Personalized travel planner Google Trips gets better at handling your reservations
Prior to now, one of the apps more notable features is that its connected to Gmail, which allows it to automatically import your travel plans – like air and hotel reservations. These are then placed into the appropriate trips within the app. With the update, the app is expanding its inbox-parsing capabilities to find your bus and train reservations, too.
These will appear also in the reservations section of the app, in between your various hotel stays, allowing you to better see how youre moving between one place to the next – even if not by air.
Additionally, the app now allows you to enter in reservations by hand, in those cases that you dont have an email confirmation (or perhaps one sent to a different email address.) You can press the “+” sign in the app to add either a restaurant, car rental, hotel or flight manually. However, even those these details are being typed in, Google can still help by auto-completing the information. For example, if you enter in the airline and flight number or just the hotel name, Google Trips will fill out the rest of the information.
Theres also a space for free-form notes which lets you add other types of reservations you want to track which dont fit into one of these high-level travel categories. This might be where you add details about a tour you’re taking or your tickets to an evening show.
Travelers using Google Trips are now able to share their reservations with other parties, too – another feature rival travel companion apps today offer. You can tap an arrow button on the reservations screen to forward your trip details to anyones email. If they also have Google Trips, they can see your plans in the app as well.
The new features will make Google Trips easier to use and more competitive in the larger market, but the app remains more useful for discovering things to do, rather than travel management, despite the additions.
Googles ability to leverage its business listing and place data from Google Maps is really the apps standout feature. You can find restaurants by cuisine or atmosphere, or activities organized into categories like kid-friendly, outdoors, indoors, further away, or even browse a list personalized to your interests.
But the app still has a number of issues when it comes to the email import and organizational feature. For instance, when it imported a flight confirmation from Gmail that has me arriving at JFK, it somehow decided that I was staying in Branson, Missouri. (The email doesnt mention Branson at all.) This the kind of glitch you dont tend to see over on TripIt, and is bad enough to make the app feel untrustworthy as the single destination for tracking your trips.
Google Trips is a free app on Android and iOS.