GeoBeagle is a free, open source application for the Android platform to aid users in finding geocaches and letterboxes. It enables the user to do paperless geocaching. GeoBeagle is still in Beta, which means it is still in the early stages of development and updates and changes will be frequent.
GeoBeagle officially supports finding caches online through geocaching.com and Open Cache Network, and letterboxes through atlasquest.com. It also supports GPX and LOC files from those sites for offline finds.
How to get GeoBeagle
GeoBeagle can be downloaded from the Android Market. Simply search for GeoBeagle and it will come up. Sometimes a newer test version may be available at the project's official website.
At present the most up to date version the Market and the site is 0.7.4.
The guide below represents 0.7.4 and screen shots and features may change as new versions are released. This guide may lag behind the release version.
GeoBeagle is free and open source.
As noted earlier, GeoBeagle officially supports finding caches online through geocaching.com and the Open Cache Network, and letterboxes through atlasquest.com. It also supports GPX and LOC files from those sites for offline finds. This guide specifically covers caches from geocaching.com, but the basics are the same at all of them.
In all cases you will need a free membership and be signed into the site.
When you first start GeoBeagle you will be greeted by the following screen:
From here you may import a cache from any of the sites listed or press the menu button and go to the cache list.
Importing an individual cache from geocaching.com
One of the features of GeoBeagle is its ability to import an individual cache from the Geocaching.com webpage. Importing a cache is not too complicated, and allows you to add a cache if you have no offline list, or if you are in an area that your offline list may not yet cover. However, it should be noted that you should generally use the Offline List option as it gives you more information, and more caches to choose from, but does require some more forethought.
First select geocaching.com from the main page and it will bring up a search for your coordinates.
A couple notes. The Icons tell what kind of cache, we see 3 regular caches here, and one puzzle or unknown cache, another common ones not seen here is mutli-caches, virtual, EarthCaches and many other types. The (1.5/1.5) is how difficult the cache is to find, followed by how difficult the terrain may be. With the four we see above, they are all fairly easy, and the terrain in each case isn’t too hard to cross. The icon below the difficulty ranking is the size of the cache. At the far left is really small, magnetic key holders, film canisters and smaller, for you first couple of caches, you would probably want to skip this size. At the far right are large ones such as ammo boxes. Anything from the third size on up to the large should be good for your first couple caches.
From the above we'll select Trump Hotel for TB & GC. Once we get to that page we read the description as it will give you more details about the cache, such as history of the location, the cache, and perhaps clues as to what you are looking for. Next we come to the map and an area where we can select what we would like to open it up in, we'll be back to this in a moment. Below all those links is a hint if there is one. This will normally be encoded. There is a simple guide near it on how to translate it. Below that will be the logs for that cache. We’ll talk more about the log later. In short the log tells if somebody found it or not, and they typically thank the person for the cache, and perhaps give other details, sometimes they may contain spoilers so watch out. Read a few logs for a few caches to get an idea of what you can say when you log your find.
Back to the map selection. We want to select Google Maps. When we do, we'll be asked what we would like to open it up in, select GeoBeagle, this will import the cache ID and coordinates into GeoBeagle.
After clicking the GeoBeagle above, you end up with is something like the below:
You are at the center of the radar/compass at the top; the green dot would be the cache location. The distance to the cache is 1.5 miles (by default GeoBeagle is set to metric we will cover how to get to US Imperial units in a moment). The accuracy in this shot 105 yards (this shot was taken deep inside a house, your accuracy will normally be much better outside, also the distance to the cache effects the accuracy). The accuracy can narrow down as much as 2m. The accuracy will be important once your distance is inside the accuracy range. The more cover, that is the more trees, or other objects that obscure your view of the satellites, the less accurate your Android device will be. This is through no fault of GeoBeagle, but is the nature of GPS devices. Even with clear skies above you, tall buildings or trees nearby may scatter the signal.
To change from metric to Imperial units by clicking the menu button > setting and checking "Use Imperial System".
Generally, you navigate yourself to get the green dot (the cache location) in the center and search out to the edges of the accuracy range. If you click the radar/compass it will take you to another radar screen (this one too allows for Imperial or Metric). Keep in mind also that the person hiding the cache may had accuracy issues when hiding. See How to get good coordinates (when hiding) for details on how they try to get accuracy, and How to get good coordinates (when finding) for some hints on when finding.
Selecting Map will provide you a Google Map of the area with the cache at the center.
You will likely use the radar and the map both to take you to your cache.
Selecting Web Page from the screen will take you back to the web page for the cache you are looking for where you can read the details; see a hint if there is one, and read the logs that other people gave for it.
GeoBeagle cannot automate the above due to Groundspeak’s (the owners of geocaching.com) terms and conditions. There are plans in place to make the webpage easier to navigate, that is fit the Android’s screen better, and may have other stuff to help you find the correct link easier, but may not do much more beyond that as to avoid violating any rules.
An important note: While searching for the cache, you must try to be discrete so that people nearby don’t know you are searching for a cache. If you find it, you must attempt all the more to be discrete to remove it and open it. People who don’t know what you are doing are called Muggles, an older term adopted in the Harry Potter books for non-magical people. See the geocaching.com website for hints on how to keep others from knowing what you are doing. A number of caches have been destroyed by people being afraid of what they may contain or simply stolen.
If you find it, you will log it as Found. Once found, open the cache, sign the log book with the date and your geocache.com username or id. If you take something, it is a common courtesy to be sure to leave something of equal or greater value. Close the cache up tightly, and re-hide the cache in the same spot, putting anything back over it that may have been there before to restore it to the same condition as you found it.
If you searched and searched for the cache but had no luck, you will note it as a Did Not Find (DNF). It is possible the cache has been removed, destroyed, stolen, or more likely you simply didn’t find it. Don't worry, even expert geocachers sometimes have to return to a cache 5 or more times to find it if it is a tricky one.
(Skip to Once You Found or Did Not Find the Cache if you do not need to know how to use the offline cache list feature at this time.)
Importing a LOC, GPX or ZIP file from email
There is a known issue with the built in GMail application in saving LOC, GPX and ZIP file attachments. However, access one's email account through the web browser works fine. Simply save download the attachment and follow the instructions for Importing Caches for Offline List below.
Importing Caches for Offline List
Once you are ready to move beyond the staring stages of geocaching you will want to start using the offline list feature of GeoBeagle. For this you will use your PC and web browser. You will also need the USB cable that came with your Android.
At this time there are two types of files you can import into GeoBeagle for geocaching. Which one you will use will depend on your membership level at geocaching.com. If you have a basic membership you will be limited to the Basic Membership method, if you have paid the small fee to become a premium member, you will be able to take better advantage of the tools available to premium members, and get more information on the detail screen of GeoBeagle which will aid you in your quest for caches.
GeoBeagle offers no limit to the number of caches you can load in; however, your Android device may have issues with too many at one time depending on the device, the amount of other software installed and a number of other factors.
With both methods you need to be logged in.
The first thing to do is search for caches near you, or near where you will be geocaching. Your search may turn out like this (this is my search near me; the exact caches near you will differ).
With the .LOC file that the methods below give you, you will be limited to the cache name, waypoint name, and its coordinates. With the .GPX file you get with the Premium membership you also get details, lots, hints, what Travel Bugs it has if any and more.
You can select all the caches on the page by checking the box at the top and deselect ones we don’t want from there, or select as many as you want by checking the ones you want to download. The option to send to GPS option doesn't work for Android devices yet, this may change if/when Garmin releases their Android device, though it may not support all Android devices at that time.
You can select all the caches on the page by checking the box at the top and deselect ones we don’t want from there, or select as many as you want by checking the ones you want to download.
Once you are done selecting all the ones you want on that page, click Download Waypoints button shown above.
You can then download the .LOC file for that page which will hold all the ones selected. You do this for each page that has caches on it that you are interested in.
You can also download a .LOC file for just a single cache from the cache’s page
Notice there is an option to Send to Phone on the cache's page. At the moment this works only with the iPhone and select others using Trimble software.
Once you have the .LOC file, or files downloaded, it will become time to copy them to your phone’s SD card, which I will detail in its own section. If you have more than one, you may wish to combine them into one file. There are several programs that allow you to do this, chief among them GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife), and is a must have tool for all serious geocachers.
At the Premium Membership level, on the Cache’s detail page you can select the GPS eXchange File option. This will give you far more details about the cache.
You can also use the Download Waypoints option at the bottom of the page, but this will limit you to just a .LOC file. If you want to have more than one geocache in your GPX file, you will need to build a Pocket queries.
To build a Pocket Query, go to your Profile and scroll down until you are near the bottom, where you will select Build Pocket Queries from the Premium Features.
Hooking up Your Android and Copying the Files
You will hook you your Android with the USB cable provided with your phone. You may or may not be able to use a USB cable that you may already have on your PC to hook up to other phones, cameras or such devices. Once you hook up your phone your Android will notify you have USB connected, slide the notification bar down and select the USB connected notification.
This will bring up the option to Mount or Don’t mount the SD card. Select Mount. This will allow your PC to access the SD card as though it was a removable drive. The first time you hook the phone up, Windows may need to run through the New Hardware detected wizard. Unless you are going to be developing applications yourself, just let it select the best drivers for it and it should give you the drive. The full details of that procedure are a bit beyond this guide.
When you have everything hooked up, navigate to the Download directory of your phone and copy the .LOC or .GPX files to that location.
When you are done, you will slide the notification bar down, select the USB connected notification again and select Unmount. Once it looks done you can disconnect the USB cable.
In GeoBeagle, select Offline List, which will bring you to a new screen. Push the menu button on the phone and you will get the option to sync to the SD card.
Choose “Sync/sdcard/download” and it will find the .LOC and/or .GPX file(s) and bring them in.
Notice there is also an option to Add My Location. This is helpful if you park somewhere and want to be able to find your way back. Your screen will end up like the below:
To select a cache, just click it and it will return you to the main screen.
The Details screen is now available, and will give all the details that the file allows, which in the case of GPX files will be the full details as seen on the cache’s web page.
If you import a second LOC, or GPX file, GeoBeagle will only add the new caches not already in its database.
Clearing the offline list and deleting individual caches
If you wish delete an individual cache, long click on the cache on the list and it will give you the option to delete it.
If you wish to clear the full offline list, delete the LOC, GPX or ZIP file from the SD Card. Then sync to the card from GeoBeagle as if there was a list. It will clear the list and tell you there is no caches.
Once You Found or Did Not Find the Cache
Once you find the cache you push the menu button and it will bring up a choice to send a Found or DNF to the geocaching.com page for that cache. These will be sent via a text message to coorid.info, so SMS texting fees may apply. Alternatively you can just remember and then manually log the entry into the cache’s webpage when you get home, or directly from the cache’s page using your Android device there and then. TFTC is Thanks For The Cache, and is a common one, FWGB is Found With Geo Beagle. See the geocaching.com website for other common abbreviations.
Can't download LOC or GPX files directly from geocaching.com in default Android browser
There is a bug in the default web browser that prevents it from importing LOC and GPX files directly from geocaching.com (http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=1780). You may download at your PC and follow the above steps, or email them to you and access the email though the web client.
Can't download LOC, GPX or ZIP files from built in Android Mail or GMail applications
If someone knows a fix for this, or if Cupcake fixed it, please note it here. Right now the best option is to access your Gmail from the web browser, where it will then let you download the attachment.
Changing Screen Orientation will lose manually edited coordinates
This was fixed as of the 0.6.22 version.
When loading Cache into Map, map says not found
This is an issue related to the GSAK and is fixed with version 0.7.4.
GeoBeagle has generally been fairly well received with many of the issues are being addressed rapidly. Many of the complaints have been in regards to the user interface (UI), which is undergoing a refit to make it more user friendly. Even fans of the program admit that the UI has been clunky, especially for beginners. With some bug fixes, this is primary focus of the current set of updates before returning to feature requests.
There have also been complaints that it is largely a wrapper for geocaching.com; however, that doesn't take into account the offline list abilities of the program. The program is still in beta with testers working on it and providing feedback regularly.
GeoBeagle, as noted before is still in beta and many of the features and screen shots above may change rapidly as the program progresses. It is expected that the next major update will feature UI improvement. 
This guide may lag behind releases as it is not maintained by the developers but fans of the program.