More answers on Geocaching Classic app retirement

Geocachers have asked some important questions since we announced that we’ll retire the Geocaching Classic app on March 23, 2017. We’d like to address a few topics that are coming up most often.

Some users aren’t sure exactly what the retirement message means.

Beginning March 23, the Geocaching Classic app will no longer connect to the Geocaching API. This means the Classic app won’t be able to pull in new geocaching data. The bottom line is the  Classic app won’t be of much use to most geocachers. However, you will still be able to open the app and access data that was added to the app prior to March 23. For example, you will be able to view your offline lists and waypoints.

We can’t predict for how long you’ll be able to open the app and access old data. At some point in the future, an update to your phone’s operating system will likely cause the app to completely stop working. So it’s important to migrate your data as soon as possible.

It is important to remember that if you log out of the Classic app after March 23, you won’t be able to log back in. Since the Classic app won’t be connected to the Geocaching API, the app won’t be able to verify your Geocaching login credentials.

Is there any easy way to move waypoints, offline lists, etc. from my Geocaching Classic app to the Geocaching® app?

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to move this data between apps. However, our team is working on a possible solution. When it is available, we will update this blog post with more details.

(Edit: In his spare time, a Geocaching HQ staffer has created a tool to export lists and waypoints from an iTunes backup of your device. This tool is available for both Mac and Windows. The tool is unofficial and not formally supported by Geocaching HQ. Please see this forum post for more information. Unfortunately, we do not expect to have a solution for Android users.)

The Geocaching® app doesn’t work on my iPhone 4.

Like any software developer, we cannot support all operating systems indefinitely. Currently, we make sure the Geocaching® app works on iOS 9 and higher. That means it works on the iPhone 4s and newer devices.

Why can’t you just let the Geocaching Classic app continue unsupported until it breaks?

We stopped offering the Classic app for sale nearly a year ago. We couldn’t fix any bugs once the app was removed from the stores. As a result, the Classic app is becoming buggy. The bugs would only increase until a time when the app just stops working. We don’t want it to come to a point where we have a dying product for which we cannot offer support.

The Geocaching® app doesn’t have the feature that I like in the Geocaching Classic app.

The good news is the Geocaching® app has a lot of features that some folks just aren’t aware of yet. For instance, you can search for trackables by code, add waypoints to a cache listing, save lists offline, display corrected coordinates, search for caches with filters, and view actual lat/lon coordinates for a cache or waypoint.

We’ll implement a couple of other important features into the Geocaching® app prior to March 23: drafts (field notes) and additional log types. We recently added Needs Maintenance and Needs Archived functionality, and owner logs are coming soon.

The Geocaching® app is used by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. It is built to serve a wide range of geocachers from the person who just wanted to give geocaching a try to people who have already found thousands of caches. The app introduces new players to the game in ways no other app can. It also contains features that appeal to the advanced player. But no matter how many features we build into the app, it may not work for everyone in the geocaching community.

That’s where Geocaching HQ’s API program comes in. Made possible by the support of premium memberships, the API program gives third-party developers (such as Project-GC, GSAK and Cachly) the opportunity to work with HQ on a full suite of integrated products and services for the community. Some of our authorized developers may offer the features you’re looking for. Read this Help Center article to learn more.

Some people simply prefer to use the Geocaching Classic app.

We get it. For a lot of you, the Classic app might be the only tool you’ve used to go caching. It has served the community well since 2008. However, a number of reasons led to the decision to retire the app.

At this time last year, we supported five apps (Geocaching® for iPhone, Geocaching® for Android, Geocaching Classic for iPhone, Geocaching Classic for Android, Geocaching Classic for Windows Phone). As a small company, we realized we simply couldn’t keep maintaining that many apps. With only the Geocaching® app for iPhone and Android to support going forward, we can have a sharp focus on adding new functionality.

The Classic app was built in 2008 on code that no longer supports the dynamic functionality geocachers want and need. To give one example, your geocaching lists are synced between the website and the Geocaching® app. That functionality was not possible with the Classic app. The Geocaching® app’s more sustainable technology enables us to consider many more improvements that the Classic app could not accommodate.

We’re going to keep working to improve the Geocaching® app long after March 23. We’ll keep you updated as we add new features, and we want you to keep telling us what you want to see in the Geocaching® app by completing this survey.

Hopelessly addicted cacher and Geocaching HQ's public relations manager.