My Interview with Ben Kazez About The Free iPhone App HotelPal
Ben Kazez is one of the developers of the FlightTrack iPhone application and recently developed HotelPal – a free application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Ben was happy to answer a few questions about the application, another free and useful iPhone app for travelers.
In a Tweet of 140 characters or less, describe what HotelPal is.
Browse & search hotels worldwide with full-screen photos, live availability, rates and more. Then reserve the perfect room right in the app!
What advantage does HotelPal have over booking online before you get to your destination?
Our goal was to make it easier to book hotels on an iPhone than it is on a computer. Online travel sites typically try to sell you flights and rental cars along the way, display unhelpful extraneous info, and sort hotels in mysterious “Our Picks” orderings that actually reflect the amount of commission that the travel agency makes, not the value to the traveler. With HotelPal, we’ve trimmed it all down to provide just what you need. You can sort hotels by price or distance, compare locations on a map, and view important details from photos to amenities to live rates and availability.
Even better, HotelPal makes it possible to research travel plans from anywhere, with anyone — on a bus, while waiting in line, or elsewhere. It opens up all sorts of possibilities for travel planning.
Is HotelPal’s search limited to a certain set of hotels?
HotelPal includes over 100,000 hotels, inns, resorts, and B&Bs worldwide. You’ll be surprised just how many smaller, independent hotels are included. It’s not everything, but it’s among the most complete hotel databases available anywhere.
How does booking a hotel with HotelPal work?
To book, simply pick a room, type your billing info, and tap Book Now! Typing booking info on an iPhone keyboard isn’t fun, so we’ve added a unique feature called Secure AutoFill — choose a password and HotelPal saves your booking info for the future with secure encryption. It’s like keeping a credit card in your wallet, only more secure. After you’ve booked, it’s a simple tap to get directions from your current location to the hotel.
What about people who don’t have iPhones, anyway they can use or try out HotelPal?
Your best bet is probably to befriend an iPhone or iPod touch user. HotelPal does require an iPhone or iPod touch right now.
Anything else we should know about HotelPal?
It’s a free download, so give it a shot next time you traveling! We think you’ll love the full-screen photos — it’s amazing how much detail you can get about many hotels without having to scope out the places on foot.
What other projects are you working on next?
Thanks for letting us know more about HotelPal – the app is free for both the iPhone and iPod Touch. If you have any more questions feel free to ask Ben in the comments below or add your own thoughts on HotelPal after giving it a shot.