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kunarion

The App vs. My Neighbors

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I hear ya. 

The latest event I was at had a new person (basic app user) wondering were we go, as he's "only finding junk" in caches large enough to hold things.

 - As if we're somehow playing a premium version of the hobby, which includes "quality swag"...

The site has run ads about "treasure" for years , the latest is now "the world's largest treasure hunt".

I liked the "language of location" , which seemed more about the fun areas you find caches, not just the goodies inside it.

I believe a lot of trackables (geocoins especially) go missing as treasure as well.  Possibly a souvenir of their one weekend out too.

 

I haven't used an app in a while now.  Using a rugby as just a phone, realizing I was using a "smart" phone to look up dumb stuff.

IIRC, after the "Intro" app, folks had links to geocaching 101 when it installed.  If that's not happening now, that's not a good thing.

It was because of all the issues other players had with that "Intro" app.

But we're seeing even long-time players asking the most basic questions here.  It's possibly a sign of the times, a have it handed to you kinda thing...   

 - We could create a new "virtual assistant",  asking it questions about the hobby..."Hey kunarion, where's my pen ?"       :D

 

Similar to you, we bought GPSrs for another hobby, but realized we needed a way to  learn all it it's functions. 

This hobby (introduced with all the other pamphlets) fit.    :)

We learned as much as possible about caching to be sure we fully understood the hobby , and to get our money's worth out of these things. 

Upgraded with two more just a year later. 

We didn't even cache until we understood the hobby,  it's "side games" , log functions, and guidelines.

 

 

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The app is one of the reasons geocaching is where it's at these days. As I've said a few times in these forums, the app is seen as a game with a goal of keeping score. It is helpful for those that already know geocaching but it's definitely not good for showing new people the ropes. It definitely doesn't do anything to promote quality or creativity. New people that download it find a few lame caches, get bored, then move on to another app. I figure its purpose was and is to bring in a lot of people,, with the hope that some might end up becoming paying members. I can't help but have the feeling it isn't working out as well as anticipated.

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2 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

The app is one of the reasons geocaching is where it's at these days. As I've said a few times in these forums, the app is seen as a game with a goal of keeping score. It is helpful for those that already know geocaching but it's definitely not good for showing new people the ropes. It definitely doesn't do anything to promote quality or creativity. New people that download it find a few lame caches, get bored, then move on to another app. I figure its purpose was and is to bring in a lot of people,, with the hope that some might end up becoming paying members. I can't help but have the feeling it isn't working out as well as anticipated.

 

+1

 

Good points.

 

While I expect the The App to greatly encourage payment by anyone using The App, I was surprised to see just how little The App helps new users to understand "Geocaching" or even... The App. As a web site user with a handheld GPS, I can enter coordinates from the web site just fine, all I needed to do was figure out where the various functions are in the App. I watched a new user become totally confused by the minimalist interface. It's cool. It's stylish. It's a dot.

 

I'm pretty sure my neighbor followed a dot until they were at someone's yard, and didn't know what to do next. I guess, tap other stuff on the screen? I feel their pain, because I have trouble getting from “Screen Y” back to “Screen X”. Imagine if this is all absolutely new to somebody.

 

And yeah, now imagine The App asking for a subscription payment. I'm no business guru, but that doesn't seem like something to pay for.

 

One thing I thought of is, local groups really need to set up some serious Geocaching 101 Events for The App. And I need to do some 1-on-1 work with those neighbors, if they aren't already turned off by the whole thing.

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It's a poor situation if a tool specifically made for one purpose , and with no skill level assumed (so can be picked up and used by absolute beginners or knowledgeable experienced folk who expect full features ) does not have some beginner, user friendly help. I've never used a caching app for anything but GDAK aa backup database on a 'phone, so cannot address any specific points of the official apps functionality, but it sounds like the problem is , as Kunarion says, another consequence of the push from desktop to app.

 

When I started caching I enjoyed looking around the website on my laptop screen, reading cache pages, scrolling through past logs, admiring the good design and photography some C.O.s used, following C.O. name links to see what other caches they had, finding out about how multis and puzzles and the D/T system works etc etc. In fact,  having signed up for a free membership I got an automatic reminder e-mail maybe a month later reminding me I'd signed up and suggesting I go and actually search for a cache ... Now I understand that's  not a typical  approach,  I'm particularly addicted to learning new stuff , but if I'd started with an app,  would I have had easy access  any of that background to inform my first few hunts and make them enough fun to get me hooked ? I doubt it.

 

I see the device (GPS and computer or 'phone plus app) as just  tools, not central to the game, their sole job is to mediate between the cache placer and the cache hunter.  I see the various cache database providers in a similar way,,  just a database of caches which are actually owned by C.O.s.  I've introduced a few folk to caching (not always Groundspeak caching ...) , and my method has been to lend them a spare GPS,  pre loaded with suitable caches (ones I already found and knew were good ) , went along with them , but hung back, letting them follow the arrow , have control of the device and get the experience of finding a decent sized cache somewhere pleasant without having to worry about the hardware or software.. I want them to get interested in caching, not in the tools of caching.

 

The device / app should be unobtrusive and just do the job . Trouble is, geocaching is a huge, complex, interesting hobby, I mean, all those cache types (trad, unknown, Wherigo, letterbox , virtual, earthcache,  webcam, events, CITO not to mention the extra interesting types on other listing sites) all the imposed rules and local customs, the interaction between cachers through logs, it all adds up to a complex and arcane web of information and 'how we do things'. Could any beginner cacher pick up a GPS or an app aimed at all levels of user and five minutes later,  go  out (without someone who knows the ropes) and have a satisfactory experience ? I doubt it.

 

But .... if I was using an app, that is exactly what I'd expect. I recently branched out to sample another game (no, no barcodes , but time limited virtual points.) I can use my GPS for it, but hey, there's an app. It's a free app built by a participant for the community of that game, no cost, no commercial content, no adverts. So I try it out,  and it gives me a map (OSM) and the point to navigate to , a point where I am and a distance. When I get to within 5m of the destination, the map flips to an info screen. No learning curve, no fancy options, it just does the job with no fuss. That is how an app for beginners and casual experimenters needs to behave - straightforward , intuitive and a help  not a complication.

 

Is it possible to cram the giant complex tangle that is what geocaching has built into over the years into a tidy, beginner friendly app whilst still catering for the experienced cacher ? No, not without either having inbuilt levels curtailing the beginner options enormously, or offering a specific , cut down beginner app. for the 'download it and instantly  go and try it out' users. People expect that kind of ease with an app. I've said it before, but it holds true : I see caching in the future splitting into two different games : the one aimed at the mass market whose simplicity is dictated by the limitations of a simple app for urban/suburban/easy drive by fodder , and then the website based traditional wider game for the enthusiast using a GPS or a fully featured app.

 

8 hours ago, kunarion said:

One thing I thought of is, local groups really need to set up some serious Geocaching 101 Events for The App. And I need to do some 1-on-1 work with those neighbors, if they aren't already turned off by the whole thing.

Should the task of explaining that  app  really be down to local groups ? Surely Groundspeak , with 100% control over the app they built need to do the work to make it user friendly, not expect users to ?  We set the caches , maintain the caches, some members of the community do many hours of volunteer work, all at no cost to the business because its caching it's our game, we are a community  . Groundspeaks responsibility is for maintenance of the database and (if they want to, because it pulls in more money and takes Groundspeak a bit closer to being seen as synonymous with geocaching)  the provision of apps.

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There are some nifty videos on the website but I honestly don't know that the people that start with the App really understand things. I am just now getting the hang of it but I understood that the app was a tool, much like an activity tracking app, or Google Maps. The App is not the game itself like Pokemon Go might be. The App is only the portal that gets you to the game. I feel like I fell into it naturally but I'm weird. A Wherigo and Virtual were some of my first caches. Plus I went to my first event when I likely had less than 10 caches. I met some of the nicest people there who told me about the local Facebook page and suggested some caches to go find. 

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This is a game; it's supposed to be fun - don't make me THINK, too!  ;)

 

Working in 4-H, we learned quite quickly that the  national (USA) scholastic epidemic of kids' lack of critical thinking skills had a huge impact on our work and program delivery.  (That was more than 10 years ago ... guess where those kids are now.)  Kunarion's follow-up questions to his neighbor were reasoned and demonstrated the critical thinking necessary to work through the problem.  Sounds like The App is not hand-holding through the thought process.  (As needed?  As wanted?  Probably a thought for another day.)

 

I don't use The Official App.  It was a few years ago that I tried the official app - hey, it was only a few months ago that I got a GPSr that I don't have to manually input the coords; that app thing was calling my name ! - along with other apps and chose a different one that worked better for me in the field - which is the only time I activate it, in the field, for a reality check or to check past logs (if I can get cell service). 

 

I wasn't aware that, from what I'm reading here, it's not so newbie-friendly.  I wasn't aware that there wasn't a "?" available to take one directly to a related help page.  It wasn't until today that I discovered in another thread that one could download the app and get moving without having to even enter an email.  (Can that possibly be true?  How does the cache or TB owner contact them?)

 

As a CO, these are helpful things to know.  I consider the visitors to my caches my neighbors, however brief their visit to my "neighborhood".  I will offer assistance to a new cacher that hasn't properly logged a TB dropped in my cache, for example, and will walk them through it ... if they access the website or use the same app as I.  But without The App, I'm pretty useless since most newbies do, indeed, use The App now.  The best I can do is send links to the Help Pages.

 

I definitely see value in having a hosted "How to App" type program.  I certainly would attend in an attempt to learn how to help my caches' or TBs' finders.  Who knows?  Perhaps things have advanced to where it does more of what I want it to do in the field than before.  The difficulty in our area is not a question of whose job it is to do it, as hal-en-tow brings up, it's a question of who has the knowledge to do it.  When we had a general "Geocaching 101" community program, only one of the four experienced cachers actually used The App, and that person uses it rarely, as she's based 20 miles away, deep in the mountains - generally no cell service available.

 

Which brings us right back around to what I think is a very salient point made by the OP, as well as the subsequent posts:  As cachers already experienced with the website interface - which, by the way, hal-en-tow, I still enjoy the same cache investigation activities you describe - we have the distinct advantage of knowing what we're looking for, what we need to know.  "Not there; 'nother screen. Scroll, scroll, etc..."  So it works for us - or we try another.  For the uninformed neighbors?  Maybe not so much?

 

Good food for thought, good feedback and helpful info, and I thank the OP for starting the thread.  It has motivated me into getting a bigger memory card so's I can download The App and see what's what (because you KNOW those cool cache photos aren't going to be deleted to make room).

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28 minutes ago, VAVAPAM said:

It wasn't until today that I discovered in another thread that one could download the app and get moving without having to even enter an email.  (Can that possibly be true?  How does the cache or TB owner contact them?)

 

Unlike every web site in the world, you don't get all signed up and verified with your spam-worthy email account, just to try out Geocaching in the Official App.  That's pretty cool, when I think of all the paperwork I had to do to download one free template from Adobe.com and I get Spammed by them forevermore.  Same with so many other sites.

 

I can, in theory, contact new members using the Message Center.  All they have to do is open and use the App that they can't figure out (hence the need for me to send a message), then they simply need to notice a microscopic yellow dot, and they can read my message.  Cool.

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9 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

Unlike every web site in the world, you don't get all signed up and verified with your spam-worthy email account, just to try out Geocaching in the Official App.  That's pretty cool, when I think of all the paperwork I had to do to download one free template from Adobe.com and I get Spammed by them forevermore.  Same with so many other sites.

 

I can, in theory, contact new members using the Message Center.  All they have to do is open and use the App that they can't figure out (hence the need for me to send a message), then they simply need to notice a microscopic yellow dot, and they can read my message.  Cool.

AHA! I was under the wrong impression [yet again] that sending an email would be more effective than geo-message for new players.  Makes me wonder if ANY of my emails got through.  I'll think more kindly of them now. :D  Results vary with participants, I've noticed: Some respond to message, some to e-mail.  I haven't discerned how to figure which to use. 

(Spam-worthy; har!)

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I just wanted to point out that the official Geocaching App includes direct links to three videos:

  1. "What is geocaching?"
  2. Guide to finding a geocache
  3. Geocaching etiquette

The app also includes native help articles as follows, plus a link to a mobile-friendly version of the Help Center:

  1. When you find a geocache
  2. Geocache types
  3. Drafts
  4. Lists
  5. Trackables
  6. GeoTours
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6 minutes ago, Keystone said:

I just wanted to point out that the official Geocaching App includes direct links to three videos:

  1. "What is geocaching?"
  2. Guide to finding a geocache
  3. Geocaching etiquette

The app also includes native help articles as follows, plus a link to a mobile-friendly version of the Help Center:

  1. When you find a geocache
  2. Geocache types
  3. Drafts
  4. Lists
  5. Trackables
  6. GeoTours

Thank you!

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Keystone said:

I just wanted to point out that the official Geocaching App includes direct links to three videos:

  1. "What is geocaching?"
  2. Guide to finding a geocache
  3. Geocaching etiquette

The app also includes native help articles as follows, plus a link to a mobile-friendly version of the Help Center:

  1. When you find a geocache
  2. Geocache types
  3. Drafts
  4. Lists
  5. Trackables
  6. GeoTours

 

I'm not complaining that there is no way to find information. This thread is about exactly what happened when a new Geocacher started using The App for the first time. But there's a disconnect somewhere. They did a “Load the App and go find the treasure”, and ended up at “someone's house”. They didn't check the Help Center. And they had no idea what to do next. This is where many threads begin. People ask the most basic questions, yet they have The App. What went wrong?

 

hal-an-tow made the point that I don't necessarily disagree with, that if people aren't quite figuring out Geocaching (nor The App) when using The App, that it may be best for Groundspeak to work on that.  That it shouldn't be up to me to work on it.  Sometimes I can't understand it myself, some of the things that are not intuitive... I can't explain why they were programmed like that...

 

I think the first three videos are good! At least, the 2nd and 3rd ones. I'll suggest that part of the App when I see questions like “how big are these things?” and “I was at zero feet and didn't find anything, are these boxes really there?” The videos present some decent info, and maybe people would next look up the finer points.  You want to set them on the right path, yet not overwhelm them, so there is a balance.

 

But I didn't see anything in particular about how to use the App.

 

Edited by kunarion
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2 hours ago, kunarion said:

“I was at zero feet and didn't find anything, are these boxes really there?”

There are really two parts to that answer. The first is that "at zero feet" the cache could be anywhere within a 5-6m (16-20ft)  radius, even under ideal conditions. The second is that some of "these boxes" are really hard to find.

 

Although for basic members, they shouldn't be too hard to find. The exception would be caches with D2 or lower ratings because they're in "the usual spot" (which newbies haven't learned about yet), or because the CO has artificially set the difficulty rating lower than it should be to keep the cache accessible to basic members using Groundspeak's Geocaching app.

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Posted (edited)

I went ahead and downloaded the official app for iPhone and Android (as I've heard there are some differences.)  Trying to assess as if I were a newbie ... and also not one of those bothersome people that reads instructions first.  ;)

 

Just starting out, they look and act the same.  I REALLY like that when tapping on a cache type the first time, an info box comes up and describes the type of cache.  It doesn't pop up again, but the descriptions ARE listed within the app, rather than having to - heaven forbid - go to the website's Help Pages.  I also really like the reminder to sign the logbook; it does that with the Mystery type, too, after an explanation that it may involve solving a puzzle and to read the details - without adding "if you get stuck".  (As an aside, I sure wish it would say that for Traditional Field Puzzles, too.)  I was pleased to see that at least the Description at the top of the list of cache details (the first few words).  The videos are short and sweet:  Quite informative without being too long.  Also, it may seem a small thing, but I think it was a good call to list the attributes in words, rather than presenting icons that would be unfamiliar to new cachers.  

 

I cannot fault either the Android or iPhone version of the official app for Mr. Neighbor's choosing not to avail himself of information presented pretty much in his face.

 

There are prominent links to the Help Pages, and there is quite a bit of information right in the app; HOWEVER, container size [edit: *explanation*] is not there. I wonder if that's because it's listed under CO information in Help, so not prioritized for Finder info? How unwieldy would it be to make that same type of pop-up happen with the size, for example?  "Micro.  Anything from the size of an penciltip eraser to a pill bottle or film canister."  Or would that just be annoying?

 

I also wonder, thinking about Mr. Neighbor arriving at somebody's yard, if the GPSr of the phone itself might have come into play.  (Frankly, this is why I rarely use an app to locate a cache.  I trust my ancient Garmin etrex more than my phone.)  Are there specific ways to describe what - I dunno - native GPS accuracy is needed?  But again, the video makes it quite clear: put your phone away when you get within the range.

 

So here's my "neighbor" thing:  Something that wasn't touched on by the OP but is a bit of an issue here is logging trackables.  This process seems a bit cumbersome, this after "cheating" and reading the help - it IS built in -  and already knowing what had to happen.  I don't understand why it isn't the same logging experience as on the website - where you scroll down and choose the action at the same time as logging the cache.  For somebody just learning, this multistep process is just not intuitive at all.  I now understand why a new cacher insisted that they did what they were supposed to (log a Write Note).  

 

OK, so now I get it. I now get several things that happen when an uninitiated cacher goes out without a more experienced cacher.  (Worse, when several start the hobby together.  ARRGH!)  Still, I am grateful for this information and am planning some changes to some of my cache pages. First up, I'll move my FTF congrats off the first line of the Description.

 

Does that rankle - my having to compensate for the misunderstood App?  Why, yes it does.  But if making changes right now means that my caches might stand a better chance of surviving, I'll do it. Perhaps offering the official app as a "plug and play", so to speak, is also a survival decision for HQ? Is it succeeding?

 

As I thought of ways to possibly head off some of the difficulties encountered by Mr. Neighbor - sizes, specific attributes (just to start another controversy, heh heh), a locked frame-by-frame  auto-tutorial at start-up, etc. - I realized just how huge (MB size, I mean) this app could become.  So this seems to be a difficult balancing act.  Marketing to a need for immediate gratification vs need for knowledge on the fly; trying to compensate for lack of experience and/or reasoning vs a big chunk of phone memory.  I hasten to add that I'm not a programmer, so perhaps this size idea is not valid.  

 

At some point in the cache quality discussion I recommended getting educators involved.  I do believe that remains a valid idea.  If educators are already on board and critiquing the delivery process, then I apologize for bringing it up again.  

 

Edited by VAVAPAM
just one word for clarity
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The official app on my (Motorola) android shows cache size, twice. I activate the app and it shows the map with caches. I click one of the caches and it shows, at the bottom of the screen, cache name, distance,T/D and size. I tap the cache again and it opens the cache page (Navigate, Log etc) and the D/T and size are shown there too.

BTW I also cache almost exclusively with my Etrex, using the phone if I do maintenance or additional info.

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, colleda said:

The official app on my (Motorola) android shows cache size, twice. I activate the app and it shows the map with caches. I click one of the caches and it shows, at the bottom of the screen, cache name, distance,T/D and size. I tap the cache again and it opens the cache page (Navigate, Log etc) and the D/T and size are shown there too.

BTW I also cache almost exclusively with my Etrex, using the phone if I do maintenance or additional info.

 

Oh!  Yes, the cache size is listed on mine, too.  Sorry I wasn't more clear.  I meant an explanation of the size.

 

betterer wurds

Edited by VAVAPAM

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3 hours ago, VAVAPAM said:

I went ahead and downloaded the official app for iPhone and Android (as I've heard there are some differences.)  Trying to assess as if I were a newbie ... and also not one of those bothersome people that reads instructions first.  ;)

 

This was a great review.  Thank you for taking the time to perform the tests and to write up the results!

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, VAVAPAM said:

There are prominent links to the Help Pages, and there is quite a bit of information right in the app; HOWEVER, container size [edit: *explanation*] is not there. I wonder if that's because it's listed under CO information in Help, so not prioritized for Finder info? How unwieldy would it be to make that same type of pop-up happen with the size, for example?  "Micro.  Anything from the size of an penciltip eraser to a pill bottle or film canister."  Or would that just be annoying?

 

Thanks for testing and reporting back. This is great information.  I agree with your assessment regarding size.

I had a look at the iphone GC app. I generally like what I see.

I chose a cache listed as small, tapped the size and it tells me "Size: Small A small geocache is generally about the size of a sandwich box."

 

Quote

W31KswQts8yx_FjcX20jfIxZ47wW5x6Keo1Tt2Fh

 

Although I would like it to repeat what it says in the Help Center, because it's clearer, less room for argument, especially for those hiders who insist a bison tube attached to a golf club is a regular size cache. Here's what it says in the Help Center: 

 

Quote

Small containers are 100 milliliters to 1 liter. They’re about the size of an apple. They can hold a small logbook and trade items.

 

Edited by L0ne.R
typo
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4 hours ago, VAVAPAM said:

and to read the details - without adding "if you get stuck".  (As an aside, I sure wish it would say that for Traditional Field Puzzles, too.)

 

I wish it would say that for plain vanilla traditionals too. On many of my bushland hides I have important safety information to convey, yet the app says to only look at it "if you get stuck". By the time that happens, it's probably too late.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

I chose a cache listed as small, tapped the size and it tells me "Size: Small A small geocache is generally about the size of a sandwich box."

 

:o  Oh, uh, so it does.  Doh!

 

10 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I wish it would say that for plain vanilla traditionals too. On many of my bushland hides I have important safety information to convey, yet the app says to only look at it "if you get stuck". By the time that happens, it's probably too late.

 

This is a particularly bothersome point for me, too.  Hints couched within the description, as well as safety notices likely won't be seen until the damage is done. 

One of my caches has a sentence in all caps about not attempting to access the cache in any other way....  I'm changing word-code lock on the cache, with the hint simply noting to see the last word in the all-caps sentence.  If nothing else, they WILL read that sentence.  Who knows, maybe they'll be curious enough to read the rest?

 

Adding:  I was going to make the hint, "Read the Description", but that might seem a little snarkey to some.

Edited by VAVAPAM
See the Description :)
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6 minutes ago, VAVAPAM said:
10 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

I chose a cache listed as small, tapped the size and it tells me "Size: Small A small geocache is generally about the size of a sandwich box."

 

:o  Oh, uh, so it does.  Doh!

 

I didn't realize it. It didn't occur to me to tap on things until I read your report. I'm guessing that's going to be true for most users. But I still like that they have that feature/information. 

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5 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

I didn't realize it. It didn't occur to me to tap on things until I read your report. I'm guessing that's going to be true for most users. But I still like that they have that feature/information. 

 

Now referring to the official app - in my mind - as The Tap App. 😁

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31 minutes ago, VAVAPAM said:

Adding:  I was going to make the hint, "Read the Description", but that might seem a little snarkey to some.

My first cache did something similar. There was a hint hidden in the description. The encrypted hint simply referred them back to that part of the description.

 

16 minutes ago, VAVAPAM said:

Now referring to the official app - in my mind - as The Tap App. 😁

I wonder whether there's a smartphone version of the classic video game...

d286b059f7d9f458c373eb1e515bba4e-tapper.

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16 hours ago, VAVAPAM said:

I also wonder, thinking about Mr. Neighbor arriving at somebody's yard, if the GPSr of the phone itself might have come into play.  (Frankly, this is why I rarely use an app to locate a cache.  I trust my ancient Garmin etrex more than my phone.)  Are there specific ways to describe what - I dunno - native GPS accuracy is needed?  But again, the video makes it quite clear: put your phone away when you get within the range.

 

But wait; I don't read instructions, so wouldn't have watched a dang video!  (Old habits die hard.)

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, VAVAPAM said:

So here's my "neighbor" thing:  Something that wasn't touched on by the OP but is a bit of an issue here is logging trackables.  This process seems a bit cumbersome, this after "cheating" and reading the help - it IS built in -  and already knowing what had to happen.  I don't understand why it isn't the same logging experience as on the website - where you scroll down and choose the action at the same time as logging the cache.  For somebody just learning, this multistep process is just not intuitive at all.  I now understand why a new cacher insisted that they did what they were supposed to (log a Write Note).  

 

OK, so now I get it. I now get several things that happen when an uninitiated cacher goes out without a more experienced cacher.  (Worse, when several start the hobby together.  ARRGH!)  Still, I am grateful for this information and am planning some changes to some of my cache pages. First up, I'll move my FTF congrats off the first line of the Description.

 

The App tucks things away in a way that I can't wrap my head around.  Even today, I have to stop and think about where to find anything on the App, like "The Cache Logs".  Oh, yeah, first scroll down to the heartbeat symbol labeled "Activity".  The thing that you don't find on the Web Site.  B)

 

I've added info to two of my easiest caches, the ones that people who just now installed the App tend to try.  I mention the other easy cache, and little about how to use the App with the web site.  If I can introduce people to the world of Geocaching beyond the easiest caches, then it might click... That there's a lot more than a simple pill bottle taped to a guard rail.  But although people will try a new App, not everybody wants to be "Geocaching".  Almost nobody wants that :P.  I mean it's a niche hobby, and I'm often surprised who among my friends and family are entirely disinterested.  Some will put up with me if they are allowed to wait by the car.  So it's not really just "The App", it's probably more like not wanting to invest the time to learn the hobby.  By installing The App, they... bit off more than they can chew.  But that's what The App is for, to try things out.

 

I didn't know what to do on my first cache hunt.  I somehow realized it's not at "Zero" on the GPS.  But I read some Forum posts, and the cache description, including what the little symbols might mean.  So anyone who's hunting anything that's not obvious upon arrival, might benefit from guidance from a more experienced cacher for their first outing.  There will always be questions beyond what "an App", or even a handheld GPS, would show a new user.  Maybe the disconnect from Mr. Neighbor (and it applies to many New Members who aren't all that excited about "Geocaching") is that he doesn't try to learn more about it.  The info is there to find, and he's not really interested.

 

Edited by kunarion
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2 hours ago, kunarion said:

I didn't know what to do on my first cache hunt.  I somehow realized it's not at "Zero" on the GPS.  But I read some Forum posts, and the cache description, including what the little symbols might mean.  So anyone who's hunting anything that's not obvious upon arrival, might benefit from guidance from a more experienced cacher for their first outing.  There will always be questions beyond what "an App", or even a handheld GPS, would show a new user.  Maybe the disconnect from Mr. Neighbor (and it applies to many New Members who aren't all that excited about "Geocaching") is that he doesn't try to learn more about it.  The info is there to find, and he's not really interested.

 

We (hubby and I) came into this hobby just over 2 years ago; we use our phones and don't have a dedicated GPSr unit.  However, we did have lots of prior knowledge of what geocaching was all about.  When our son was in his late teens/early 20's, (2004-2005 ish) he began geocaching, and although we didn't get into it ourselves, we watched him develop.  He'd bring us puzzles to solve, containers to open, ask us to make a side trip half a mile down a back road and then help him look for stuff.  He met his wife at an event, and when they moved to Arizona just after hubby retired; we picked up the hobby to be able to watch his caches in this area of N. Calif.  

 

That meant we had to find them all - we got hooked, using the app to find them and the website to learn.  We've considered getting a GPSr, but we seem to be doing ok with just the phones.  But we weren't the typical "newbies" either.  Once we decided this was to be a retirement hobby (and also a family shared hobby!), and discovered we really did enjoy it, I read the FAQ's, started reading the forum (and started joining conversations, and ... ) We went to events, we met folks who had known our son and daughter in law before they knew each other, it was quite interesting!!  Once they figured out we were the parents of ... we were instant friends, as they had known the 2 of them for several years!!

 

Back on topic (I got sidetracked, reminiscing about our early days of geocaching!!), as you said, kunarion, the info IS there, but not everyone is interested enough to seek it out - it's something novel to try, but not interesting enough to look deeper.  It is kind of an off beat hobby - some get it, some don't.  Even tagging along with an experienced cacher isn't going to generate interest in someone who doesn't "get it"!

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On 6/25/2019 at 5:53 PM, VAVAPAM said:

So here's my "neighbor" thing:  Something that wasn't touched on by the OP but is a bit of an issue here is logging trackables.  This process seems a bit cumbersome, this after "cheating" and reading the help - it IS built in -  and already knowing what had to happen.  I don't understand why it isn't the same logging experience as on the website - where you scroll down and choose the action at the same time as logging the cache.  For somebody just learning, this multistep process is just not intuitive at all.  I now understand why a new cacher insisted that they did what they were supposed to (log a Write Note).

 

New topic started by somebody else's "neighbor" ....

---------------------------------------------

How do I take geocaches that I have already dropped out of my inventory? I went back to the specific geocaches on-line and wrote a note that I dropped them, but they still show in my inventory. Thanks.

---------------------------------------------

I rest my case.

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3 minutes ago, VAVAPAM said:

 

New topic started by somebody else's "neighbor" ....

---------------------------------------------

How do I take geocaches that I have already dropped out of my inventory? I went back to the specific geocaches on-line and wrote a note that I dropped them, but they still show in my inventory. Thanks.

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I rest my case.

 

I disagree...  

 (To me) It doesn't appear anything like your earlier post.

That person didn't  seem to pay any attention to basic instructions on "how to play the game" (if they read anything at all...),  since they called Trackables "geocaches".    

"Logging experience" doesn't matter if they have no idea what they're doing.

Besides those two, they still have one other trackable they still might have in their inventory.

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15 minutes ago, VAVAPAM said:

For somebody just learning, this multistep process is just not intuitive at all.  I now understand why a new cacher insisted that they did what they were supposed to (log a Write Note).

Honing in on the point. 

And perhaps I'm wrong, but you seem to be underscoring it with your comments.

 

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