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Apps Geocaching

Discussion in 'Android Development' started by TrCeaAstTer, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. CaseyB

    CaseyB Newbie
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    I've decided to call it GeoDroid. You know Geocaching + Android = GeoDroid. Not super creative, but it'll do!
     

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  2. mattfidaho

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    sorry to dig it up. but any more info on this?
    It looks really cool
     
  3. CaseyB

    CaseyB Newbie
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    I have changed the name back to Geocacher and as of today (02-20-09) it is available in the Android Market! You can see more info about it at http://www.mooproductions.org/node/2
     
  4. mattfidaho

    mattfidaho Newbie
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    AWESOME!

    now I just have to wait and try and find it on market, :)
     
  5. RyeBrye

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    If your market isn't showing paid apps - you can fix that quickly by performing a search for the title of a paid app like "Guitar Hero" and then you will see it in the results. When you back out of that screen and then go to look at the apps - you will see it.

    You can find this app by searching for "Geocaching" I believe. (The search on market really sucks)
     
  6. Tyrell

    Tyrell Newbie
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    Does the most recent version of the GeoDroid Demo have the same features as Geocacher? The Demo still does not work all that well but I haven't tried the for-sale version yet.

    Out of curiosity, did you get permission from Groundspeak to use their geocaching logo? In the past they have been protective of it.

    BTW, I was startled to learn that Google gets 30% of sales. That seems like a lot.
     
  7. Tyrell

    Tyrell Newbie
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    I see that we have four geocaching apps on the Market at four different prices. A little competition doesn't hurt. Has anyone tried all of them?
     
  8. kvdnberg

    kvdnberg Lurker
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    I've been trying Geodroid demo (which I believe has nothing to do with the geocacher app discusses here, it's developed by Clinkybot and the screens and options are different, though there are similarities).

    I think the app is nice but I do miss some things like:
    - showing multiple caches on a map, currently it'll only display the one you've selected
    - searching the list of caches you have loaded. They appear in order of geocache number. If you have GPS signal you can search for nearby caches but I'd like to be able to go to the info of a specific cache by name

    and one or two other things
    But the most negative point by far for me is the fact that it can only load small gpx files (it says smaller than 2 or 3 mb but I've had probles with files under 700kb!), and if they're too big you will get a "force close". This makes it a lot of hassle for me to load my pocket queries, which I could load fine on my 'ancient' Nokia 9500 using smartgpx.

    So I'm very interested in the geocacher app. The problem is, I'm in the Netherlands and as far as I've read the paid apps are only available after the RC33 update which currently is planned for the end of march (!!) due to the translation to dutch they're doing (which I am NOT interested in at all, I just want the RC33 features and fixes) and I don't want to wait that long. Is there any other way to pay for and get the app on my G1?

    CaseyB: If you'd like some inspiration for your geocaching app, have a look at smartgpx. If you don't have a compatible phone I could try and send you some screenshots. It has some really nice features, among which is the filter system.
     
  9. Tyrell

    Tyrell Newbie
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    Great country the Netherlands! :D

    I remember seeing instructions for manually loading RC33 but I don't think that alone will change your Market to paid options. You will probably have to wait. :(

    Thanks for the thoughts on Geodroid. I see on the clinkybot website that the demo is going away soon. Maybe the paid version ($9.99) will add some features.
     
  10. CaseyB

    CaseyB Newbie
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    Geocacher will already sort finds by Name, Waypoint, and Distance. It also shows all the caches that you have loaded on the map and has no problem with any size gpx file.

    You can see on my blog how to manually update to RC33, but that won't help you with the paid apps as they are rolled out from a central server.
     
  11. kvdnberg

    kvdnberg Lurker
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    Thanks CaseyB, sounds like your geocaching app is just what I'm looking for. How's the import of gpx files? Can it handle gpx files with 500 caches (approx 4-5mb)?

    I really hope I don't have to wait too long to buy this app.....

    Tyrell: I noticed you added geobeagle to the list. This app doesn't do too much right now. It links to the geocaching website with your current coordinates to get a list or map of geocaches nearby. When you select one there is a way to get the coordinates in geobeagle and then use a radar to see where it is from your position, or view it on a map (google maps or andnav or another map app you have installed).

    CacheKing I couldn't find any info on. Is this a paid app? Any info on it from the android market?
     
  12. kvdnberg

    kvdnberg Lurker
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    Adding some experience with Geobeagle, I did 2 multi's today and found this app to be convenient for finding waypoints along the way. Loading a geocaches' coordinates from the webpage is a hassle but you can manually edit the coordinates and then go to map or radar to see where it is from your position. Geodroid can do the same thing but is VERY slow in loading nearby caches and without the inability to search the full list of loaded caches/waypoints, navigating the list is frustrating. In my honest opinion I think Geodroid (demo) is rather badly programmed, it has a lot of "force close" issues and some illogical things. One other thing that's not done right is the GPS info screen, which shows you the coordinates and other gps info, but even though there is a settings screen where you can set the gps coordinates format (decimal, decimal minutes or decimal, minutes, seconds), it only shows decimal degrees.

    Which brings up another question I have for CaseyB - have you considered showing the coordinates in the compass screen? Whenever I am in a compass screen I miss seeing the actual coordinates.
     
  13. Tyrell

    Tyrell Newbie
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    In general I like what I see but I'm having major problems importing PQs, and when it works the cache descriptions are missing some of the critical info such as cache type and date placed. The sort feature is nice--it needs more categories--but there is no search feature which makes browsing a long list tedious. No way to export or even view a found cache list, either. The map display of caches helps but can get cluttered at normal zoom levels.

    For now the big problem is the GPX import. The File Browser is filled with irrelevant files (it should show only files that can be imported) and truncates the file names. A given PQ has 3 files, all with the same truncated name. The first file is normally the daughter waypoints which Geocacher mangles. The second file comprises the caches which import properly but takes several minutes for a 1M file; files of about 200K are processed in a few seconds. I have no idea what the third file consists of but when selected Geocacher quits.

    Also, the database is unstable. Often, when I leave Geocacher and return the caches are all gone. The caches disappear when I try to import a second PQ, too. Evidently, the database has been corrupted.

    A few questions. When a file is imported where does Geocacher store the data? I hope it's the SD card because I have only 12M left in internal memory. Is there a limit to the number of caches? What does Geocacher do when a new PQ contains some caches already in the database?

    Thanks, keep working and we'll keep you posted.
     
  14. Tyrell

    Tyrell Newbie
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    CacheKing costs $0.99. You can enter a waypoint manually and follow a clumsy compass to it. View the waypoint on a map, of course. That's about it. Not very exciting for now.
     
  15. CaseyB

    CaseyB Newbie
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    @ kvdnberg
    Coordinates on the compass screen will definitely be in the next update!

    @ Tyrell
    There is an update in the Market now that fixes the problems with the caches going away. Now I save them using the built in SQLite database, I'm not sure where that is stored. But there are some issues with that now that I am working out.

    The File Browser I wrote was originally only intended to be used during development since I was sure that someone would write a more full featured browser before I released my app, the problem is that they all want to push data into other applications instead of having data pulled from them. For example, with Linda, you can open Linda and choose the file you can to open and which program you want to open it with, then Linda sends a message to that programs and pushes that file into it. With Geocacher I send out an message telling the operating system that my user wants to choose a file and no one else responds to that. That being said I am working to make changes to File Browser in breaks from Geocacher and File Browser is completely open source so I hope that other devs who want the same functionality will contribute some too.

    I am planning on adding proper search and the ability to view a list of found caches. I want to get everything that's there rock solid first.
     
  16. StephenNg

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    Hello, I'm the guy who wrote GeoBeagle and would like to point out that the latest version (at http://code.google.com/p/geobeagle/downloads/list, soon to be up on the MarketPlace) does now support gpx importing.

    And GeoBeagle is not only free, it's Open Source, so you can look at (and use) all of the source code, and I'd be happy to have other people contribute to it.

    I have lots of ideas for stuff I want to add to the app, but of course since this is not my day job I'm trying to be really careful about prioritizing features, and would love to get your input.

    --Steve
     
  17. kvdnberg

    kvdnberg Lurker
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    Good to see you here Stephen!

    I've tried the latest version of Geobeagle last night (I see it's now updated again, latest on the marketplace according to http://code.google.com/p/geobeagle/downloads/list ) and the import works great, gonna try the newer one now!
     
  18. kvdnberg

    kvdnberg Lurker
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    If you try Geobeagle and want to import (you need to 'click' on the '...' button next to the coordinates field and then press menu), turn the GPS on first, it currently gives an error with GPS off. Just succesfully imported a gpx file with 500 caches. It does get a bit slow with listing these but that's understandable.
     
  19. CaseyB

    CaseyB Newbie
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    There's been another update to Geocacher! It has a new icon and splash screen as well as some bug fixes and new features! Check it out on the market or read more at http://www.mooproductions.org
     
  20. Tyrell

    Tyrell Newbie
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    I noticed there were updates for 3 of the geocaching apps. Good work, developers! Keep 'em coming!

    GeoBeagle: Thanks for checking in with us, Steve. Your app has my favorite icon and name. So many geocachers have geo-dogs (usually collies or retrievers around my area) that it is a natural. I take it you have a beagle? I have not used GeoBeagle much because it has required a good data connection to work and the places I geocache often have a poor if any cell signal. Also, I dislike the radar screen--give me a proper compass. The new GPX import feature could help provide an off-line database but is limited to one file which, along with other limitations (no search, no hint, decimal degree format, etc.), makes it less useful.

    Geocacher: Did Groundspeak speak to you about using their logo? ;) I just mention it because I have seen how they treat other businesses. The database seems stable with the latest update but is awfully slow to load. Unfortunately, it appears to be stored in internal memory which is too precious to use on large databases. Note that the Delete All command needs a confirm screen!

    Geodroid: New version of this app which has a few bugs but works reasonably well. Like Geocacher, the database is sluggish.

    On other news, the developer of CacheMate has recently purchased an Android development phone. I used CacheMate for several years on the Palm OS and look forward to it on Android. Groundspeak has it on their to-do list as well.
     
  21. CaseyB

    CaseyB Newbie
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    Yeah, they talked to be about their logo but they were actually pretty cool about it and gave me permission to use their geocache icons. I have done a lot of work on the speed of the database and it is MUCH faster. I'll post another update on Monday or Tuesday. The fact that the database is in internal memory sucks, it would be nice if you could choose where to store it. Good call on the confirmation screen, I'll add that! I've also got a bunch of other features that I am working on, not sure which ones will be in by the next update, so I'll post back later and let you know!
     
  22. CaseyB

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    Ok, I uploaded the new version of Geocacher. The improvements in this edition are:

    Improved overall speed and performance
    Fixed a bug in the saving of the caches
    Cleaned up the info dialog and Mark Waypoint screen a little bit
    Added a confirmation dialog on Delete all geocaches
    Added support to load zip filed directly (this currently only loads the geocache file, not the associated waypoint file.)
    Added a Driving directions hack as a stop-gap until the SDK allows people to use routes.
     
  23. StephenNg

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    Hi Tyrell,

    We used to have a dog, but not anymore :-(. Robert and I both wanted to name the app after a caching-friendly animal of some kind. We also considered the name "GeoGoat" or some such, but GeoBeagle had a nicer ring to it.

    I expect the next version to have support for importing multiple files as well as hints.

    Why do you prefer a compass over the radar? I admit I initially started using Radar just because it saved me a bunch of time since someone else had already implemented it, but the thing I like about it is that it displays both direction and distance graphically. (But not accuracy, yet).

    Searching is on our to-do list already, and I'll add support for different coordinate formats as well to the list.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Steve
     
  24. Tyrell

    Tyrell Newbie
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    A radar-style screen is great for displaying multiple, moving objects in all directions. If you are on a boat or plane that can be useful information.

    But that is not what a geocacher needs. We navigate to a fixed object for which a compass is the appropriate tool. The compass which has been around since at least the 11th century is instantly understood and easy to read in common navigation terms.

    The G1's radar provides only a tiny dot for the target and a relative direction, not compass direction. It does not even tell which way is north. The radar screen can be used kind of like a child's compass to approach a cache but seems mostly for show.

    Also, the radar has that very annoying expanding blip that makes me want to puke. The animation should be turned off because it serves no purpose.

    So, to improve the radar we could add basic navigation info such as cardinal directions, add a pointer to the target and... well, make it into a compass!
     
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