HotelPal by Mobiata brings easy hotel reservations to Android phones

I’m a happy Android user today, because Mobiata finally brought their popular iPhone hotel app to Android phones. With HotelPal, you can find, research and reserve hotel rooms directly from your phone, without having to mess around with mobile sites or other unfriendly hotel booking engines.

The process is simple – you can locate hotels based on your current location, or by entering a destination. The app then pulls up hotels from the Travelocity Partner Network and displays them based on price or distance.

Each hotel listing shows the current cheapest rate, along with a description of the property, available amenities and its address. On most properties, you also get a photo gallery showing the hotel and its rooms.

Once you find a suitable hotel, you can pick your preferred room/rate, and make a reservation. Before you submit your personal information, you even get an exact price quote, including taxes and fees, which should prevent nasty surprises.

As I said, I’m very happy that this app made it to the Android platform, as I consider it a “must have” for any traveler, and an important part of any emergency app arsenal.

HotelPal is free of charge, and is available in the Android Market by searching for HotelPal or by scanning this QR code.


New mobile app helps you find the hippest hotels in town – StayHIP

Mobiata (the company behind the excellent TripDeck, HotelPal and FlightTrack Pro) just unleashed their newest creation – StayHIP. This app is the first mobile hotel application designed specifically for booking boutique hotels.

Like HotelPal, StayHIP allows you to search and book rooms without leaving the app or having to phone in your reservation. To start a search, you pick dates, number of guests, location and what kind of hotel you are looking for. The location can be entered manually, or selected based upon your current position.

Since boutique hotels specialize in themes, you can then pick from things like artsy, beach, chic, romantic and intimate.

Hotel results are displayed with a good variety of photos (and videos), a comprehensive description, and a list of available amenities. In the next step, you are presented with all the available room types, as well as their price.

Once you have selected a room, you simply enter your personal information and payment method and the reservation is finalized. Once booked, you can even share your reservation with friends on Facebook and Twitter.

StayHIP is available for the iPod Touch, iPhone and Android devices. To get StayHIP on your Apple device, click this link (iTunes link). Android users can scan the barcode on the right, or search for StayHIP in the Android Market.

StayHIP was developed by Mobiata along with TRAVELCLICK and is free of charge.


Five fantastic travel friendly iPad apps

The iPad has been out for over a month, and it already has a decent lineup of travel friendly applications. Of course, the iPad can still run the 200,000 apps designed for the iPhone, but to take full advantage of its large screen, you’ll want to stick to apps specifically designed for the iPad.

We’ve picked the five best looking apps available for the iPad right now, and best of all – these five apps are all under ten bucks.
1. FlightTrack Pro

What happens when you take one of the best selling iPhone travel apps, and update it for the iPad? Well, you get FlightTrack Pro for the iPad. FlightTrack Pro integrates with TripIt, allowing for easy itinerary imports and trip management.

In FlightTrack Pro, you can track the exact location of a flight, check for delays and even look up the weather at your airport. Best of all, if you are on a flight with Wi-Fi from Gogo Inflight, you can use your iPad as a replacement for the boring Airshow screens. To make a great app even better, if you have a 3G iPad or manage to find Wi-Fi on the road, FlightTrack Pro will keep you updated with information on departure gates, delays, arrival gates and more.

iTunes app store link: FlightTrack Pro
Price: $9.99

2. Kayak

Car rentals, hotels and cheap flights all in one app – that describes Kayak. The app provides easy access to the awesome multi-airline flight search system that made Kayak famous. On a single screen, you can see past searches, hotel deals and airline search options.

iTunes app store link: Kayak for iPad
Price: free

3. Couch Traveler HD Earth Explorer

Got a week where you are stuck at home? How about traveling the world from the comfort of your sofa and iPad? Couch Traveler is a really well designed app that harnesses the power of Google maps and aerial images to provide a fun way of sightseeing. It works just as well at home as on the road if you are looking for something to see.

iTunes app store link: Couch Traveler HD
Price: $1.99 (introductory price)

4. UpNext 3D cities

When Google maps are not enough, you should check out UpNext. The app currently covers Austin, Washington D.C., Boston, San Francisco and New York. Once a city has been downloaded, you have access to maps with 3D buildings – along with a powerful search system.

Need somewhere to eat? Browse the categories and navigate using the well designed 3D maps.

iTunes app store link: UpNext 3D cities
Price: free

5. PointInside for malls

We recently took the iPhone version of Point Inside for a spin – and the company behind this mall mapping app managed to be one of the first to make it onto the iPad with a dedicated new version.

As a reminder – Point Inside is a mapping and search app for shopping malls. Found yourself in a mall you’ve never visited? Use this app to find what you are looking for. The app also offers quick search access to things like restrooms, ATM’s and food.

iTunes app store link: Point Inside
Price: free

Number one iPhone travel app developer announces TripDeck

Mobiata, the developer behind FlightTrack (number one travel program in the iPhone App store), FlightTrack Pro and HotelPal just announced their newest application; TripDeck.

TripDeck is an itinerary management application with real-time flight status notifications. The program can integrate with your TripIt itineraries, and warns of delays, gate changes and other alerts.

I’ve been using FlightTrack Pro for some time now, and it has become an invaluable tool when I’m on the road. In many cases. FlightTrack Pro has been able to warn me of changes, even before the airline notified their own gate staff.

TripDeck takes the best of FlightTrack, and focuses on alerts and other status updates as well as a really easy to use interface.

The program allows you to manually import your trip, or link to your TripIt account. Once a trip is in TripDeck, it is organized into “trip cards” for each part of your trip (flight, car rental, hotel). With a simple finger swipe, you can browse through each segment. The cards hold all the information you need to make your trip a lot easier, including phone numbers,directions and more.

The application costs $9.99 and is available as of today from the App Store.