Check out my comparison review with Cachly, dated February 2017, here!
What geocaching app should I use?
There are some questions that get asked again and again on geocaching-related Facebook pages and this one must be in the top three. When it comes to iOS users, there are two alternatives to the Groundspeak offering that are mentioned repeatedly: Cachly® and Looking4Cache. The Cachly® app is ever-popular and great to use, but some geocachers are quite vocal in their love for Looking4Cache so I thought I’d give it a try!
I had downloaded the free, ‘lite’ version a while ago and when I opened it up to use it last week, I got a message offering me a free trial of the pro functions for 45 days. Perfect timing! If you want to purchase the pro version, it costs €8.99.
I have to admit, I didn’t find the app very ‘intuitive’ to use. I had to really search around to find stuff and had no choice but to resort to both the written manual and the videos on the website to work out how to use everything. Was this just me being stupid, I do not know but I’ve taken to other apps much easier. Once I had done my research, I was able to use it fine but it wasn’t just a ‘download and go’ app – I had to do some groundwork in advance.
What I Liked
There is some great information on the Looking4Cache website, listing the multitude of features that the app offers so I don’t want to just rehash that here. Instead, I’ll highlight a few stand-out features.
The search function allows you to filter to caches not found. Presuming you have a mild interest in bagging an FTF (like myself, ahem), you’ll probably have instant notifications set up for your home area. However, when you’re in a new location, having an easy way to filter for potentially unfound caches is really convenient.
As we all know, sometimes a cache is disabled but it’s still there to be found, so it is a slight annoyance when disabled caches just disappear from your app. Looking4Cache leaves disabled caches on the map, simply putting a line through them to indicate they’re not enabled.
The ability to set all trackables in your inventory to discovered in one press of the screen is very practical indeed. The lack of this functionality is the reason I never log in the field (FTF logging excluded).
Choice of Maps
The ‘lite’ version offers Open Street, Open Cycle, iOS and Bing Maps. In the pro version, you can go to the Map Download Center and download contour maps for entire countries – for free! You can also purchase hillshading as an additional in-app purchase with the pro version.
Favourite Point Balance
If you’re unsure if you have enough FPs in your back pocket to award to the cache you’re logging, the app will tell you how many you have – nifty!
Worthy of Mention
Some features are worth mentioning because I haven’t seen them in a geocaching app before, though I’m not sure how much I would use them.
If you’re a cache owner, you might have noticed some find logs have a GCVote rating on them recently. GCVote is an extension to geocaching that rates each cache from 1 to 5 stars. Since favourite points are limited to one per every ten caches you find, some cachers frequently run out so I can see the attraction of such a rating system. Looking4Cache displays a cache’s GCVote score alongside the favourite points, which could be helpful if the rating system is popular in the area you’re searching (it hasn’t really taken off in Ireland yet).
I’ve never really been sucked in to the Munzee hype but I know lots of geocachers that frequently play. Looking4Cache has the option to import GPX files and in this way, Munzees can be imported and they will appear like geocaches on the map.
While it did take time for me to get used to navigating around the app, the abundance and variety of cool features is a real incentive to learn how to use it properly. The cost of the pro version is a bit pricey compared to other pay-for apps but, again, the number of features – particularly the Map Download Center – justifies it.
Have you tried Looking4Cache? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
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