US: Expedia Group has released new versions of the Brand Expedia, Hotwire and Vrbo iOS apps to take advantage of the capabilities available in iOS 14.
According to the company, the features will unlock new ways to view the latest travel deals with Hotwire, and easily access upcoming reservation details booked through Brand Expedia and Vrbo.
Tucker Moodey, president of retail product and technology at Expedia Group, said: “Given all that is happening right now, many people across the globe are looking to travel as a way to cope and recharge during this crisis through a change of scenery, exploration and the chance to safely create new memories. Harnessing the latest iOS 14 features, our brands joined forces to provide added support and greater transparency to help travellers plan and find much-needed discounts, making travel more accessible and worry-free.”
With iOS 14, Brand Expedia, Hotwire and Vrbo provide users with more information at a glance on the home screen, and a summary of the updates to each app follows:
- Brand Expedia: The Brand Expedia widget gives travellers a more comprehensive view of their upcoming trip, including a day-by-day countdown and the local time at their destination of choice. The widget reflects the current weather to help users prepare for potential evolving conditions, such as heavy rain or storms. Flight departure reminders and check-in details are also available in the large version of the widget.
- Hotwire: Designed for the brand’s growing base of app users which doubled between May and August 2020, Hotwire’s last-minute deal widget has been designed to keep customers apprised of the best bargains. Since 80 per cent of Hotwire customers book the day before or on the day of their trip in the app, Hotwire created the widget to show the top local weekend getaways under $200 per night from their current location, or the best deals across Hotwire if location is not enabled. In addition to the widget, Hotwire also has a new app clip that provides hotel information including ratings, and allows users to easily book with one tap using Apple Pay. The new features aim to help customers save an average of 52 per cent on last-minute accommodation bookings when compared to the listed rate two weeks prior.
- Vrbo: The new Vrbo widget comes with a countdown for travellers who are anticipating their next vacation. It also provides timely updates and touchpoints throughout a traveller’s stay, such as property details, check-in and check-out times, and contact information for the property manager or vacation homeowner. Since 86 per cent of Vrbo users tend to travel with family, the Vrbo widget was made so guests can easily share trip details with others in their group.
The updated apps can be used by anyone on an iPhone with iOS 14 installed, and each app is available to download on the App Store at no cost. The Orbitz and Travelocity apps will also support iOS 14 and include an upcoming trip widget in their next release.