It’s a decision we at Tnooz confront literally every day — when to write about a just-published travel app and when to take a pass on it.
As everyone knows, there are thousands of mobile apps out there and new travel apps from around the world are being published 24/7.
Our Tnooz email inboxes are flooded with press releases and various pitches from startups and established travel companies asking us to write a post about their latest mobile creations.
When Tnooz launched in 2009, it was sort of newsy when new travel apps came on the market because most travel companies didn’t have them yet.
Fast forward a couple of years and mobile apps have almost become standard-issue.
So, when an online travel agency asked us a couple of months ago to write about their new iPhone app, we had to ask them what was noteworthy about it?
Why would people want to read about it?
What differentiates the app?
What lessons could be learned from how it was developed?
In the OTA’s case, Â the app may have been just fine, but it does what untold numbers of other apps do — offer flight search, currency conversion, packing lists and weather information, for example.
Still other travel companies want us to write about their Android app when their Android and iPhone apps appear to be twins.
So if you want to get some coverage of your Android app, tell us what differentiates it from the other apps you have in the marketplace, or from your compeititors’ apps, and then we’ll take it from there.
To write about it, or not to write about it? That was the question.
I decided it deserved a mention here.
Hipmunk says its Android app was designed as such. A Hipmunk spokeswoman says Android users will find it is faster than what they are used to seeing because “information is popped up over the current screen as opposed to sliding over to it like in iOS.”
“The app was also built to take into account the Android user’s dependence on the back button,” the spokeswoman says. “The Hipmunk Android app makes dismissing info super easy and intuitive rather than some Android apps that still use the graphical, touchscreen back that iOS uses.”
So it seemingly has a twist to it.
Likewise, the release of dedicated iPad apps makes us take a closer look because they still are less common than Â iPhone apps, Â and whenÂ Jetsetter released its iPad app, the question of whether to write a post about it was a no-brainer.
Jetsetter’s iPad app did something different with its “immersive 360-degree images” and the way dozens of then get Â stitched together to form one image. It was certainly worth Â some coverage.
Tnooz gives tons of attention to travel startups in TLabs and almost every startup’s dilemma is figuring out how to Â get heard.
Still, I personally will have a tendency to write about the apps of bigger players, all things being equal, because the Â release of the big-brand’s apps will likely have more impact in the market.
That being said, if a startup has a compelling app which breaks new ground, we’ll write about it.
One of the exciting things about travel technology and covering this beat is that there is always something new and you are always looking for the next “wow” sort of thing.
Take augmented reality.
Yesterday we wrote about the Hotel Now augmented reality app, which enables you to point your iPhone at a nearby hotel and get pricing and distance information, as well as reviews.
It’s funky and new.
But, two years from now, if proponents of augmented reality apps are correct, there may be lots of them out there.
Then we’ll have to decide what is special about them and which ones to write about.