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Windows smartphone apps, resources


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#1 TexasWriter

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 03:12 PM

The company I work for is switching everyone from Blackberry's to Windows phones. Obviously, the Blackberry has brought virtually nothing to the table for me in regards to geocaching. I have used my GPSr (Garmin 62S), iPad, and laptop for geocaching. I was wondering if anyone has any experience using the Windows phone as a geocaching tool. Obviously, I will always opt to use my GPSr wherever possible/feasible/practical, but I would like to use the Windows phone to access GC.com, pull satellite maps, etc. Can anyone provide input, recommendations, lessons learned, etc. in regards to use of the Windows phone? I don't need input on iPhones or Droids since those are not available to us, and I have no control over that. It is what it is. Thanks,

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#2 TAZ427

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 03:50 PM

First welcome to the forum.

Sorry to hear about your SmartPhone woos being forced to go from the outdated and abandoned to the non-adopted and not growing.

IIRC a cacher mentioned 'Geocaching Live' as a Windows Phone App they used. I can't say the quality as I'm not a Windows Phone user, heck I've not even touched a Windows Phone to date. That said, I'd suggest grabbing whatever you find out there for free and play with them once you get the phone.

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#3 KeyResults

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:54 PM

I'm afraid I'm no help either but I will say that the windows phone community are very happy with their devices by my own unofficial reckoning. Anyway, if you don't mind, please be sure to post what you learn Brian. :)
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#4 Team Four Paw

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:43 AM

Groundspeak has a WindowsPhone7 app.
I don't know of any others...

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#5 TexasWriter

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:14 PM

Yes, there was much about the Blackberry that I have not enjoyed. The one thing I did enjoy (since I have/had) a Blackberry Bold is the raised keyboard. I can text/email PAF info on caches to folks on it under the table at meetings while pretending to be interested in the meeting. Other than that, it's been torture. I have come close to sucking it up and forking out the monthly money for a true smartphone on my own dime just for caching. Heck, I have everything I need to chase caches up trees, down creeks/rivers/lakes, do bike series, and even underwater if it comes to that....but I have been making do with the GPSr and iPad combo (and occasionally the laptop on the fly). We'll see how this goes. I may yet be doing it on my own dime. Caching has pretty much become my life now, so I'll do what I gotta do. :) Thanks for the input...or confirmation....or sympathy....or whatever you wanna call it. More later when I've pushed the Windows phone as far as it will go....

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#6 Eagles1181

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 11:12 AM

Found this on the GC.com sight today. Hope it helps.

http://www.geocachin.../live/partners/

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#7 heftydude

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 08:05 AM

Found this on the GC.com sight today. Hope it helps.

http://www.geocachin.../live/partners/

Eagle


That list is in serious need of updating at least as far as iPhone apps go. There are a lot of iPhone apps using the API now.
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#8 TexasWriter

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:35 AM

KeyResults asked me to post what I was able to determine on this topic, so here goes:

Well, I got the infamous (and "non-adopted and not growing") Nokia Lumia 900 Windows smartphone last Friday. Some things I was looking forward to (e.g. larger screen, more apps....or apps period, a true smartphone, integration of other email accounts, etc.) and some I wasn't (e.g. loss of raised keys by going total touch screen). Right off, I downloaded GC.com's "Geocaching Live" app to give it a whirl. I used it a bit over the weekend to see how it would perform, but also had my Garmin 62S alongside (never leave home without that). I used the Lumia to do some area searches, navigate me to the caches via street maps, and get within 30 feet of the cache. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did it pick good routes (via Bing hybrid maps), but it even taunted me and called me an idiot when I made a wrong turn while I was distracted. :) Okay, so it didn't call me an idiot... Anyway, I found the Geocaching Live app to be pretty darn good. The only downside is that it doesn't allow me to pull logs. Not sure what's up with that, and maybe it's there and I just haven't found it yet (only played with it a bit), but it's definitely better than the crappy app they have for the iPhone (I have it on my iPad and it's what I've been using for navigation support, coords when one pops and I'm not at home to throw it on my GPSr, etc.). And the recent update for the iPhone app....well, that was certainly a step backward. Now when I click a cache link in an email and it flips to the app, it doesn't actually pull up that cache page unless the battery-hogging app is still running in the background....it just goes to the main app home screen.

So, the summary is that this phone and the Geocaching Live app are surprisingly good. More later after I've really had a chance to push it.

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#9 TexasWriter

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:49 PM

Today, I committed the cardinal sin of geocaching....I went to work and left my GPSr on the counter at home (quite by accident). After tending to my business for the day, I wanted to jaunt up the road to the Humble area to knock out some caches I hadn't gotten to yet. That's when I realized I was GPSr-less. Crap. Hmmm, could I actually use the new Windows phone and Geocaching Live app to do it all (general navigation and fine-tuned searching when arriving near GZ)? I figured I'd give it a try, which I did, and I ended up grabbing seven caches quick-like. In general, my observations through today's caching were pretty much the same. The phone rocks...it really does. The app is pretty darn good, too....and far more powerful and "modern" than the iPhone app. However, the absence of logs still puzzles me and is a big hole in the app. I'm going to Google around and see what's up with that. Also, the Bing satellite maps tend to be "unavailable" about one out of every 12 - 15 times. However, if I wait a minute and try again it always works fine. All in all, I'm pretty happy with this setup. I can't compare it to a Droid, c:geo, etc., because I just haven't used one. I have, however, used the iPhone app on my iPad, and there is a stark difference (Windows app is much better, mostly). That's my review for now. I'll post more later if anything relative and significant is revealed.

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#10 TexasWriter

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:57 PM

Oh, God....total brain-fart on my part. Notice the big letters in the screen shot below that say "LOGS"? Lol. I was completely ignoring the headers being dynamic and clickable. I was using the menus at the bottom only and was blinded to the obvious (some caches are like that, too). Their "grayed out" nature didn't make them obviously clickable (at least to me). That's also where the Field Notes and Trackables screens are ("scrolling screens" to the right). We Blackberry-conditioned thinkers will have to evolve into a "swiping" mindset. So, problem solved. Now, I can officially say that the iPhone app sucks majorly and the Windows app trounces all over it. :coolsmiley:

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#11 heftydude

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 04:38 PM

I was looking and looking and looking. I reread your email. And then I saw it. You are right. For being large print, it is easy to ignore. The problem in the design is that hierarchically, logs shouldn't be there. I'm with you, it should be a button on the bottom.

Glad you got it worked out and thanks for the review. Now I know one person with a Windows phone (although I don't really know you...)
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#12 KeyResults

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 11:32 PM

For the record, I take issue with " the iPhone app sucks" statement. There are multiple apps for the iPhone.

In the interest of balance I suspect you have not used Geosphere on the iPhone 4/4s/5 which is a terrific and capable caching app. IMO

Glad you're making headway with winPhone. Thx for the feedback on it.
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#13 TexasWriter

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 05:12 PM

HeftyDude, no we don't "know" each other, but I saw you at the last Welcome to the West Side lunch event. I was going to introduce myself and punch you for the Upstairs, Downstairs cache (kidding!....I just hate 2-tripping to a cache...lol), but you were engaged in convo (with Snoogans, I think). Anyway, next time....



KR, sorry I offended your iPhone-ness. I forgot you had already consumed a lifetime supply of the iKoolaid. Just kidding. :stirpot: Yes, you are correct that I didn't distinguish between the apps. I was referring to GC.com's "first app I developed" app for the iPhone/iPad, and you were supposed to read my mind. I have never tried Geosphere before, but if you (in your awesome geekness) rave about it, then I'm quite sure the app is fantastic. And I'm equally sure that if they were giving us iPhones at work I would likely be following in your awesome footsteps (the forum doesn't have an emoticon for ego-stroking). Lol. Sorry for my error of ommission on the specific app I was referring to. Now I will have to go cache about it and put out a tribute to Geosphere...sigh..... :coolsmiley:

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#14 heftydude

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 08:27 PM

For sure interrupt me at the next event and I'll show you Geosphere :smiley6600: I too rock an iPhone and despise the official GC app and swear by Geosphere. Although I have and have been meaning to test out Looking4Cache. I did give the droid the old college try for 3 weeks and then returned the Samsung gs3.
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#15 HoustonControl

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:41 PM

I used Geosphere on my last out-of-state trip for a few caches. My initial impressions were good, but there's a bit of a learning curve since I'm used to the regular GC app.
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