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Box Finder app
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Jul 2, 2016 5:31pm
Thread
We have been using the Box Finder app for years and we love the "find boxes near me" feature. But recently we noticed that the app for the smartphone shows us letterboxes that do NOT show up on atlasquest.com. Retired? Usually we notice this when we can't find the plant. The app shows the date of the last find, but we miss the FFFFFxFFF that is on the website. That helps us determine if the plant is lost. Also, sadly, it doesn't show any of the comments other finders post. If we go directly to the web site, there are tons of letterboxes that don't show up on the app.
Why is there a discrepancy?
We use LbNA/Clue Tracker too but we like it when all our finds are counting up in one place. Some LbNA boxes are not listed on atlasquest.
Re: Box Finder app
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #930056 by Babe Cat
Jul 2, 2016 5:48pm
Thread
I notice AtlasQuest always has more listings (and more up to date listings) then Lbna and the box finder app....when we used the app it often showed us boxes that have not been available in quite some time, boxes that we found in the past, and boxes that we couldn't find the listings for anywhere...I think the App is good as a support tool but not my 1st preference in finding boxes to find...JMHO for what is worth :)
Re: Box Finder app
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #930056 by Babe Cat
Jul 2, 2016 6:57pm
Thread
Also, sadly, it doesn't show any of the comments other finders post.

I wouldn't blame the app for that--I've never created an interface for apps to access that data as of yet.

If we go directly to the web site, there are tons of letterboxes that don't show up on the app.

It's hard to know without knowing exactly what sort of search you're running, but I will say that apps have a more "focused" search. A non-AQ member sees only a maximum of 25 results. A logged-in member sees only 50 results. And a premium member sees a maximum of 100 results.

If your search matches more than those maximums, you'll see up to that many of the results but none of the others that would otherwise match the search. I'd recommend using smaller distances for searches with those apps to check that a box one mile away isn't slipping through the cracks!

-- Ryan
Re: Box Finder app
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #930062 by Green Tortuga
Jul 6, 2016 6:56am
Thread
the app is great, but the difficulty is lbna clues that are referenced through AQ tend to disappear or get referenced without being able to find a website. You know as a fellow programmer that implicit uses of a different website being used in another application tend to cause errors.
Staying logged in to AQ
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Jul 12, 2016 7:57pm
I'm hoping someone can help. Every time I go to AQ on my cell phone I have to log in, whether I've checked the "keep me logged in" box or already logged in but haven't done anything in a few minutes of using the "view box in AQ" feature on clue tracker. Is there some setting on my phone I need to change?
Phone service?
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Jan 7, 2017 4:57pm
Thread
It seems the world's inability to make phone calls is creating more and more pressure for me to get a smart phone. And I've already been left far behind in the technology age. I have a caveman phone that does not communcate with the internet, and can't interact with some voice systems or text programs.

I'm also on a tight budget.
Wondering if anyone has actually used some of the off brand companies for cell phone service and how bad they actually are. I want reliable service so my kids can reach me anytime they need to. I need to be reachable by text and phone, and maybe email.
I would love to be able to keep lists like clues and my TBR list on a phone. GPS would be very nice with todays traffic trends. But I don't want or need a lot of bells and whistles to connect me with my toaster or anything else.
Any advice?
Re: Phone service?
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #940223 by Uncorny Acorns
Jan 7, 2017 5:44pm
Thread
I recently got a TracFone at Best Buy for my husband. The cheapest phone they had and a 3-mo flat rate card. He's never had any problem with service with his old tracfones, but this is the first one he's had that has internet too. Both of my daughters also have them. I have a phone from Target that uses AT&T service, but not contract. It was $45/mo with internet, but I just cut out the internet to save money since I never used it and it's now $35 (before taxes). You can buy a card or have auto pay & save $5/mo.
Re: Phone service?
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #940230 by Topcollector
Jan 7, 2017 6:05pm
Thread
I recently got a TracFone at Best Buy for my husband.

I've also got a TracFone. It was $49. I don't think that you can get a smart phone now days without GPS.

When I loaded my phone up it was $99 for 1 year of service, or $149 for 2 years. It has more minutes than I use, and data too.
Re: Phone service?
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #940223 by Uncorny Acorns
Jan 7, 2017 6:32pm
Thread
Also consider purchasing something off ebay. Good deals on desirable phones.
Re: Phone service?
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #940238 by Oberon_Kenobi
Jan 7, 2017 9:18pm
Thread
Wow, I wish I had found that one.
Re: Phone service?
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #940223 by Uncorny Acorns
Jan 7, 2017 9:57pm
Thread
I made the leap into a smartphone a few months back. It's been great, but I need to clarify that my situation is perhaps unusual. First off, my primary reason for the plunge was to get internet connectivity. I had been using dial-up, and that stank. I live so far out in the boonies that DSL and cable are unavailable, and I have too many trees for a satellite to work without cutting dozens of them down. The only option available to me was a hotspot -- using a cellular service to set up a wifi.

But it meant that I needed to use my smartphone as a hotspot, which surprisingly enough is not permitted with many of the cut-rate service providers! Apparently they want you to subscribe for -- and pay for -- an entirely different service, and a separate device, to get a hotspot set up. Balderdash. The whole point was to get a smartphone that'd do all this for me at one reasonable monthly rate.

Things got clearer when I found out that the only signal I can get at my house is from a Verizon tower. That limits me to only a handful of service providers; for example, Smart Talk from Walmart uses the Verizon cellular network, so that would work. But Smart Talk is one of those that won't let you set up a hotspot without doubling your monthly fee.

It turned out that Verizon was the answer for me. I bought a Moto e LTE phone from Walmart for $49, not the best phone but a lot better than the price would indicate. I pay $45/month for unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data, which increases to 3 GB of data because I set up an automatic payment plan. 3GB is a bit limiting, but fortunately when it's used up the data doesn't stop, it just slows down to 2G speeds -- which is noticeably slower, but it's still a whole lot faster than the dial-up was! If I'm somewhere where the phone picks up a 4G signal, the internet connection is screaming fast -- but again, I'm way out in the boonies, so at my house it generally only works at 3G speeds. That's not too bad, for most things it's snappy enough.

If I had it to do over again, I would not have purchased a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet a couple of years back. Instead, I'd have sprung for one of those oversize smartphones with the 6" screen. That way I'd only have the one device rather than two, as I have now.

Other things they don't tell ya: Yeah, the smartphone working as a wifi base is handy -- but its range is only perhaps 20 feet. That's to save battery power, in case you're running on the battery. You shouldn't need any more range; just move the phone close to your 'puter or whatever you're connecting to the wifi. That's great if 1) the phone gets a signal anywhere in your house (!) and 2) if it's only one device that's using the wifi. If Dad is on his computer in the study and Junior is looking at porn upstairs in his bedroom, good luck locating the phone in exactly the right spot where both of them can pick up the signal!

The Moto e LTE is a great phone for $49, but it does lack a couple of amenities. The camera doesn't have a flash. There is no magnetic field sensor, so a regular compass app won't work -- although there are specialized compass apps that will use the GPS signal, combined with you walking around a bit, to figure out which way is north. And there is only one channel of wifi in it, while most wifi systems work on two channels. I only discovered that when I couldn't connect at a Hardee's while everyone else was clicking away. It turned out that one of the two channels of the Hardee's wifi was down, and it was the one I needed. Everyone else was connected on the other channel and didn't even notice a problem.
Re: Phone service?
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #940256 by Kirbert
Jan 7, 2017 10:26pm
Thread
Yeah, the smartphone working as a wifi base is handy -- but its range is only perhaps 20 feet.

Buy a range extender. It repeats the signal of the "primary router", which is your phone in this case. It will give you a longer range. Many of them also have an Ethernet port so you could even connect a multi-port Ethernet switch to the range extender.
Mileage using Pedometer vs Cell phone app
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Jan 29, 2017 1:41pm
Thread
Did a hike with a 2-4 mile icon today. I usually carry a pedometer and use my cell phone app (Under Armour - Map My Hike).

When done, my pedometer read 3.13 and the app registered 5.85.
I tend to trust my pedometer (footfall) over my app (cell tower?).

Anyone know why there is such a difference?
Am I correct to believe my pedometer over the app?
Appreciate any insight from someone electronically smarter than me.
Re: Mileage using Pedometer vs Cell phone app
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #941243 by Arf!
Jan 29, 2017 5:14pm
Thread
I like to check my various pedometers, apps, etc. by walking a route around my neighborhood of about a mile based on my car's odometer.
Re: Mileage using Pedometer vs Cell phone app
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #941243 by Arf!
Jan 29, 2017 6:12pm
Thread
I've never trusted pedometers, can't really calibrate my stride...

My phone app, no matter whether I run, or walk gives me between 2.9 and 3.1 miles on the walk I like to take. Sometimes I stop and take pictures and walk around a little, so that might be why mine is sometimes off just a little.

Same phone measured 8 miles on each direction on a bike ride that I took.

At some point, I will try to being my hiking GPS with me, and check them side by side.
Re: Mileage using Pedometer vs Cell phone app
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #941243 by Arf!
Jan 29, 2017 6:23pm
Thread
Anyone know why there is such a difference?

Might depend on the stride you're using for the pedometer. Have you measured your stride? Is it roughly the same kind of steps you took on your hike? A walk on a flat sidewalk is going to generate a much different stride than a walk on a rugged mountain trail.

The app..... some apps are better than others. Distances on that can vary depending on the accuracy of the GPS in your phone and how often your app checks your location.

There's not really a perfect system, unless you use one of those wheels, I suppose, and actually measure the actual distance hiked yourself. =) Everything else is just an estimate!

-- Ryan
Re: Mileage using Pedometer vs Cell phone app
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #941262 by Green Tortuga
Jan 30, 2017 3:15am
Thread
I did a measured 30' stride test.
Set my pedometer for that.
Then I walked on a treadmill for a mile to see if it was accurate, or close enough.
A tweak of one inch longer and pedometer and treadmill matched for a one mile test.

Now I don't worry about the variation in terrain.
I take ~ 4900 steps to get to work. Some days the walk is easier than others.
Two weeks ago we had glare ice all the way. I took an extra 1000 step to do the same distance.
Today was 30* and no wind. 4700 steps. It all balances out in the end.
$.02
GG
Fitbit Found
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Apr 17, 2017 1:43am
Thread
On the trail on Sunday, and found a Fitbit. It's not the type that goes on a wrist; it's a capsule-lookin' thing that's snugly held in a rubberized clip. It's got one button on the front and two gold terminals on the end. Looks to be in decent shape, but I presume the battery is dead.

Any idea what to do with it? Is there any way to identify its owner?
Re: Fitbit Found
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #944630 by Kirbert
Apr 17, 2017 2:19am
Thread
Any idea what to do with it? Is there any way to identify its owner?

I've found two Fitbits. The first time, I contacted Fitbit through their website (took me awhile to find the necessary links) and they sent me link for a postage-paid package to mail it back to them and they would get it back to the owner. (Fitbits are always linked to some account, so even if you can't identify its owner, Fitbit always can.)

When I found a second one about a year later, I tried doing the same thing but they said their was nothing they could do and just not worry about it. *shrug* I guess they decided it wasn't worth the effort to reunite Fitbits with their owners. Maybe they sell more by not reuniting lost Fitbits with their owners anymore. *shrug*

You can try contacting Fitbit and see what they say, but they might say just to chuck it.

-- Ryan
Re: Fitbit Found
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #944630 by Kirbert
Apr 17, 2017 3:00am
Thread
I too have found a Fitbit.
The company had me mail it to them.
Because I found it on site where I work, I first tried to find the owner by sending a photo a distinctive fob and keys attached to the Fitbit, to the department where it was found.
Re: Fitbit Found
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #944630 by Kirbert
Apr 17, 2017 3:22am
Thread
That one is essentially a pedometer
Re: Fitbit Found
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #944630 by Kirbert
Apr 17, 2017 6:22am
Thread
It sounds like a Fitbit Zip. I was told there is no way to track down the owner. You could use it yourself if you create an account. You would need their app on a smartphone to sync it or buy the computer USB reader to get the data on a computer. They eat batteries, about 5-12 per year).

If you don't have any plans for it (or anyone else), I'd be happy to pass it along to a friend.
Re: Fitbit Found
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #944636 by MichKathy
Apr 17, 2017 9:30am
Thread
Nope, not a Zip. It looks like a Fitbit One:

https://www.fitbit.com/one

Wow, a hundred bucks!
Re: Fitbit Found
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #944630 by Kirbert
Apr 17, 2017 2:02pm
Thread
I love my one! I would be sad to lose it.
Re: Fitbit Found
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #944643 by Kirbert
Apr 17, 2017 2:55pm
Thread
I have the Fitbit one and I am always losing it. Lost it in the house all last week. (So you people looking at my weekly stats, don't judge....I only wore it part of one day last week!! LOL)
If Fitbit doesn't want to take it back, I would be happy to take it. Or I think someone else also expressed interest. Like you see on the website, they are $100 a pop. So I think Fitbit figured out that they can just sell them again and again rather than reuniting them with their owners. Although they did give me a discount (10% off) last time I had to get mine replaced.

-amanda from seattle
Re: Fitbit Found
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #944631 by Green Tortuga
Apr 17, 2017 4:22pm
Thread
Hey, good news! I contacted fitbit.com and they did offer to send me a prepaid address label to ship this Fitbit back to them! So, just waiting on the mail now. Thanks everyone!
US or world GPS issue
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Nov 23, 2017 6:06am
Thread
I have found what I consider a major flaw in the GPS navigation directions and I don't know who to contact; the individual GPS providers; Garmin, Tom Tom, Magelin,etc. or is there some national agency to contact. This is what is happening. I work near a MAJOR truck terminal with probably 60-80 trucks in and out all day and night. The terminal is the same distance from two Rt. 95 interchanges. For some reason GPS skips one of them and directs vehicles to the other. This 'other one' brings vehicles thru a series of turns, traffic lights and congestion at times. So reason would tell you that if the truck is heading toward a northerly direction GPS would send them to the most northerly exit and same for a southern bound vehicle. No always so. I have tested this myself in my private vehicle and the most direct exit/entrance of Rt. 95 is skipped. Who/whom do I contact?
Re: US or world GPS issue
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #953988 by Sagacorn
Nov 23, 2017 6:40am
Thread
So the maps are correct, but the directions are silly? I think you need to contact the individual services. If the map is wrong, there used to be a company you contact, Navtech or something like that, that all the other companies took their maps from, but I don't know if the big players still depend on Navtech or not. I'd start with Google Maps. You can look up directions to the rest stop and see what it tells you. If the directions given are wrong, you can then report that. There's an option for that on the page. Google also owns Waze, which is popular.

Is this a consistent issue going back to when gps use first started, or did it develop more over the past few years as people started using traffic apps like Waze? Any chance there is a traffic issue via the shortest route and the apps are rerouting people to miss that? One way to test this is via Google Maps, where you have the option to designate the day and time of your directions. Pick a time during rush hour, for example. That would not take into account any accidents or road projects.
Re: US or world GPS issue
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Reply to: #953988 by Sagacorn
Nov 23, 2017 8:29am
Thread
I have found what I consider a major flaw in the GPS navigation directions and I don't know who to contact

This would probably be the individual GPS receiver providers. It is the algorithms that they use to decide on the route.

When you look at a map to decide on a route, you will automatically narrow down your choices to a few routes based on your multiple pre-decided criteria. You will then more consciously decide between these routes.

When a computer (and your GPS receiver is a computer, just specialized so we don't usually call it a 'computer') decides on a route, it works in a very different way. First of all, a computer only has a one-dimensional view of its memory. The road network is just a connection of nodes (points) with a cost (time, etc.) to traverse (travel) from one node to another along a line. If a computer tried to evaluate every route from Point A to Point B, it would take a very long time, very much like a chess problem.

In order to cut down on the number of routes it has to evaluate, certain criteria are used. Simplifying, it would (probably) work from both end points to more and more major roads until they get to a common road. So, from the MAJOR truck terminal it will find that one of the two exits is closer than the other and use that. The only criteria modification I've seen on GPSrs is "shortest route" or "fastest time". Unless someone knows the area and knows better, they will follow the GPSr. That's what I do when I'm unfamiliar with the area.

This information comes from being a computer programmer myself, knowing something about how the GPSr data is stored and evaluating some of the horrible decisions made by my GPSr. A GPSr has a small amount of storage (for road information) and a (relatively) slow processor so it will give the best answer it was programmed to do. Google (or other online) route calculators have computers that are faster and with better information. They will likely do better with the criteria given.

An expert person could still (often/sometimes) do better, but we don't usually have access to such a person. People certainly don't for every trip to an unfamiliar area.
Can't type text on Android tablet
Board: Smart Phones and Other Handheld Devices
Aug 23, 2018 10:16pm
OK, right now I cannot post to these boards using my Android tablet. I have been able to in the past. When the onscreen keyboard comes up, I type and nothing appears in the message box.

I don't believe this is an AQ-only issue. I've visited one or two other places where I seem to have the same problem. OTOH, I can type posts on Facebook just fine. It's almost as though the sites that bring up a dedicated message box don't work, while Facebook's scheme of letting you just type right there in the conversation works.