Back when Niantic Labs was still an internal start-up at Google, the first app that they developed was called Field Trip. It was a location-based mobile app that showed you what cool places you can go to, what events you can attend, what “unique” things you can discover around you. It became their first playground of sorts for developing games that would soon make them a household name: Ingress, Pokemon Go, and the recently launched Harry Potter Wizards Unite. But now, they will be officially shutting down the app later this year.
While we now know Niantic (which gained independence from Google back in 2015) more for its AR-based location games, Field Trip was the one that started it all. In their blog post saying goodbye to the app, they said the app was the earliest manifestation of their mission which is basically, get out of your room, explore the world around you, get to know other people while playing the games, and in a roundabout way, actually get some exercise.
But now we have to say goodbye to Field Trip. You will not be able to download the app anymore from the Google Play Store. If you have it already installed, you will still be able to use it although don’t expect Niantic to give it any more updates. Later this year, no specific date yet, they will be shutting down services and it will no longer be supported. So you should take advantage of it while it’s still there but also find other alternatives to places and events discoverability.
As to why they are shutting it down, the official word is to focus on their other “amazing real-world AR experiences”. In other words, Pokemon Go and Wizards Unite are probably taking up a lot of their time, resources, and manpower. It’s probably disappointing for those who were using Field Trip, but there are other apps now that you can switch to like Google Maps and Snapchat.
There’s also a slight silver lining as Niantic indicated there might be a reimagined version of Field Trip eventually. Don’t hold your breath though as this might take some time or may not happen at all.