August 1, 2014

Geocaching.com App is a Treasure of its Own (App Review)

I started dabbling in geocaching late last year as my son and I wanted something fun to do on days off.  Being he was six at the time, he was only too eager to help daddy hunt down treasure in the real world.  We bounced from one Android app to another, trying each out to see what we liked best.  Due to memory limitations of my G1, I was constantly uninstalling applications and games to make room for new stuff.  Couple that with a quick-draining battery and it was becoming tough to stay enthusiastic or spend much time in the field.  Suffice it to say, we got out of the game for a few months.  Then all of a sudden, last month’s official Geocaching.com announcement put us right back on the hunt.

One of the common denominators in most of the geocaching apps I dabbled with was that I constantly return geocaching.com to download coordinates or LOC, GPX, and/or KML files.  This official title integrates with their massive (and quickly growing!) database of caches.  I found the application to be very intuitive and friendly to new users.  The welcome screen puts everything front and center – one can immediately search by location, GPS proximity, and GC code.  I’m not too keen on what trackables are given my experience, but you can also jump right in with TB codes.

My son and I like to search by GPS and look at the list of cool sounding caches.  A quick menu press let’s us see where these are on a Google map and where they are relative to our real-time location.  Toggling between compass mode and navigation is a breeze and provide for two approaches in your hunt.  Clicking on a specific cache presents hints, attributes, user photos, and other tools to keep one occupied and hungry for more.

If you’re into geocaching or are considering a new hobby, then this is the app to start with.  While I started out using treasure hunting as something to pass the time a few weekends out of the month, Geocaching.com’s Android application keeps me coming back.   I’ve not had to visit the website in over a month, yet I still get the full experience .  Some of you might balk at the $9.99 price tag, but I don’t regret it a bit.  Click here to download Geocaching.com for your Android phone!  Oh, I almost forgot – it runs on Android 1.5 and higher which means it’s for pretty much everybody.

Have you downloaded the app already?  Are there others you might recommend?  Leave a comment below and share with the others!