While it was Priceline making headlines last week with its acquisition of Kayak, Bellevue-based Expedia has gone behind the scenes and revamped its mobile app to include flights and mobile-only travel deals for hotels.
Launching today, the update is available on both iPhone and Android devices. The team at Mobiata, which Expedia acquired last year, developed the app. It’s available in the U.S. and will be rolled out internationally later this year with a tablet version coming soon as well.
The app includes the addition of 200-plus airlines and 140,000 hotels with some up to 60-percent off thanks to Expedia exclusive deals. I installed the app just now and spent a little time playing with it. One of the first things you’ll notice with the home screen (screenshot to the right) is that it’s simple, clean and aesthetically pleasing.
“For mobile, we were very clear-minded with our first version of the mobile app,” John Kim, senior VP of product, says in the video above. “You’ll see it’s extremely beautiful. We spent a lot of time making sure that there was a little bit of finish and that it was polished for the user. We were really focused on making this app intuitive.”
You can either “Get a room” or “Get away,” and the app lets you scroll through thumbnails of hotel deals nearby. Once you click on the “Get a room,” everything you need to make a reservation is right there. The top tab allows you to easily change the dates, the number of people staying in the hotel and the location, which is automatically set to your current location. You can also sort by filters like popularity, deals, price, rating and distance. A Google map also shows you hotels in the area.
The flights functionality is even more simple. You just add your departure and arrival city, along with your date and you’re given several options within seconds. These are also sortable by price, time and duration.
Shares of Expedia jumped more than 13 percent last month as the company reported stronger revenue and profits than analysts expected in part buoyed by hotel room sales in Asia-Pacific and Europe. Expedia continues to invest heavily in new technology services, and as part of that effort it recently opened a 42,000 square foot technology center in Gurgaon, India with room for 300 employees.
Previously on GeekWire: Expedia to open onsite health clinic in partnership with Qliance