Local Scout is a great feature on Windows Phone, and it received a nice update for Windows Phone 8. Many of the improvements aren’t immediately apparent – aside from the replacement of highlights with suggestions based on usage history and your social networks – but if you spend a little time with it, you’ll quickly discover much-appreciated changes like the ability to refine suggestions, filter by distance/rating/suggestions and cuisines/places/events/categories, and more. Best of all, you can now filter the results by locations that are open now or are currently offering a deal.
Here’s how it works: Open up Bing or the Maps app and tap the Local Scout button. Then, pivot to either eat+drink or shop and select the “sorted by distance/rating/suggestion” text below the header to open up the filters menu. From here, you can change the sorting options, cuisines/categories, and – most importantly – whether to only show locations that are currently open or offering a deal.
This is a minor change, but it makes Local Scout infinitely more useful. When I’m out and about and need something to eat, I don’t care about what restaurants are nearby if they’re not already open. As a result, the new filters eliminate most of the legwork and make Local Scout even more convenient than it was before.