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Geocaching with the new iPad? Apple's cool looking new gadget

#1 User is offline   ArchtMig 

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 10:43 PM

Well Steve Jobs finally debuted the long awaited and long speculated Apple Tablet device today. Basically looks like an iTouch on steroids. All multi-touch input. The 3G wireless equipped models will also have on-board "assisted GPS", which I believe means a standard satellite GPS antenna augmented by terrestrial wifi and cellular positioning. All existing iPhone apps are supposed to work seamlessly on the new device, and I assume this would hold true for our Geocaching app and similar apps by other developers.

The big advantage to iPhone geocaching is the ability to look for the cache using aerial photographs. The biggest complaint about the iPhone is that it's GPS is inaccurate and slow to update your relative position, especially when you are walking slowly in the close vicinity of the cache. I believe a lot of the reason for this is because the iPhone's GPS antenna is very tiny. I'm wondering if the new iPad device, being much larger, physically, will come with a larger patch antenna. )The iPhone's GPS patch antenna is only about a third of an inch square. Patch antennas on dedicated GPS devices like the Garmin Oregon are much larger.)

Anyone as eager as me to try this thing out for geocaching, at least in town if not in the wilderness?

#2 User is offline   jbirgenheier 

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 07:56 AM

View PostArchtMig, on Jan 27 2010, 10:43 PM, said:

Anyone as eager as me to try this thing out for geocaching, at least in town if not in the wilderness?


I own an iPod Touch, not an iPhone, so I haven't had the chance to ever use GPS on such a device. I am very interested in this if it does actually include a real GPS chip. Does the one on the iPhone work even when you don't have cellular reception? I would assume it would, just without the extra help, but you never know. If I buy an iPad, I would get the 3G version, but probably wouldn't activate the service through AT&T. Do you think I could still use this for geocaching without having a live internet connection?

#3 User is offline   tachoknight 

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 08:18 AM

View Postjbirgenheier, on Jan 28 2010, 07:56 AM, said:

View PostArchtMig, on Jan 27 2010, 10:43 PM, said:

Anyone as eager as me to try this thing out for geocaching, at least in town if not in the wilderness?


I own an iPod Touch, not an iPhone, so I haven't had the chance to ever use GPS on such a device. I am very interested in this if it does actually include a real GPS chip. Does the one on the iPhone work even when you don't have cellular reception? I would assume it would, just without the extra help, but you never know. If I buy an iPad, I would get the 3G version, but probably wouldn't activate the service through AT&T. Do you think I could still use this for geocaching without having a live internet connection?


It's my understanding that the "assisted gps" that is in the iPhone is also in the 3g version of the ipad, so it should be as gps-capable as the iphone is. I learned about this the hard way when we went to Canada; I was afraid of being charged $$$$$$ for using the data network internationally so I switched it to airplane mode; turns out you can't use any gps functionality when the data functionality is switched off.

That said, when the gps is being used on the iphone, it's always gotten me to GZ (unless I'm downtown, under trees, etc. :)), so I would expect the iPad to work and behave the same way, with the same level of accuracy. Frankly, I'd *love* to try some geocaching with the iPad and have a whole field of caches shown on the bigger screen to go check out!

#4 User is offline   brewmeister 

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 09:59 AM

My only question is, do you really want to go caching with something that is 9.5 x 7.5 inches, and probably needs to be held in both hands??

#5 User is offline   ArchtMig 

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 11:21 AM

View Postjbirgenheier, on Jan 28 2010, 07:56 AM, said:

View PostArchtMig, on Jan 27 2010, 10:43 PM, said:

Anyone as eager as me to try this thing out for geocaching, at least in town if not in the wilderness?


I own an iPod Touch, not an iPhone, so I haven't had the chance to ever use GPS on such a device. I am very interested in this if it does actually include a real GPS chip. Does the one on the iPhone work even when you don't have cellular reception? I would assume it would, just without the extra help, but you never know. If I buy an iPad, I would get the 3G version, but probably wouldn't activate the service through AT&T. Do you think I could still use this for geocaching without having a live internet connection?


The iPhone GPS will still work when outside of the network and without a live internet connection only if you purchase maps and download them to your iPhone. When out of the country, you can activate "airplane" mode and turn off data to save the high $$$$$ fees, but you can still leave "location services" running, which is what controls the GPS. Then if you have maps of the area stored on the device, the GPS will still tell you where you are.

I haven't purchased on-board maps, so when I'm out in the boonies out of cell signal range, even in the USA, the GPS is still working but it doesn't have a way to show me where I am because the iPhone can't access the online maps over the network.

#6 User is offline   leitko4 

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:07 PM

If you know or suspect that a particular cache will be outside of data coverage, you can download the maps tiles beforehand from within the Groundspeak app. I've done it and it works great. It only works on a cache-by-cache basis, though, so it doesn't scale well to something like a caching weekend across the border, for instance.

#7 User is offline   user13371 

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 04:34 PM

View PostArchtMig, on Jan 27 2010, 10:43 PM, said:

Anyone as eager as me to try this thing out for geocaching, at least in town if not in the wilderness?
Not a chance for geocaching.

But as it does have GPS and lots of memory for loading maps, I wager that before the end of the year there will be some drop-dead gorgeous car-nav app(s) for it. Enable voice command, reverse the image, and velcro or otherwise attach it face-up on your dash.

10" heads-up display nav system...

#8 User is offline   SubyJeff 

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 05:56 PM

Posted Image

#9 User is offline   deb3day 

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 03:44 PM

Well, I've heard of people walking thru the woods with their laptop in hand. I'm thinking carrying the Ipad wouldn't be much better. Bulky to carry and I'd be afraid of dropping it. At least my Ipod Touch is small and can slip into my pocket or be attached to my beltloop in my carrying case. Ipad doesn't sound very practical for caching except maybe for carrying in the car for paperless info.

#10 User is offline   tubeex1995 

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:58 PM

View Postdeb3day, on Feb 13 2010, 03:44 PM, said:

Well, I've heard of people walking thru the woods with their laptop in hand. I'm thinking carrying the Ipad wouldn't be much better. Bulky to carry and I'd be afraid of dropping it. At least my Ipod Touch is small and can slip into my pocket or be attached to my beltloop in my carrying case. Ipad doesn't sound very practical for caching except maybe for carrying in the car for paperless info.



The peples that use there computer to geocache, ofter have a 3G network on it.

#11 User is offline   tubeex1995 

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:59 PM

I am going to get an ipad with a 3G network, I will tell you how it goes.

#12 User is offline   Renegade Knight 

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 02:31 PM

View Postbrewmeister, on Jan 28 2010, 10:59 AM, said:

My only question is, do you really want to go caching with something that is 9.5 x 7.5 inches, and probably needs to be held in both hands??

If you could staple it to your dashboard you might have something.

#13 User is offline   user13371 

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 03:11 PM

View PostRenegade Knight, on Feb 18 2010, 02:31 PM, said:

...staple it to your dashboard...
Nah, see post #7.

#14 User is offline   cadnology 

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 05:45 AM

View Postbrewmeister, on Jan 28 2010, 09:59 AM, said:

My only question is, do you really want to go caching with something that is 9.5 x 7.5 inches, and probably needs to be held in both hands??


How many times have you dropped your GPSr?

#15 User is offline   jon99ut 

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 06:59 AM

Can't wait to hear how the app is performing on the iPad. Got my 3G yesterday, and I can confirm the GPS works spot on in Google Maps while moving, and seems to be pretty accurate.

#16 User is offline   CacheFreakTim 

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 08:35 AM

View Postjon99ut, on May 1 2010, 10:59 AM, said:

Can't wait to hear how the app is performing on the iPad. Got my 3G yesterday, and I can confirm the GPS works spot on in Google Maps while moving, and seems to be pretty accurate.



If you get a chance let us know what the accuracy is. The iPhones gps hovers around 56ft so I am wondering if it is any better.

As far as how the app preforms I have it on my wifi iPad. The app has not been converted to a universal ipad app yet so the maps are not all they could be. You can see pics I put up Here.

#17 User is offline   jon99ut 

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 09:27 AM

I can report the GPS with my iPad 3G gets me to within 5-10ft. every time, with an estimated accuracy of 16ft according to the app. I'm loving it, and hoping for an iPad optimized version of the app soon.

#18 User is offline   GTOsaved 

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 12:48 PM

lee_rimar, on Jan 28 2010, 04:34 PM, said:

ArchtMig, on Jan 27 2010, 10:43 PM, said:

Anyone as eager as me to try this thing out for geocaching, at least in town if not in the wilderness?
Not a chance for geocaching.

But as it does have GPS and lots of memory for loading maps, I wager that before the end of the year there will be some drop-dead gorgeous car-nav app(s) for it. Enable voice command, reverse the image, and velcro or otherwise attach it face-up on your dash.

10" heads-up display nav system...

Installed the geocaching app 3.1on my 3G iPad today. I will try it out and report

#19 User is offline   GTOsaved 

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 02:48 PM

View PostGTOsaved, on May 4 2010, 12:48 PM, said:

lee_rimar, on Jan 28 2010, 04:34 PM, said:

ArchtMig, on Jan 27 2010, 10:43 PM, said:

Anyone as eager as me to try this thing out for geocaching, at least in town if not in the wilderness?
Not a chance for geocaching.

But as it does have GPS and lots of memory for loading maps, I wager that before the end of the year there will be some drop-dead gorgeous car-nav app(s) for it. Enable voice command, reverse the image, and velcro or otherwise attach it face-up on your dash.

10" heads-up display nav system...

Installed the geocaching app 3.1on my 3G iPad today. I will try it out and report


#20 User is offline   CaptCosmic 

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 02:49 PM

View Postjon99ut, on May 4 2010, 10:27 AM, said:

I can report the GPS with my iPad 3G gets me to within 5-10ft. every time, with an estimated accuracy of 16ft according to the app. I'm loving it, and hoping for an iPad optimized version of the app soon.


16ft?!? When can I get that update from my iPhone?

#21 User is offline   GTOsaved 

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 02:54 PM

Tried on several cache in Lakewood co, got me to 3 ft, I am thinking the 3G version of the iPad with version 3.1 of the geocaching iPad app seems a good combo to me, weighs about one lb, eight inch screen, can post the find immediately, and get your email.

#22 User is offline   ADTCacheur 

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 03:24 PM

Speaking as someone who is currently typing this message on an Ipad, I wouldn't use it for geocaching. I find that for geocaching, I need to use my hands as well as my eyes, and for the Ipad, I either use both hands or reeeeeeally hurt one hand. Also, one drop onto the forest floor... These are durable, but they're not meant to be dropped onto sharp twigs (or left on leather seats in the car, which somehow cracked the screen)

#23 User is offline   teadams 

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 02:22 AM

View PostADTCacheur, on May 4 2010, 03:24 PM, said:

Speaking as someone who is currently typing this message on an Ipad, I wouldn't use it for geocaching. I find that for geocaching, I need to use my hands as well as my eyes, and for the Ipad, I either use both hands or reeeeeeally hurt one hand. Also, one drop onto the forest floor... These are durable, but they're not meant to be dropped onto sharp twigs (or left on leather seats in the car, which somehow cracked the screen)



I have a large fanny pack that I wear when out hiking for the day. There are two compartment in it that the iPad fits into very nicely. While I do NOT plan on using the iPad for my day to day geocaching, I do plan on carrying it with me on at least one trip, with preloaded geocaches, just to see how it works 'out in the field'.

#24 User is offline   MikesTooLz 

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 06:51 PM

iPad has been out for over a month now, and 3g has been out for over a week. Come on we need the app to be updated for the iPad.

#25 User is offline   brslk 

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 01:01 AM

View Postteadams, on May 7 2010, 02:22 AM, said:

View PostADTCacheur, on May 4 2010, 03:24 PM, said:

Speaking as someone who is currently typing this message on an Ipad, I wouldn't use it for geocaching. I find that for geocaching, I need to use my hands as well as my eyes, and for the Ipad, I either use both hands or reeeeeeally hurt one hand. Also, one drop onto the forest floor... These are durable, but they're not meant to be dropped onto sharp twigs (or left on leather seats in the car, which somehow cracked the screen)



I have a large fanny pack that I wear when out hiking for the day. There are two compartment in it that the iPad fits into very nicely. While I do NOT plan on using the iPad for my day to day geocaching, I do plan on carrying it with me on at least one trip, with preloaded geocaches, just to see how it works 'out in the field'.


You actually wear a fanny pack that is large enough to have TWO compartments to hold an iPad?
Not making fun here but what would happen if you had the iPad in one of either pockets and you fell on your butt or front?

#26 User is offline   mwagenkn 

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 01:04 PM

I have used the ipad on two different geocaching camping trips in CO and a geocaching road trip from CO to TX and back.. The GPS is accurate to 16 ft most of the time even in the mountains. The accuracy is better than the iPhone 3GS and 3G we had with us as well. The app needs updated for the ipad but does perform well. I have had a couple occasions with the magnetic compass spinning and being erratic. I checked my old school compass each time and it was having issues as well, but not to the degree the iPad was. It seems to be more sensitive to interference than a normal compass. My issues were caused by iron ore or magnetite deposits underground.

I have had no issues with rough terrain with my ipad. Of course, trying to climb or jump with it will increase risk.. Buy a neoprene case and take a backpack. You should take one with you anyway if you are going to be out for a while. Water, snacks, extra trash bags (don't forget Trash Out), etc. Case it, put it in your backpack, then tackle the tough terrain. Once at a stable point, check your position and head out..

While you are at it, get the MotionX GPS app. Not the Driving Directions one.. useful, but not for geocaching. I have hit a couple geocaches that have a range and bearing clue in the cache.

The iPad is not much heavier than medium sized book and definitely lighter than a laptop.


FOR THOSE MENTIONING AIRPLANE MODE:
Remember that Airplane mode is simply what it says. It turns off all communication chips that are required by the FAA during flight. If you are worried about cell phone charges but want to use the GPS function, _DONT_ use airplane mode. see below for the proper method:

iPad: Go to Settings, Cellular Data. Turn off Data Roaming, or even better, turn off Cellular Data. That will allow you to use WIFI and GPS without incurring cell provider charges.

iPhone: Go to Settings, General, Network. Turn off Data Roaming, or even better, turn off Cellular Data. That will allow you to use WIFI and GPS without incurring cell provider charges.

#27 User is offline   hodgesjl 

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 01:48 PM

Gotta say - I took the iPad with 3G out geocaching last Friday and again today. Amazing. I used the Geocaching app to find out about caches near me, read all the info, navigate to the cache, find it, then logged it right there by the cache! On one, I was able to email the cache owner while I was standing there by GZ to get some clarification. Got a quick response and found the cache. I am hooked!

#28 User is offline   AuntFlora 

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  Posted 16 August 2010 - 11:28 AM

Well, I'm about to take the iPad plunge. Right now am using iPhone 3G and old Garmin GPS. I end up wasting way to much paper this way. I also plan to use it in my grad school classes and with the students I teach. Also want to read e-books & not buy a single use device. As to taking it into risky areas; I take the advice of using backpack and common sense with the current gear. Leave it in the car? Be sure it is VERY WELL hidden. :laughing:

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