Saturday, August 9, 2008

1.0.4 official changelog

Here is the official changelog for 1.0.4:

GPS is now turned off when not in target mode to save on battery.
Target Latitude/Longitude text fields are now more helpful when entering coordinates.
The Map button now does a pin drop on the maps application instead of directions.
Fixed a crash bug with entering coordinates and some cosmetic bugs.
Target screen now does not go to sleep.
Changed animation between views.
Added accuracy and bearing to target screen.
Added application preferences including:
Added Different looks to choose from for Geopher Lite's target screen.
Added preference for feet vs. meters.
Added preference for found caches in search.

One thing I did not officially add here is compass roatation. My beta testers have a version with compass rotation working, but I've not heard any details back from any of them about it. I am not personally satisfied with the compass rotation.

However.

in 1.0.4 type "rotate" into the latitude or longitude coordinates and compass rotation will be turned on until you quit the application. I likely won't mention this again, I hate to make the general public unwilling beta testers. I've gotten a lot of requests for this and wanted people to see some progress without me forcing this on everyone. Hope someone appreciates it. =)

As a reminder, the rotation works fine if you're moving around quickly, but walking around in a small area has problems. There are limitations just due to how a gps compass works. Until I get the problems that I can fix worked out it won't be live.

I neglected to mention a thanks to jamie for supplying an additional skin that is a part of this release.

Between victor, jamie and myself we now have 4 different target screens to choose from. There's the one listed in the previous post by victor, an additional skin by victor, my (modified slightly) original, and this look:



Thanks Jamie!

19 comments:

Congested said...

Awesome. So I take it you've submitted the new version to Apple? Either way I'm looking forward to it, thanks.

And as for the "rotate" thing... do we enter that in addition to our coordinates? Or do we enter it after the coordinates have been entered?

DadGuy said...

Yes, this version has been submitted, I should have made that more clear.

it doesn't matter when you enter "rotate", though that is the only input that that field accepts until you type in it again--You can't enter coordinates and rotate at the same time. It simply toggles the rotation on and leaves the old coordinates in there.

Congested said...

Awesome. Wow. I can't wait. And like I said in the last post's comments I'm going to be using the app tomorrow with some friends. I am trying to get them to download it for their iPhones as well.

"Added preference for found caches in search."
What's that all about by the way? Does this mean we will now be able to bookmark locations in the program?

Also, small note, I was reading some of the iTunes reviews and one of them reminded me about something that I had a problem with last week. No back button for the web view. I went to look at some pictures of a cache and it wasn't too intuitive on how to get back to the main cache page. I got there with a link but for a novice user it may not be so simple to sort out... Just a small note, no big deal.

Another, small, feature request:

When you open the text field for entering a coordinate you can't scroll the web page up and down, so sometimes the keyboard covers the coordinates you need to type in. If possible it would be great to be able to scroll the web page up and down as the keyboard is up because if not you have to close they keyboard and scroll the text up, then re-launch the keyboard to type in your coordinated.

Anyway, I'm happy about 1.0.4, thanks!

Congested said...

coordinates*

Anonymous said...

The current version doesn't seem to work for me, but I only bought it because of your post about 1.0.4, so I'm looking forward to the update. (The current version says that a nearby cache is OVER 9000!!!! KM away, lol. Google Maps displays my current location correctly too, so I know it's not a problem with the location service.)

Anyway, I have some suggestions for vastly improving the UI. Take the Facebook application, for instance. The Facebook application doesn't open an actual website - it has it's own interface programmed on the iPhone! I think creating an interface with those long rectangular menu buttons would be a huge improvement. Some sort of native UI that simply integrates information that it downloads from the geocahcing website. I honestly don't need to download all the pictures and comments on a cache's page, or even download the search page for that matter! With a local interface, there will be a lot less downloading, and a lot less annoying zooming and scrolling.

Anyway, hopefully you can see the vision that I am getting at? I hope my criticism was constructive. I love the updates that you just wrote about, and they will be very useful (if the updated version works for me, haha :p).

I'm new to this geocaching thing, but I love it already! :D

Muhahahahaz said...

^ Oh, I'll leave my nickname instead of being called "anonymous", lol.

Muhahahahaz said...

I am a Sad Panda...

"Geocaching.com's terms of use do not currently allow 3rd party applications to use data from geocaching.com in any way other than through a web page."

:'(

But you could still make your own search interface and then SEND our query to the site.

jamieb said...

Having been testing the beta, I think the compass is pretty good, it's not perfect and I've only had a chance to test it driving where it consistently points north when moving. As long as the the pointer points to the cache it should be fine without the compass rotation.

I think overall people should be pretty pleased with the usability after these updates.

jamie

Tapani said...

I've been thinking about one thing that is getting litle anoying.
The need to flip between numeric and alphabetic keypads while editing coordinates!!! Its not a biggie, just an anoyance... the N/S, E/W should be a slide button that remembers the last position. and while hitting the numbers the key layout should be more like a numpad layout... As I said its not a biggie just an anoyance. Then again Im not sure if the keypad is editable in iPhone interface.

DadGuy said...

Congested,
That preference is to display found caches or to leave them out of searches when searching in the target window. No bookmarks yet. As far as scrolling while editing I will see what I can do. Until then, try to scroll the coordinates to the top before you start editing.

Muhahahaz,
I agree with you, that is what I had worked on in the past. Until geocaching.com works things out i won't be able to do this. I have vague hopes, but my impression is that they want to do it themselves or they already have an agreement with someone else. I'll keep bugging them about letting me do it though.

Tapani,
I agree with your frustrations. With the next version you shouldn't have to worry about flipping between numeric and alpha keyboards. The keyboard still needs to be the regular keyboard because that's the best keyboard to get access to numbers and a period. (Why they don't have a number pad with a period is anyone's guess) Later down the line I may get ambitious and write my own keyboard. Apple doesn't allow for changes in their current keyboard that I am aware of.

Congested said...

Cool, that's what I've been doing.

Also, a side question for anyone else here... Is it just me or is google maps' gps dot causing problems? Basically for me it will jump around even if I'm standing still. Today I was with two friends with iPhones and none of had the dot in the same place. Is the iPhone using a cheap gps or is google maps just not using the gps properly? Any thoughts from anyone who's had a good chance to test out both this app and google maps?

Also how much do trees screw around with the gps? Though I will note I've noticed the dot shifting around randomly when I'm outside with no trees/buildings near me.

Anyway thanks to anyone who can post about their experiences finding caches as I've tried 5 times now and haven't been able to find any with google maps or the app. :(

Hoobs said...

WOW! Everything sounds great and the pictures are super! So the most interesting question is: When will we get the new Version and hoe much will it coast?

...and is the GPS System from the 3G good enough for you?

Colin said...

@ anonymous - Make sure when you input the coordinates that you type the first letter of the cardinal direction. I did this my first time and it was giving me a very far off destination.

@ dadguy - I'm very excited to hear about how Google maps will point to the destination rather than street directions. Also, the battery saving feature is very welcome. Thank you for your dedication to the application.

DadGuy said...

hoobs,

The version listed here is a free update. There is no specific date for the full version of Geopher yet.

I've only taken my iPhone 3G out caching three times. (Too busy writing this app! heh) The first I posted about earlier on the blog. The other two times I had others with me, one with a garmin PDA and one simply looking for the caches. I will say that the more sky the better for the 3G's GPS, though near mild tree cover it wasn't bad. The 3rd time I went was friday. I was with a large group and we quickly found the cache we were looking for. It was an easy one and many people had found it before I got there. Since I was carrying a shoe-less 4 year old. =) Congested, check the logs for caches that people are saying were a "quick find" or easy, that may help. Good luck!

Oh, and I have a magellan that's sitting on the shelf for the moment, all but forgotten. I'm using the 3G for cahcing unless/until I have a reason not to do so.

Congested said...

Ah that's a good tip, thanks. I think part of the problem is that all of the places I've checked are in New York City parks which means they are in high-traffic areas and subject to tampering/disposal from park workers. :/ ...also many times the areas I've searched are really dirty, I will spare descriptions. :)

I'm planning on taking the car out with some friends and heading upstate to state parks to look soon, I'll keep in mind that advice, thanks.

altered7151 said...

Very excited about the new release! I've found about a dozen caches with my iphone and geopher so far, and I have to say the more I use it the more I like it. So far I've found that the GPS seems to be every bit as accurate as my garmin etrex, and as my Palm using a Holux bluetooth gps (sirf III chipset). But lets all be honest, even if you have the best gps available, the cache location is only as good as the gps of the cache place, and the ability of the cache placer to locate good coordinates :).

I have also noticed that errors with the "blue dot" on google maps. It doesn't seem to be a problem with the GPS, but a problem with the way google maps is using it. I'm sure its more than good enough for driving, but not for caching. I've checked the google maps against geopher, and after finding a cache geopher will show about 3 meters to cache, where google maps will show me a good 20-30 ft. off the cache and the dot wanders around.

One suggestion I do have is maybe being able to display the cache name, difficulty, and container size on the compass screen. Sometimes when you do a cache run I'll get caches mixed up and be looking for a small container when its a micro, or a micro when its an ammo can. Would be nice to have a quick reminder of what you should be lookng for, and how hard of a hide it is.

Great work on the app, for me this app alone is worth the purchase of the iphone!

Anonymous said...

How long does it take after submission to Apple to get it out to the public? Can't wait for the new release!

Matt Brown said...

Just so you all know one 3rd party outfit that does integrate Geocaching in its app is Trimble Outdoors with there GeocacheNavigator http://www.geocachenavigator.com/
I used it for my Blackberry and to be honest was the only thing that caused me great sadness when i swithched to the iphone.

Dadguy keep pushing Geocaching.com to allow integration. If you need support with this in the form of petitions etc I am sure everyone here will jump in.

There just must be a way in the mean time to use the Lat/long from the source code and parse it into the Lat/long fields on your app?

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone,

Just found my first cache today using my 3g and Geopher Lite. I went out yesterday only with google maps and it got me close but not close enough. Geopher got me within about 2-3 feet.

Question....how often do current position coordinates get updated...I guess my question is how slowly do I need to walk to make sure I don't pass the coordinates Im trying to find. Current location coordinates would jump more then I would think...any suggestions to a new cache hunter would be appreciated.

Thanks dadguy for your program and look forward to the updates.

Thanks,
Joe

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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.