Google Trips Adds New Features
Back in September, we wrote about a revolutionary new travel planning and itinerary organizing travel app, Google Trips. Since then, the app has been my favorite phone application during my travels. It does an incredible job of syncing with your gmail account to pull travel itineraries into one place with a beautiful user interface. It can help you find things to do and great places to eat during your travels. However, my favorite feature is the ability to download cities for offline use, when you don’t have a connection. Last week, Google rolled out its first big update to the app since the September launch. Three new features, which are outlined below, were introduced that I think will be well received by all travelers.
The first big update came in the form of bus and train reservations. This was one of the features I previously thought the app fell short on, but moving forward, the app will now sync both bus and train reservations that it finds within your gmail account. These will appear in the reservations section of the app with your airline, hotel, restaurant and other reservations. This is a great addition, and one that will be welcomed with open arms by European travelers with extensive train routing.
The second update to the app is the ability to enter in reservations manually. This is a great addition as there has been times in the past where I haven’t received an email confirmation for travel I have booked, and thus, the reservation did not pull over to my Google Trips interface. This is also a great feature for people who may be booking travel with a non google email address, such as a work address. Entering the reservation manually bridges a few gaps. To add a reservation manually, simply click on the purple “+” sign in the bottom right corner of the reservations tab (pictured below). This will then give you the option to add a note, restaurant, car rental, hotel or flight reservation manually.
The third and final app update also happens to be my favorite one. Travelers are now able to share their itineraries and reservations with other people. You can now tap an arrow button in the top right corner of the reservations screen to forward your trip information to anybody’s email address. Additionally, if the receiving party has Google Trips, they will be able to see your plans in the app as well. This is a great feature if you are traveling with a group of people and need to duplicate reservations already booked, or you simply want somebody to know your whereabouts at a given time. I tried this feature with Mr. TT last week and it is very slick. This is definitely something that both of us will be using in the future.
It is great to see Google Trips making meaningful updates to their new travel planning and organization app. Before Google Trips existed, I used TripIt to help organize my travel plans and I was never satisfied with it. Google has taken the best features from a number of different travel planning apps and made them their own. It will be interesting to see how they grow this product and integrate it with other Google services in the future.