CacheWalker

Caching => Caching Gear/ Tech Talk => Topic started by: Griff Grof on September 29, 2013, 06:07:17 pm

Title: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Griff Grof 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...
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: tarmacjohn 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  ???
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: walktall 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 :(
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Griff Grof 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
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Gackt 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.
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: tarmacjohn 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
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: walktall 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 :)
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: walktall 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.
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Griff Grof 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!
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Gackt 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
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Gackt on September 30, 2013, 01:41:05 pm
Hear is a link (http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=310962&view=findpost&p=5255080) 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.
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: walktall 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 :)
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: walktall 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.
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: The Wombles 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!


Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: tarmacjohn on October 23, 2013, 10:15:44 pm
£600

I would want it to sign the log for me as well at that price
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Gackt on October 23, 2013, 10:29:19 pm
Being based on Android I guess then that you can stretch the screen to make what you are viewing larger? That would be handy for me. When we did that night cache a little while ago I held Yorkshire Yellow's GPSr for a while, but without my glasses on I did find the display a bit small to see. With my phone I can stretch the screen so that I can view it a bit bit easier.

The dedicated GPS does still tend to have that bit more ruggedness about it though. I was out the other night for a few hours in constant rain, only walking, not caching, but was checking out places for possible caches. It's the first time since I mostly moved to my phone over my dedicated GPS that I felt a bit nervous keeping it out in the open. Only got it out of my pocket when I needed to check coords of where I was.
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: walktall on October 23, 2013, 10:29:32 pm
£600

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

:D
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Mashcast on October 24, 2013, 10:01:59 am
I'm caching on my phone (Samsung Galaxy SII) - using the c:geo app and I think it's pretty good so far.

Phone caching has it's advantages especially for urban caches where you can paperless cache and also log your visit from GZ. No need for any planning if you have a decent network connection.
Also c:geo has allowed me to save any number of cache details offline as a basice member (i thought this was a premium perk but the app does it anyway) - going offline just using the GPS part of the phone saves a lot of battery.

For longer walks and rural areas then I suspect a GPSr would be more ideal. My 6 year old likes navigating to the cache and I do worry that my phone will break if she drops it. They're of more use for premium members too who can download PQ's. I'll be looking to get a cheapish GPSr from ebay soon to try it out. It's also more convenient to replace batteries.

So I would say both have advantages and disadvantes still, so GPSr is not dead yet  :)
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Gackt on October 24, 2013, 01:27:26 pm
They're of more use for premium members too who can download PQ's.
Do you know that you can download PQs to the phone you are using c:geo with, as long as you receive email on your phone too, just like you can with a dedicated GPSr? In fact maybe easier than some as you don't need to connect it to any computer via a cable.

- Create a PQ, it will be sent to you by email.
- Open your email and download the attachment.
- Open c:geo and press 'Stored'.
- Press 'Menu', then 'Manage', then 'Import GPX. c:geo will search your phone for any GPX files and list them for you.
- Select the one you want to import, which will just be the one if you haven't tried before. The phone will then process the file, this could take some minutes depending on how large the PQ was.

You've then got details of a host of offline caches in your pocket. And one good thing with a phone like that one is that you can store many more caches than many dedicated GPSrs can. If you've you've had the PQ in your phone for a long time and you want to check if any certain caches are still available and don't have any issues, then just select the cache and press 'Refresh' to updated the individual cache details.

If you knew all that then sorry, but it might be useful for someone else who is reading here :)
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: walktall on October 24, 2013, 02:53:16 pm
I've used c:geo as well on my Windows smart phone but much prefer using a device that has OS maps on it and c:geo doesn't interface with Memory Map on the mobile. Or does some one know how?

I would used my smart phone more but the resolution of the screen to select an object on the map is very poor, my old iPaq was far better and usable. I normally give up on my smart phone after I've managed to select everything on the map except what I want to :o
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Gackt on October 24, 2013, 08:52:37 pm
I have not used Memory Map, so do not know if it can be used with c:geo. Addional offline maps can be installed though, for example these ones (http://download.mapsforge.org/maps/europe/). I have the England and Wales map installed, and have just installed Belgium too. Using a combination of offline maps, like those, and a loaded PQ means you're setup for caching on a phone just like a dedicated GPSr and don't have to download a byte of data in the field.

The maps linked to above though are nowhere near as detailed as OS maps. But if anyone has any digital OS maps that are in the .map format, then they should be able to be used with c:geo.
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Mashcast on October 25, 2013, 09:58:44 am
Quote from: SangueG
Do you know that you can download PQs to the phone you are using c:geo with, as long as you receive email on your phone too, just like you can with a dedicated GPSr?

No, I didn't!  :)

I've only just purchased a premium membership so so far I've been doing all my 'caching without using PQ's. c:geo has been allowing me to store cache details offline without limits (I have about 400 caches stored on my phone for Swindon area) so I've been able to navigate and see cache descriptions offline without any issue up until now. The only thing I don't currently get offline is a map layer - I assume this is what memory map is for so i'll check that app out :)

I'll have a play with the PQ feature to my phone though, but I'm not sure what benifits I'll get from them yet, until I actually get a GPSr which can handle PQ's. I'll probably be asking GPSr relate questions if I bump into any of you at the Cotswold Water Park meet up.

Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Gackt on October 25, 2013, 08:53:06 pm
You can have an offline map layer by just downloading and saving one of the free maps from the link in my last post to your phone. They're not great for rural caching, but they are better than no map, and no data charge because they are off line obviously.

You don't need memory map. Though if we can make it work with c:geo and you don't mind spending some money, I think the maps would be a lot better.

See attached screen shot of the free england map working with c:geo.


Edited to add, I could create a few users guides for here on this subject, but if wanted it wouldn't be for a week or so. If you get to the event at the water park I can show you how I have set my phone up with these maps.
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: SidAndBob on October 27, 2013, 10:10:05 pm
Just joined up to make a couple of points on this thread. ;)

Although I'm a big fan of the dedicated GPSr I have also used smartphones to assist the process for a number of years now. OS maps on a large, high resolution screen are something else. 8)

For those that don't want a mobile phone contract, are you aware of OVIVO? They operate on the Vodafone network. You buy the SIM (£20) and that's it, you never pay anything again. Every month you get 150mins of calls, 250 texts and 500MB of data for free, which is plenty for a light user just wanting to look up geocache listings. Every month these allowances are renewed. I know it sounds too good to be true, but there you go. ;D

I'm sure that many people are aware that MM Tracker was available for Android. This was an unofficial app that filled the Memory Map gap on the Android platform. If you have access to Memory Map QCT maps this works beautifully with them. It was shut down by Memory Map, but you can still find the application via unofficial channels.
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: walktall on October 28, 2013, 01:04:36 am
Great info  ;D
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Griff Grof on October 28, 2013, 09:12:58 am
Great info  ;D

Certainly  ;D

I agree that OS maps on a high-res screen like a smartphone is something completely different... One thing that's always had me confused with memory map, though, is whether or not it is a one-off payment, monthly payment, how many maps you get to start with, and what devices it's compatible with  :-\
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: SidAndBob on October 28, 2013, 12:30:29 pm
Glad to be of help. I can't see Ovivo lasting forever, but they've been going a few years now. The SIM only recently went up from £15 too.

I believe the Memory Map application is free, but the maps are very expensive. See here (http://shop.memory-map.co.uk/acatalog/maps-ordnance-survey-explorer.html).
You buy the maps you want and then you own them.
While there are Memory Map apps that run on IoS and Android now, the company left their customers high and dry for several years producing no mobile app on any current platform. Users were very unhappy and turned to MM Tracker in droves. Memory Map finally published an IoS and Android version of Memory Map last year. The previous version ran on Windows Mobile 6.x, which dates back to 2007.
The older OS maps were not encrypted and were extensively pirated.

If you're looking for alternatives, I wrote this blog (http://peterdean.co.uk/wpblog/?p=143) in January. You can create perfect, free OS 1:25K maps for a mobile device. The catch is that you need a Magellan eXplorist 510, 610 or 710.
If you want OS 1:25K maps on your PC to plan routes, there are free web apps of course, one even comes with Geocaching Live integration. ;)
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Wrighty on October 28, 2013, 05:27:17 pm
Think i have mentioned somewhere before i use the Locus free app on my smartphone,it has add ons for geocaching and maps,great os mapping and also links into c.geo,google earth and streetview.Can also use these apps on your tablet.

Will show anybody interested on sunday.
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Griff Grof on October 29, 2013, 08:00:57 am
Thanks again for the great into, both of you  ;D

Yes, please show me on Sunday Wrighty - it sounds good  ;D
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: SidAndBob on November 12, 2013, 01:45:52 pm
Just a quick note to say that Memory Map (and Satmap) have just slashed the price of their 2014 OS maps. Amazingly, it's now Garmin Discoverer that looks over-priced.
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Griff Grof on November 12, 2013, 04:04:28 pm
Really? What are they now  ;D

Just noticed on your signature and avatar... What's map route?  :)
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: walktall on November 12, 2013, 08:30:08 pm
Really? What are they now  ;D

£100 for GB on a DVD


Just noticed on your signature and avatar... What's map route?  :)

See videos and tutorials on YouTube's (http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCrDeiDc8n3OzRK7qfxIGNQ)
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: SidAndBob on November 12, 2013, 08:43:37 pm
Memory Map prices are here (http://shop.memory-map.co.uk/acatalog/maps-ordnance-survey-explorer.html). They are a fraction of the previous prices.
Satmap say:
 LATEST NEWS!! Ordnance Survey makes a dramatic cut in the cost of its detailed topographic mapping.

The cost of the royalties are a big part of our prices, so we have been able to vastly reduce the price of most of our Ordnance Survey maps, passing these savings onto our customers.

I'll start a new thread on mapRoute.
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: tarmacjohn on November 12, 2013, 10:44:50 pm
I could probably find the answer to this on the net but I can't be arsed to look.

If I buy the Memory Map DVD ( complete with 15% Scout discount, a bargain for £85 ) can I use it with my Oregon 300?

Forget that, I just read another thread and found the answer
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: L8HNB on November 12, 2013, 11:03:46 pm
Have a look here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Memory-Map-Great-Britain-OS-Landranger-1-50-000-Maps-NEW-2013-EDITION-/151067889845?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item232c5910b5 (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Memory-Map-Great-Britain-OS-Landranger-1-50-000-Maps-NEW-2013-EDITION-/151067889845?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item232c5910b5)  £50 for all UK @1:50k!
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: walktall on November 12, 2013, 11:33:39 pm
That's good, in fact bargin but the latest edition is now 2014  ::)
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: tarmacjohn on November 12, 2013, 11:52:34 pm
2012/2014 any idea what the difference is?
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: walktall on November 13, 2013, 10:12:37 am
2013/2014 - I think it's updated OS maps
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Gackt on June 27, 2018, 08:44:33 pm
Are we seeing the last few months of the GPS receiver as we know it?

I know this is an old thread, and has not been posted to in quite a long while, but getting back into caching a bit more frequently than I have been for a couple of years I wonder what others are using for their main cache finding tool now? Does everyone use a phone now, or is the dedicated GPSr still the choice equipment of the Geocacher.

For myself, I can say that I am still using an Android phone with cgeo and GPS Test apps as my main device. But still, even for me, the GPSr is not an extinct dinosaur as I have used it for a couple of non-GC.com caches recently where I had to take a photo of the coordinates on the display in a couple of specific locations. My old Garmin emap has a lovely large clear display, as opposed to my smart phone which doesn't.. especially in sunlight. Also my GPS Test app on the phone, even though it uses the same datum as my Garmin is set to, has an additional digit on the minutes which makes it very difficult to obtain some coordinate based challenge photos, and so the GPSr comes out to play then.
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: walktall on June 27, 2018, 10:01:14 pm
Still use my Garmin GPS most of the time: less lag than my smart phone, batteries last longer and easy to swap batteries, better in the sun and can view it without having to hold it but if needed I do use my mobile with Locus map and I have to use my mobile for Wherigo.
Title: Re: The demise of the GPS receiver
Post by: Griff Grof on June 28, 2018, 10:09:34 am
Iím definitely using my smartphone for caching more than I was back then. I use Groundspeakís Geocachingģ app, which isnít perfect but itís free (now) and does the job.

The big benefit of caching by phone is convenience, including being able to search for caches on the spot - thereís no hassle in terms of planning where youíre going, downloading the GPX file etc.

However, I do tend to use a GPS when completing a series/longer walk. There are various reasons for this, including the longer battery life. 

We had a poll about this on the GAGB FB group earlier this year and 45% said they (mostly) cache using a smartphone, 35% GPS and 18% both. So, there appears to still be a place for the GPSr within the caching community.