places that doesn't have cell signal. If you're someone who does mostly urban caching or caches where there's at least 3G signal, a GPSr is unnecessary.

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I've got an iPhone 5s. When I try to use the compass for caching it never points toward the cache. I only know that I'm nearing the cache because the distance decrements.

I use GSAK to load caches onto my etrex C and "save offline" on the GC app. I live and cache in rural WV so cellular DL / caching isn't a luxury I have.

I wish my iPhone's gps would give me an accurate compas heading - I'd be able to stop using the gps...

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I wish my iPhone's gps would give me an accurate compas heading - I'd be able to stop using the gps...

Try the steps at the top of this page:

https://www.google.com/search?q=iphone+5s+compass+calibration&rlz=1CDGOYI_enUS694US694&oq=iphone+5s+compass+calibration&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l3.14211j0j4&hl=en-US&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

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I have a GPSr and only because I go camping and hiking at a lot of places that doesn't have cell signal. If you're someone who does mostly urban caching or caches where there's at least 3G signal, a GPSr is unnecessary.

With the right caching app, you can be completely functional offline. You don't need a GPS unit in the wilderness either.

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