DEVICES – Product news, launches and more – August 2013
The latest devices news, launches and more from around the travel, tourism and hospitality industry in August 2013.
Thursday 29 August 2013:
- Thomson has unveiled its ViewMaker application to enable customers to share video clips of their travel experiences. The app can be downloaded from iTunes and allows travellers to create a video, add some details and upload it onto a Thomson Holiday Views website.
Tuesday 27 August 2013:
- CO Everywhere has launched a new iOS app. It leverages 1,000 sources, including social media, to create a real-time local news feed of everything happening in the locations you care about most, such as your next vacation destination. Your relationship is with the location, not your existing friend-base. The start-up operates out of the Start Tank, a technology incubator operated by PayPal.
Thursday 22 August 2013:
- HomeAway has updated its iOS app. The new features include access to ReservationManager across the HomeAway properties, so property managers and owners can manage their businesses via the mobile app. Travelers will also be able to search and save properties across the family of rental sites, one-tap property owner contact button, and the ability to both refine searches by specific categories, and share properties across social networks.
- Google has updated its Google Now feature by adding new cards that will directly help travellers. Users will be able to see their car reservation details and even directions to the rental center in a new card in Google Now. Also, all event/concert ticket cards will also be automatically displayed in the user’s mobile when the user arrives at the event venue. Users will be able to get details on the last train or bus to go home in an another card. These updates are available in the latest version of the Google Search app for Android 4.1+.
Wednesday 21 August 2013:
- Singapore-based Flocations has launched its iPhone app. This app features over 5,000 travel packages sourced from 60 travel agencies in Singapore. In April 2013, the company pivoted from being a flight search portal to a holiday packages listing portal.
- India’s metasearch portal ixigo has launched an Android app by name “ixigo PNR status” that would automatically scan SMSes in a user’s phone, identify PNR details of Indian Railway train tickets and ex-India flights. The app notifies the user if there is any delay or time change detected in the PNR.
Tuesday 20 August 2013:
- Sound of Data, a B2B mobile travel technology company in Rotterdam, says it has signed up 21 travel agencies worldwide for its Mobitinerary service, which aims at OTAs and TMCs who want to service their customers in all phases of the trip via mobile device. Today’s addition is one of Brazil’s top OTAs, Rapi10 (pronounced Rapiddiez).
Monday 19 August 2013:
- Lufthansa creates app for Windows Phones. Similar to its applications for other devices, Lufthansa for Windows 8 allows users to search and book any flight with the carrier, request arrival and departure information and check flight status, and store boarding passes.
- Sphere (formerly TourWrist) to be pre-installed on Samsung devices. The first device to take deliver of the image pano system will be the Galaxy NX camera.
Friday 16 August 2013:
- Jetstar and Zensar Technologies Australia have developed an iPad app, Jetload, that allows pilots to quickly and accurately calculate aircraft weight and balance before take-off. All flight manuals will be electronically managed there by eliminating the 20kg of paper manuals in flight deck. The fuel saving from the reduction of paper manual is expected to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
Wednesday 14 August 2013:
- Social travel platform Minube has updated its iOS and Android app with a new feature – Users will be able to browse and book hotels at over 300,000 establishments in 180 countries. This feature is initially sourced from Booking.com, and more providers will be added later. Minube also reports that 30% of its overall traffic (35 million visits per year) is from mobile devices.
- Yelp updated its iOS app to allow users to write reviews directly from the app. Yelp announced that this feature will be made available in Android soon.
Monday 12 August 2013:
- India’s cab rental company Meru Cabs has launched its iOS and Android app to include a passenger security feature. The updated app has an In Case of Emergency (ICE) button that a user can push to pass on the user’s location and an emergency-buzz event to one or two of their pre-configured friends numbers. The company currently processes 20,000 bookings per day, from its fleet of 5,500 taxis in India.
- Thomas Cook India has launched forex transaction service on mobile. Users will be able to send money, buy foreign currencies by using their mobile – call, SMS or over a tweet.
Thursday 8 August 2013:
- Choice Hotels has launched RapidBooking, a facility with which users will be able to reserve rooms in the hotels’ mobile app with less hassle. The app remembers the users choice/preference and adapts accordingly when users books again.
- Emirates will start rolling out Google Now cards for passengers who book through Emirates.com. These cards will help passengers in receiving more pre-flight information.
Wednesday 7 August 2013:
- SOTC (together with KUONI) has launched an app for Windows 8 platform. Users will be able to search and browse for travel packages, submit enquiry details. The app can be downloaded for free from app store.
Tuesday 6 August 2013:
- WeHostels, the budget stay brand has launched an app for iPad. Recently, HostelWorld acquired HostelBookers earlier this year.
Monday 5 August 2013:
- redBus, India’s biggest online bus booking company has launched its app for Windows 8, users can download the app for free from Windows Store. redBus app connects 1200 operators across 10,000+ routes.
- Air Arabia’s new iPhone app allows passengers to purchase tickets, review and amend their booking, and select seats.
Thursday 1 August 2013:
- Egencia unveils iPhone application for business users. Using technology from the Mobiata end of the mothership Expedia, TripNavigator allows corporate travel users to manage flight bookings and receive itinerary updates during a trip, as well as secure an instant connection to an agent.
- Traxo builds out app for iOS devices. The Road Warrior-focused application allows users to manage complex itineraries on the road, track loyalty schemes, obtain calendar services and browse destination maps. Android devices are expected to receive similar attention in the final quarter of 2013.
- DEVICES – Product news, launches and more – July 2013
- DEVICES – Product news, launches and more – June 2013
- DEVICES – Product news, launches and more – May 2013
NB: Devices image via Shutterstock.
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