Travel Apps for Apple Watch, Android Wear Put The World on Your Wrist
PHOTO: Booking.com just announced that its Booking Now app will be compatible with the Apple Watch (courtesy of Booking.com)
The wearables industry is in full force.
As you’ve probably heard (about a million times), Apple Watch will be officially released to the public on April 24.
On top of that, Google released a new update to Android Wear today that it hopes will compete with Apple Watch moving forward.
Numerous travel companies have already announced that their apps will be compatible with Apple Watch when it’s unveiled. Travel apps include Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Accor, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Marriott International, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Uber, Instagram, American Airlines, British Airways, easyJet, Emirates, Avios and—announced recently—Hotels.com and Booking.com.
Hotels.com—from parent company Expedia—will allow customers to find last-minute hotel deals, view upcoming reservations, locate their hotel via GPS and scan their check-in and checkout details through its Apple Watch-compatible app.
Booking.com—from Expedia’s major OTA competitor Priceline—announced the Booking Now app for the Apple Watch today. The app—available in 15 languages—allows users to book the nearest relevant hotel with one simple gesture using “force touch” technology. Travelers can also manage their reservations with a single swipe of their Apple Watch, save the location of their chosen hotel, get directions and rate their overall check-in experience.
But Apple isn’t the only major technology company ramping up its wearables technology.
Google unveiled a new update to its Android Wear platform today, with the Apple Watch just a few days away. Now, Android Wear supports watches with built-in Wi-Fi, a major update for travelers in particular. The updated platform also allows users to flick their wrist to scroll through news and notifications, tap once to start apps and send messages and—younger generations rejoice—draw emoji characters on their watches and share them. Opened apps also stay visible for as long as you need them now, instead of disappearing when you drop your wrist.
The update will be rolled out to all seven Android Wear-compatible watches over the new few weeks, Google notes, starting with the new LG Watch Urbane.
Google has also been working on making the Android Wear platform compatible with the iPhone. Android Wear would still need the go-ahead from Apple to be featured on Apple’s platform, though.
There’s certainly a demand for efficient online booking solutions. According to Booking.com research conducted in 2014, 96 percent of global travelers agree that technology has made it easier to book travel, with 85 percent agreeing that fluid on-the-go booking allows them to be more spontaneous.
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