Geocache

Geocaching App Hack?

The other day I launched my Geocaching. I have problems with it left and right. For example, if you leave the app, the coordinates on the “Search” page won’t update. You don’t get a purple arrow in the iPhone header, either. However, if you navigate to a cache then exit out of it back into the main “Search” page, it works again.

I’ve also heard about Pocket Queries, but have never tried it (I’m not a subscribed Geocaching.com member – at least not yet). When you go to your “Saved” page, the “Pocket Queries” section displays with a greyed-out button aptly named “Download Pocket Queries”. Then you have tons of green space beneath it that should be used to encourage the user to become a member to activate the pocket queries functionality. If pocket queries is not a paid membership thing, then someone please let me know and I’ll give you credit for the follow-up post that enlightens the world on the matter.

But this post isn’t about technical GPS bugs or pocket queries, but about an interesting thing that happened to me the other day while opening the Geocaching app right after it crashed.

I’m not sure what caused this, but as soon as I had the chance, I took a snapshot. I couldn’t scroll down because the Geocaching app had crashed again almost immediately (I was lucky to get the snapshot).

Notice some peculiarities? The first thing I saw was the grey pill that sits beneath the coordinates. It shows the text “$PREMIUM”, “$FOUND”, “$INACTIVE”. If only they could show this text all the time (sans the dollar sign). Now I know what that pill means. I’ve seen the green “Found” light up on geocaches when I erase then reload the search results, but didn’t know what the other two-thirds of the pill meant. As a developer, I know the “$” usually denotes a variable or stand-in text. I just wish the designers of the app went far enough to clean up the interface and make the items easier to recognize (like keeping the labels on the pill even when it’s grey) and updating it for the higher resolution (the graphic compass is horrid)!

There are some other interesting items to note. First is the mention of “BDude”, and the second is the Geocache ID “GC5837).

BDude’s profile shows that the last time he logged in was the 26th April, 2008 (Exactly 1 year from when he signed up as a member … to the day) to log finding the Geocache ID GC1BEF3, named “Heron Hangout” by ehoguy, Eva & NVtro. This cache is in Massachusetts.

Geocache GC5837 Details an archived virtual cache near the India gate in New Delhi, India.

I’ll let you speculate at why BDude is tied to a virtual cache in Delhi without any mention of it in his profile. Comments, please.