Frequently Asked Questions
Important: New Phone - Region Selection and Restoring Purchased Regions
- Application Purchase
- Initial Set-Up
- Network Connection
- User Account
- All Access
- Near Me
- Finding and Exploring Attractions: Maps, Research Places
- Been There
- Saving Attractions
- History View
- Missing Attractions
- Tourist Interruptus
- Sunset Alert
- Submitting Tips About Places
- Sharing, Facebook & Twitter
- iPad and iPod touch
1. APPLICATION PURCHASE
What does the App cost cover?
The basic app as purchased in the iTunes App Store includes unlocking access to ONE region that you choose (out of 7 regions) when first launching the app. You will continue to have access to that region.
How do I unlock more than one region?
You can buy and unlock up to 6 more regions as in-app purchases (In the App, on the lower right, tap the More tab, then tap All Access). If you anticipate unlocking more than 3 regions, it's economical to buy All Access, which unlocks all remaining regions.
What is the All Access upgrade?
By selecting this additional in-app purchase, you unlock the contents for the remaining regions, which includes all 50 States (+ DC) and Canada. The additional cost is $5.99. [Note: We eliminated subscriptions for access in November 2011.]
How do I give the App to a friend as gift? Can I gift a Region or All Access?
In iTunes, you can buy the basic app as a gift (in the App Store, select the arrow next to the App price and select "Gift This App."). If your gift recipient already has the App, don't gift it to them again. iTunes as it currently works will simply download any gift app again, even if already owned. iTunes also can't gift in-app purchases, such as Regions or All Access. To gift additional regions or All Access, send the gift recipient an iTunes gift card with equivalent cash -- then the recipient adds it to his/her account before making the in-app purchase.
2. INITIAL SET-UP
Do I need a network connection when I first run the app?
Yes, so that the application can retrieve information from RoadsideAmerica.com. The app needs at least WiFi access to locate you. If you initially set up the app with a bad or intermittent connection, you may encounter a problem after region selection where the app asks you to log in. In the Settings app, Privacy, Location Services must be set to ON or you won't be able to select a region. (Follow these Troubleshooting instructions)
Why am I choosing one (1) Region?
As described in the iTunes App Store, the app you purchased comes with access to any one of seven regions in the United States and Canada. You choose which region. Most users choose the region they live in or travel in most frequently. Later you can purchase additional regions, or all remaining regions. First choose your 1-Region on the Welcome screen. You can purchase more regions or All Access at any time by tapping the More tab, then All Access. (Note: You must have a network connection )
I have an iPad and an iPhone. Will the App run on both simultaneously?
Yes, it will run on compatible devices (running iOS 7 and higher). The basic 1-region version of the App easily transfers when you sync with iTunes with the same account. If you've bought additional regions, add them to your second device using the same iTunes account and RoadsideAmerica account (see regions Restore procedure)
When I launch the App on a new or second device, it asks me to register a region again. Is this okay to do?
Yes. You can register your initial 1-region on the second device. The region is permanent, so we strongly recommend choosing the same region as on your original device to avoid syncing conflicts. In the Settings app, Privacy, Location Services must be set to ON or you won't be able to select a region.
If you already paid for All Access on the original device, on a new or reset device you need to Restore so that we can unlock access for the new device. To Restore, tap More, tap All Access, then tap the red Restore button and follow the instructions.
3. NETWORK CONNECTION
Do I always need a network connection to run the app?
The app will perform best, with all functionality, when you are in 4G/3G with a strong signal or wifi network range. It should work on the EDGE network as well, though might be slower in retrieving data. The app retrieves attraction text and images live from the RoadsideAmerica.com servers, to ensure you have the most up-to-date info. If you SAVE attractions while connected to a network, that info will stay in the app when you're offline or in a dead zone.
Do the maps work without a network connection?
The maps are provided via Apple's Map app, so they won't work without a connection to the map server. With this in mind, we've included text addresses and directions (where available) to most attractions. In a pinch you can simply follow these, just like the good old 1990s!
4. USER ACCOUNT
Do I need a RoadsideAmerica.com User Account to use the app?
You can use your 1-region chosen with purchase of the app without registering a RoadsideAmerica.com user account. If you want to unlock more regions or all regions, you must sign up for an account. To get a free user account, tap More, then tap Account.
Can I buy more than one Region?
Yes, you can make a la carte in-app purchases to unlock access to additional regions. To see your choices, in the App tap the More tab, then tap All Access. Users need a free RoadsideAmerica.com User account to purchase additional regions. To get a free user account, tap More, then tap Account. If you anticipate unlocking more than 3 regions, it's economical to Unlock All (All Access), a purchase which unlocks all regions.
Can I change from 1-Region access to another Region?
If you've already locked in a "home" Region on your device, you can't change it. Reinstalling won't change the Region you selected on your device. You can purchase an additional region. To see your choices, tap More, then tap All Access.
Does my original 1-region access expire?
No. The original region you selected will continue to work and retrieve the attraction data for that region from RoadsideAmerica.com. We'll keep updating that data for at least a year (we've been updating our info online since 1996, so our chronic compulsion is your highway to vacation fun!).
6. ALL ACCESS
How do I upgrade my access to All Access?
In the App, lower right corner of the screen, tap the More tab, then All Access. In All Access, tap the green button, "Unlock All."
Do I need a RoadsideAmerica.com User Account to purchase regions or All Access?
Yes. In All Access, pick a region on the map and tap the green "Unlock Selected" button, or tap "Unlock All." You can "Sign Up" for a new account, or tap "I have an Account" and sign in. You can also get a free user account by tapping the More tab, then Account.
7. NEAR ME
The Near Me list shows nearby attractions, but how do I see what's ahead that I haven't already driven past?
See what lies ahead by using the Near Me map view. Tap the map icon in the upper right. A blue dot shows your map position, and will move as you drive. Tap any pin ahead to see the name and link to more info or route recommendation. More on: Is an attraction in front of me or behind me
Why is "Near Me" not showing an updated list of places near where I am now?
Tap the arrowhead button: You can get your position and nearby attractions reset in Near Me by tapping the arrowhead button at top left. The Near Me map view shows real-time movement: a blue dot with a pulsating ring is where you are, and will move as you make significant location changes. If you remain in the list view while moving, it will not auto-refresh, but you can refresh by tapping the arrowhead button.
Set a Temporary Near Me: Users can set a location in Near Me that is... not-near-me. It's a great way to explore ahead on your route. Tap-and-hold on the map, or search for a specific distant city, address or postal code.
Places from an earlier trip lingering on Near Me? Tap the arrowhead button to reset to your location. If it's still stuck, completely quit the App: Tap the device home button to get to your Home screen, then double tap it. Find the Roadside page floating in the center, and flick it off the top of the screen. Now relaunch the App and shake-reload the Near Me view.
Why is Near Me only showing attractions that are far away, in another region?
If you are outside of your original 1-region you selected and have not unlocked the region you are in, you're seeing places that are closest in your selected region, probably clumped along the region border. This will also occur if you are outside of the United States and Canada.
On my device, why is Near Me showing incorrect distances for attractions I know are really closer?
This is a rare issue, and is not caused by the app. It might happen if you recently moved your wifi router from another town/state, etc., or bought or received a router from someone far away. Apple™ uses a service called SkyHook which provides them with a database of WiFi locations around the country (they drive by your house and sniff the router ID). If you moved and SkyHook hasn't driven by your new location, they may still have your router listed in the old place.
You can verify this is the issue one more way: If you have a neighbor whose WiFi you can use with your touch -- (restart your device, enter the app, then shake and reload in the Near Me tab) -- and suddenly you see attractions close by, it's the router info in SkyHook, which you can easily fix by requesting the change:
8. FINDING AND EXPLORING ATTRACTIONS
How do I find attractions in the app?
- Near Me: From the list view, tap the map icon. The blue dot indicates your location. Tap-and-hold on the map to temporarily drop a pin and see what attractions are near it. Return to your regular Near Me position by tapping the arrowhead button.
- Search: by name of the attraction, or using the Where filter, search with location details.
- Cities: Search for specific attractions near a city (Cities > state > city). Place your thumb on the list and gently pull down to reveal a search field.
- Themes: 70+ categories created by RoadsideAmerica.com editors of expected and unexpected groupings of attractions (Animals, Crime, Utopia, Wild West, Weather....)
Where are the Maps showing attractions?
Tap the map icon in the upper right corner. From the map view you can tap on other nearby attraction pins, or step through them with the up/down arrows. Note: from the List View, the topmost item visible in the list view is the pin that displays with a callout on the map.
Many "Near Me" attractions are in the opposite direction that we're traveling. How do I know what will be coming up instead of what we already passed?
In Near Me, tap the map icon in the upper right corner. This flips the Near Me list view to map view. A dot shows where you are, and you can tap the pins that are "ahead" to see what’s coming up.
Helpful tip: You can drop a temporary map pin (tap and hold for 2 seconds) on a spot ahead on your trip, and see attractions ahead more distantly. To revert to your normal location orientation, tap the Near Me arrowhead icon.
How do I get route directions from where I am to get to an attraction?
In any list, tap an attraction to see Details (yellow background). Scroll to the "Where" section and tap the route map icon.That gives you the option to open in Apple Maps, Google Maps, or MotionX-GPS Drive to plot a route. The route map icon can also be found for any attraction on in a map view -- just tap the attraction pin and you'll see it in the popup label.
What are "Research" Attractions?
Some of the places in the app are labeled "RESEARCH." They're offbeat places we believe have potential. We may not have visited in person yet, or haven't received a coherent tip. You may be the first! It's an exciting chance to explore and find nuggets of comedy and wonder before the stampede. Please write at least 3-4 descriptive sentences on the place (we won't convert Research attractions to Active attractions with only photos).
9. BEEN THERE
How does Been There work?
On any Detail page about a particular attraction, there's a check box labeled "Been There." Mark if it's a place you've visited in person on any trip in the past -- as a kid, recently, etc. The list of places marked is available by tapping the More tab, then tapping Been There. You can also see Been There places marked with a green-check pin in map views.
What can I do with Been There once I've checked off a bunch of places?
A. If you go to the More tab then tap Been There, you'll see that all your places can be viewed in an "All" list in the order you checked them, or broken out into state-by-state lists.
10. SAVING ATTRACTIONS
Why should I "Save" attractions?
On a Detail page about an attraction, there's a Save button. If you save an attraction, info about it will be kept in your device instead of just on the network. So if you're taking a trip where connections might be spotty, you should save a bunch of places in advance. Save up to 300 attractions. You can always review what you've saved in the More view, under Saved.
How do I remove attractions from my Save view?
You can remove places when you're done with them: in the Detail view, by tapping to un-highlight the Save icon; in the Saved view, by clicking EDIT, or by swiping your thumb right-to-left on the item to reveal the red DELETE button. Active attractions will continue to be available from our servers, and you can always save it again.
11. HISTORY VIEW
Does the History view save everything I've looked at in the app?
The History view keeps a list of any attraction Detail views you have looked at recently. This can be helpful if you forgot to save a place for offline use -- it may still be in the History. History is a rolling list, so older stuff will be eventually deleted to save space on your device. To see the History list, tap More, tap History.
12. MISSING ATTRACTIONS
Why can't I find an attraction I recall reading about on RoadsideAmerica.com?
The attraction may not be there because it:
- is mediocre (in our opinion), moves around, or the location info is too vague.
- closed or disappeared.
- is now listed under a different town or different attraction name.
For the mobile app, we cleaned out dead wood. Check the website if you really want to dive into a vague lead, and let us know what you discover that we might map and add.
13. TOURIST INTERRUPTUS
The Tourist Interruptus I set didn't "interrupt" me out loud, just a message on screen. What gives?
You must remember to have your phone set to ring out loud, or you won't hear the signature ring tone of your chosen Interrupter.
I set a Tourist Interruptus, so why didn't it alert me?
In version 1.3 and earlier, this feature relies on having a network connection so that it can appear on your phone even when you're not in the app. It's called a Push Notification. If you're out of range at the chosen alert time, the alert may come in when you regain a network connection. If the network is available, then it's possible you have opted to not allow Notifications. Go into the Settings App, tap, Notifications (this should be ON). In Notifications, tap "Roadside" make sure Sounds and Alerts are both set to ON. Go back to the App and try a 1 minute Interruptus alert (it should occur in 1-2 minutes).
In version 1.5 and later, a network connection in no longer needed.
14. SUNSET ALERT
Will this warn me when the sun is going down?
Yes! And you can set it to warn you in advance, and it will calculate the local sunset time based on your location. We found this useful when we plan to see outdoor sights at the end of the day, and want to arrive while it is still light enough. If it's cloudy, though, it's not as useful.
In version 1.5 and later, a network connection in no longer needed.
The Sunset Alert didn't alert me out loud, just a message on screen. What gives?
You must remember to have your phone set to ring out loud, or you won't hear the orchestral doom sting of approaching night.
15. SUBMITTING TIPS ABOUT PLACES
Can I suggest adding a new attraction or oddity I discover?
Yes! Submit oddball places for consideration. Tap More, and then tap Submit Tip. First make sure we don't already have it, by doing a search or checking in the Cities tab. To maintain the oddball quality of our collection, we don't add everything submitted -- you can get a sense of what might qualify by looking at Themes and what we already cover. Think: unusual, weird, funny, over-the-top, or inexplicable! Here are more detailed tip guidelines.
What if I want to suggest a place that's not in my 1-Region, and I don't have All Access?
C'mon, sign up for All Access! But yes, with 1-Region Access you can submit a tip about anywhere. Tap More, and then tap Submit Tip. We may already have it listed. You can check the RoadsideAmerica.com web site.
Can I snap a photo directly within the app?
Yes! Just select "Submit Tip," then "Add Photo," then "Take Photo." The app will open a camera view and you can snap away. Send us the best shot or two for consideration to add.
I shot some good photos earlier, and I also have some from my other digital camera. Can I submit those?
A. Yes! Photos you shot earlier on the iPhone should still be in your Photo app. Just select "Submit Tip," then "Add Photo," then "Choose Existing Photo." Photos from other cameras need to first be placed in your iTunes or iPhoto on your home computer, and synced onto your iPhone. Then you can get to them by tapping "Choose Existing Photo." Make sure they are your photos, and please don't submit photos taken by others or from websites you don't own.
Do you post selfies?
We prefer photos of the attraction itself, but also add some select images with people if they seem like they might interest other users. Here's our Selfies Guide.
How come the tip I just sent about an Attraction isn't displaying in the App yet?
A. RoadsideAmerica.com editors review all tips to determine whether it will be added to the Attraction database. If the information and/or images you submit meet our criteria, the tip may be added. Tips that provide new info on a place are more likely to be added than those repeating prior postings, or just checking in.
16. SHARING VIA E-MAIL, FACEBOOK AND TWITTER
How can I tell a friend about an tourist attraction discovered in the app?
The easiest way is via the Share button on the lower navigation bar of any attraction Detail View. You can "Send an Email," or "Post to Twitter" or "Post to Facebook."
- Send an Email - A simple email with a photo thumbnail and a link to a web page about the attraction. You can add your own message.
- Post to Twitter - You can log in to your Twitter account and send a link to a web page about the attraction.
- Post to Facebook - You can log in to your Facebook account and send a link to a web page about the attraction.
17. IPAD AND IPOD TOUCH
Does the app work on an iPad?
The app is compatible with any iOS device running iOS 7 or higher, including iPad 2 and newer. While the app hasn't been customized for the iPad screen, it works fine in 2x view mode. You'll should have an iPad cellular plan activated for network access on the road when out of range of wifi hotspots.
What doesn't work on an iPod touch that works on an iPhone?
The current version of the app is compatible with any iOS device running iOS 7 or higher. Depending on your particular device, certain app features, certain app features designed for the iPhone are not available. Also be aware that the iPod touch is not going to be able to search our database when it's out of its permitted wifi range. iPod touch users on the road tell us they Save places in advance of a trip or each night, and refer to that info when not connected.
What should I do if the app freezes the first time I open it, or after an update?
If the app "freezes" or becomes non-reponsive to app buttons tapped, a complete quit should clear this issue.
"Unlock Selected Region" button non-responsive? Quit the app: Tap the device home button to get to your Home screen, then double tap it. Find the Roadside page floating in the center, and flick it off the top of the screen. Launch the Settings app. Under Privacy set Location Services to ON. Now launch the Roadside America app and make your region selection.
If the freeze persists, please contact us using Feedback in the app (under More, Feedback) so we can try to reproduce. It will also help if you can send a crash report.
When I try to open the app the first time, it says: "Connecting to iTunes Store" but it never connects.
Make sure you first open the app while you have an active internet connection that is not behind a proxy/firewall (such as might be in place at a school or company). If that isn't the problem, then you might try the following:
Go into the Settings App, tap Store, and sign out of your iTunes account. Shut down the device (press and hold the power button). Turn on the device (press and hold). Re-run the app.
Though rare, this might happen if you launched the app for the first time and made your region selection while in a location with a failing, bad, or no network connection. You don't need a login and password for that first region, so quitting the app should clear the problem.
App Complete Quit: Tap the device home button to get to your Home screen, then double tap it. Find the Roadside page floating in the center, and flick it off the top of the screen. That quits it.
Launch the app (then agree to allow Location Services). You should now see the Near Me list of places. If not, then tap the arrowhead button in the top left.
If the app complains that it can't find your location, try checking another app on your device that uses location, such as Maps. If one app can find you, they should all be able to find you, so check to make sure you are in a place where location-dependent apps are working.
I tried to purchase a new region or All Access to unlock everything, but still only see what I already had.
Two possibilities, both easily addressed:
1. Didn't Complete Purchasing: You created and activated a new RoadsideAmerica user account but didn't complete the entire purchase process. Once you have an account, return to the App to make the purchase (go to More, then All Access, then Unlock Selected or Unlock All, from there log in to your RoadsideAmerica.com account if you haven't yet. Log into your iTunes account to confirm so the actual payment transaction will occur.).
2. App Needs a Complete Quit: You succeeded in the purchase and iTunes confirmation, but the App is still only listing the regions you already had. To flush out the persistent old settings, try completely quitting the App.
App Complete Quit: Tap the device home button to get to your Home screen, then double tap it. Find the Roadside page floating in the center, and flick it off the top of the screen.
When I try to purchase a region or All Access and confirm, the screen mentions I must own the App and won't purchase.
If you have more than one iTunes account, you may have switched between them since when you bought the App and when you tried to purchase additional region Access. Go into the Settings App, tap Store, and see what account is logged in. Sign out, then sign back in with the account that was used to purchase the App.
If you are trying to purchase or restore a region or All Access, and see this alert: "You Can't Purchase This - You must purchase the app that this item is for before you can purchase this item" -- it's the same issue. You bought the App with a different iTunes account, and at some point you changed to a new iTunes account. You can verify this by looking at your iTunes purchase history and you won't find the App purchase. If you sign into iTunes (via Settings, then Store) using the original, correct account you will see it listed in the Purchase History for that account. Now you can make the region or All Access purchase in the App. After you make the purchase, you can sign out of the iTunes account.
When I try to purchase a region or All Access it won't let me.
If your parents or significant other have implemented Restrictions or Parental Controls on your device, they have prevented you from making any in-app purchase. Don't blame us -- talk to your parental units! If you're using an employer-owned phone with Restrictions on in-app purchases, then you will not be able to buy regions or All Access -- talk to your employer about allowing you to make the in app purchase, or find a new job :-).
Activation: I signed up for an account, but never received the account activation email. What do I do now?
A. The account activation mail should reach you within a few minutes. First, check your spam folder to see if the Activation mail ended up there. If not, then it is possible you mistyped the email address in the sign-up form, or your ISP is not recognizing it as a valid email. Use our mobile support web contact, provide your username and a functioning email address. Even better: please provide a 2nd functioning email address of yours, not using the same mail service as the address with the missing mail problem. Otherwise, if your email provider is filtering or blocking us, we have no way to contact you. We'll activate your account and let you know.
You might not hear from us if: 1) your ISP responds that your mailbox is full; or 2) your ISP (example: aol.com) blocked our mail, and doesn't send us bounces. Please email us a phone number and that alternate email address. If all else fails and you need to hit the road, create a new account with a different user name and different email (gmail, yahoo, etc.). Let us know and we'll delete your unused account.
Forgot Password: I have an account, but can't remember my password. How can I reset the password?
You can request a password reset. Go to roadsideamerica.com/forgot and provide your username and email address used to sign up for the account. A confirmation for password reset will be sent to that email address for you to approve.
If you don't hear from us: Your mail service, such as AOL, may be blocking us because of your email settings. Make sure your email account settings don't block mail from "noreply at roadsideamerica.com" or "tips at roadsideamerica.com" (replace "at" and spaces with the @ symbol). Also if your email address is sent with errors/typos, we may be unable to contact you! If you don't hear back, please send a feedback email (tap More, Feedback) and provide an alternate email address and/or phone number.
Forgot Username: I can't remember my user name... did I ever have one?
A user account is required only if you've purchased additional regions or All Access. Many users don't have accounts since they use just the basic app. If you've made an additional region in-app purchase, forgotten your username, and want to unlock access on a new or reset device, first check the original device for your username (in the app tap More, Account -- if you're logged in the username is displayed). If you aren't logged in or don't have access to your original device, contact us via the App (tap More, Feedback) and tell us which email address you used for the account.
If you purchased US Access before July 17, 2010, there's a good chance you never had an account. We didn't require user accounts until that date. It's not a problem -- you can sign up for a free account now (tap More, Account).
I paid for All Access or additional regions, recently switched phones or bought a second device, and iTunes didn't transfer my Access.
On a new or reset device, first select your primary region (the same one you selected on the original device).
You can restore already paid-for region access by going to the app, tap More, tap All Access, and tap the red Restore button. Select "I have an account" and login with your RoadsideAmerica.com username ( yourusername ) and password. You may then be asked to also login to iTunes (using your account which made the original in-app purchases). Once your access is retrieved, you will see the unlocked region states in the Cities tab.
"Unlock Selected Region" button non-responsive? Quit the app: Tap the device home button to get to your Home screen, then double tap it. Find the Roadside page floating in the center, and flick it off the top of the screen. Go to the iPhone's Settings App (gray icon with gears), then Privacy > Location Services > Roadside, and change it to ON. Now launch the Roadside America app and make your region selection.
Older expired subscriptions: Roadside America App version 1.0 - 1.3 (in 2010-11) included an option to purchase and unlock US Access, and required an annual renewal. US Access purchased before 2012 has expired. If you would like to purchase All Access (which includes the US and Canada and will not expire), tap More, then All Access, then Unlock All.
When I first got the App, I said "No" when it asked to locate me. Now I can't get the App to show me places or ask me for location again. Error message reads: "Sorry! location permission needed here for the app to do its thing."
App Complete Quit: Tap the device home button to get to your Home screen, then double tap it.Find the Roadside page floating in the center, and flick it off the top of the screen. That quits it.
Go to the iPhone's Settings App (gray icon with gears), then Privacy > Location Services > Roadside, and change it to ON.
If you have additional questions about the Roadside America App for iPhone, send us a note. We can't promise an individual response but will continue to add to the FAQs to help users!
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