iPhone logging timezone bug

Here’s an interesting “bug” for you… A little while ago Geocaching.com made a slight change to the way dates and times are stored in GPX files. They all get stored in UTC time whereas older GPX files stored it with no timezone, just whatever time and date a log got saved.

It seems like when you submit logs to Geocaching.com via an iPhone it gets a bit muddled with the time/date. I’ve noticed that some caches I’ve submitted late afternoon appear in my log list before those submitted early morning for example. After our visit to Nottingham I generated a finds query and noticed that it said we had 79 finds for one day (19th September) when I knew we’d found 59.

The numbers don't add up

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GeoCaching with the iPhone – Preserving battery life

Before investing in a Garmin Dakota 10 (Which we love) our first few hundred caches were found with just an iPhone 3GS running the Geocaching.com app. We started Geocaching as we wanted a new hobby. We always used to do a lot of walking (Which is why we’re big on trails) but going around the same old paths just became boring. So I downloaded the free ‘Geocaching Intro’ iPhone app and we hit our first ever GeoCache that was only about a mile down the road. It was probably the easiest cache hide ever. A regular container in the end of the framework for a bridge over the railway line. Despite the clue saying something like “In the bridge” I didn’t have a clue where this mystery item would be concealed. 5 minutes later we found it. WOW! We read the stash note, had a look through the swag, read the previous logs and signed the book. It was such a great feeling to find this secret little container hidden right under our noses. Everyone remembers their first cache, right? (Feel free to share your experiences!)

We decided to go after a second one. This was a couple of miles down the road, but we had an idea where it would be. It wasn’t long before we got to the spot, however the iPhone battery died just before we were close to GZ. I had however read the hint that said it was in a tree stump and as we were only newbies didn’t recognise the obvious stick-o-flage in an obvious trunk until 15minutes later. We got it though. And it was another well stocked stash that made us think “WOW! This is fun!”

Since then I had an on-going battle with my iPhone’s battery life. Someone did our trail recently and had a few problems navigating back to the car after their iPhone battery died and left them in the middle of the trail with no idea where to go. I felt really bad for them and sent them a few iPhone battery preserving tips, so I thought I’d expand on them and add them to a blog entry as well to help others…

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iPhone 3GS Solar Chargers

Now that I’ve started caching further afield I decided that I would need to keep my iPhone well juiced in order to help as a backup GPSr. The maps and live connection to geocaching.com are a real help! As we decided to go camping I decided a solar charger would be the only real option, however there weren’t any “official” solar charger solutions and I’d read reviews of cheap ones frying your battery! Eek…

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iPhone Splash Screen

I got a new notification to the mail account on my iPhone today for a recently published cache. I clicked on the cache link to have a look at it and got an interesting splash screen which I took a quick screenshot of.

Pick an option, any option!

I thought it was quite a cool option and should have clicked the iPhone App option to see what it did as I have since been unable to replicate it despite clicking the exact same link!

Geocaching v4 iPhone App

This morning I was pleased to see a new update for the Geocaching iPhone app. There are some cool new features. It now supports Google maps, allows you to add pictures to your logs and log trackables, clearly shows your location on the home page and allows you to add field notes to a cache. The interface has changed a little too. I have to say I preferred the old one but I guess the new one will grow on me. I particularly like that you can now search for 30 caches in an area, up from 20. I noticed that the upgrade removed all of my saved caches! This was ok as I recently had to totally wipe my phone and only had a couple in there. I think this may disgruntle a few users…

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