DEVICES – Product news, launches and more – June 2013

The latest devices news, launches and more from around the travel, tourism and hospitality industry in June 2013.

Friday 28 June 2013:

  • TUI Travel‘s Thomson brand has released an iPhone app that has risen to the #1 spot amongst free travel apps in the UK. The MyThomson app allows travelers to see all of the information related to their trip in one place: flight number, luggage allowance details, maps, and current weather. Resort guides and the ability to book excursions are also integrated.

  • Hotwire has launched its iPad app, this is in addition to the company’s mobile website, apps for iPhone and iPod touch. Hotwire claims that the booking time in its new iPad app is reduced by 50% when compared to the desktop experience.
  • iRiS Software creates app platform for hotels and cruise lines. Customers using the app will be able to search for and book product, make requests of companies, log in to loyalty schemes and redeem points, as well as use the service once checked-in at a destination. Services such as ordering ancillary services (dining etc) will be available via app as well for consumers.
  • Jet2 debuts free iPhone application. The app allows users to search and secure flights, but also manage bookings, view timetables and the status of current flights.
  • Hoteliers on Guestline property management system offered mobile service. Property owners can replicate services traditionally on the Rezlynx platform on a mobile, such as organising guest arrivals and departures, check-in management, view housekeeping schedules and occupancy/revenue reports.

Thursday 27 June 2013:

  • UIEvolution‘s Guest Evolution product, which features an HTML5-based browser-based app on interactive Smart TVs, will be installed on Princess Cruises‘ Royal Princess. This will allow guests to enjoy live TV, ship channels, free-to-guest video, and music-on-demand.  Guests will also be able to watch live TV and music on their phones and tablets, in addition to on-board maps, routes, information, shore excursion bookings, and restaurant/wine menus.
  • JetBlue Airways has received Federal Aviation Administration approval to give all its 2,500 pilots custom-equipped fourth-generation 16GB Wi-Fi enabled iPads. This move will add more real-time capabilities in the cockpit and save fuel by eliminating the heavy paper manuals that all pilots carry. The airline was doing a trial run for several months by providing iPads for 60 of its pilots.

Wednesday 26 June 2013:

  • British Airways to trial electronic bag tag service. Taking place at Heathrow Airport in London, customers hold their smartphone over the electronic tag, which automatically updates with a unique barcode containing flight details and update on of their bag’s destination.
  • Mantic Point creates Who’s Where application for corporate travel managers. The traveller location and reporting system gives business travel agents the ability to track and alert clients on-the-road to any issues that may affect a trip. The first customer is Portman Travel in the UK.
  • Worldictionary makes service available offline. The app, which previously only worked when connected to the web, lets users take a picture of a word with their Apple devices and then instantly find it translated into a language of their choice.

Monday 24 June 2013:

  •  MICROS, IT solution provider for the hospitality and retail industries has launched it new OPERA Mobile solution. This mobile platform will allow hoteliers to check-in and check-out guests, or­ganize housekeeping activities, manage task sheets, room management, update room status. Below is a video about the platform:
  • TripIt for Teams, the application by TripIt that allows a team of travellers to plan and track their trips together has launched its service for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. By clicking on “My Travelers” in the TripIt app for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, planners will be able to view trip dates and destinations in a list, map or team calendar.

Thursday 20 June 2013:

  • Mobile Travel Technologies wins first same-day white label app customer in Jin Jiang Hotels. The Eleventh Hour app was announced in May this year in a bid to keep control over inventory and pricing for hotel chains looking to capture some of the same-day hotel booking trend. Jin Jiang Hotels Lite will be available in the Apple iTunes store and will offer same-day deals to its 116 properties in 75 Chinese cities.

Monday 17 June 2013:

  • Thomas Cook to launch new app for currency info and booking. The new app is expected to be released in the next few weeks and will include feeds from Thomas Cook Money and the main travel websites. It will include what it calls an “interactive calculator” so consumers can work out how much spending money will be required as well as the ability to order currency ahead of a trip.
  • Best Western unveils new To Go application. The service is available on both Android and Apple devices and includes new user experience and navigation alongside access for users to the chain’s Best Western Rewards programme.

Thursday 13 June 2013:

  • MapHook, the location-based travel journaling solution, recently launched an Android version of its mobile application. The Android version of MapHook offers all of the same great features as the original iPhone app, including the ability to share Hooks via Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail.

Wednesday 12 June 2013:

  • Mapquest has launched their Windows 8 app that provides the full functionality of the product: Voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions using GPS, find restaurants, hotels, and attractions, access to recent searches and favorite locations, optimal routes for both driving and walking, live traffic conditions updated every 5 minutes, and Live Tiles update based on current location.
  • British Airways integrates with Apple Passbook. Similar to other carriers which have taken the Passbook step, BA passengers can place their mobile boarding pass into the Apple service and be used in more than 100 airports around the world where BA accepts mobile passes. The pass will automatically appear on the iPhone’s locked screen for up to three hours before departure.

Tuesday 11 June 2013:

  • Goibibo.com, India-based OTA has launched its iOS app that has domestic and international flight section. The company’s Android app has been downloaded more than half a million times. Goibibo also said that they will be adding bus and hotels vertical shortly. Goibibo receives 10% of their transactions via Android and HTML 5 apps.

Tuesday 4 June 2013:

  • Trekksoft creates white label mobile app for activity suppliers. The software company has developed the Android and iOS-device app so that tour and activity providers can allow customers to search and book products from within a smartphone. The app also lets users group tours by location or type as well as using the GPS functionality to pinpoint the nearest activity to the handset.
  • Bibafly extends flight crew social network service to Android phones. The platform (more here) lets crew members organise their diaries, layovers and communication with colleagues and peers, as well provide information on things to do in a destination.

Previous roundups:

NB: Mobile map image via Shutterstock.

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