Okay, so I have to admit. I never really thought about going geocaching before, but this app has got me interested. If you’re not familiar with what geocaching is it’s basically a treasure hunt that anyone anywhere in the world can both create and participate in. People place things of value or interest in environmentally sturdy containers and hide them along with a log book. They record the exact longitude and latitude of their cache and document it online for others to see. From there anyone interested in hunting for the treasure can set off on the quest to find it. If they find it the treasure is theirs, with the only exception being that they need to replace it with something of equal value. Each time the geocache is found, the discoverer must record the specifics in the log, place in a new treasure, seal the container, and update the status online.
Geocaching by Groundspeak Inc. is the ultimate tool for geocaching enthusiasts. It gives you everything you need to turn your ordinarily dull life into a thrill seeking treasure hunt. The Geocaching app is the equivalent of a modern day combination of a treasure map and treasure hunting kit. It gives you on-the-go ability to search, find, and record both nearby and far away geocaches. You can read and access logs, write notes, view hints, pictures, and maps, and even log in to your online geaocache account directly from the app. The Geocaching app takes what previously was considered to be a paper heavy hobby requiring lots of pocket sized gadgets and gizmo’s (notepad, pencil, compass, GPS, print outs) and consolidates them into an extremely convenient, and easy to use iPhone app.
Using Geocaching is really easy. The interface and all of its features are laid out beautifully. To get full use out of the app you’ll want to create a free account online at the official geocaching website, which takes just seconds. Once setup you can log in to your account via the Geocaching app and can access and update everything you need. When ready to start geocaching you can locate the nearest geocaches to your current location, search using address/postal code, search by GC code, search for trackables, and view pocket queries. Search results are listed from nearest to furthest. For each result you can view the location, latitude and longitude, difficulty, terrain, size of the geocache, and the date hidden. You can also view recent logs, a description, pictures, attributes, post a log/field note, and a GPS enabled map (equipped with iPhone 3G S compass integration) for each geocache.
Geocaching is a truly impressive navigation app. Everything about it screams quality. The menus are clean, the features are comprehensive, and the layout is ideal. Groundspeak Inc., truly designed this app with the intent to significantly enhance a users geocaching experience. In addition, they continue to regularly improve on the app by incorporating suggestions and feedback provided on their forum by users and geocaching enthusiasts. Even though some of the features only work on iPhone 3G and 3G S (GPS & compass), you can use Geocaching on an iPod touch as well. How? The app allows you to download and save all information about a geocache (location, notes, images, etc.) and access it offline. So when connected to WiFi you can download and save everything you need to your iPod touch and then head out on your adventure.
There are only a couple of enhancements I can currently think of that I’d like to see added. Currently it doesn’t provide you with driving directions, which I think should be in there. It’d be great to be able to snap pictures from within the app and add them to a geocache entry. It may also be cool to be able to update Twitter and Facebook from within the app so you can keep your friends up to date on the progress of your geocache adventure. And finally It’d be nice for recent searches to be automatically saved so you don’ t have to re-enter them every time.
One thing’s for sure if you’re interested in geocaching this app is a must have. Just running a quick search around my house I located a geocache in a nearby outdoor water park (nicely landscaped waterfalls and fountains) less than a mile from my house. How cool is that! What treasures are hiding near you? There’s only one way to find out!
Version Reviewed: 3.1
Requirements: iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad; iPhone OS 3.1.2 or later
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