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Looking for the best Android geocaching app


ras_oscar
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I've tried out the Groundspeak app, including using it in the field and logging using wireless connectivity. I am looking for another app that may provide more reliable functionality. Here are my desires in descending order of preference:

 

1. Ability to download a list of caches with full details and caching maps to the phone for offline use ( I have garmin base camp and OSM maps covering my extended caching area)

2. Ability to use the "compass" view to give direction and distance to the cache

3. Ability to do road navigation 

4. Ability to download caches and maps via wifi

5.  Ability to store the maps and cache listings to the external memory card

6.  Ability to enter log data in the field and upload to the Groundspeak web site via wifi

 

Target hardware: HTC Desire 626 Android 5.1

Wifi only, no cell service.

This will be a backup tool to my Oregon 700, which is being shipped as we speak.

 

Also, is there any rumblings that Groundspeak may in the future remove the third party caching apps' connectivity to the database? Not sure why Groundspeak chose to write an app when there are others out there already. For instance, Groundspeak never wrote an app to compete with GSAK.

 

Here are the apps I see on the google app store 

 

Groundspeak geocaching app (already tried it, still looking)

c:geo

GCDroid

geocaching trail buddy

Geocaching app & widgets

Geocaching tracking GPS geofinder

geofinder

geocaching droid

geocaching buddy

gold hunt

g:hu

GeOrg

GeoTracker

 

I don't mind spending some coin on a reliable and trail proven tool, I just don't want to mess with them all.

Edited by ras_oscar
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1 hour ago, ras_oscar said:

Not sure why Groundspeak chose to write an app when there are others out there already. For instance, Groundspeak never wrote an app to compete with GSAK.

 

Every company has "an App", it's an online presence, an ad for upgrading, a way to test if Geocaching is for you without even "signing up and verifying your email address", a "free compass" for paid users, an App that exists today when the 3rd party ones come and go.  Take your pick. B)

 

For offline wifi-only Geocaching, look at "Locus Maps".  There's a free version where you can try it.  The paid version comes with credit for maps, I bought maps for a couple of US states, and used the app as a backup database for my GPS.  But I never use Locus Maps Pro for for road navigation.

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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The second one from your list does everything you want to (I am not sure about routing) and is free and open source, however it violates Groundspeaks Terms of Use.

The other possibility that can definitely do everything you want is "Locus Maps" (as @kunarion already mentioned) with the Geocaching Add-On. Routing (using brouter), Maps (if you don't take their maps but those from OpenAndroMaps.org) and Geocaching (mostly) is free, however to log from the app you have to pay.

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As mentioned, try Locus Map (free or pro), combined with Geocaching4Locus and BRouter.  That combination does everything you've mentioned, and lots more.  The default mode is offline with OSM maps, and the app is happiest working that way.  G4L adds connected "live map" functionality, and BRouter ("bike router") gives auto-routing with voice prompts, including effort-sensitive routing (avoiding hills!) in bike- and hike modes.

 

Here, auto-routing on a trail in Hong Kong:

bf3f851a-70c2-4c2d-992d-abad356ff72d_l.j

 

PS, I've heard no rumors that Groundspeak would cut off authorized partners' access to the API, and can't imagine a reason for them to consider doing so.  The extra apps enhance the game, and don't cut into any revenue because GS gives their own app away for free.

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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1 hour ago, Viajero Perdido said:

PS, I've heard no rumors that Groundspeak would cut off authorized partners' access to the API, and can't imagine a reason for them to consider doing so.  The extra apps enhance the game, and don't cut into any revenue because GS gives their own app away for free.

Also, full API access is one of the big benefits of premium membership (IMHO), so the API-based apps encourage premium membership.

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11 hours ago, ras_oscar said:

 

Here are the apps I see on the google app store 

 

Groundspeak geocaching app (already tried it, still looking)

c:geo

GCDroid

geocaching trail buddy

Geocaching app & widgets

Geocaching tracking GPS geofinder

geofinder

geocaching droid

geocaching buddy

gold hunt

g:hu

GeOrg

GeoTracker

 

 

Curious how you came up with that list when you missed the most feature rich geocaching app available... Geooh GO. Just check out the website to see how it matches your qualifications plus lots more.

 

 

Edited by SpiritGuide
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4 hours ago, ras_oscar said:

geooh Go looks interesting. Questions:

 

1.  Does it support add on maps like OSM?

2. Does it have a compass view showing distance and diection to the cache?

3. Do you use it as a supplement to a GPS of a replacement?

 

1. Yes, as part of the enhanced version via subscription you can use offline maps from MapsForge and also any map tile server.

 

2. Yes, plus visually showing a route on the map to the cache... or optimized route with multiple caches.

 

3. Replacement... haven't used a GPSr in over 10 years finding 12,000 caches.

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On 12/31/2019 at 11:32 AM, kunarion said:

 

Every company has "an App", it's an online presence, an ad for upgrading, a way to test if Geocaching is for you without even "signing up and verifying your email address", a "free compass" for paid users, an App that exists today when the 3rd party ones come and go.  Take your pick. B)

 

For offline wifi-only Geocaching, look at "Locus Maps".  There's a free version where you can try it.  The paid version comes with credit for maps, I bought maps for a couple of US states, and used the app as a backup database for my GPS.  But I never use Locus Maps Pro for for road navigation.

 

 

I looked at the android app store. There are easily 30 apps names locus. Most seem to be add ons for the base program. What is the minimum I need to install to begin trying out the app for geocaching?

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3 minutes ago, ras_oscar said:

I looked at the android app store. There are easily 30 apps names locus. Most seem to be add ons for the base program. What is the minimum I need to install to begin trying out the app for geocaching?


Start with Locus Map Free:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=menion.android.locus&referrer=utm_source%3Dlocusmapeu%26utm_medium%3Ddownloadbutton%26utm_content%3Ddownload%26utm_campaign%3Dlocusmapeu

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2 hours ago, kunarion said:

Start with Locus Map Free

...which includes offline caching support.  Add Geocaching4Locus to get online caching support.

 

Those are the two basics, all you need for full caching functionality.  (I think; dunno if Pro adds anything to the Free offering in that regard.)

 

BRouter for routing is definitely next on the list, an optional but recommended third app.

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On 1/4/2020 at 2:54 AM, Viajero Perdido said:

Those are the two basics, all you need for full caching functionality.  (I think; dunno if Pro adds anything to the Free offering in that regard.)

As far as I know, logging from the locus app is a Pro feature, which is why I don't use it.

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43 minutes ago, MrPi3141 said:

How?? I have a friend that uses it and he hasn't had any issues.

 

In order to access Geocaching.com's database, your friend agreed to abide by the TOU.  Your friend might have issues:

 

Restrictions. Permission to use our services is subject to the following restrictions. You agree not to:

  1. Frame our services, use any robot, spider, scraper, or other means to access or collect data from our services without our express written permission.

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3 hours ago, MrPi3141 said:

How?? I have a friend that uses it and he hasn't had any issues.

 

Ethics aside, the app-that-must-not-be-named may temporarily break when Groundspeak changes the inner workings of the website.  The developer of that rogue app will then have to scramble to catch up.  Meanwhile, the cacher waits.

 

Also, Groundspeak could simply make a conscious effort to deliberately break that app, because it puts an unusually high load on the servers.  I don't think they've done so yet, but they certainly could.  People using that app are customers of Groundspeak, although at a high cost...

 

ETA: Hmm, I wonder how well that app works in 2020, since it scrapes a website newly slowed down by that thanks-to-California-law cookiebot...

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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22 hours ago, Viajero Perdido said:

Also, Groundspeak could simply make a conscious effort to deliberately break that app, because it puts an unusually high load on the servers.  I don't think they've done so yet, but they certainly could. 

I think I read they once did some years ago, but then couldn't or didn't want to keep it up. But I can't give any source to that nor was I around at that time.

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On 1/18/2020 at 4:54 PM, kunarion said:

 

In order to access Geocaching.com's database, your friend agreed to abide by the TOU.  Your friend might have issues:

 

Restrictions. Permission to use our services is subject to the following restrictions. You agree not to:

  1. Frame our services, use any robot, spider, scraper, or other means to access or collect data from our services without our express written permission.

Ahh, okay. I'll tell him.

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On 1/18/2020 at 2:18 PM, Viajero Perdido said:

Also, Groundspeak could simply make a conscious effort to deliberately break that app, because it puts an unusually high load on the servers.  I don't think they've done so yet, but they certainly could.  People using that app are customers of Groundspeak, although at a high cost...

 

They could, but that app intentionally spoofs the request header when it scrapes the site so that it appears that the requests are coming from a browser.  It would be difficult to break the app when it appears to the GS server that it's just a user accessing the web site with a web browser.  

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On 1/18/2020 at 12:18 PM, Viajero Perdido said:

 

Ethics aside, the app-that-must-not-be-named may temporarily break when Groundspeak changes the inner workings of the website.  The developer of that rogue app will then have to scramble to catch up. 

 

Heck,  I've seen legit PARTNER apps get caught flat footed by API changes that in the end didn't operate quite as documented.  Nothing new there!

More to the point, the 'app-that-must-not-be-named" doesn't use the API, although even browser interface with this system can get wonky at times due to the constant semi-tested changes.  I give you the original (non-Chrome-clone) iteration of Edge vs. the current site, among many other similar events.

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