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Hands on with Scout by Telenav's HTML5 navigation

With Scout's HTML5 navigation function, you can get turn-by-turn directions on any smartphone -- no app installation necessary.

Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Getting (or sending) turn-by-turn driving directions is now as simple as clicking a link in a text message or e-mail with Telenav's new Scout navigation Web app and your phone's HTML5 browser. OK, so there are more steps than just that one, but it's still a remarkably simple process.

Simply visit Scout.me with any browser and search the city of your choice for something to do, somewhere to eat, or somewhere to sleep. Destinations are organized into the main categories of Things to do, Food and Drink, Events, and Places to stay, with multiple subcategories for each of these top levels. Social network reviews from Yelp, CitySearch, and others are provided to help you make a decision.

Once you've decided on a place, send it to your phone clicking the big yellow Navigate button and entering a phone number or e-mail address that goes to your phone. You can also click the Share button to send the directions to Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail.

Momentarily, you'll receive a text message or e-mail (depending on the information you input) on your smartphone with a link that you can click and open. After a confirmation page loads in your phone's browser, click yet another big yellow Navigate button to start the turn-by-turn directions. Check out the video below to see the process in action.

Now playing: Watch this: Scout HTML5 navigation by Telenav (hands-on)

Scout's turn-by-turn directions include a live map, automatic rerouting if you get off course, and spoken directions with text-to-speech street name pronunciation. Scout navigation should work in any HTML5-capable mobile browser on any smartphone, including Android, iOS, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone.

Even if you already have a favorite navigation app, this is a neat trick to have up your sleeve. Once you've got the scout.me link, you can send it to anyone to allow them to navigate to the same destination. This is particularly useful in the event that you have to, for example, give a bunch of family members directions to that restaurant where you're all meeting for brunch or let a group of friends know where this weekend's party is going down. Just send them all the Scout link and call it a day.