Thot

I Need Advice on Smart Phone Apps

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I'm helping a lady learn geocaching.  She's a rank beginner.  She has an android phone and  an iPad.  I would like to recommend an app for each.  I don't have a smart phone or an iPad so I'm looking for recommendations. 

  • It should operate in real time (I guess that's obvious). 
  • It should be easy to operate (newbie remember) even if it doesn't do fancy things.
  • It should have a screen that guides her to the cache -- similar to the Map screen on a GPSr. 

And I need one app for each device. 

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the official geocaching.com app is available on both android and apple/ipad.  with the updates to the android app, it looks more like the apple app so they are similar enough that she could go back and forth between the two. 

 

the android app gives you the option to see satellite maps and car navigation as well as the compass when you get close. 

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I thought about the GC.com app but a year of so ago I heard discouraging things about it.

 

Do you have to buy it twice to get both versions?

Edited by Thot

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I wasn't happy with the updates they made that I escaped until this summer, but there are actually a few things (now that I know where they're located) I like about the updates.  Until late this summer, using the GC.com app on Android was my only resource for caching and it served me well. 

 

Since you have to purchase one from Apple and one from Google, I'd imagine you have to buy it twice.  But don't quote me on that.  My mom has the ipad that she caches with, so I've played with hers.

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My wife uses the app on her iPhone and it seems to work just fine. You can download a free version first and see if you like it enough to buy the full version.

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Considering asking/warning her about using to much of her data plan on her iPad if she looks at ALL of the photos at one time.  If you're at a virtual cache and you open 2,500 photos…it's going to use up some of our data.  However if you go to previous logs and look at a few, it's no big deal.  Also, I'm a big fan of the "save offline" feature.  This is especially helpful if you're at a state park and lose signal once you're off on a trail.  

 

We've used iphone/ipad for almost all of our caches.  The iPad actually had better accuracy.  

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Considering asking/warning her about using to much of her data plan on her iPad if she looks at ALL of the photos at one time.  If you're at a virtual cache and you open 2,500 photos…it's going to use up some of our data.  However if you go to previous logs and look at a few, it's no big deal.  Also, I'm a big fan of the "save offline" feature.  This is especially helpful if you're at a state park and lose signal once you're off on a trail.  

 

We've used iphone/ipad for almost all of our caches.  The iPad actually had better accuracy.  

I remember seeing you two coming out of the woods with that iPad in your hands:)

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My personal opinion.... the best app for i products is geosphere. You have many more options then simply using the GC.com app.

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My personal opinion.... the best app for i products is geosphere. You have many more options then simply using the GC.com app.

 

Usually options mean complication.  Given that I'm trying to make it simple for this newbie do you think geosphere is easier to learn and use quickly than the GC.com app?

Edited by Thot

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I have Geosphere on my iphone and, yeah, it's pretty slick.  It's also a couple of bucks cheaper, but there is a bit of a learning curve, IMHO.  I still struggle with it from time to time. 

 

I haven't seen the GC.com app for Android -- is it similar to the one for Apple products?  If your newbie is going to use both the Android phone and iPad, it might be helpful to have two apps that are similar, otherwise she'll just get confused. 

 

Folks who soley use Android swear by C:Geo.  So many options....

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When I had an Android, I used Cgeo and it was better than the GC app,  but now that I have an iphone, I like geosphere much better.    

 

The only plus I really liked about cgeo was the real time map. While you were biking or driving, caches would pop up on the may as you were driving. You could make a decision whether to pull over and hunt or simply keep on truckin' down the road.  (not sure if they still have that option)

 

I do agree, for a newbie, keep it simple in the beginning and let them figure things out based on how much they get into the game.  They can look over fellow cachers shoulders, ask questions... if something different piques their interest.

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My personal opinion.... the best app for i products is geosphere. You have many more options then simply using the GC.com app.

 

Usually options mean complication.  Given that I'm trying to make it simple for this newbie do you think geosphere is easier to learn and use quickly than the GC.com app?

 

 

GC is easier/quicker to learn. More straight forward.

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I have Geosphere on my iphone and, yeah, it's pretty slick.  It's also a couple of bucks cheaper, but there is a bit of a learning curve, IMHO.  I still struggle with it from time to time.    I haven't seen the GC.com app for Android -- is it similar to the one for Apple products?  If your newbie is going to use both the Android phone and iPad, it might be helpful to have two apps that are similar, otherwise she'll just get confused.    Folks who soley use Android swear by C:Geo.  So many options....
And it is basically the same across both platforms. That is the gc app

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The whole geocaching experience hinges on the equipment software learning curve and there is no short-cutting it.  Finding a pill bottle in the woods is the easy part.

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The whole geocaching experience hinges on the equipment software learning curve and there is no short-cutting it.  Finding a pill bottle in the woods is the easy part.

 

So true!!

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I believe that the gc.com app is sufficient on all platforms to get a really good taste. For many, (most), that is more than adequate for their needs. Free initially, but paid will follow and suffice. On the iPhone it is wildly popular and rated very highly among a user group that is tough to please.

 

After a while, if the bug really bites them bad enough, they'll begin to wonder if there are other goodies out there to extend their experience and utility. 

 

That's where the third-party apps come in. C:geo, Geosphere, are certainly the leaders depending on the phone/tablet platform.

 

Most likely, the single best source for app info is at events where all you geocaching gurus can whip out yours and show em the next level. Or, they'll be caching with somebody studly and seasoned (BB) who'll expose new possibilities to chase.

 

If they get really sick, they'll be asking about GSAK.

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 (BB) 
OK, Now I can see who you were talking about. :)

 

Yes, I've been waiting on that stud to throw down some names for me to Google & consider.   ^_^

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The whole geocaching experience hinges on the equipment software learning curve and there is no short-cutting it.  Finding a pill bottle in the woods is the easy part.

Agreed and let me say doing very little caching the last several years has put me way behind technically! Although I have had good success with the GC app on my Droid tablet and with my previous Droid phone, for some reason (as yet unknown to me) the compass or GPS on my new Galaxy 4S (?) doesn't work properly. 

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Android: c:geo hands down.  IMHO it's by far superior to the GC.com App.  I've tried many many apps for Android and nothing comes close to it's flexibility and easy of use.  And I do own the GC.com App and I check it out again when updates come out, but I find it whole insufficient and lacking in the ability to go completely offline, which I can do with ease using c:geo.

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The whole geocaching experience hinges on the equipment software learning curve and there is no short-cutting it.  Finding a pill bottle in the woods is the easy part.

Agreed and let me say doing very little caching the last several years has put me way behind technically! Although I have had good success with the GC app on my Droid tablet and with my previous Droid phone, for some reason (as yet unknown to me) the compass or GPS on my new Galaxy 4S (?) doesn't work properly. 

 

 

It probably just needs to be calibrated (I have a SGS4 as well.)  While it is turned on, slowly rotate it along all three axis'.  Use GPS Status App, to check to see if the compass is working well, compare to known compass.  There's a function to calibrate it in the App - Menu->Tools->Calibrate Compass but it is really just telling you to rotate it along all three axis', the App doesn't calibrate it, but the phone calibrates itself when you do these rotations.  

 

Do each of the following with at least to full rotations taking about 5 seconds  to perform the two rotations.

 

X axis - Keep flat like you're leaving it on a table, and slowly rotate it around in a circle

Y axis - Hold it flat in your hand, the rotate it over sideways (like you'd be flipping it to go face down on a table - that would be 1/2 of a turn.)

Z axis - Hold it like you're looking at it straight on, then flip it end over end.

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Android: c:geo hands down.  IMHO it's by far superior to the GC.com App.  I've tried many many apps for Android and nothing comes close to it's flexibility and easy of use.  And I do own the GC.com App and I check it out again when updates come out, but I find it whole insufficient and lacking in the ability to go completely offline, which I can do with ease using c:geo.

I'm setting this up on my Android (I've been using the GC.com app) and was wondering, do I need to send caches individually from gc.com to my device? Or is there an easier way to do a batch?

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