With the demise of the Geocaching Classic app just around the corner (retirement date: 23rd March), I recently wrote a post comparing the features of Cachly with the Geocaching® App. It seems that Cachly has many superfans already but some cachers are still making their minds up about which app to use, and I received a few requests to do a similar comparison of Cachly and Looking4Cache. Both apps are available on iOS only, so iPhone/iPad users need only read on (unless you’re thinking of joining us on the Apple side 😉 ).
In November 2016, I published a review of Looking4Cache (L4C) on its own, but this time I’ll compare and contrast its features to Cachly, so if you’re still deciding which app to use, this might help you choose.
Cachly costs $4.99/€4.99/£4.99 in the App Store. L4C has both a free ‘lite’ version and a paid-for ‘pro’ version, which according to their website costs $8.99/€8.99, however, in the App Stores I found a current price of $6.99/€6.99/£6.99. The pro version offers in-app purchases, but at the moment the only optional extra is offline hillshades, which costs $2.99. Note: for the purposes of this review, I’ll be comparing the features of L4C Pro with Cachly, but the lite version can give you a feel for the interface if you want to try it out first. The differences between the lite and pro versions of L4C are listed on their website.
Conclusion: Cachly comes out cheaper than L4C Pro
2. Offline Maps and Caches
Both Cachly and L4C offer the download of vector maps for all countries and US states. When saving caches for offline use, Cachly has the option to download ‘lite’ information and to not download all log images, to save on time and storage. L4C has the option to download either basic, all or extended data. It’s really easy to download both maps and caches for offline use in the two apps.
Conclusion: Both apps have good options for offline maps and saving caches for offline use
3. Route to Cache
One of my favourite features – the ability to jump in to a navigation app from your geocaching app to start routing to GZ – is present and pretty much equal on both apps. The two apps have a range of navigation apps you can choose, including Google Maps, Waze and TomTom.
Conclusion: Both apps have aced the route to cache functions, with lots of navigation options
Cachly gives you the option to translate the cache description, logs and hints by linking to Google Translate. L4C also offers a link to Google Translate – the user must hold down the text (cache description, hint or logs) and the option to copy or translate pops up, which then links to Google Translate. Both apps are available in several languages.
Conclusion: Both apps are spot on with this useful feature
L4C has a good number of sorting options, including GCVote, a rating system from 1 to 5 (in 0.5 increments) for caches. GCVote is quite popular in Germany, where L4C was developed. Other than that singular sort criterion that Cachly doesn’t have, L4C lacks five additional sorting options that Cachly offers. You can see the differences in the table below.
Conclusion: While L4C is unique with the addition of GCVote, Cachly has more options overall and edges it here.
With Cachly, you can view all souvenirs earned on your profile. L4C doesn’t have this capability at present.
Conclusion: With L4C not including souvenirs, Cachly has this in the bag
7. Last Logs Summary
Both apps give a summary of the last logs on each cache, but L4C shows the last seven, while Cachly gives the last five. In addition, Cachly has a green or red dot system, whereby red is a DNF but green is both found and maintenance performed. L4C shows the green spanner symbol for owner maintenance, and yellow and blue emojis for find and DNF logs respectively.
Conclusion: With a more comprehensive glance at last logs and more defined icons, L4C edges ahead here
8. Advanced Search and Filters
Both apps have extensive search and filter options, but there are some points where they differ. Cachly offers the option to search for caches published between specific dates, and also to choose a favourite point minimum. L4C doesn’t offer those options, but it does have the possibility to hide caches you have previously DNFed, to search for caches never found (FTF possibilities) and to search by specific attributes.
Conclusion: It’s difficult to call this one, as both offer extensive search and filter options.
9. Log Images
L4C allows just one image to be uploaded when logging, while Cachly allows multiple image uploads. This is really helpful if you tend to do your logs within the app.
Conclusion: The ability to upload multiple log images gives Cachly the edge.
10. DNF icon
The blue frowning face indicating a cache that you previously DNFed is a feature of both apps, however, with L4C, only caches that were marked as DNF within the app will show as a sad face. It’s very handy to see the DNFs at first glance and is actually an incentive to turn them in to yellow smileys!
Conclusion: Cachly is slightly ahead as it shows all DNFs, logged both within and outside the app
11. Pending Logs
Both apps allow the user to save a log to send later and have the usual options that you find on the website: find, DNF, note, needs maintenance and needs archived. Both will also allow you to drop off or ‘visit’ trackables – either individually or altogether.
Conclusion: Cachly and L4C both offer great options when logging
12. Multi User Login
L4C has the ability to save multiple user logins, which is really convenient for families who geocache together but with multiple accounts. Each user has the ability to compose their own log, upload their own images and assign their own FPs. If one person has control of the app and creates pending logs, this generates a field note for the other users listed in the app. Cachly does not currently offer the possibility of multiple user logins.
Conclusion: Multi user logins is a very handy feature for geo-families, so L4C has the advantage here
13. Basic Membership Restrictions
Both Cachly and L4C are official live API Partners of Groundspeak, and this means that the limitations imposed on basic members are the same. Namely, the user is limited to viewing three full geocache details per day and can only look for traditional and event caches. However, if you have the relevant GC code, you can search for other cache types (but there’s still an imposed limit of three per day).
Conclusion: Both apps are held to the same limitations by Groundspeak for basic members
14. Bookmark Lists
While L4C has the option to create lists in the app, it doesn’t automatically show bookmark lists created online. Cachly not only allows you to create new bookmark lists, but shows you all bookmark lists created on geocaching.com, with the option to save for offline use on the app.
Conclusion: Cachly provides more options here, so edges ahead
15. Map Options
Cachly has an impressive selection of map options to choose, namely Apple Maps, Google Maps, OS maps, Open Maps, Thunderforest and ArcGIS. L4C has Apple Maps, Bing Maps and Open Street and Cycle Maps.
Conclusion: Cachly has a few more map options than L4C, and therefore has the advantage here
16. Log Templates and Keywords
The two apps allow the user to create a log template and use keywords or ‘tags’ to be inserted to the log also.
Conclusion: Both apps have aced this
17. Pocket Queries
Pocket queries are available in both apps to download and are easy to access, with Cachly showing them in a separate menu under the ‘more’ tab and L4C combining them with lists.
Conclusion: Both apps are equal on this score
18. Import/Export GPX files
The two apps give you the option to import and export GPX files. Cachly allows import from iTunes, Dropbox or email, while L4C allows imports from email, GSAK, iCaching and ‘other geocaching sites‘. L4C also has the option to import GPX files of Munzees, which will show as geocaches on the map – useful for players of both games!
Conclusion: The two apps have aced this!
Both apps list the attributes within the cache description, which is helpful for figuring out lots of important factors like if a cache is winter friendly, or dog friendly, or if there is a significant hike involved.
Conclusion: L4C and Cachly have both mastered attributes
20. Proximity Alert
While some cachers find a proximity alert annoying, others really like the feature, so it’s worth mentioning that L4C has one, and you can even choose at what distance from the target you’d like to kick in. There is also Apple Watch integration so the alert will show on your wrist! Of course, it’s worth mentioning that this will increase the drain on your battery.
Conclusion: For those that like a proximity alert, L4C edges ahead here
21. Metres vs Feet
Both apps give you the option to choose either metric or imperial distances, which is an important feature for many.
Conclusion: The two apps have aced this one
Both Cachly and L4C have a pretty comprehensive list of impressive and useful features and I can see the benefits of both. I think the deciding factor for many will be the minor differences in some functions, which will be more important to some users and less important for other. The look and feel of the two apps will also dictate which you prefer to use.
Have you tried these apps? Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments!
© 2017 | Sarah Murphy | All Rights Reserved
*I have not received payment from any app developer for this review. All views are my own and impartial.