Google announced the release of a new travel app ‘Trips’ that will serve as a trip planner and trip guide to make life easier for the tourists while they are at their intended destination. It is available on Android and iOS for free and works offline. The App will organise your plane tickets and hotel reservations, offer editorial guides to more than 200 cities and even make personalized recommendations based on your Google history.
This will not only enable the tourists to download everything they need including maps and walking directions before they leave for their destination, but also help save considerable amount of money they would have otherwise spent on expensive international data plan.
Richard Holden, a vice president of product management at Google said that Trips is the result of more than two years of work on improving Google's travel products. The company also introduced a travel-planning feature named Destinations inside mobile search recently and enhanced its hotel and flight search features.
The App is all set to compete against Concur’s travel-planning app TripIt. Though Trips is less geared towards business travel than TripIt, which offers a $49-a-year premium service to track your reward points and notifies you whenever a better seat is available on your flight, Trips makes up for it with its useful city guides that leverage a wide range of Google services.
Trips requires you to log in with your Google account and once signed in, Google shows you a list of your upcoming and previously completed trips. You can either use your personal or your work Google account to log in. However, it is always advisable to use the account where your flight and hotel information is to be delivered.
The App offers a number of options when you tap into a future trip option such as Reservations, Need to Know and Things to Do. Reservations organizes your flights, hotel and rental car reservations while Need to Know offers useful information about getting from the airport to the center of the city, the local currency, and what to do in case of an emergency. Things to Do on the other hand, builds custom itineraries based on the duration of your stay in a town, popular destinations and anything that you have previously starred or saved on a Google service.
In case you have your cellular connection active, Trips will also provide real-time information about the destinations that are open or closed and will even make adjustments on the basis of the time of the day and weather - for example, if it starts raining, the app will recommend indoor activities available. Also, you can tap the big red "magic wand" button if you want I’m Feeling Lucky-style recommendation for your day and Google will offer you a random highlight from the city.
Trips can prove to be a very useful app and a travelling companion only if you are comfortable with trade-offs. However, if you are concerned about Google tracking your movements around the world, Trips isn’t the app for you.
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