Expedia launches new hotel app

Posted by Mark Raby

If you've ever been on a road trip and need to book a hotel in the middle of nowhere to take a break, Expedia has just the thing you're looking for.

The online booking company, which is actually the #1 travel agency in the US, launched a new app this week that lets you book the closest hotel to you with as little as four button presses.

By default, when the app launches it will use the iPhone's GPS to find your location and present you with the closest hotels. Hotel stay dates are automatically loaded for the current day, for one night, and for two people.

All of these settings can be changed, but these are reflective of the most widely booked itinerary on Expedia's existing mobile site.

For the travel company, expanding into mobile is a huge initiative. Expedia wants to make your entire travel experience, from start to finish, relevant and fun. It has a lot of ideas of what to do with mobile tech, and it could change the way people travel.

For example, if an app can recognize that you're in Denver when your itinerary says you should be in the air, it'll automatically give you the best rebooking options. No need to hassle with the airport lines.

Or if you just booked a flight to Aruba, you could share that info with friends with the push of a button.

As Expedia Worldwide President Scott Durchslag pointed out in a media event today at CTIA, there is no more relevant use for mobile apps than when traveling - the one time you don't have access to a computer.

The compay is in the middle of a three-year push to make Expedia prevalent in all mobile sectors, including smartphones, tablets, and feature phones.

Those with an iPhone will be able to find the Expedia Hotels app, which will also be coming to Android in a few weeks.