GPS or Smart Phone Geocaching
There are several things to think about when choosing a GPS or Smart phone for caching. The big thing to consider is that smart phones are dependent on you cell phone coverage. For example I have a cache hidden and cachers trying to find it using their smart phone loose their sevice in the hills by the cache where a GPS does not. So there is a small disadvantage for those using their phone for caching. I acutely use both, I'll talk about my use later.
First I'll talk about using a GPS for geocaching.
We use a Garmin Map60 CSx and a Garmin Colorado 400t, the Map60 is one great GPS and I have used it now sense I started caching but when I got interested in Wherigos that is when the Colorado came into play. The Map60 would not do Wherigos so we purchased the Colorado for Wherigos.
So with a regular GPS like my Map60 or some of the cheeper GPS's You need to keep tract of the geocaches that you find so you can make your Logs, we used to use a PDA for that. With some of the more expensive GPS units like the Colorado and some of the newer GPS units you can keep tract of your cache finds which is handy. When we did our caching I used the Map60 and my wife used the Colorado and she kept tract of our cache finds on her GPS so we were able to get rid of the PDA.
Now after talking to Garmin and Megellen reps at both Whoodstock and another Mega Event I found ot the NO new GPS's have Wherigo capabilities anymore! So according to the GPS makers Wherigo is dead. That's just not true Wherigo caching is fun and alive. So now if you want Wherigo capability you have to find an older GPS or use a Smart phone and that is what most of my Wherigos are found with.
Final Nore: If you watch cachers you will see that most use a GPS for caching but you will now see a lot are using their Smart phones also, I would use both I'll tell you why below.
Using a Smart phone for geocaching.
Here I go our story (Mickey and Goofy) - This year when caching at the Mid West GeoBash with friends two of them were using Motorola Tablets for Logging their cache finds and one couple was using their tablet for logging and the other half was finding the caches with a GPS. Now the other friend was using their Motorola Tablet for "Finding and Loging" his finds. Now we hat to Find with our Map 60 and keep tract of our finds with our Colorado GPS then Log our caches with our Laptop back in the hotel later that night. After watching out friends using their Tablets when we got back home, Yes we purchased a new Motorola Tablet to use for caching also.
OK we are not going to use a $700.00 Tablet for caching! But it is real nice to see caches using Google Maps when we are on the road, so if there is a cache that is not in the range of our "Pocket Queries" we can see it on the Tablet using Google Maps, then just plug it into our GPS and go for it. Great for traveling!! We now have moved UP one more step We went out and upgraded our cell phones to the new Motorola Droid Razr M's and installed a geocaching app and Yes a Wherigo app and we are off and running. Now we both have Google Maps on our smart phones and our caching has expanded with no limits. I used my Razr to find caches and it worked GREAT and OH YES I Logged my finds along with a picture when we found the cache and Wherigo's worked great also!
In short I think that we will still have and use our GPSs but we will still have our Smart phones with us to do our logging when we find a cache. Although when I used my Smart Phone (Droid Razr) with CacheSense it was "Dead On" when looking for a cache, it brought me within only a couple feet from the cache and Logging was too simple. You will just have to try it. You never know it might be the other way, we will cache with our Smart Phone and just keep the GPS for a backup? I just had to much fun using the Smart Phone it was simple and easy thanks to CacheSense.
Final Words The GPS makers would be smart to watch and adapt their units to the capabilities that the "Android" Smart Phones have because they are falling way back from what can now be done with Geocaching, Wereigos and not to say on the road maps and traveling using Free Google maps. My Android phone works as good as my Garmin nuvi when traveling and I don't have to update maps they are free google maps.
I'll now tell you How it works on your android compatable Smart phone.
I did some searching and trying out some Geocaching android apps and of them all I found one that is #1 on my list! Here it is.
Zita Farm Limited
This legendary Blackberry Geocaching app licensed to use the Geocaching API now on Android. I’ll admit that this is my favourite app and wins my overall best geocaching app award.
Read below and you will see why. Go to Google Play Demo to get your CacheSense app, I’m going to suggest taking advantage of the free 30 day trial they have. You can try the full app, yours free for 30 days to try before you buy and the full version is only us$5.00! The Full Version of CacheSense can be found Here.
CacheSense is a power-user app from the developer of the most respected geocaching application on the BlackBerry - the first application in the world licensed to use the Geocaching Live API. Intuitive new ICS-inspired user interface.
Full-featured mapping includes multiple map sources (Google, OSM and others), automatic caching of downloaded map tiles from supported servers, support for offline map files (MOBAC, Mapsforge, Locus etc) and the ability to generate offline maps directly from the map view.
Full Pocket Query support including automated background synchronization.
Work with multiple databases.
Import and export GPX files, export field notes to GSAK.
Monitor email for published cache notifications, automatically loads and notifies new caches.
Powerful field note features give you full control of workflow and publishing.
Extensive Trackable management with personal inventory, auto-visiting, trackable logs and travels (with map view).
Add custom waypoints to caches and navigate to them - ideal for multis and puzzles, includes corrected coordinate and waypoint projection features.
Navigation tools include Compass, Radar and live Nearest Caches list. Includes support for external navigation apps including Google Navigation and GPS Status.
Social networking integration includes automated tweets with templates and real-time or consolidated Facebook updates. Upload photos to Facebook albums.
CacheSense is under constant development and has strong support from an active and friendly user community.
Note: CacheSense works best with Premium Geocaching.com membership, Basic members are subject to Geocaching Live API limits including only 3 “full detail” cache downloads per day and restrictions on searching.
Customizable from meters to feet and miles.
Other Geocaching apps
c:geo doesn’t use the official Geocaching.com API, but rather scrapes the information from the gc.com. Free but clichie.
Geocaching The official geocaching app for Geocaching.com from Groundspeak. Not good at all and at $9.99 it's a big waist of money. WHY???
Neongeo This is an excellent app and one that certainly rivals CacheSense as an all round geocaching tool. It’s US$1 cheaper than CacheSense and, quite sensibly, they also provide a free 30 day trial version. The app has a simplicity to it that probably doesn’t fully represent it’s full functionality, however this makes it very easy to use, but I don't find it as good as CaceSense!
A:DRAKE A newcomer to the geocaching app market this free app has gone in the other, like c:geo but with Geocaching Live API. direction to c:geo with a focus on having a cache database for offline use.