iPhone Apps for geocaching

Discussion about software such as GSAK, OziExplorer etc, as well as all things hardware, GPSrs, laptops, PDAs, paperless caching, cables etc
jeza
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iPhone Apps for geocaching

Post by jeza » 01 October 10 7:01 pm

I got one of the new iPhones recently and it occurred to me that I should probably install one of the geocaching apps. Though the question is which one? Has anyone tried any of the others? Or should I just grab the Groundspeak app?

Some of them are just as expensive as the Groundspeak one, so they'd have to be quite decent to consider as an alternative. I'd generally be wanting to use the phone for cache notes from a pocket query, alongside my GPSr.

Any other useful utility apps? Geocaching Toolkit iGCT for example is free and looks quite useful.

The only other problem is whether I can take this shiny thing out into the bush! :wink:

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darth trader
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Re: iPhone Apps for geocaching

Post by darth trader » 01 October 10 8:55 pm

I just got myself an 'otter box' for my unit. it makes me feel more comfotable in the bush.
and yes the $12 is expensive for the groundspeak app, but I use it HEAPS and now it has a thing for field notes and trackables, and I find it pretty easy to use.
so it is worth it for that.

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pwags
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Re: iPhone Apps for geocaching

Post by pwags » 01 October 10 9:57 pm

Make sure you check out Geosphere. I use it regularly on my iPad, and it meets all of my needs. Pocket queries are easy to install, and it handles field notes well, too.

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Re: iPhone Apps for geocaching

Post by breannaluke » 01 October 10 11:23 pm

I use the groundspeak app I really only use it now and use the gps as back up and for multis being able to post your log and photos straight away makes life easy just remember if your going to lose signal save the maps hope this helps

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murf
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Re: iPhone Apps for geocaching

Post by murf » 02 October 10 9:42 am

I'm a Geosphere user, and I highly recommend it, but i'll admit to not having much experience with the Groundspeak app, so I can't really do a fair comparison. A big bonus of Geosphere though, it supports GCA (geocaching.com.au) caches.... That may not be important to you, but it is worth considering when you are looking at buying an app.

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Re: iPhone Apps for geocaching

Post by mundoo » 03 October 10 6:39 pm

jeza wrote:The only other problem is whether I can take this shiny thing out into the bush! :wink:
Depends on your carrier.

I am with Optus and the iPhone is near useless in the bush (and even near regional areas and city areas) because you won't get 3G or any coverage.

The problem is that Optus use 900 hertzythings (you technical sorts will know what I mean) on most of their country towers and the iPhone wants the 2100 hertzythings (Telstra) to operate in 3G/YesG/NextG/whatever your carrier calls it.

At 2G operation (when it manages to have a signal) I find the the geocaching apps are so slow in trying to update that the iPhone often gives up and tells me the cache is disabled.

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pwags
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Re: iPhone Apps for geocaching

Post by pwags » 03 October 10 7:18 pm

mundoo wrote:
jeza wrote:The only other problem is whether I can take this shiny thing out into the bush! :wink:
Depends on your carrier.

I am with Optus and the iPhone is near useless in the bush (and even near regional areas and city areas) because you won't get 3G or any coverage.

The problem is that Optus use 900 hertzythings (you technical sorts will know what I mean) on most of their country towers and the iPhone wants the 2100 hertzythings (Telstra) to operate in 3G/YesG/NextG/whatever your carrier calls it.

At 2G operation (when it manages to have a signal) I find the the geocaching apps are so slow in trying to update that the iPhone often gives up and tells me the cache is disabled.
This is where GeoSphere is good. You can download pocket queries (thousands of caches!) and use it as a GPSr offline.

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shrek4
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Re: iPhone Apps for geocaching

Post by shrek4 » 03 October 10 10:10 pm

Great that you've a new iPhone. I've had one for two+ years now and love it. I use the groundspeak app on mine and it does everything I require. I also use a dedicated GPSr so I don't rely on it.

Being a new iPhone owner you probably haven't seen this website http://www.itunesonsale.com.au/ which tells you whom is selling iTunes cards on sale. You can regularly get iTunes cards for 25% off. This helps bring the costs down. Still at $12 I think it's a bargain!

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shrek4
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Re: iPhone Apps for geocaching

Post by shrek4 » 03 October 10 10:13 pm

Also tom those that said that the app is near useless in the bush due to no phone signal. The App can cache data into the phone ie google maps eta can be cached. That is if you view the maps for the area on your phone before you leave home or phone signal area they will be accessible once you are offline. While not necessarily convenient as it does require an element of planning, you can also upload pocket queries to the app for offline use. Quite versatile really.

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Re: iPhone Apps for geocaching

Post by PirateRock » 05 October 10 9:25 am

I could not find a app that suited my needs better than the official geocaching app for $12.

However, if you ever end up on Andriod, c:geo is a better alternative.

jeza
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Re: iPhone Apps for geocaching

Post by jeza » 13 October 10 12:04 am

Thanks for all the comments.
breannaluke wrote:I use the groundspeak app I really only use it now and use the gps as back up and for multis being able to post your log and photos straight away makes life easy just remember if your going to lose signal save the maps hope this helps
How do you find the battery goes? One thing with my etrex is that a pair of AAs will last for 30 odd hours straight. Not that I usually leave my device running that long, though I can use it quite extensively for a day of caching and the battery isn't even down by 25%. Where as if I used the iphone app, the screen would be active quite a bit which I know uses quite a bit of power. Then I can't use the phone for other things like email.

I guess the other issue is accuracy. Some cache sites you can spot from 30m away so it doesn't matter. Though others can help if you're within a few metres.

Caching by bicycle it's always nice to have a GPSr mounted to the handlebars as well. Though my etrex is starting to fall off a bit. I don't think the garmin bike clips were ever a great design.

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Re: iPhone Apps for geocaching

Post by ian-and-penny » 13 October 10 9:45 am

I've tried caching with an iphone on a number of occasions and have to say that the accuracy is absolute carp!!

I've had accuracies ranging from 1200 metres down to 40 metres (but never better)

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Re: iPhone Apps for geocaching

Post by honeysucker » 14 October 10 4:52 pm

I totally agree with you Ian and Penny i have tried several times with no great results. But as one of my tools of caching i wouldnt be without it the amount of times i have looked up something on the web site to find it has been archived or maintenance being done on it, While in the feild, has saved me many hours of looking for no result.

So if as i said earlier use it as one of your tools they are good. Nothing beats a dedicated GPS

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Team Wibble
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Re: iPhone Apps for geocaching

Post by Team Wibble » 14 October 10 5:36 pm

ian-and-penny wrote:I've tried caching with an iphone on a number of occasions and have to say that the accuracy is absolute carp!!

I've had accuracies ranging from 1200 metres down to 40 metres (but never better)
Interesting. I've never had that poor accuracy at all when caching with the iPhone. On several comparative tests the accuracy has been almost as good as the Oregon, admittedly only tried in suburban Adelaide and in the less urban Adelaide hills. This includes hilly terrain under tree cover. There's a noticeable improvement in accuracy between Mr Wibble's iPhone 4 and my 3GS too. Oh, and in Alice Springs. No troubles there either

However, we've only ever relied solely on the iPhone on a few occasions. It's there as a backup or emergency caching tool. Not a substitute for a dedicated GPSr at all, but our experience certainly hasn't been anywhere as bad as ian-and-penny's, by any stretch.

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Re: iPhone Apps for geocaching

Post by waterlogged » 14 October 10 9:35 pm

I am a new iPhone owner and just went straight for the groundspeak app.

As a tool to assist, it is great for up to date info and hints.
I didn't update my GPS the other day for a impromptu drive (for work) into the Adelaide Hills and still managed to find a few with the iPhone app, even with the lack of accuracy, once finished signing the log book for the caches the iPhone had settled down and was reading OK.
Must admit nothing bets a purpose build GPS for accuracy.

Just remembered that I have a copy of most of my PQ saved to the app, so could have tried using that feature. Next time.

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