December 8, 2011, 3:29 PM

Satellite-based hotel finder app zeroes in on rooms

Expedia.com has released a highly focused app for iPad and Android tablets.

Lead Photo

A tablet's GPS technology helps travelers zoom in on hotels in their area in the Expedia app.

Most retail and travel tablet apps are filled with features and functions to wow consumers and bring the full experience of shopping on a web site to the unique format of the tablet. Expedia.com is taking a different tack with its new Expedia Hotels app for iPad and Android tablets. It’s zeroing in on its many customers who simply need to book a hotel room while on the go.

The tablet app launch comes at a time when travelers are increasingly choosing to bring a tablet on trips rather than a laptop, Expedia says. And studies show that many tablet owners eschew their desktop or laptop computers at home and instead lie on the couch or in bed with their tablets. Wherever they may be, consumers can use the Expedia Hotels app to quickly pinpoint, research and book more than 130,000 hotels, the company says.

Enabling GPS capabilities via the app narrows down the location and then pulls up a map with pins on it and a list of hotels. Four taps gets a traveler from the home screen to a booking screen where they enter their payment information.

“There is no device better suited for enjoying your Expedia experience than a tablet,” says Scott Durchslag, president of Expedia Worldwide. “Travel is intrinsically a mobile experience, so as more consumers use mobile devices, Expedia.com will become like a personalized travel assistant that is always with you wherever, whenever, and however you want to discover, plan, book or enjoy travel.”

Expedia.com launched smartphone apps for iPhones and Android devices in the spring. Combined they have been downloaded more than two million times, the company says. In more than half of bookings on the iPhone, customers book hotels for the same night.

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