09-09-2010 12:58 AM
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  1. ardoreal's Avatar
    Groundspeak released their Geocaching app into the Market.

    Geocaching > Groundspeak's Geocaching Android Application

    Great little app.

    Questions, does it require a monthly membership or premium membership? No

    Does it work great on _____ device? So far, Droid X has some issues. They are updating it frequently, so don't expect that to be an issue for long. Most devices are having good results, this app was built on 2.+ libraries though, your 1.x device may have some issues but they did try to iron some of those out.

    Can it use turn by turn navigation? YES! It's awesome too, it exports the coords to Google Maps and you can use navigation from there.

    Will it eventually get feature parity to the new iPhone version? Yes, here's how it's all laid out [censor turned on by having agreed to not divulge how they're going to go about getting that going].

    The compass is t3h suxX0rz!!! Wtf, over? Lemme guess, you're on an HTC phone right? The magnetometer that HTC chose to use is not as sensitive to tesla's (magnetosphere field strength) as some others. I do know that most moto phones have more sensitive compasses, Samsung devices generally test well....

    How good is my ________ phone's gps accuracy going to be? If you're on any of the Moto Droids, you're using TI's navilink tech. It is first-rate and absolutely rawks. Next to a dedicated handheld like a PN-40, they had the same accuracy with the Droid having a SIGNIFICANTLY faster warmup thanks to aGPS where available. If you're on a Snapdragon based phone that uses Qualcomm's gpsone engine (like the Incredible or the Nexus One)..... well it won't be *terrible*......it's just not going to be great....very often..... uhhhh......

    What about when I go out of signal coverage, what am I suppose to do offline? Well, they thought of that too. You can run a pocket query beforehand if you know you're going to be in a sparse coverage area. You can also just do your business via wifi (example, if you're going out of country and don't wanna roam) and save for offline use. The other cool thing is, let's say you find a cache way out in the sticks and want to share something cool in the log before you forget, you can go ahead and save your note for submission later when you're back in civilization. You actually save them to a batch, and there's a place in the app to submit offline notes.

    Since when are you Mr Genius smarty pants and got some of this info? I'm one of the beta testers
    08-13-2010 03:42 AM
  2. DiCon's Avatar
    Great! Have to try it right away...

    So far I used a combination of GeoBeagle, bcaching.com and automated Pocket Querys mailed to bcaching. This worked really great, especially when you don't have internet in some woods (i.e. when you are abroad).

    I hope, Groundspeak's App fills in the gap of caching somewhere without preparing a PQ

    Edit: $9.99? Are they kidding? I am not a premium member to pay additional $10 for an Android App! I think GeoBeagle is fine...
    08-13-2010 05:26 AM
  3. EvilMonkey's Avatar
    Fina-freakingly! I know they frown on C:Geo because it violates their TOS. Can't wait to try it.

    $10!...lol. yeah......

    I guess that's the same price as the iPhone app, and I do like that it's an "official" app that doesn't rely on PQs (like Geobeagle) or screen-scraping (like C:Geo). Well, thank God for the 24 hour refund policy on the market so I can try it out. I'll probably get it, even though I don't cache that much anymore (started in 2004 and got kindof burnt out in 2009). Still would be handy though when the "itch" rears it's ugly head periodically.
    08-13-2010 07:24 AM
  4. deercreek's Avatar
    I like that you can enter field notes and submit those instead of always having to directly post logs. I don't do TFTC types of logs, and I don't always want to sit down and type out a decent log right when I find a cache, so being able to enter field notes is great. They've got some Droid X bugs to work out. Anything that utilizes Maps crashes the app, as does clicking on the Attributes link in a cache description. I thought I would stick with the free apps I've been using, but I made this the first app I've paid for.
    08-13-2010 10:47 AM
  5. Paladin's Avatar
    Is there also a monthly fee to use the website/services once you buy the software or can pull the data free once you buy it?
    I see the member info for the web site: https://www.geocaching.com/Membership/default.aspx
    I am just unsure if you NEED to be a premium member to use the Android software.
    08-13-2010 10:54 AM
  6. EvilMonkey's Avatar
    Is there also a monthly fee to use the website/services once you buy the software or can pull the data free once you buy it?
    I see the member info for the web site: https://www.geocaching.com/Membership/default.aspx
    I am just unsure if you NEED to be a premium member to use the Android software.
    Good question. I don't know. I will try it out because my Premium Membership just happened to expire on Wednesday (what a coincidence!), so I'm currently just regular Joe-Schmoe.

    So I'll download the app and see if it works before renewing my membership. Will let you know.
    08-13-2010 12:05 PM
  7. Hunts99's Avatar
    Is there also a monthly fee to use the website/services once you buy the software or can pull the data free once you buy it?
    I see the member info for the web site: https://www.geocaching.com/Membership/default.aspx
    I am just unsure if you NEED to be a premium member to use the Android software.
    Downloaded and made this my first app purchase. From messing around with it in the hotel (traveling this week) you do not need to be a Premium Member to enjoy all the goodies (minus the premium caches). Need to have time to give it a full run, but so far so good. Cache on! HSF
    08-13-2010 12:21 PM
  8. EvilMonkey's Avatar
    Yes, I just downloaded it. At first I couldn't connect or login, but once I turned off wi-fi I could. Maybe it doesn't work over wi-fi?

    Other than that, it worked without me being logged in fine (so it didn't even require me to log in, let alone be a premium member). Obviously being logged in allows you to filter out your finds and post your logs and stuff. And having a premium membership allows you to view those "members only" caches, as well as I think you can connect to the site and download your Pocket Queries right to the app (not sure on that, but read it over at the forums)

    One thing that is odd is that it won't do turn-by-turn directions to the cache. You can "navigate too" but it does as-the-crow-flies on the map (which is the default setting). Once you turn that setting to "compass" it works like I would want, but usually I want to do turn-by-turns to it, so you think it would be integrated with Google Nav, but it's not.

    Oh, and the filtering could use some work. Right now it appears your filter options are to filter out your finds (or not) and to only show traditional, or show all types.

    I never hunt micros, so would rather be able to filter those off. Micros can kiss my patootey.

    Still, it's a nice app, and unlike C:Geo (which may be a little better and free), doesn't violate Groundspeak's TOS, so I don't mind supporting it.

    EDIT: It will do turn-by-turns, but it's a bit clunky. You have to open the cache, then select "View on External Map" and choose "Google Maps" then it will open in Maps and you can navigate to it. Not very clean, but on the forums they say they are working on better integration, so hopefully it's coming. But a klunky workaround is still a workaround.

    ANOTHER EDIT: I just discovered if you turn on Bubble Buttons (Menu -> More -> Labs -> Bubble Buttons) in your maps, it brings up the maps with a bubble for the cache and a blue "navigation" button. Never even knew those "labs" were there. Lots of cool stuff in there.
    08-13-2010 12:50 PM
  9. wiicked26's Avatar
    why does C:Geo violates Groundspeak's TOS?
    08-13-2010 01:19 PM
  10. EvilMonkey's Avatar
    why does C:Geo violates Groundspeak's TOS?
    It screen scrapes, which is a blatant violation.

    Over at the Groundspeak forums, it's referred to as "the app that shall not be named" because they automatically replace any mention of it on the forums with "reference to unauthorized application removed by Groundspeak"....which I think is dumb because without referencing it, how are people supposed to know which app it is?

    You can see the discussion here:
    Board Message

    Basically this is it in a nutshell:
    The Geocaching.com Site Terms of Use Agreement prohibits the use of "any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means to access the Site for any purpose without our express written permission". Apps that scrape the web site are banned.

    A simple definition of scraping a web site is retrieving web pages from a web site and then taking them apart to extract information that you then reuse somehow. The Wikipedia article has more details if you're interested:
    Web scraping - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I started Geocaching way back on Jan 1, 2004 back when very few people had heard of it, and as such, I want to respect Groundspeak's wishes. I am well aware there are many people who don't care and C:Geo is a free app, but I just prefer to "follow the rules"...especially in this case since I kindof know the people at Groundspeak and want to support all the work they do for something that I've enjoyed for going on 7 years....
    08-13-2010 01:40 PM
  11. stolirocks's Avatar
    I don't care if c:geo supposedly violates their tos, it is still the superior app.

    Sent from my EVO 4G using Tapatalk
    08-13-2010 03:00 PM
  12. ardoreal's Avatar
    I don't care if c:geo supposedly violates their tos, it is still the superior app.

    Sent from my EVO 4G using Tapatalk
    I don't think so at all. The offline features, pocket query features, trackable, and photo features make c:geo look old.

    The devs wanted to compete directly with stuff like c:geo, if you put the app through its paces and really use it you'll find it's a better option than c:geo.

    Not to put c:geo down though, if it weren't for c:geo, the devs would likely have been a lot less motivated. Kudos to the guy for giving it away for free too, can't knock that.

    I also updated the op to answer some folks' questions that I've seen in the thread.
    08-13-2010 05:51 PM
  13. EvilMonkey's Avatar
    I kinda played around with them both today quite a bit (keeping in mind I'd rather support Groundspeak).

    There's really not a LOT of difference...C:Geo has a couple advantages (IMO), such as:
    • The map screen uses the cache icons (instead of just colored points)
    • Easier/more intuitive to do turn-by-turns (just more intuitive, but I know Groundspeak is supposedly fixing this)
    • The nearest caches list displays arrows/pointers rather than directions (the Groundspeak just displays compass directions like S, SW, W, N, NE, etc.., which is not nearly as nice)

    the Groundspeak app has some nice features such as:

    • Post Field Notes
    • Download Pocket Queries
    • Photo Galleries for the cache (not on C:Geo from what I can tell).

    There's some minor differences as well, like i like the C:Geo compass better (just is prettier), and while C:Geo requires a lot of scrolling (since everything is on one page), Groundspeak requires more clicking. For example, to get recent logs, you scroll down in C:Geo, while you click on "recent logs" in the Groundspeak app. Just preference to which you prefer.

    Neither allow you do some things that would be nice, such as
    • Filtering based on cache type or size, although Groundspeak's allows you to show all caches or just traditional, but not (for example), only traditional and multi with a terrain rating > 2 and difficulty > 3 and a container size of small or larger (no micros)
    • Upload photos with your logs.

    For me, the Pocket Queries makes a huge difference, since that would do the filtering I want above, because I NEVER EVER EVER hunt crappy micros so filter those out.

    But C:Geo is free...which is also impressive (and I agree that it put pressure on Groundspeak to get the official one out)

    I'll just stick with Groundspeak since I paid for it already (yeah, I could uninstall/refund it, but I can afford $10), plus I don't mind using the "official" one that's not frowned upon by them. Plus...pocket queries!
    08-13-2010 07:16 PM
  14. ardoreal's Avatar
    Word is that Groundspeak won't ban the app for scraping the site too, instead they'll just ban the accounts of people the violate the TOU's. Geobeagle is a great app that is perfectly compliant, but if the c:geo dev doesn't change how the data is fetched so that it's compliant, you risk the ban hammer.

    I agree though, the the c:geo compass is way nicer. The Groundspeak app uses a compass pretty much the same as geobeagle, but they did a custom skin job on it. I think it works though, usable, but not the best.
    08-13-2010 08:30 PM
  15. EvilMonkey's Avatar
    I believe they have said it's not technically possible to ban the app from scraping....it's just a browser that scrapes the data and there's no way to identify it or stop it like you can with robots and crawlers.

    Not sure about identifying users with the app...I mean you do log on and post with it so there might be some tags there.

    Regardless I refuse to risk my account and the couple of thousand finds to save ten bucks and use a couple slightly better features like a prettier compass.
    08-13-2010 08:59 PM
  16. easy1jay's Avatar
    While it's cool that the folks at Geocaching.com got around to making an official app for Android, $10 just seems a little steep for me, while there are a few equivalent apps available for free, or at a much lower cost, on the Market. Not to mention the amount of support they already have from premium membership fees.

    I'm aware of the ToS, but it's a bit confusing if you read it, I thought the whole idea of the site is to get people outdoors and go geocaching, even if they don't use their official app. We're still saving trees.

    Either way, it's a great site and I hope it can encourage more people to go out there and try this activity.

    Edit: For spell fail.
    08-13-2010 09:06 PM
  17. ardoreal's Avatar
    Regardless about the "idea of things" man up and agree or disagree with something. Don't be two faced and justify it by saying something like "well the idea of it is suppose to be". You are a premium member, great, and you helped pay their electric and food bills. If you want to use it for free, they provision that for you. It's not a "pay to play" service.

    The thing is, if you want to support them extra, they give you some perks for it. That and the guy behind c:geo really is putting a work of passion out there for us. I wish they'd just give him access to the API and ask him to put a "pro" version whereby they get a cut of the $$$, then everyone wins.

    They have larger plans in the future though, too bad they didn't just hire him instead.

    Regardless, I still feel that the official app is the best solution. I think there's nothing wrong with c:geo too though, just use at your own risk.
    08-13-2010 09:28 PM
  18. Paladin's Avatar
    I have had an account on Geocaching.com for years, 2006, but honestly never use it. I just never really got around to going out and caching. I just tried playing with c:geo and it logged in just fine etc... So now I have to ask, since I never used the account I have nothing to really loose using c:geo but then again it is nice to have an account that has been there so long..

    I really don't need the official app as I won't really use it much. I intend to try to go caching but until I would do it on a regular basis it is not really worth the money right now.

    Then again I wish I could buy the official app and that would also allow c:geo access without worry so I could use both until I figure out what I need etc...

    I also agree though that if it is simply scraping the site there really is not a way they would know probably.
    I did DL all the caches around me in a 5 mile radius, about 120, in c:geo so I can use it offline just in case ii

    Another question is can Android phones get WAAS correction somehow for accuracy?
    Maybe over the Internet? Is it even needed?
    08-14-2010 02:05 PM
  19. EvilMonkey's Avatar
    I cached for about 3 years with an old etrex yellow with no waas. So no it's not needed (that's not to say it's not nice)
    08-14-2010 02:17 PM
  20. ardoreal's Avatar
    No waas. In fact I don't know of any phones that support waas, let alone android phones. I can say that it might be nice to have in mountains and such but I've never needed it.
    08-14-2010 03:13 PM
  21. Paladin's Avatar
    The sad part is I bought a Garmin GPSMap 60CSx for geocaching but never used it. It is still one of the best rated stand alone GPS units out there. The phone just makes it so much easier though with all the information right there, just click a cache and go. ii
    08-14-2010 03:33 PM
  22. TBarnhardt's Avatar
    I don't really see myself paying $10 for an app so I can access the premium membership I'm already paying for. I would think my paying them for a membership covers the overhead of c:Geo scraping their site once in while.
    08-15-2010 10:48 PM
  23. mynetdude's Avatar
    When I saw the $10 fee for just the official app... I already pay $30/year for the premium membership, the least they could do is offer a discount to premium members (like $5????)) and then for those who who continue to renew their premium membership should get free updates ($2 fee per year make that $32/yr) and for those who do not have a premium membership can pay $10 + $5 year for each update.

    I actually liked c:geo, you could post to 4square and twitter, but I have been having problems with c:geo working on my EVO,when I hit the back button it exits the program rather than going to the main screen and I have had to uninstall/reinstall to fix this and each time it breaks.

    I don't understand what is wrong with webpage scraping? Does it eat that much more bandwidth? we're talking about text here. Why can't Groundspeak make a deal with this dev (he is from eastern europe somewhere)

    I am debating whether or not I want to even spend $10, I most likely will... stupid as it is... I may not continue with my premium membership if that's the case. I am NOT going to give them more money when I am just about to renew my premium membership... I have other dues to pay too.
    09-02-2010 03:18 PM
  24. deercreek's Avatar
    They felt that they needed to keep the pricing consistent with the iPhone app(both cost $9.99). In this case the main thing that's wrong with web scraping is it is against their Terms of Use. I would imagine that the Live Map feature of c:geo could do a fair amount of site hammering.
    09-02-2010 04:07 PM
  25. bclinger#IM's Avatar
    I agree with the above. We pay for premium membership (mine just expired and frankly do not know if I will up again) and then $10 for the application. Heck, the application c:geo does not impact their site, though they say it does. It does nothing more than what a user does with their browser. My regular GPS is a Garmin Oregon 550T.

    Make the app free and encourage people to use it to the fullest extent by joining and going premium. Oh, well.
    09-02-2010 09:47 PM
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