A new segment for the iamchan website is the Starbucks app of the week review. I’m going to try to make sure I hit my local shop and see if the app that is being offered is any good and actually worth buying if you didn’t have the chance to pick it up when it was free. The reviews will be focused on the iPhone/iPod touch since I currently don’t own an iPad; if that changes I’ll compare the different form factors and see which one is the one worth taking up your precious storage space!
For the first review, the Starbucks app for the week for May 20th is Kayak Pro by Kayak. If you’re not familiar with the service, it’s an all in one travel site that helps you find the best deals in flights, car rentals, hotels across multiple providers; it even searches different web travel deal sites like Expedia, and Orbitz. What is fantastic about the service is not only does it help you with making travel, it creates itineraries, sends reminders, create price alerts with a 1950’s design flare.
The color scheme, although bold, is simple. Orange, black on a white background has fantastic contrast which makes it easy to read. The retro/modern brings a bit of nostalgia of when travelling was classy and you weren’t treated like cattle. The app is all business however, giving you immediate access to what you want to do – book a hotel, get a flight, view your trips, etc… you’re not hunting or pecking around.
One of the more interesting features is the “hotels near me” option which is fantastic for those times when you expectantly need a place to rest your head. Search results are nicely displayed with images of the hotel you’re examining (including star ratings) as well as the different options for booking i.e. you get to see the price that Kayak itself can offer as well as it’s competition which is sometimes higher or lower. Photos, maps, user reviews are also provided allowing you to make an informed decision of whether to book or not.
Some additional features that I find are really handy:
- Airline Fees i.e. how much does it cost to check two bags
- Airport Information, the Pro version includes maps of many different terminals around the world
- Suggested Packing lists for various scenarios (i.e. business, romantic, family and even make your own)
- Flight Tracker
- Currency Converter
- Tours and Attractions
Many of these features are location aware so you don’t even need to enter the specific area; since I only have an iPod Touch, I couldn’t test how accurately this feature works in the real world.
Get It or Leave It?
This is definitely one of those apps that I would definitely spend the 0.99 cents to get the pro version. The simplicity of navigating and getting to the information you actually need if fantastic – it shows that there was time spent designing an app that is stylish yet useful. Even if you don’t use it to book travel, I’d keep it on hand just to have all the information surrounding airports, car rental agencies at your fingertips.