Google Trips Proves a Promising Addition to Mobile Travel

September 27, 2016 - 2 minutes read

It’s been a couple weeks now since Google’s mobile app development team launched Trips, their take on travel planning and mobile exploration, to the Apple App Store and Google Play. The reviews are pouring in and the verdict is that the app doesn’t offer enough customization options — but might make up for it with convenience.

The strength of Google’s Trips app, and the main strength they have over offerings from smaller startups, is the tight integration with other Google offerings like Gmail, Calendar, and etc. Downloading the app onto my phone, I was impressed at how quickly it assembled a snapshot of the trips I’d arranged through my email account over the years, and how convenient it was to have various tickets and information automatically pulled into one place. The app also pulls AirBnB and hotel reservations.

The heart and soul of the app’s value proposition is the itinerary builder, which suggests options of things to do in the area using AI, drawn from your Google history of things you’ve starred and expressed interest in.

That said, the lack of manual entry options leaves you stranded in some instances if you aren’t 100% tied in to the Google ecosystem. However, it’s likely that their app development team will quickly fix these issues and continue iterating on the product. Additionally, it’s a bit feature-minimal compared to business travel app startups like TripIt.

Overall, the app is a great example of thoughtful design for aspiring San Fran app developers to take a second look at. The material design aesthetic fits perfectly with Google’s other products and the card-based user interface is highly effective at organizing complex data.

In the meantime, it will be interesting to see whether they opt to keep the product super-simple, or pursue additional features and extras for power users.

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