Expedia announced today that its Expedia Hotels app for iPhone and Android now gets into the tablet game with full support for iPad and Android tablets.
Launched in the Spring of 2011 and nearly 2 million downloads later, the app is now optimized for tablets.
To kick off the festivities, Expedia conducted a Twitter chat for followers of the Expedia accountÂ Â who use the #expchat hashtag. Â Participants in the chat were eligible to win an iPad 2, loaded up with Expedia Hotels, of course.
Nothing like a little social media traction and a giveaway to highlight a tablet-app launch.
The Expedia hotel and mobile initiative almost stole the mobile marketing thunder of Orbitz, which expects to announce December 12 that it has readied a “faster and more powerful”mobile website at m.orbitz.com, which can handle queries from iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows 7 devices.
The Orbitz mobile website detects your location, once you grant it permission, and then you can search for nearby and other hotels and view images of the properties in a manner similar to the way you might navigate through your personal photo albums on your smartphone.
The Orbitz mobile site also enables you to search for a hotel, and then access the search later on a laptop or desktop or vice versa.
Other features of the mobile site include alerts to find out when there are only a few rooms remaining at a particular property, and the ability to search and book flight and hotel packages up to four rooms at a time.
Expedia is a much more powerful player than Orbitz in the hotel arena, but Orbitz is doing some interesting things as well and the seeming mismatch doesn’t stop them from trying to one-up each other in the all-important and ever-evolving mobile sphere.