November 24, 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!

  • Beesley

    This app sucks. C: geo is WAY better and has many more options. Try it out…

    • pbv302

      +1! C:Geo is awesome!

  • http://www.twitter.com/chriswhill @ChrisWHill

    I agree with Beesley. C:geo is much better and its free.

  • Jeddarfelix

    C:geo is alright, as others have said, and the mapping function does respond a little faster, though I will say that Geocaching.com’s app is better laid out, does not drain my battery quite as quickly (usually lasts about 5-6 hours instead of the 2-3 with C:geo) and will allow some functions that C:geo has not yet put into practice yet. (Such as photo access, c’mon guys!) I myself use both, but I tend to default to geocaching.com’s for the majority of my caching.

    I am open to discussion on this. saying ‘this sucks’ tells us nothing. Give us quantifiers people.

    Yes, the free price-tag is compelling to some, but I am willing to pay where you get what you pay for.

    my two cents worth anyway. Peace,

    Jeddar Felix

  • thatchman1

    Really love this app… it might even be slightly better on Android than it is on iPhone. I tried some of the others, but they pale in comparison with features, ability to log finds from the field, map based navigation, and more. It’s also really nice to be able to dump a coordinate out into navigation and drive your way as close as you can before hunting, a feature you can’t get on the iPhone version.

    Well worth the cost, you won’t regret it. And they also update quite frequenly and listen to suggestions for enhancements & improvements!

  • Cat

    The Android Geocaching app is still new and fairly basic but does what you need for most caches, especially impromptu hunts, and will add features in future versions. It has the huge advantage of direct, real-time access to the Geocaching database including your pocket queries, and it even works off-line (out of data range) by using saved queries or individual caches. Well worth the one-time $10 cost. For those who demand “free” apps the choice is there but they are not nearly as easy to use.

  • JG

    I’m a long time cacher who swears by my 60csx

    recently installed c:geo after polling cachers…almost all swear by c:geo and advise me that the gc app just isn’t worth the $, at least not yet

    saturday we were in a new location w/no info loaded and c:geo worked like a charm

    just my 2 cents

  • Thomas

    have used cgeo since the get go. Tons of features and ways to search for caches, log visits, and a feature I love (go 4 cache) – which shows you other geocachers in the area…. which happens to let me know when other family members or friends are out and about. (yes I can drive up on them and surprise/ join them). I believe in the app for what is offers. I wont change any time soon.
    Now my son in law uses an iphone4 and his only good option is geocaching.com app. We both have a good track on the available caches and seem to get us there as needed. With that note in mind, if I didnt have cgeo, and it was my only alternative. I would probably get it. But for now, cgeo has the cake on this one.
    T

  • Lars

    GeoOrg is much much better then this carppy App and only costs half of it.

  • Lars

    GeoOrg is much much better then this carppy App and only costs half of it.

    I can’t understand why even Premium Members have to pay that much for it.

  • kongo09

    The app of choice clearly is c:geo. I’m a premium geocaching.com member for a long time but the customer service of groundspeak is virtually non-existent. The site look and feel is so 90ies and many functions are totally awkward to use. I pay because I hope that my contribution helps them to improve things but like any good monopoly they stopped innovating.

    I don’t think it is right that they make premium members pay extra for their app. What’s the point of being a premium member (economically speaking) if you can’t participate in the innovation. At the same time they make it hard for real innovators like c:geo by obfuscating data access.

    I only hope that some day the caching community will take back control of their caching date and someone passionate and smart like the guys from c:geo or GeOrg will create a fresh site not just on the handheld.

  • Kevin

    It appears the consensus is that c:geo is the app to use. I have to admit that I tried several other apps before finding c:geo. I even paid for CacheMate.

    The developer of c:geo is always updating the app and adding new features. So far, there have been a few times when it would crash in a particular feature, but within days a new version would appear that fixed the issue.

    So c:geo is easy to get to the live map page, find a close cache on the google map, touch the cache, and it goes to the description. Recently the developer improved the speed of getting the description, so that is no longer much of a problem.

    It is easy to switch between a compass, a google map with photo or map, and the description.

    Regularly we are able to hit 5-7 level 2 or lower caches in an afternoon. This is so much better than the old days with a WinMobile phone and the $30 app that we used (don’t remember the day)

    The developer’s name is carnero. I see he has a facebook page and twitter. Just noticed the app now includes a changelog, if it didn’t before, which I always pop to his web site to review when I get a new version, cool enhancement. If you review the changelog, you can see that rarely does a week go by without an update. Sometimes he’s updating daily.

    Really great app and fun to use. c:geo – go download today and make a donation if you like it.

  • http://trailseekerenterprises.blogspot.com/ patuxent pirates

    This is a nice app, but it still appears to be quite buggy. I have had to pull the battery out of my Eris several times when loading this app. Other times it just goes back to the home screen. Its virtually identical to the Apple iPhone app when it does work. Not sure I can blame this completely on groundspeak though, its not uncommon to see apps on the droid OS “force close”.