Moving Forward: Our Plans For Geocaching Mobile
We Hear You
Since introducing the Geocaching® app’s new name and icon earlier this year, we have received and read thousands of questions, comments, and survey responses from geocachers about our mobile apps. We take this feedback seriously and have spent a lot of time contemplating and debating next steps.
First things first: We’d like to acknowledge and thank you for the feedback—both positive and negative—that many of you have expressed. In the post below, we’ve collected and responded to some common themes, and laid out our plans for both the Geocaching® and Geocaching Classic apps in the near future.
Community Questions and Suggestions
The following questions and themes are the most common responses collected from the survey, as well as from emails, social media, and forum posts.
Offline geocaching is a must-have in the Geocaching® app.
Offline maps is the most requested feature by far. Geocaching happens outside after all! Building Lists and the ability to save them for offline use was our first step towards adding offline maps to the app. See “Moving Forward” below for additional information.
I need the option to award Favorite Points and submit different log types.
Geocaching is a community game that’s about more than a find count. We depend on geocachers to let each other know when a geocache needs maintenance or if there’s a great geocache worth trekking to. We agree that these features are essential. See “Moving Forward” below for additional information.
Did you really need to end support for the Geocaching Classic app?
Decisions like this are tough and we wish we didn’t need to make them. But we are a business. We don’t have unlimited resources. Retiring the Geocaching Classic app—an app we built and love—is not an easy decision, but it will free up resources to continue doing the work we believe is most important to helping the game thrive, which includes making improvements and adding new features to the Geocaching® app.
The Geocaching Classic app was developed in 2008. Mobile phone and app technologies have changed significantly since that time. The Geocaching® app was designed first and foremost to modernize the technology underlying our mobile products. We committed to making a better app built on more sustainable technology and that’s what we’re going to do.
The app doesn’t do what I need it to.
At Geocaching HQ, we consider it our responsibility to build products that serve as many people in as many places as possible all over the world. Sometimes that’s limiting. Because there are many different ways people like to play the game, we support geocaching partners—like Cachly, Looking4Cache, GSAK and Project-GC—who tap into the listing service we maintain to provide services we’re unable to at this time.
You said it and we agree: There’s still work to do. So what’s next?
We originally planned to shut off the Geocaching Classic app in September 2016. If it’s not clear already, you’ve convinced us otherwise.
While the Geocaching® app is not yet complete, we are very proud of our sustained commitment to quality throughout its development. Since launch, we created a better way to find geocaches of all types, as well as trackables. We added 18+ languages to the app to be more welcoming to players around the world, and we added Message Center to make it easier for players to communicate. We also designed the app to better support outdoor play, including a live search for geocaching on the go. Most recently we built Lists, a feature that allows you to plan your geocache outings seamlessly between Geocaching.com and the app.
That all being said, the Geocaching® app is missing some of the most requested features: offline and trail maps, log types, draft logs and Favorite Points. We are working to complete these features by March 2017. Until we get there, the Geocaching Classic app should continue to function. However, we are unable to make updates or bug fixes, since the app is no longer available in Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
For now, that’s the plan. We promise to keep you updated as we know more—and of course, “more” will include many of the features you requested.
Thanks for taking the time to read this far. We hope that by sharing this, we at least communicated that Geocaching HQ is made up of folks who share your love for geocaching and always want to do the right thing for the game.
Your friends at Geocaching HQ
Update for iOS users: If you update your iPhone to iOS 10, the “Sign in with Facebook” feature on the Geocaching Classic app will no longer work. Fortunately, there is a workaround for this.
First, you’ll need to request a password. To do so, go to Geocaching.com and log out of your account. Then, recover your password here. You’ll receive an email with a link to create a new password. Then, you can log into the app using your username and new password.