Review: Find Your Next Letterbox With the Clue Tracker iPhone App

Geek Culture

Image: Pearl Crescent

Geocaching tends to have quite a few electronic helpers, based on the fact that it’s an electronic sport. Letterboxing, however, the old fashioned analog version of geocaching, has usually been a pen-and-paper kind of activity. I recently reviewed BoxFinder, an app for letterboxing clues. I have since found a second one called Clue Tracker.

Clue Tracker will allow you to search for letterboxes through Atlas Quest or Letterboxing North America (LbNA), the two major letterboxing websites. You can search for boxes near your location, by address or zip code or by box name. Once you choose a letterbox to find, touch the map to show where the box is located or to get directions to the box. You can also save the letterbox by touching the backback. Once you save several letterboxes, you can display all of them on one map.

If you save a clue that is from Atlas Quest, Clue Tracker saves the clue text for offline use. If you save a clue from Letterboxing North America, whether the clue text is saved locally or not depends on how the person entered the clue on LbNA. The Clue Tracker authors do plan some improvements regarding this issue in the future, however, and will eventually allow offline clue reading for all clues. They also plan to add support for more than one set of saved letterboxes.

For saved letterboxes, there is also a Notes field for recording information about the boxes, or about your adventure in finding them. To get there from the Saved Letterboxes area, touch “Edit” and you’ll see the Notes field.

Touching LbNA or AQ on a clue screen will take you to Safari and out of the program, since it shows you the clue on the LbNA or Atlas Quest website. Fortunately, when you start up Clue Tracker again, it takes you right back to where you were, at the clue. This is a very nice feature. The app also allows you to log into your Letterboxing North America account to hide the boxes you’ve planted yourself and those you have already found.

Clue Tracker is simple to use, and does what it is supposed to do, but for a few of the letterboxes, it is only useful at home and in wifi hot spots for people with an iPod Touch. It is available in the iTunes store for $4.99.

Wired: Best for those with an iPhone, lets you view multiple clues on a map and gives directions to the clue start. Has a notes field.

Tired: Some of the clues won’t save within the app.

Note: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.

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