Poll

Has the GPS receiver seen its day?

Yes
2 (22.2%)
No
7 (77.8%)

Total Members Voted: 9

Author Topic: The demise of the GPS receiver  (Read 807 times)

Offline Griff Grof

  • Administrator
  • CacheWalker
  • *
  • Posts: 4248
  • Karma: +40/-1
  • The joys of caching
  • Location: The Cotswolds, UK
    • View Profile
    • My Geocaching Blog
The demise of the GPS receiver
« on: September 29, 2013, 06:07:17 pm »
Just wondering: how long do you think it will be before this happens  ???

I think we've discussed this elsewhere on here briefly, but oh well  :D

I think that smartphones are being used far more now, they're less chunky, have better screen resolutions, and can search for caches any time through the app - plus, many people always have theirs with them.

Garmin are no longer supporting Wherigo, which would draw some people back, and, their new devices are starting to BECOME smartphones.

Are we seeing the last few months of the GPS receiver as we know it? - have your say in the poll above, and why not drop a reply?

Personally, I think we are, which is a shame as a phone will never be as sturdy, reliable and have such a good battery life  :( But caching has got to change with the times...
~Caching in the Cotswolds and beyond ~
My Geocaching Blog ~ SUBSCRIBE

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter


Offline tarmacjohn

  • Moderator
  • CacheWalker
  • *
  • Posts: 1436
  • Karma: +30/-0
  • Anywhere is walking distance if you have the time
  • Location: Evesham
    • View Profile
    • My Faceboook page
Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2013, 08:26:08 pm »
Can I just put it on record that

I HATE CACHING BY PHONE  >:( >:(

The battery life is rubbish (or at least my iphone is), they are fragile, not waterproof, accuracy isn't great, no clip to put on my belt loops.

Shall I go on  ???

Offline walktall

  • Administrator
  • CacheWalker
  • *
  • Posts: 4027
  • Karma: +38/-7
  • the Peace of walking
    • View Profile
    • Yinglong
Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2013, 09:55:08 pm »
The battery life is rubbish (or at least my iphone is), they are fragile, not waterproof, accuracy isn't great, no clip to put on my belt loops.

You installed that app that makes the iphone waterproof :o :o :o

Totally agree with TJ

Having used a smart phone now and again, they are still not up to the job. This comes back to my idea device - computer + GPS + camera + phone + jukebox - it doesn't exist yet and I think it is still quite a few years away, if nothing else battery life is still pants :(
Lets go for a CacheWalker  
CacheWalker & Cotswold Caching forums for the Cotswolds & beyond

Offline Griff Grof

  • Administrator
  • CacheWalker
  • *
  • Posts: 4248
  • Karma: +40/-1
  • The joys of caching
  • Location: The Cotswolds, UK
    • View Profile
    • My Geocaching Blog
Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 08:24:26 am »
I agree too!

But, if you look at the newest Garmin's, they basically are smartphones  :o
~Caching in the Cotswolds and beyond ~
My Geocaching Blog ~ SUBSCRIBE

Offline Gackt

  • ABH Walker
  • *
  • Posts: 792
  • Karma: +12/-0
  • GeoVampire
  • Location: Cirencester
    • View Profile
    • about.me
Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 08:50:40 am »
I am going to be controversial and say yes. But only because it is more a yes than a no.

I am not using an iAnything, I am using android. I do not use a Geocaching app by Groundspeak, I use non-official ones. The battery life is good. The accuracy is on par with my GPSr. The only time my GPSr comes out of my backpack now is when setting a cache to double check the coordinates, it has agreed with the phone each time so far. And I always carry the GPSr so that I have it available to include it in a photo for other location based games.

The only negatives I see at the moment is fragility and water tightness, but it feels much more rugged sat in the flip-open padded case.

Until I gave the phone a good try I was not convinced. Everywhere was telling me that a dedicated GPSr was the equipment to have. But my GPSr cannot scan gc.com and pick out a few caches to go and do whilst laying in bed. I cannot use my GPSr to create a pocket query whilst sat almost anywhere, and I certainly cannot download the pocket query straight to it on the fly and have all the caches available to me immediately. I can with the phone. My GPSr can only store 500 waypoints, the phone has no limit to the amount it can store (not an easily measurable amount anyway). I can also log the caches on-line wherever I am... just a few of the good points.

Offline tarmacjohn

  • Moderator
  • CacheWalker
  • *
  • Posts: 1436
  • Karma: +30/-0
  • Anywhere is walking distance if you have the time
  • Location: Evesham
    • View Profile
    • My Faceboook page
Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 09:22:01 am »
I am going to be controversial and say yes. But only because it is more a yes than a no.

I am not using an iAnything, I am using android. I do not use a Geocaching app by Groundspeak, I use non-official ones. The battery life is good. The accuracy is on par with my GPSr. The only time my GPSr comes out of my backpack now is when setting a cache to double check the coordinates, it has agreed with the phone each time so far. And I always carry the GPSr so that I have it available to include it in a photo for other location based games.

The only negatives I see at the moment is fragility and water tightness, but it feels much more rugged sat in the flip-open padded case.

Until I gave the phone a good try I was not convinced. Everywhere was telling me that a dedicated GPSr was the equipment to have. But my GPSr
But my GPSr cannot scan gc.com and pick out a few caches to go and do whilst laying in bed

You go caching in your bed.  Impressive

Offline walktall

  • Administrator
  • CacheWalker
  • *
  • Posts: 4027
  • Karma: +38/-7
  • the Peace of walking
    • View Profile
    • Yinglong
Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2013, 09:51:24 am »
But, if you look at the newest Garmin's, they basically are smartphones  :o

Technologies are definitely merging but for what we (cachers) use a GPS for, smartphones don't cut it but for most muggles, GPS on a smartphone is great.

You can see this in the compact camera arena, how long will they last as smartphone cameras get better.

It might be that a unit's primary function is first designed and then a phone bolted on so you get 'smartphones' designed for a primary function which it would do as well as the stand alone unit but with the benefits of other technologies bolted on. This could well mean that a GPS smartphone is bulkier than others and is designed to save power, change power source easily, designed to take knocks and is waterproof :)
Lets go for a CacheWalker  
CacheWalker & Cotswold Caching forums for the Cotswolds & beyond

Offline walktall

  • Administrator
  • CacheWalker
  • *
  • Posts: 4027
  • Karma: +38/-7
  • the Peace of walking
    • View Profile
    • Yinglong
Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2013, 10:08:19 am »
I am going to be controversial and say yes. But only because it is more a yes than a no.

I am not using an iAnything, I am using android. I do not use a Geocaching app by Groundspeak, I use non-official ones. The battery life is good. The accuracy is on par with my GPSr. The only time my GPSr comes out of my backpack now is when setting a cache to double check the coordinates, it has agreed with the phone each time so far. And I always carry the GPSr so that I have it available to include it in a photo for other location based games.

The only negatives I see at the moment is fragility and water tightness, but it feels much more rugged sat in the flip-open padded case.

Until I gave the phone a good try I was not convinced. Everywhere was telling me that a dedicated GPSr was the equipment to have. But my GPSr cannot scan gc.com and pick out a few caches to go and do whilst laying in bed. I cannot use my GPSr to create a pocket query whilst sat almost anywhere, and I certainly cannot download the pocket query straight to it on the fly and have all the caches available to me immediately. I can with the phone. My GPSr can only store 500 waypoints, the phone has no limit to the amount it can store (not an easily measurable amount anyway). I can also log the caches on-line wherever I am... just a few of the good points.

I've used two smartphones which includes my current one and they have been OK in good signal areas but put in a more trickier area like: woods, in the base of a valley or in town and they struggled to the point I had to give up. And battery power, well that on both phones has been pants!

The one thing I think is brilliant, is the instant nature of a smartphone, being able to get caches while out but this costs and I can't afford it, so for me, a smartphone looses one of its major plus points.
Lets go for a CacheWalker  
CacheWalker & Cotswold Caching forums for the Cotswolds & beyond

Offline Griff Grof

  • Administrator
  • CacheWalker
  • *
  • Posts: 4248
  • Karma: +40/-1
  • The joys of caching
  • Location: The Cotswolds, UK
    • View Profile
    • My Geocaching Blog
Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2013, 10:39:31 am »
Yes, very true !

I think smartphones are, as you said, getting much better... They DO need to improve battery life.

Also, they're not 'tough enough' - for example, what's the worse accident you've had with your GPS?

It's probably a guarantee that a smartphone wouldn't have survived that, and so that's why I think GPS's still have their place for a while - if you're out on a mountain with plenty of rocky outcrops you don't want to risk it with a phone!
~Caching in the Cotswolds and beyond ~
My Geocaching Blog ~ SUBSCRIBE

Offline Gackt

  • ABH Walker
  • *
  • Posts: 792
  • Karma: +12/-0
  • GeoVampire
  • Location: Cirencester
    • View Profile
    • about.me
Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2013, 01:26:05 pm »
This subject has many topics that can be discussed / debated. Nice one Griff Grof for bringing up :D

I'll pick one point made for the moment to explain how I use / get around, and that is this one brought up by walktall:
The one thing I think is brilliant, is the instant nature of a smartphone, being able to get caches while out but this costs and I can't afford it, so for me, a smartphone looses one of its major plus points.

I have a 250mb per month included with my basic phone plan. Since the beginning of the year when I got the phone I have not used more than 100mb per month, and so have not paid any extra. How I have got around this is two fold, but both by using the wifi. When I am out in places like Tesco's for example, I connect to their free wifi. For the times I am not in the range of such free wifi, because I have BT broadband I can tap into free wifi spots all over the country (and the world apparently), and so use this to check on new caches and check email notifications. The BT wifi hotspots are extensive and I have been surprised where I have picked up a signal, for example when I placed the Ciren Movable Cache in the farmland behind our house yesterday I was connected where I hid it which was over 500' from the nearest building.

When I plan to do a number of caches, which has not been often this year, I create and download a PQ straight to my phone so have everything stored on there like I would if I had created a PQ downloaded to my PC and transferred to my GPSr via a cable. I have done this whilst out and about, and whilst laying in bed :) ..I don't sleep well, I have to do something in bed, and yes there is probably more interesting I could be doing there :D

Offline Gackt

  • ABH Walker
  • *
  • Posts: 792
  • Karma: +12/-0
  • GeoVampire
  • Location: Cirencester
    • View Profile
    • about.me
Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2013, 01:41:05 pm »
Hear is a link to the first big trial I did using the phone for caching, which describes the battery life. I have not noticed the battery worsen in the following months, but I have not found that many caches in one hit since either.

You might look at the battery life that I described there and decide it is poor. But compared to my GPSr it is good. With a set of Duracells in my GPSr they would of been used up almost completely by the end of that day. I have to say though that my GPSr is not a modern one.

Offline walktall

  • Administrator
  • CacheWalker
  • *
  • Posts: 4027
  • Karma: +38/-7
  • the Peace of walking
    • View Profile
    • Yinglong
Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2013, 05:59:27 pm »
This subject has many topics that can be discussed / debated. Nice one Griff Grof for bringing up :D

I'll pick one point made for the moment to explain how I use / get around, and that is this one brought up by walktall:
I have a 250mb per month included with my basic phone plan. Since the beginning of the year when I got the phone I have not used more than 100mb per month, and so have not paid any extra. How I have got around this is two fold, but both by using the wifi. When I am out in places like Tesco's for example, I connect to their free wifi. For the times I am not in the range of such free wifi, because I have BT broadband I can tap into free wifi spots all over the country (and the world apparently), and so use this to check on new caches and check email notifications. The BT wifi hotspots are extensive and I have been surprised where I have picked up a signal, for example when I placed the Ciren Movable Cache in the farmland behind our house yesterday I was connected where I hid it which was over 500' from the nearest building.

My issue is 10 a month is toooo much, I can't justify that cost for something I would use effectively just for geocaching and the odd (very odd) need to make a phone call. It would also need to be Windows based mobile, as Memory Map on Android is no where near as good :(

I do make use of wifi hotspots, which is great. I remember being in Letterkenny logging a TB to make sure the history stayed correct, as I was on holiday for another six days after dropping off the TB :)
Lets go for a CacheWalker  
CacheWalker & Cotswold Caching forums for the Cotswolds & beyond

Offline walktall

  • Administrator
  • CacheWalker
  • *
  • Posts: 4027
  • Karma: +38/-7
  • the Peace of walking
    • View Profile
    • Yinglong
Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2013, 06:03:44 pm »
PS I do think in time the technologies will merge but what might take longer is battery power. So using 'AA' batteries for a GPS is much easier to carry spare power or buy some if you ran out unexpectedly.
Lets go for a CacheWalker  
CacheWalker & Cotswold Caching forums for the Cotswolds & beyond

Offline The Wombles

  • First Steps
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I'm a CacheWalker
  • Location: Chippenham, Wiltshire
    • View Profile
Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2013, 10:10:13 pm »

Personally I prefer a separate GPSr but since upgrading my smartphone I can now actually find caches with it! 

Going in the other direction, Garmin are about to launch an Android based GPS which has everything apart from a phone (but will connect to WiFi). Garmin Monterra. http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/122006-garmin-monterra-outdoor-gps-pictures-and-hands-on

It's even got a smartphone price!



Offline tarmacjohn

  • Moderator
  • CacheWalker
  • *
  • Posts: 1436
  • Karma: +30/-0
  • Anywhere is walking distance if you have the time
  • Location: Evesham
    • View Profile
    • My Faceboook page
Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 10:15:44 pm »
600

I would want it to sign the log for me as well at that price

 


CacheWalker - for those who love geocaching and walking
2012-2019 CacheWalker

Header Image: Kandersteg, Switzerland Altra