Author Topic: unassisted or stand alone gps on a smart phone  (Read 6899 times)

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team mammoth

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unassisted or stand alone gps on a smart phone
« on: May 30, 2012, 19:09:18 »
So, might be a little late to the party, but I'm finall getting ready to get a smart phone and data plan -- getting keen on some of the day-today features. I'd really like the phone to do double duty as a light caching device. I know it'll do that fine within my service area, but I'm really interested in having a smart phone that'll work when I travel internationally. So is there a phone with a direct connection to the GPS satellites so that I don't need a data roaming plan?

I thought it might be easy to find out, but I've searching forums, websites, asked friends and colleagues with no clear answer. Best Buy says that Apple iPhones will do this, but a caching buddy with one says no. Apple websites aren't clear either.

I don't care to have full maps when I travel but I would like to be able to point to a cache's waypoint and know I'm getting close to it.

Any pointers? I'm not settled on iPhone, Android, etc -- so open minded at this point. Thanks!

hidnseek

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Re: unassisted or stand alone gps on a smart phone
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2012, 19:11:40 »
WendyS can give you a warning on geocaching and travelling ;)

You can download the Geocaching app, and then load your PQ to it before you leave.  I would then also suggest turning off your data roaming.  Do not use the app and have it show closest geocaches as it will use data to do so.


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bluelamb03

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Re: unassisted or stand alone gps on a smart phone
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 22:54:51 »
You can download the Geocaching app, and then load your PQ to it before you leave.  I would then also suggest turning off your data roaming.  Do not use the app and have it show closest geocaches as it will use data to do so.

Yes, what she said! Turn off data roaming unless you've won the lottery, but having the PQ in the phone (Apple or Android) will suffice. The phone knows where you are courtesy of the GPS or cell towers, and the app lets you sort the PQ you've downloaded by nearest or by GC number.

You can log the finds on the app and save the logs in the phone to upload at your next wireless hotspot, again no data plan use required.

I've found that having the cache page/ logs in my hand has become an indispensable part of caching; very handy indeed.....

Blue -
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geonerding

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Re: unassisted or stand alone gps on a smart phone
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2012, 02:53:27 »
The applicaton can use up a lot of data too as well as battery.  For the most part now we might use the application if we happen to be somewhere new and unprepared or need to look something up about the cache or feel the urge to log while the other person is driving.

team mammoth

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Re: unassisted or stand alone gps on a smart phone
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2012, 08:21:04 »
Thanks for the tips, but is there something special to do to make it work with data off? A friend with an iPohone tried it and got messages about neding to turn on the data plan. Ideally what I want to do, is just as previously described: download a pocket query for the place I'm traveling to, then turn off data roaming, and be able to just do a go-to/off road (in Garmin lingo).  Perhaps she was still trying to do get nearest -- I'll have to double check that too.

bluelamb03

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Re: unassisted or stand alone gps on a smart phone
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2012, 22:23:51 »
Thanks for the tips, but is there something special to do to make it work with data off? A friend with an iPohone tried it and got messages about neding to turn on the data plan. Ideally what I want to do, is just as previously described: download a pocket query for the place I'm traveling to, then turn off data roaming, and be able to just do a go-to/off road (in Garmin lingo).  Perhaps she was still trying to do get nearest -- I'll have to double check that too.

I have done just that while caching in the States, ie: turn off data roaming to avoid the exorbitant fees and use the Pocket Query that I'd downloaded to pull up the nearest caches etc.... but I was using a GPSr to navigate to the caches, not the phone! It's conceivable that the phone and app combo require data access to actually navigate to a cache?

Blue -
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team mammoth

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Re: unassisted or stand alone gps on a smart phone
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2012, 16:30:27 »
Well, got the phone, got the app, loaded a PQ and turned off every network nob the phone had and it's seemed to do a go-to just fine. Final test will be a business trip next week. Then I'm ready for vaca. I get that my trusty olde 60 will be tough beat for serious caching, but am looking forward to having a lighter option for casual caching.

model12

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Re: unassisted or stand alone gps on a smart phone
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2012, 21:29:09 »
Be sure to have the phone recharging constantly in the car. The battery life is horrible, so I hear.
Steve

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team mammoth

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Re: unassisted or stand alone gps on a smart phone
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2012, 17:46:41 »
Reporting back from my business trip. iPhone did the did just fine. In fact, a little better than I hoped. Downloaded a pocket query before I left and it saves some maps too! Very handy as I didn't have any local coverage. Learned a few things too. Can't just put it in Airplane mode as that also turns off the GPS. so just turned off the data roaming, and 3G - just to be sure I wouldn't incur any unexpected charges. Had a network connection from when I was at the office so able to refresh the cache logs.

Didn't really notice any battery life concern. My previous device wasn't very good - so perhaps my expectations were low. 

Still not certain I'm happy to have joined Apple-nation, but we'll give it a try. Now, if I could just work out how to transfer my pics to jpg or something useful onto my PC.