Thursday, July 24, 2008


Some needed updates submitted just a few minutes ago. I wasn't so sure about the google directions thing, but after playing around with it I can see the draw. It's pretty well done.

Geopher Lite 1.0.3 Changelog
- Added a map button that will open the maps application with directions to your current target.
- Changed the keyboard popup for the waypoint to have a clear background.
- Added saving functionality to current and target location and waypoint information.
- Added help button (FAQ).
- Removed the Log button and waypoint text field. (May be re-added in the future)
- Reorganized the target selection screen.

My next focus will be the compass screen and what we can do there to make it more usable. I wasn't able to complete the skins implementation to my satisfaction so that will have to wait as well. (Sorry Victor!)

I may not do a whole lot the next few days, I have a lot of other stuff going on. I'll nibble at the compass screen UI and functionality while we wait for apple to approve this next update. I'll probably post tomorrow or saturday with some feedback on some of the comments you guys have left as well. I may not be able to keep that up forever, but I'll do what I can until it becomes unmanageable.

Per usual, feedback and comments are welcome. Thanks for dropping by.


JZscribbles said...

Regarding the compass: While it would be nice to have a rotating compass, I'm not certain that it will work very well. The iPhone 3G's GPS updates rather infrequently (in order to save power, I've read) and, as such, may have an awkward time determining direction.

Regardless, whether the compass is static or rotating, a useful feature would be to add the sun's position to the compass as a point of reference. This would allow users, particularly novice users (and novices are going to be a much larger group on the iPhone than on other GPS devices), to orient themselves much more easily. Presumably, there are techniques for determining the sun's position given time and vantage point, because I've seen it in other GPS devices.

Keep up the good work!

DadGuy said...

Thanks for the suggestion jzscribbles. I should note that with the 2.1 firmware that apple has in beta that things like speed, distance and heading are all available via their API rather than having to do all of that myself. As a programmer you do have some control in how often the updates happen. I'm not worried here, it's very doable. The new API changes will make the compass rotation much easier to do so that may wait until the 2.1 firmware is released. I'd hate to code all that up myself only to replace it all in a few weeks.

I do like the sun idea though, that woul dbe interesting. I have seen that in other apps as well. Good suggestion.

JZscribbles said...

Those new API features sound nice! I certainly won't begrudge you for waiting.

I should note that I've seen apps that display the moon as well, for night cachers. Displaying both would be handy.

Another thing I noticed when I was using the app was that one moment I would be 20 yards from the destination, and the next moment the compass would update and suddenly claim that I was 1000+ yards away! My theory is that the phone lost sight of the satellites and reverted to assisted mode, which centered me wherever the cell towers claimed my position was. If that's what's happening, I wonder if it's possible through the API to ignore cell tower positioning and only update when a true GPS signal is accepted. Close isn't always good enough for geocaching!

DadGuy said...


There isn't a way to tell the API currently to only use the GPS. However I can look into making my application smarter when updating coordinates. I'll add it to the list.

Jen said...

Hey! Great app..

Do you know about SunCompass app?

I think together you guys could build a seriously awsome GIS system for the iphone



Lars said...

is possible to make so, that when you press the google maps link on cache sites, it takes you to the point in the google maps app??

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DadGuy has been working with apple computers since the mac classic. I love games and puzzles and like to solve problems. I'm having a blast developing for the iPhone and iPad.