It's common knowledge that Google has been working on a travel application for some time now. Last week, Maps Explorers were emailed and asked to complete a short survey for a chance to test it before everyone else. Now we know what this app is called, and what it does. Meet Google Trips.
Details are a little thin on the ground. After all, it hasn't been officially announced by Google. But that still hasn't stopped screenshots finding their way into the awaiting arms of the tech press. So, what does it supposedly do?
Perhaps the biggest feature of Google Trips is that it scours Gmail for hotel reservations and flight bookings.
Many of us Android users (and Android Police readers) have been accustomed to using Google Translate to fill our language knowledge gaps, but we often forget the other challenger in the arena: Microsoft Translator. The app was first released last August and when I looked at it back then and compared it to Google's offering, I found it a worthy challenger, but one that lacked a couple of key features.
Lonely Planet is known by travelers all around the world for its small travel tip booklets that cover many cities and destinations, using experts and local guides to gather the best advice about each location. After what seemed like an eternity with half-hearted mobile apps, Lonely Planet is finally ready to make the big leap over to your smartphone. The app is now available for both Android and iOS and for a first version, it's a thing of beauty.
Lonely Planet uses a white background and theme throughout the entire app, making every photo and detail pop on the screen. The app starts with a list of supported city guides which are somewhere in the high thirties now.
Should you step across an international border, most carriers seize the opportunity to nickle and dime you into oblivion, but T-Mobile has a different take on things. Simple Global makes most services free or very cheap in supported countries, and the carrier is adding 20 more locations to the program today. Remember, this is only for Simple Choice postpaid customers, no prepaid subscribers need apply.
Look, you're going to have to deal with the TSA, baggage fees, and all sorts of other junk to hop a flight, so why not make paying for the ticket a little less painful at least? Hopper might be able to help. It came to iOS a few months ago, and now it's on Android. Just tell it when you're flying and to where, then Hopper figures out when you should buy.
The advent of technology and the booming Silicon Valley scene doesn't only benefit the masses, but also helps spawn incredibly niche and boutique services. Are you sick of packing your own suitcase, cleaning your own clothes, and taking it all with you on your many trips around the country? Well, if you're willing to pay a hefty price, DUFL will take care of all these things for you and now can do so via a new Android app.
I can't decide if this is solving a problem that doesn't exist or if DUFL just solves a real problem in a really inefficient way.
Mobile Passport lets you be that guy who gets to skip the regular line at the airport just by pulling out your phone. You provide the app with information about yourself and your trip, then submit everything once you land. Then you follow signs for "Mobile Passport Control" (which might as well say Cool People), and you're off to go about your day.
The latest version of the app adds support for San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
This addition is a big deal if you're flying in to see Google over in Mountain View, California. Or, you know, that other mobile operating system maker based in Palo Alto.
Alaska Airlines doesn't handle all of the flights to Alaska, but if you're heading to the state, there's a decent chance you will consider riding one of the company's planes. The airline offers an Android app that you can use throughout every step of the process—booking a trip, checking in, boarding, and the like. Only now, it will look much less ugly as you do so. With version 3.0, Alaska Airlines will no longer cause Lollipop devices, and their owners, to involuntarily vomit.
The latest version of the app has shed most elements of the Gingerbread era in favor of something more material.
Last week, Google added several long-wanted features to Inbox by Gmail, like signatures and swipe-to-delete. That server-side update also brought along trip bundles, which will group all the emails you get about a single stretch of travel into one place to help you keep track of things. Today, Google was kind enough to give a formal walk-through for those of us who haven't received any qualifying emails since the update rolled out.
The featured image of this post shows how a trip bundle will look from the default view of your inbox. And as the time for your flight (if there is one) approaches, it will change to give you Google Now-esque updates on flight times:
When you tap on the bundle card, it expands into a list of emails just like any other category of emails.