Google is increasingly interested in expanding its reach beyond the digital world. Search results and Maps listings are more than just links and Wikipedia snippets; they often contain live info that can help you plan your day. For example, Google began integrating reservations for fitness classes into its services recently, and today that system is expanding to salons and spas in the US. Read More
Google has many ways to show your travel details starting with Google Now's feed, your Calendar, and the new Trips app. The latter launched last year after a long testing period and aimed to put together your travel reservations from Gmail along with Google's destinations and recommendations under one roof to simplify your trip planning. Now it's reaching version 1.0 and brining a couple more features into the mix.
First, there's now a way to manually add flight and hotel reservations, instead of relying on Gmail. Maybe you don't want the app to go through your inbox to find these emails or maybe, like me, you're planning a trip with someone else and you're not the one receiving all the emails. Read More
Google set loose a new beta release of Maps, taking it up to v9.38. This release doesn't seem to have quite as many huge features as some of the last few, but there are still a couple of cool additions. There's a new tab with a list of upcoming events, bookings, and reservations. The dedicated album for food photos from a recent teardown is now also live. There are almost always a few other hidden gems in each release, so keep an eye out for more changes and let us know if you see anything else. Read More
A relatively small Google Maps update to v9.8 began rolling out last week, adding batch photo uploads and a way to restrict bookings from showing up in location screens. It turns out there was another secret feature waiting to be shown off. In the latest version, a search for one of four key phrases will pop up results related to your personal bookings. Just try asking for my events, my flights, my hotels, or my reservations to see a short list of personalized results.
This functionality is new to Google Maps on Android (confirmed with v9.7.1), but it's not exactly fresh to Google. Read More
OpenTable announced its own mobile payment program just over a year ago, which it launched exclusively on iOS at the time. Now the feature is officially available for Android.
Pay with OpenTable, as the functionality is called, lets you pay your checks using the mobile app. There's nothing to scan or swipe in order for the experience to work. The restaurant will simply receive its money digitally from the credit card you have saved. So make sure you have that entered when you're making the reservation. It's a process you should only have to go through once.
The feature is limited to participating establishments in nearly two dozen cities. Read More
The latest version of Google Search rolled out yesterday with a couple of pretty great new features. We already know that 3.4 offers a new parking reminder, mall directories, and the start of voice commands for system settings. But there are still a few secrets worth exploring, so let's get to it!
See Your Friend's Photos
The content of Google Now tends to focus heavily on your current or future location, and as a close second, it tries to be helpful with reminders about TV shows and events. What it hasn't really done is hook into the events generated by your friends. Read More
OpenTable has taken much of the stress out of making reservations. Just head online, click-click, and boom - you're done. Now the company wants to bring the same convenience to paying your bill. Screw waiting on the waiter to bring you the check. Just whip out your phone, tap to pay, and be on your way. Read More
Last night, Google started a slow rollout of the new Maps with version 7.5. Since the previous version was 7.4, we knew there had to be some key features that prompted the update - it couldn't just be a bug fixer. After thoroughly examining the UI, I was unable to find anything new.
As it turns out, that's because the new feature Google stuffed into the app only shows up upon very specific conditions. Luckily, with the help of the latest iOS changelog (how ironic), thanks to our upcoming CES reservations, and by peeking at the APK source, we finally zeroed in on these conditions and can without further ado introduce the main feature of Maps 7.5. Read More
Savored, an app exclusively partnered with OpenTable to bring users an excellent reservation system and great savings, launched officially on Android today, bringing users in select cities across the country the ability to book reservations at quality dining establishments and save a ton of cash at the same time.
Savored's arrival on Android coincides with the end of its $10 booking fee, meaning reservations (along with membership) are totally free. Better still, the incredible discounts Savored offers are coupon-less, with discounts applied automatically to your bill.
The only down side to Savored is that it is as yet only available in select cities (including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. Read More
Score another win for Yelp in its battle against Google Maps: in the most recent update, Yelp's Android app gained the ability to make restaurant reservations thanks to integration with OpenTable.
For those already familiar with the reservation-making app, you'll notice that it's pretty much the same experience - the "Find a Table" screens on both are virtually identical, both of them allowing you to choose the date, time, and party size for your reservation. If you're already a Yelp user, there's really no reason to use the actual OpenTable app anymore.
I have to commend Yelp on so seamlessly integrating this new feature into its app, and doing so through a partnership with the already-popular OpenTable. Read More