Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Learning to Geocache with the iPhone

Groundspeak just made it really easy to start Geocaching if you have an iPhone (3G or 3G S) through the new "Geocaching Intro" app. This free tool walks a beginner through the basics of geocaching, then helps them find one of the three closest caches. Drawing from the full "Geocaching" app, most of the functionality has been stripped out to create a quick, simple way to get people out searching. With the large numbers of newer cachers we've encountered who entered the community through the iPhone and Geocaching app this is probably the most promising option to get more people into the hunt.
I took a few minutes this evening to play with the app while grabbing the screen captures and preparing this post. There is no question that this app was not targeted at those already geocaching, but rather to give iPhone Users interested in geocaching a free way to try the activity. While there is enough information to get someone with a passing understanding of caching going, it lacks much more information. I would really like to see more about geocaching etiquette, travelers, logging, and even clues as to what to look for to find a cache. Basically I want a Geocaching 101 in this app to get the new cachers the basic reference at their fingertips. Even without that information I see this as an excellent tool to get those with some awareness of Geocaching out onto the trail. For those more experienced geocachers it gives them a chance to try using the iPhone as their only geocaching device without shelling out the money for the full app. Whether this is an app you'll want to download is up to you, but for free, give it a try.

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