Shaka Guide’s four Hawaii travel apps use GPS to give you turn-by-turn navigation to popular sites and hidden gems. You’ll hear stories, learn about the islands, and listen to music along the way. You’ll have the freedom to explore at your own pace with the comfort of having us as your guide.
Worried about losing cell service in remote parts of Hawaii? Don’t worry, the tours work 100% offline. See question eight for more on how this works.
Here are some steps that will help you get started!
Download the Shaka Guide app from the App Store or Play store on your mobile device.
Once downloaded, open up the app and sign up via email, Apple, Google or Facebook.
After creating an account and logging in, choose any of the tours from the list and buy the tour; you can also get the tour bundle for an amazing deal!
Go to the download tab at the bottom of the screen to manually download each tour. We recommend downloading the tour over WiFi and keeping the app open until the download is complete.
Once your tour or tours are downloaded, tap on the "Take the Tour" to start your Shaka Guide adventure.
Below you’ll find our app tutorial videos that can help:
The app is free, but in order to access the tours you’ll have to make an in-app purchase. Our walking tours cost $2.99 each; driving tours start at $9.99; and our island bundles start at $19.99.
Remember — your purchase never expires. You can use the tours multiple times on the same trip to return to your favorite spots or use it again on your next visit to Hawaii. Shaka Guide also offers a 100% money back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with your experience let us know what went wrong for a full refund.
All Shaka Guide tours come with the following:
Yes! We can’t stress this enough. Make sure you download the tour before you go (preferably at your hotel). You don’t want to get on the road only to have a poor data connection and no access to the tour or offline map. Remember, you'll be driving in some remote parts of Hawaii!
If you download the tour before you go everything will work offline. While you’re downloading the tour make sure you leave the app open. Closing the app or switching over to another app may stop the download or cause problems.
If you didn't download the tour at your hotel before you left, don't worry, there are still some options for you!
1) Find a spot with WiFi like Starbucks or a local coffee shop. Pro Tip - McDonalds WiFi is super slow so look elsewhere!
2) Can't find a spot with WiFi - go to a nearby city (aka civilization) where data is likely to be stronger and download the tour over your data service. If you do this, we recommend you pull over and wait for the tour to finish downloading before you continue to drive.
This could be because of a poor internet/data connection, or the download timed out because you closed the app/turned off your phone.
If the download freezes on your phone, here are some steps you can take:
Still having problems? Use another device. Purchase again if needed, we can refund you later for the duplicate purchase.
Before a tour is purchased, the app uses the internet or data to display the map, images, and play sample audio. However, after a tour is purchased and downloaded it works 100% offline. This includes the map, audio directions, as well as tour highlights.
If you are concerned about your data usage, simply turn your phone on “airplane mode” while taking the tour. This will turn off your data while leaving your GPS signal on. But again, this is only needed if you are nervous about using data.
Note: Some older Android devices when turn on airplane mode will turn off your GPS signal. If this is the case for you, then go to your settings and only turn off Cellular Data and WiFi and keep GPS or Location on.
Yes! As long as you download the tour before you go. Even without service, the app will use GPS to access your location and give you turn-by-turn directions.
So, curious how the GPS works if there is no data connection? Good question! The GPS on your phone relies on satellites floating in space to determine your location, not your data connection. So with the offline map downloaded already, even with no data or WiFi service, your phone's GPS will still work.
The best way make sure everyone can hear the tour is to play it through the car's speakers. There are few ways to do this: bluetooth, USB cable or AUX cord. We recommend using a USB cable.
Check out our video tutorial to learn how to connect your phone to the car’s stereo.
Pro tip! Before you leave the car rental lot, confirm that you can play audio through the car’s stereo. Some rental cars are old or have broken USB ports. The rental car agencies will willingly change your car if the car stereo does not play from your phone.
Still need help? No worries. Below are detailed instructions for setting up the audio based on the different methods we've outlined.
1. USB Cable:
Depending on the make and model of your car, sometimes you are able to sync your phone’s audio through a USB cable. This is our favorite option because it also charges your phone at the same time. The most likely place to find the USB port is in the middle glove compartment, on the car dash or near the audio control panel.
Connect the USB to car stereo
From your car stereo, select “media player”, iPhone, CarPlay, Android Auto, or find the name of your device.
Look for signs of connectivity through the display on your car dash.
Play any of the tour audio to test if the audio plays correctly from the speakers.
USB still not playing audio?
Try some of the following, testing the audio after each attempt:
Make sure your volume is turned up on your car stereo.
Restart your device and restart your car stereo (turn off both devices and turn them back on).
Unpair bluetooth connection with phone (if you are paired).
Connect your device to a different stereo USB port (if you have one).
Try a different USB cable.
Update your device firmware.
Try playing audio from a different app to see if any audio will play.
NOTE: Trying to play audio through the USB cable in many older rental cars sometimes do not work for reasons related to a damaged USB port or car’s stereo firmware. Please consult your car rental company for further assistance.
2) AUX Cord:
Does your phone have an audio port? If not, move on to the next method.
If your phone does have an audio aux port, then you will need to get an auxiliary jack with two male ends: one plugs into your phone, the other plugs into the car. You can adjust volume from both the car radio and the phone’s volume.
Depending on the make and model of your car, sometimes you can sync your phone’s audio through a bluetooth connection. Here are the steps:
First go to your phone’s bluetooth and turn it on.
Then in your rental car, use your car’s dash system to activate the bluetooth connection of the car.
When you see your phone, select it to complete the bluetooth connection.
Play any of the tour audio to test if the audio plays correctly from the speakers.
Bluetooth still not working?
Try some of the following to troubleshoot:
Restart your device.
Make sure your device’s Bluetooth is turned to ON (check your settings).
Unpair both your device and car stereo from each other, restart your car, and then try to pair and connect your device again.
NOTE: In some older rental cars bluetooth appears to be connected but still doesn't play audio. Again, likely something not working with the car's bluetooth system.
Still can’t get audio to play through the car stereo?
Just use your device’s built in speakers and turn the volume up as loud as you can.
One of the most important items to pack with you for your tour is a car charger. If you didn't bring one on your trip you can pick one up on island at Target, Walmart or ABC Store. Without a charger, you can expect your fully-charged phone to last about 4-5 hours and many of our tours take between 6-10 hours to complete.
However, many rental cars have USB ports that will allow you to charge your phone and connect to the car’s stereo. Check out your rental car before you head out for the tour and if you have a USB port, just bring your regular charging cable along for the drive!
Here are some tips to conserve battery throughout the day.
Yes! You for sure need to bring a car charger on your tour. Most rental cars now come equipped with USB ports so you can charge your phone and connect to the car’s stereo. However, if your rental car doesn’t have one, you can bring a charger that plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter outlet.
Forgot yours at the hotel? Some rental car agencies have these available for purchase, but you can also check out a nearby Target, Walmart of ABC store!