71 Comments

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?

Moving Forward

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.

Sincerely,

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.

Paige Edmiston
Paige (ThePaigeTurner) is a Marketing Specialist at Geocaching HQ. She likes books.
  • Hexa

    By loading caches on the fly the new app uses far too much data. What I love about the old app is that I can look at an empty map, find a route wth that map to a certain location and load caches where I feel like. Not everyone is on an extensive data pplan. They are too expensive in too many countries. On the fly liading uses too much data, makes finding routes impossible and slows my oldish phone down too much.

  • Annika

    Thanks for bringing this up Randy, I understand it must be really frustrating. The fix for this unfortunately is not possible at this time. We only collect the date but not the hour of any log submitted to the website, which currently makes it impossible to adjust for time zones without a restructuring our entire logging system. Your best bet for now is to log geocaches on the website, where you can adjust the date manually.

    For more information and instructions, go to the Geocaching Help Center and search for ‘Why is the time stamp wrong on my log?’.

  • The Pathetic Earthling

    It would be great if you could use a base map that includes an option to layer on county borders, city boundaries, etc., as well as Long/Lat grid lines at whatever the preferred scale.

  • Emma-Catlin Team-Bambi

    That’s great thanks for the heads up. Xx

  • Vicki Sala Carter

    I’m having trouble with the new app. Are we able to upload coordinates? I’m not finding it and have gotten a different app that will do that.

  • Paige

    Hi Vicki! By uploading coordinates, do you mean adding a waypoint? If so, there are directions in the Geocaching Help Center under Apps>How do I add a waypoint? You can find instructions for both Android and iPhone. Hope that helps!

  • Vicki Sala Carter

    Thanks!

  • Jeremiah Pa Beckman

    Since the app updated it no longer will allow it to link with Maps or Google Maps so that we can get driving directions. Is this going to be fixed?

  • Tim De Vos

    I really tried using the app on the field but every time after 2 minutes I switch back. Even on basic functionality there is a lot to do. Also the new map is terribly slow and the clustering “feature” which tries to hide the bad performance is a pain. Please don’t try to be smarter than the user. Introduce a settings page where the user can choose some simple things like units, clustering etc.

  • Dr.MORO

    Please add the function to view & edit the “Personal Cache Note” into the new app! The function was in the Classic app, but nowhere found in the new one.

  • Jeremiah Pa Beckman

    Or am I just texting in the wind as usual! I love to waste my valuable time texting to no one.

  • Jeremiah Pa Beckman

    Dust in the wind… All we are is dust in the wind….

  • TheK9Crew

    Thanks for the update, glad to hear that the off line maps and fav points are around the corner and draft logs – great.

  • Jeremiah Pa Beckman

    Is there an easy fix?

  • Jeremiah Pa Beckman

    Will there be a way to get driving directions back? That seems to have been inactivated in the last update. I used it a lot!

  • Ellen Hayes

    I can not even get Geocaching,com to open on my iphone since they started all this nonsense and changes….. so how do they even expect me to keep caching???? I do not know the reason except they just can’t sit in the office and do nothing and draw a paycheck so unless they are thinking and changing things then they are looked at like they are not working and earning their paychecks.

  • Ellen Hayes

    Mine jump to kilometers also really strange because I live in the USA always have, my friend had to fix it back to miles but not sure how he did it

  • Ricardo

    All these changes obviuosly reflect the fear of the “PokemónGo effect”, by “enhancing” the free app. Anyway, Groundspeak shouldn’t mess with regular users who PAID to get the classic app, or the consequences may drive them to the “Foursquare effect”. Geocaching use to be a healthy and fun entertainment, but it’s going to be more and more frustrating with such annoying caste system. Keep in mind that this hobby is only possible due to the voluntary work of users who hide caches all over the world, and other volunteers who verify new caches. And remember: non-premium users also hide high-difficulty caches (which brings fun for all users). Sorry to say, but this looks like the beginning of the end. From my side, I’m loosing my motivation to spread the word. Yes, I feel betrayed.

  • Ricardo

    Come on, Chris… old codes aren’t forbidden to be updated. Unfortunately their reasons are not so noble. Sorry to say.

  • Chris

    Whose reasons? I really don’t understand you’re trying to say, so am not able to respond further.

  • Ricardo

    Money, Chris. It’s all about money. In the past, Geocaching droves us to get friends, and together we could be able to know many different and spectacular places, as well we could reinforce principles of real sustainability by doing CITO, all together. Geocaching lead us to better know our planet, the Nature, and to get involved in campaigns for a better future for all. More than a simple hobby, it use to enhance a philosophy, a culture: “We know, we care”, and it was comprehensive to all members. Now we are being split in Premium and non-Premium, and they’re migrating the app because with the classic app a basic member can access features that are now exclusive to Premium members through the new app. Once the classic app wasn’t free, is such complex to downgrade the features of that app considering your membership grade, so they decided to simply abort it. By doing this, they’ll get some complain from regular users, but many who installed the Intro app seem to be grateful to have their app improved. This is why they change, and not just because the code is old. It involves strategy and a growing desire of make more money, in spite of new users don’t represent expenses higher than their incomes, specially since they implemented the Premium Account, and considering all licensed products being sold in their website. Thanks for the opportunity, Chris. Your comments are welcome. I wish you well, my friend.