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ElmoClarity

Phone GPS vs Standalone GPS

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34 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

But some apps either cache or store data offline once it's been downloaded. Just as if you were loading your gps for offline use. So yes, if your app is designed for offline use, then you can go geocaching just fine where there is no live data reception.

I've used several Android apps, and the only one that has not automatically saved cache data for offline use is Groundspeak's Geocaching app. With that one, you have to specifically tell it to save the data for offline use. All the others did that automatically.

 

The other data of interest is map data. Some apps have been able to save the map tiles near the caches that I've loaded. Others have not. But even without map tiles, you can still use the app like an old-school handheld unit, just paying attention to the direction and distance of GZ.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, niraD said:

I've used several Android apps, and the only one that has not automatically saved cache data for offline use is Groundspeak's Geocaching app. With that one, you have to specifically tell it to save the data for offline use. All the others did that automatically.

 

Yeah I avoided naming apps since I haven't used them all or know what degree they are 'offline capable'. I do know that (unless they fixed it lately) if you get logged out of the geocaching app, you cannot use it until you log back in again, which you can't do if you have no data reception. If you're logged in, you can use it without data. So I consider their app pseudo-offline. The content is tied and secured to an account which needs to be logged in.  Geosphere doesn't; it keeps the data in its own offline database as downloaded. The login is only for API usage (though I'm not sure how it might tie things like find logs to whoever is set as the current user, since I've only ever really used the app as myself). No data signal? No data updates; but you can still search, edit, make field notes, navigate (without live map tiles of course), etc. All essential geocaching functions are available offline. Its default is "offline" with "online" as a the extra feature, where other apps in my experiecne are default "online" which you can turn to "offline mode", or something to that effect, from my experience...

But I haven't tried all the apps, nor most of them recently, so that may have changed :P  Just drawing the distinction between 'online' and 'offline' abilities, and that it's not strictly tied to being a smartphone, but rather how the app developer has chosen to craft its geocaching experience.

Edited by thebruce0
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Um, I use GDAK as an offline smartphone back up, so am entirely aware that not every smartphone app needs a connection thank you.

Maybe all those cachers complaining about being unable to go caching with their apps the past few weekends need the explanation though.

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13 minutes ago, hal-an-tow said:

Um, I use GDAK as an offline smartphone back up, so am entirely aware that not every smartphone app needs a connection thank you.

You're welcome? Where did someone assume that YOU, specifically, thought every smartphone app needs a connection? 

What you said was "if I choose to cache  I can do so even when the servers stop working , an advantage over the smartphone which hadn't occurred to me until recent events," the statement to which I was specifically refuting, to clarify in this public thread, countering your implication that your handheld GPS has an "advantage over the smartphone" - rather than any specific app that requires online live access to the servers. I felt that required clarifying (for you and/or other thread readers) - that there are apps which require online as well as apps that work 100% offline on par with the capability of the handheld GPS, so that this is not a hardware issue, but a software issue. And since you didn't say in that comment that you use GDAK as an offline smartphone geocaching tool, well, that's good for us to know now, eh?

 

Quote

Maybe all those cachers complaining about being unable to go caching with their apps the past few weekends need the explanation though.

Agreed. Which is why I commented about it.

Edited by thebruce0

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I use both. My primary device is a GPSr, but now augment it with the iphone and Cachly/official app - mainly for perusing logs/images and satellite imagery (very handy for assurance you're on the right track sometimes). Cachly makes offline use of the iphone easy (easier than the GPSr). I prefer the GPSr for its resilience. If I could only take one device, it would be the GPS, because its batteries last all day, while my iphone will be near dead in 1-2 hours.

 

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On 4/2/2019 at 4:00 PM, cerberus1 said:

Modern phone GPS is equal to a handheld GPSr these days.  

If you don't need a GPSr for other things,  a modern phone works fine with this hobby.   :)

 

I feel the only difference would be how either is affected by your basic membership.

With a GPSr, you can access all caches not rated Premium Member Only by using the website.  Probably what you did before.

Using the app, you're limited to 2D/2T caches and below.

   - But you can add all caches not rated Premium Member Only in the app too, by adding caches as waypoints , using the website.

Hey Cerberus1 - can you explain how to add caches as waypoints as you have noted above?

 

I am brand new to caching, I have found 12 - YAY!!  I am just using my smart phone and the geocache free app.  I noted that I see many caches on the website that I do not see on my phone app.  I really want to do more and have more available to me when I am out and about....

 

Thanks in advance!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mascangel said:

Hey Cerberus1 - can you explain how to add caches as waypoints as you have noted above?

 

SureAdd a Waypoint as explained in the Help Center.  :)

 

 

Edited by cerberus1
redundantredundant ;)

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Thank you everyone for responding. We went back the next day and redid the coordinates. Worked perfectly. Like arisoft said, we needed to let the GPS warm up.  

On 4/25/2019 at 8:17 AM, arisoft said:

 

This happens almost every time. You must check your coordinates by visiting the site again and trying to find the ground zero with coordinates you have stored before. When you can find your cache yourself with these coordinates, then you are safe.

 

One simple reason why coordinates are usually way off is hurrying. GPS takes long time to "warm up". If you open the app and store the position immediatelly the position may be, for example, 300 feet off. After few minutes of running it will be more accurate. When you are searching a cache the GPS is continuously running and more accurate for that reason.

 

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On 4/25/2019 at 8:17 AM, on4bam said:

That's why it's a good idea to get coordinates at different days/times when placing caches.

 

Thanks for the great advice! We did this with another recent cache hide and sure enough, coordinates were different. The first one was off, the second right on target. What was very nice is our reviewer replaced the incorrect coords with the correct coords after asking him what to do because it was published before we discovered the mistake. 

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On 4/25/2019 at 11:50 AM, thebruce0 said:
On 4/25/2019 at 11:07 AM, hal-an-tow said:

Happy to say I need no live data in the field, just data stored in my GPS . Happy because if I choose to cache  I can do so even when the servers stop working , an advantage over the smartphone which hadn't occurred to me until recent events .

 

Um. That depends on the app. Obviously if the app doesn't store anything offline, then you can't view essential cache data if there's no live data reception available. But some apps either cache or store data offline once it's been downloaded. Just as if you were loading your gps for offline use. So yes, if your app is designed for offline use, then you can go geocaching just fine where there is no live data reception.

 

There are several apps that will allow one to geocache without real time access to remote data (cache listings, and map data) that will even work when the phone is in airplane mode.  One of the differences when using a smartphone without live data and a GPS is simply a matter of expectation.   Someone that typically uses a smart phone, mostly in cities, expects that live data will always be available.  Just grab the phone when you leave the house,   access the app whenever you want, and you can geocache.  No preparation is required.  For a handheld GPSr, some amount of preparation is almost always required.   It's when the smart phone user gets to a place without a live data connection,  accesses the app,  only to discover that there isn't any cache data available, that using a smart phone might lead to disappointment.  If, however, a smart phone user prepares in the same way that a GPSr user does (download cache and map data to the device when access to that data is available) it can work *mostly* the same as using a handheld.

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On 4/28/2019 at 10:16 AM, Mascangel said:

Hey Cerberus1 - can you explain how to add caches as waypoints as you have noted above?

 

I am brand new to caching, I have found 12 - YAY!!  I am just using my smart phone and the geocache free app.  I noted that I see many caches on the website that I do not see on my phone app.  I really want to do more and have more available to me when I am out and about....

 

Thanks in advance!

 

As a basic member you will see a limited number of caches in the app.   It essentially limits you to traditional caches with a difficulty or terrain rating less than or equal to a 2, or "basic geocaching".   The web site does not impose that limitation.  If you want to graduate beyond basic geocaching, consider getting a premium membership.

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13 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

As a basic member you will see a limited number of caches in the app.   It essentially limits you to traditional caches with a difficulty or terrain rating less than or equal to a 2, or "basic geocaching".   The web site does not impose that limitation.  If you want to graduate beyond basic geocaching, consider getting a premium membership.

 

Also consider a different caching app other than "the" app.  There's a list of official partner apps here, and I believe none of them have that <=2 limitation mentioned above.

 

The <=2 limitation in "the" app is for upsell to premium, which the 3rd-party apps don't try to do.

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