Today Google launches its first all-in-one travel app, Trips. The free app aims to be a personalized tour guide available for Android or Apple devices.
The most powerful trick of Google Trips is that the app suggests activities to do at a destination based on time, weather, ratings by other Google users, and your past mobile device behavior.
The app pulls reservation details out of a user’s Gmail account to build lists of suggested itineraries. Once a user is in their destination, the tool can suggest relevant attractions based on time of day and the user’s location.
Mapping out favorite attractions can help travelers make efficient use of their time. In Tnooz’s tests, we found that Google Trips makes it quick to see which attractions are open, account for how far it takes to get from point A to point B, and estimate how long visitors typically stay at each stop.
Richard Holden, who since 2013 has developed product strategy and led product management teams focused on Google’s Travel products, said the results are produced without any paid placements and are based on algorithmic calculations of popularity. He told Tnooz:
“Today this is purely an organic product. We want to focus first on building a good user experience. We think there are some interesting partnership opportunities in the future, but we really haven’t looked into those at all.”
The Trips app has all the hallmarks of a serious effort, unlike the brand’s half-hearted and now forgotten FieldTrip, a tour guide app pushed several years ago. FieldTrip relied on content from selected publishers and users for a limited set of destinations — which limited its usefulness.
Unlike Field Trip, the search giant is providing a bit of marketing muscle behind Google Trips, as signaled by a promotional video that it released today to tout the app.