GeOrg version 1.1.4.4

Version 1.1.4 did contain some bugs, fixed with version 1.1.4.4:

  • Bug in the database-migration code that would affect installations with more than one CacheDB
  • Bug when switching between internal and external storage
  • In some situations the compass would behave erratically
  • The state of the filter on the MapPage was not persisted
  • Crashes when deleting CacheDBs.

GeOrg version 1.1.4

We’re finally ready to release version 1.1.4. Before we go into details, a short but important reminder : We will release version 1.1.5 the next weekend. That version will have copy protection disabled. Why might that be important for you? Read on:

There’s a bug in Android that might affect some devices (rumor has it that only some 1.5-devices are affected, but we were not able to find confirmation for that). On these devices deactivation of the copy protection for an application can lead to crashes when starting that application. The only workaround is to uninstall the application and reinstall it fresh from the market.

Our advice: Before updating to 1.1.5 save your data to your external storage (MainPage -> Menu -> CacheDB Actions -> Export to external) with the new external-storage-features in 1.1.4. That way, even if you have to reinstall GeOrg, your CacheDBs and Waypoints are kept on your SDCard.

Since 1.1.4 is just a minor release, it’s mostly about fixing bugs, small features and performance tweaks. The most notable features are:

  • Database optimizations
    We have optimized the database for speed and scalability. GeOrg 1.1.4 will convert your existing databases (given enough free space in internal memory) when it first starts. Also you will notice a short preload-window whenever you start GeOrg with lots of caches in a CacheDB. We tested the application with up to 2000 caches per CacheDB.
  • With 1.1.4 you can now decide to keep all your data in your internal or external (SDCard) memory. That way you can save space in your internal memory or just backup your data on your SDCard. The documentation will be updated soon.
  • The MapPage has a small lock displayed in it’s top left corner. This shows whether you have locked the map to your current position. If you haven’t, touching the lock activates “Lock to current position” – like from the menu.
  • You can now opt to import GPX-files even if they contain errors. Also there’s support for the Australian GPX-format (GCTour, opencaching.de)
  • You can now opt to show the current GCVote on the CacheDetailsPage (change this via the network settings). Clicking on GCVote-stars shows details about the votes.
  • We included some more waypoint-icons in preparation for the additional waypoints in 1.2.0.
  • There are several bugfixes for devices with small screen-size like the HTC Tattoo
  • … and a lot of smaller bugs were also fixed. All the details are listed in the Changelog.

GeOrg is nominated for Android-App of 2009

There’s a well-known german geocaching-blog at http://www.dosenfischer.de. They are taking a survey for the most popular geocaching-related things in 2009 and one category is “Android-App des Jahres 2009…”. Maybe you want to give us your vote? The survey is open until Jan 5th.

If you want to participate in this survey head over to the Geocaching-Jahresrückblick.

Market Misery – The Plan

As I wrote earlier this month, we have some problems with GeOrg’s availability in the market due to GeOrg being a copyright protected application. Also there’s still this ominous bug on some devices that can’t cope with applications losing their protected status. This is how we’ll fix this:

With the next release of GeOrg (1.1.4) you will have the option to migrate your CacheDBs to your SDCard (and also to use them from your SDCard). When version 1.1.4 is out, we will wait a few days and then deactivate the copy protection together with version 1.1.5.

Now we recommend saving your data to your SDCard in version 1.1.4 before updating to 1.1.5, because if you run into the copy protection bug, you will have to uninstall and reinstall GeOrg. Trust us, we are very unhappy with this option, but currently there’s no other way to switch off the protection.

Who will run into this bug? There’s no certainty but reports seem to indicate that mainly devices with Android 1.5 seem to be affected.

What do you get when GeOrg is longer copy protected? If you are already using GeOrg, nothing will change. But if you own GeOrg and want to root your device or plan to buy a newer device that Google doesn’t happen to support in the Market (like a lot of german Milestones currently) you will be able to re-download the application in the Market, something you currently can’t.

And – last but not least – a lot of people who currently can’t get GeOrg because they own the wrong (read: not Google-Market-supported) or a rooted device, can get the application at last.

GeOrg version 1.1.3

We just fixed a bug before breakfast. The “Find Nearest”-option for looking up geocaches on geocaching.com was not working correctly for 75% of the world … 🙁

… now it does 🙂

GeOrg version 1.1.2

This release fixes a lot of bugs that were sent to us in the last few days. Especially the map should now be much faster and more stable. A few little features also crept in ;-). See the changelog for details.

Like always: if you encounter any problems or crashes, please don’t hesitate to send them to us.

GeOrg – Droid compatibility

With the availability of the new Droid devices in the USA, we were made aware of an incompatibility between GeOrg and Android 2.0, which didn’t show up in our tests with the 2.0 emulator. Sadly the sourcecode of Android 2.0 still isn’t released, the Eclair-Branch is not yet visible.

We did however find the javadoc and – with the Eclair libs existing in the emulator in compiled form – were able to deduce a fix. This was our first experience with the Dedexer. It helped us a great deal!

If you’re having problems with GeOrg on a newly bought Droid device – just upgrade to version 1.1.1!

Got Bugs?

We have had a report about crashes sent to us via the “Sorry for crashing”-dialog

that never arrived at our bugreport-emailaccount. We haven’t figured out what happened, yet. But if you, too, sent us a bugreport and got no reply from us within 24 hours: please, contact us.

A walk in the woods – 60CSx vs GeOrg

On tuesday we finished work early for a short (4km/2.5mi) geocaching hike. The weather was fine, it was sunny and there’s a small woody mountain range called Deister (N52 15.400 E9 30.200) a few miles south from where we live with a massive amount of nice caches.

xel took our good old Garmin 60CSx, while I went with GeOrg on our G1. We did a multicache and 2 mysteries, of course we had solved those at home.

In preparation for our trip I downloaded the OpenStreetMap of the area the caches were in with TrekBuddy Atlas Creator. That area of the Deister has a lot of old quarries and you often lose network-connection. With the new offline maps I figured I’d be save in that respect.

I also did a small pocket query, just in case the multi would lead us to any traditionals along our way. Groundspeak was pretty quick this time and I imported the zipped GPX from the attachment directly on the G1.

The coordinates for the mysteries were quickly entered in the waypoint list and I was ready to go.

For our 60CSx I had to convert the pocket query to gdb-format which I always do with GSAK. Not as easy as importing a GPX-file with GeOrg, but at least it features a topographic map that doesn’t have to be prepared for each trip

Also I entered the mystery coordinates into MapSource rather than on the device, since that’s quite a hassle without a touchscreen.

While driving to the start-coordinate of the multi-cache I had GeOrg and the 60CSx both calculate and display the route. No surprises here, of course if I didn’t have connection to the routing service with my G1 the 60CSx (with CityNavigator) would have been superior here, but then again CityNavigator is quite expensive…

One thing the G1 is quite better at than the 60CSx is the time to first fix. We own a Peugeot 307 which has one of those GPS-hostile windshields. Both devices were placed at the windshield. The G1 had its fix a few seconds after we left the garage we parked at. The 60CSx struggled for nearly 10 minutes until it got the fix as we stood at a traffic light (standing still seems to help the 60CSx quite a lot under bad reception circumstances).

We safely arrived at Völksen, starting point of our hike. As we went into the woods, we compared our bearings and distances at nearly every waypoint. In sum we found 3 caches with a total amount of 6 waypoints, at 5 of them we compared our results:

  • At one of the waypoints (open area, a lot of foliage though), the 60CSx and G1 agreed about the cache location.
  • Once they were both off – that was in a deep and narrow quarry, lots of multipathing for sure.
  • Three times, though, the 60CSx came out with better results than the G1, each time in open areas with huge trees and foliage above us. Usually xel would say something like “8m/26ft” while the G1 told me the cache was still 20-30m(65-100ft) away. 🙁

Often it seemed as if the G1 was in some kind of time-shift, always displaying the position we were at some moments ago. I’ll test this some more, especially as I’m already a little suspicous about the device doing some kind of filtering before handing out GPS-data to applications (see the new Waypoint averaging documentation)

Not to forget – we also had to do a waypoint projection at one of the mysteries. No problem with the new waypoint projection-option in GeOrg. Only problem was of course the sat-reception at that point. That time when I stood at the cache, the G1 still pointed 15m/50ft away. This in an area with dense foliage. We didn’t compare with the 60CSx at that point

As we went from waypoint to waypoint, xel had to enter all coordinates with the 60CSx’s “virtual keyboard” (if you don’t know it, think of entering your name into the highscore-list of some old video-game with a joystick), while I could enter the next target directly from the CompassPage (thanks to salmunya for that idea) with the touchscreen. Much easier and faster.

As always, when I’m geocaching I got my hands all dirty. The G1 was stowed away safely in a padded belt-bag, but as the hike went on, I became more and more reluctant to get it out and touch it. Something I just don’t care about when using the 60CSx. But that disadvantage was obvious to me before we even started 😉

Another disadvantage of the G1, its display when used in bright environments, was no big nuissance this time, since we were always moving beneath tree-foliage in the shadows. I could run the device at a very low brightness percentage. I’m sure, if we were geocaching in the sun, I’d have had much more problems with the G1, but the 60CSx screen is really hard to top.

During the 2 hours of our trip, GeOrg sucked up 25% of the battery. I constantly checked our position, but always made sure to shut down the display afterwards. Also I used the “Show compass on map”-setting which results in a lot more screen redraws than the non-directional icon you get without that setting. The 60CSx didn’t even lose one of it 20% bars during the whole trip.

To sum it all up

I’m a little bit disappointed with the G1’s GPS-performance in the field. And I’m quite curious about how tracklogs will differ as soon as I got them implemented in GeOrg :-).
The time to first fix on the other hand is perfect. Quick and reliable enough for starting traffic navigation. That’s a big plus for the G1, especially in our car 😉

Apart from that everything worked as expected. The G1 simply isn’t an outdoor device, but it’s still usable in those environments if you handle it with care, take some backup power-source with you or – and that’s what we are doing most of the time – use it only as a datasource and do the navigation with a dedicated GPSr.

But – if you’re more into traditionals, preferably only in short walking distance to your car, the G1 (with the right software ;)) may very well be the only device you’ll need.

GeOrg 1.1.0: Offline Maps

Now that GeOrg 1.1.0 is out, we are upgrading our documentation. We just finished the documentation for Offline Maps – a new feature that allows you to take your maps to places without network availability. Give it a try!

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