Geofinder

*  NEW * v1.4 has more accurate positioning, fix for a TON of hangs/bugs, in-app browser, and much more!
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Geofinder is a little iPhone app I wrote for Geocaching. I intended to release it for free, but Steve wants a $100 tax to write software for his phone, and that’s gotta come from somewhere.

I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth it was to geocache with iPhone. Safari does an excellent job at rendering the Geocaching.com website, and the Google Maps link at the bottom of each cache open in the native Maps application, making it easy to pull up aerial photos, etc. Logging visits, uploading photos, etc. all work wonderfully. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Geocaching with Google Maps

Geocaching with Google Maps

But the experience really lacked when it came to finding the geocaches. There’s no way to search for caches with your current location: at best you have to find a nearby business, enter in its address, wait for results. For awhile I bookmarked the results page for my apartment, but it was still difficult to go from one cache to another efficiently.

Enter Geofinder. No nonsense, just press an icon and get a list of nearby caches. Fast, easy, and nothing to configure–it just works.

Geofinder results for my location

Geofinder results for my location

Troubleshooting:
Nothing’s happening! It’s just staring at me!
It requires a really good accuracy reading before it will launch Safari (<=100m). This is because seeing results that are based on a kilometer or so of your actual location aren’t very useful. Unfortunately, iPod 1stgen and other devices without GPS sometimes have a more difficult time getting an accurate reading than the iPhone 3g.   There’s not a whole lot I can do about that.

iPhone 1stgen users, make sure you are outside and have a strong cellphone signal.

The good thing about this app is it just keeps trying to determine your location.  So if you’re having trouble you can walk around a bit and it tends to help.

The results don’t update!

This is related to a bug in Safari that I’ve seen once or twice.  Open Safari and hold down the Home button for ten seconds to force quit the application.  Then try to launch Geofinder again.

I currently don’t have the app listed for iPod Touch on the App Store because quite frankly I’m not sure how well Location works for the iPod Touch, and don’t have any devices to test on.  If you’re interested in this, shoot me an e-mail.

Want to help me make my apps better?  Sign up to be a beta tester:  http://bit.ly/iphonebeta

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