Update for Scout for iPhone: Share Navigation, ETAs, & More!

Great news, everyone! We’ve released an update for Scout for iPhone with new features designed to make it simple to connect and share your trips with friends and family.

NEW FEATURE: Make it easy to meet up with a friend with Location Sharing & Turn-by-Turn Navigation without an App

Traditionally, when making plans to meet somewhere with a friend, the following series of steps are usually taken:

  1. You mutually agree on a place to meet
  2. Off the phone, both you and your friend do a quick online search to confirm the address of the place you'll be meeting at.
  3. Next, once the location has been confirmed, you both pull out your phone
  4. Next, you open up your navigation app
  5. You then type into the app the destination's address
  6. Then you start the drive

Seems like a lot of steps across a lot of different tools for a simple task, right?

We thought so too and that’s why the first feature we’ve added to Scout for iPhone makes it easy to share any address, place, or event with anyone – and then navigate there without a navigation app.

To share an address or place with a friend from within Scout, just:

  1. Find the place you want to share and tap the “Share” button
  2. Decide how you would like to share it: Email, Text, or on Facebook

When your friend opens it in their Android, iPhone or Windows 8 device, they'll then be given turn by turn, voice-guided navigation to that place – without having to download any app. From within their phone's web-browser (i.e. Safari, Google Chrome, etc.), a navigation route from their current position to the shared destination will be created and all they have to do to get there is hit “Drive.”

When clicked from within the Facebook mobile app, a navigation session will start directly in the app. Easy peasy.

NEW FEATURE: On your way home? Share your ETA with your loved ones!

In this new version of Scout for iPhone, we’ve also added a way for you to quickly share your estimated time of arrival to home, work or any location with friends and family members.

To send an ETA to someone, follow these steps:

  1. Hit the “Home” button on My Dashboard.
  2. Next, on the “Route Planning” screen, check the “Share ETA” box and tap “Drive.”
  3. You’ll then be brought to a message screen which you can send to anyone in your contacts, including family and friends.

If you want, you can even activate automatic alerts so that any time you launch a navigation route to home or work, your ETA is instantly sent to a desired recipient like your wife, husband, or kids.

Other Recent Updates to Scout for iPhone

Other recent updates to Scout for iPhone include a totally refreshed “My Dashboard,” as well as a new “things to do” menu, which makes discovering local events and activities like live music shows, sporting events, and kids activities, quick and easy.

So that’s a brief overview of the new features in the updated Scout for iPhone. Check it out and let us know what you think below!

25 Things to Do on Valentine’s Day That Your Date Will L-O-V-E

The countdown to Valentine's Day 2013 is on and with just eight days left before the most romantic holiday of the year, the pressure to make this year's more special than ever is starting to mount.

Are you up for the challenge?

While it may seem like a big task to make this year's Valentine's Day an extra special one, all it actually takes is a little thinking outside of the box. To help in this process (since we're pretty good at helping people find local things to do near them), today we wanted to share with you, our list of 25 things to that we think your Valentine's date with love! Enjoy!

  1. Go on a helicopter tour
  2. Watch a movie at a drive-in
  3. Take a cooking class and learn to cook some of your favorite food
  4. Go to a comedy show
  5. Take a skiing or snowboarding class
  6. Get pampered by doing a couple's spa day
  7. Visit an aquarium or zoo
  8. Go on a hike to a romantic peak
  9. Visit wine country & go tasting!
  10. Take a trapeze class
  11. Have a karaoke night
  12. Go on a day trip to somewhere you've only talked about going
  13. Visit a cocktail lounge
  14. Go to a burlesque show
  15. Check out the symphony or an art show
  16. Go on a cruise of a local waterway
  17. Feeling a bit adventurous? Go bungee jumping or zip-lining
  18. Take a salsa dancing class
  19. Go scuba diving
  20. Act like a tourist for a day and visit all the places that makes your city special
  21. Ride a Ferris wheel
  22. Keep the prices frugal and have an in-door picnic
  23. Borrow a projector from work, hang a sheet, and have a private movie night
  24. Go ice skating
  25. Spend the night at a resort and enjoy the in-door pool

Valentine's Day is one of the most fun and romantic holidays of the entire year – but with it, comes a lot of added pressure to make it a very memorable event. Thankfully though, with just a little planning and a few “outside-of-the-box” ideas, tackling this challenge isn't as hard as it may initially seem. Ultimately, our take is that all it takes is a little time and effort and before you know it, you'll love to look back on the memories you made on February 14th, 2013.

What Valentine's Day date ideas would you add to our list?

Top 10 Things To Do While America Is Inside Watching The Super Bowl

The Super Bowl this weekend and as such, you can bet that on Sunday, almost all of America will be packed in their homes and sports bars across the nation.

Why is this music to my ears?

It's simple: It's because for people like me who are less enthused about Super Bowl Sunday, it means that almost all of America will be in-doors and for that reason, in many of the places that are usually packed with people, there will be NO CROWDS. That makes Super Bowl Sunday the perfect day to go do and try things you haven't gotten around to because there is usually too many people.

Since Scout is all about helping you find & discover local things to do near you (and then getting you there), today, we wanted to share with you our list of the top 10 things to do while America is inside watching the Super Bowl! Enjoy!

  • Go catch a movie and enjoy the fact that you won't have to wait in line.
  • Eat at a restaurant that you've wanted to go to but haven't because it's usually too busy to visit on the weekend
  • Go shopping – Malls and shopping areas will be ghost towns.
  • Hit the slopes – It's the perfect day to go skiing and snowboarding.
  • Go to your local aquarium or zoo with your kids and love the fact that you won't have to fight crowds.
  • Go take photos at local tourist areas – It's the perfect time to take great photos without people getting in the way.
  • Visit wine country and go tasting.
  • Check out a local museum or art show.
  • Go on a hike at places that are usually too filled with other people.
  • And of course… if you don't want to watch the Super Bowl, you could always just watch the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet. No, seriously – it's a real thing.

Want to discover more things to do this Super Bowl weekend? Here is a great spot to find a bunch of local events & activities while the rest of America is watching the game.

Question: What are you planning on doing this Super Bowl weekend? Catch the game or something else?

DISCOVER: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Barbecue

During the coldest of winter months, the bone-chilling freeze can even get to the most tough of us and if you're like me, you probably can't wait for the first warm rays of the summer sun. Unfortunately for us, summer is still about 6 months off and it doesn't seem like time travel technology is anywhere on the horizon. Thankfully though, there are some simple, everyday things you can do to warm yourself up during the cold of winter. For me, one of the things that does that is eating one of my favorite summer foods: barbecue.

To celebrate barbecue – and to hopefully provide everyone with a few warmer thoughts, today, I want to share with you my list of 5 things you didn't know about barbecue. Enjoy!

1. The first barbecuers started a while ago… like 1.4 million years ago. Yup, the original people to do it were cavemen – which means you can probably assume sanitation wasn’t their strong suit.  On the other hand, their Wooly Mammoth burgers were excellent.

2. Nobody really knows where the word “barbecue” comes from. Many speculate it could have originated from the French word, “de barbe a queue,” mean means ‘whiskers to tail.’ Others think it came from the American-Indian word, “barbacoa,” meaning “wood.”

(Side note: Can we also mention that nobody seems to really agree on how to spell the word either? Barbecue, barbeque, bbq…)

3. In the US, there are actually several distinct regional variations of barbecue, which include styles from Memphis, Carolina, Kansas City andTexas.

Memphis is renowned for its ribs and pulled pork-shoulder, which come both wet and dry. For wet ribs, sauce is brushed on both before and after cooking, while dry ribs are seasoned with a dry rub.

Carolina barbecue on the other hand is known for their pork (they smoke the ENTIRE hog), which they serve with a tangy, vinegar-based sauce.

Kansas City barbecue uses a wide variety of meat which is served with a thick and sweet sauced made of tomatoes and molasses.

Last but certainly not least, is Texas barbecue, which is known it's beef that they smoke over mesquite for hours. Mmm… Cowboy-style brisket is delicious!

4. The technique for low and slow smoke roasting began in… China? Yup, you got that right. Researchers believe “barbecuing” started in the far east, where scholars have found early kitchens with devices designed for smoking meats. It's thought that smoking originated as a way to keep meat for long periods without refrigeration.

5. American barbecue predates the Civil War when crowds used to gather around the cooking of whole pigs.

—————

Looking for some of the best barbecue in America? Here are some spots you might want to try:

Not in these areas? Don't worry: You can discover great, local barbecue joints near you on Scout.me.

——————-

Question: Where is your favorite place to get barbecue? Let us know by leaving a comment!

5 Pro Tips for Using the Updated Scout for iPhone

Last week, we totally refreshed Scout for iPhone (see here for details) and according to my very scientific research (read: I looked at iTunes reviews), it seems like you’re all happy with the update.

Here are a just a few of the reviews our customers have left:

  • Sandman6667: The new update rocks with a killer UI (user-interface). More user friendly than Google Maps.
  • Daisy Sun CH: Using it for a long time. Routing is always excellent, display is pretty near. The new dashboard is so beautiful that (it) pulls Scout up to another level.
  • Iphonecritic2010: Really love the new look – super easy to use and one click access to everything (is) important. Really fast and accurate! Going to recommend to all my friends!

Actually, of the 48 of you who rated it, 52 gave the update 4+ stars! We’ll do our best to get the other four folks on board… ;)

As you could imagine, we’re really excited that you like the new update because our goal for it was simple: to make our app easier to use. If you look closely at the update, you’ll notice that we shifted a few features around and made other things easier to get to, and based on your reviews, it seemed like you’re happy with the changes.

To help you navigate around the newly updated Scout for iPhone, today I wanted to share with you 5 pro tips for using Scout for iPhone. It's a collection of my favorite ways to get more out of our app. Let’s get started!

Tip #1: The New “Things to Do” Menu – Discover More Around You

One of the newest features in Scout for iPhone is “Things to Do” search.  With it, you can browse 12 categories of events & activities for almost any occasion.

Tip: To find the new “Things to Do” menu, go to: My Dashboard > More > Things to Do

Bonus Tip: When browsing a category, tap the “Filters” button to narrow your results by distance, date, & more.

Bonus Tip: Want to see the results on a map? Tap the map button.

Tip #2: Save your favorite spots to “My Places” with just a Tap of the Heart

Similar to how you can save all of your favorite websites in your internet browser to view later, you can do the same for locations in Scout. How? It’s easy.

To start saving to your favorite places in Scout, just tap the white heart icon where it appears in the app. After you do, the icon will turn yellow, meaning it’s been saved to your favorites and is now accessible in the “My Places” menu.

To access all of your saved favorites in My Places in Scout for iPhone, go to: My Dashboard > heart icon (upper-right corner).

Bonus Tip: You can also access and edit/save/delete your favorites while logged into Scout.me.

Tip #3: Download Offline Maps in Scout Plus

For those of you who upgraded to a Scout Plus subscription, one feature you have access to is our offline maps. With them, you can download one of three regional areas (east, central, or west) so if you lose a cell phone signal, you can still continue navigating to your destination – without worrying about losing your maps.

To download offline maps in Scout for iPhone (Scout Pro subscription required), go to:  My Dashboard > My Profile > Maps on My Device.

Note: Downloading requires a WiFi connection as the map data contains a lot of very detailed information

Tip #4: Change Your Car Icon to Match Your Style

In Scout for iPhone, we wanted to add a way for you to personalize the way you navigate around. One way we did that was to add 12 different car icons for you to choose from. They range from classics like sports cars and convertibles to monster trucks and space fighters.

To start changing your car icon, go to: My Dashboard > My Profile > My Car.  Vrooooom!

Tip #5: Change/Edit Home & Work Address

The final tip we have is one based on a common question we receive: “How can I change/edit my home and work address?” It’s actually simple.

To edit your home/work address information in Scout for iPhone, go to: My Dashboard > My Profile > Addresses. Easy-peasy.

——–

Thanks again to all of our customers who have rated our app in the App Store. We love seeing your feedback so please keep it coming!

Have any questions about the new update for Scout for iPhone? Please don’t hesitate to let us know below.

New Update Available for Scout for iPhone: iPhone 5 Optimization, New My Dashboard, & Local Things to Do Discovery

When we set out to create our next navigation product, we didn’t just want to build an app that could take you from one place to another.  Instead, we wanted to create something bigger; a more personal navigation app that could really help you navigate your life – from driving you to your favorite people and places to helping you figure out what to do on Friday night.

Today, I’m really excited to let you know that it is with that vision in mind that we've updated Scout for iPhone – and it's now available in the AppStore.

In this latest update, we’ve added ways for you to discover events & activities near you, totally refreshed My Dashboard, and have optimized it for iPhone 5!

NEW DISCOVER ACTIVITIES, EVENTS, & THINGS TO DO

On Scout.me, you’ve always been able to search and discover things to do like live music, outdoor activities, & family events near you but today I’m happy to let you know in this update, you can now do all of that right in Scout for iPhone.

Want to find a show to go to tonight? Easy.

Feeling like you want to go on a hike? No problem.

Want to find somewhere to take the kids this weekend? Piece of cake.

In the updated Scout for iPhone, you can do all of this and more – and of course, as soon as you discover something worth checking out, we can help drive you there too.

To start discovering things to do near you, just hit the “More” button on My Dashboard and you’ll be brought to a list of 12 categories you can browse. Some of them include, live music, family fun, kids events, and adventures.

Try it out and let us know what you think!

 

My Dashboard: Updated & Refreshed!

In this update for Scout for iPhone, you’ll also notice that we’ve totally refreshed “My Dashboard” to make it both easier on the eyes and more convenient to use.

Most notably, we wanted to make it simpler for you to access your favorites (heart icon) and your most recent trips so we’ve added short cuts right on My Dashboard. We also made the map larger to give you a better idea about your surrounding area.

Lastly on My Dashboard, you’ll notice we’ve updated the icons – which we just thought looked cooler. ;)

Now Optimized for the iPhone 5!

The last thing I wanted to share with you today is that Scout for iPhone is now optimized for the iPhone 5 so now, you can discover and drive using the entirety of its beautiful 4 inch screen!

 

Want to get your hands on Scout for iPhone?

To get your hands on the latest update for Scout for iPhone, just go to the AppStore and download it. It’s available right now and also includes free turn by turn voice navigation.

So that’s it! We’re really excited to share with you this update and can’t wait to hear what you think about it. Let us know below!

Santa’s Christmas Eve Journey By The Numbers – INFOGRAPHIC

Have you ever wondered how many total miles Santa Clause has to travel on Christmas Eve?

Ever been curious about how fast he has to travel in order to visit all of those houses in one night?

Or maybe you've wondered about the total weight of his sleigh with all of those toys on-board?

Well, we were curious about all of these things too and being a company that knows a thing or two about helping to get people to places, we decided to take a closer look at Santa's Christmas Eve Journey. Here's what we found. ENJOY!

INFOGRAPHIC_xmas_v1r6

5 Awesome Ways To Enjoy The Last Weekend Before Christmas

Of the the following words, which best describes what you expect this weekend to be:

A. Busy

B. Absolutely hectic

C. Overwhelming

D. ALL OF THE ABOVE

If you're like many out there, chances are you selected “D” – and with good reason; the final weekend before Christmas is always one of the most crazy times of the year. From finishing up last minute shopping to visiting friends and doing any last cooking, it can quickly get out of hand.

But before you become overwhelmed by all there is to do before the 25th, we wanted to a take a second to remind everyone that the holiday season is one that's most of all meant to be enjoyed – not one we should stress about.

So with it being the last weekend before Christmas, today I wanted to share with you 5 ideas of things you can do to enjoy it. Enjoy!

———————

5.  Take a moment to enjoy the holiday lights

4. Watch one of these Christmas classics with your family

3. Enjoy the gifts you are given… ;)

2. Let loose – not matter your age

1. Surprise a loved one

—————

Still looking for more to do this weekend? Discover local things to do like events, family activities, & more on Scout.me.

Announcing the Winners of the Scout the Holidays Giveaway!

Happy Holidays, everyone! To celebrate this fantastic time of year, 10 days ago we launched our “Scout the Holidays Giveaway,” where we wanted to give TWO lucky people the chance to win the perfect prize to help them capture all the places they Scout this season – a Canon EOS Rebel T4i DSLR camera!

So who won our giveaway? Please join me in congratulating Thomas Chappell and Carol Lewis!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Scout the Holidays Giveaway! We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy New Year!

Scouting the Holidays: Practical Tips for Finding the Perfect Christmas Tree Near You

The holiday season is in full swing and with less than two weeks until Christmas, for many people finding that perfect Christmas tree for their home is at top of mind.

Have you found yours yet? If not, don't worry because today, we want to help you find the perfect Christmas tree for your home. Thankfully, it's not complicated and all it takes is a little knowledge and a good eye!

Already know what you’re looking for in a tree & just need to find a Christmas tree lot near you? Start your search on Scout.me and then navigate their with Scout for Android or iPhone

Continue reading