As a frequent traveler, I’m always comparing hotel room costs. Even though I’m a frequent guest at Hiltons and Marriott Hotels, I often to travel to places where neither a Hilton or Marriott is the closest hotel, nor the least expensive. This is where an App like Expedia comes in. Before this App, I used Hotel Pal and the developer of that App has ceased development and now points people to download Expedia instead. I gave it a shot and I have to admit that I really like it better than Hotel Pal. The interface is better and faster. Not to mention that it’s a Universal App and Hotel Pal never was. The App works as you would expect. You can search your immediate area for rooms around you or you can search a specific location. If you find a room you want to book, you can book it right in the App. I also use the Hotels.com App and again i like the Expedia experience a little better from a User Interface experience.
You can sort your listings by Price, Popularity, Rating or Distance. You can also Filter by specific hotel names, ratings and price ranges. Best of all you can sign in with your existing Expedia account to make the booking go even faster. The biggest downside to an App like this is that it’s a one trick pony. It would be nice if it also allowed you to book air and ground transportation as well. Aside from that, there is definitely no reason not to have this App in your travel arsenal.
If you use Google Chrome on the desktop instead of Safari, you’ve probably been at a slight disadvantage when it comes to syncing your bookmarks, history, etc. to iOS devices. It was just last week that I reviewed “Chrome Sync Pro“, an app dedicated to syncing your Google Chrome bookmarks, history, tabs, etc. from your desktop to your iOS devices. While this utility is good, it’s a one way sync and the bookmarks open up in Safari. I was able to delete this App yesterday.
Google Chrome comes to iOS
As Apple starts to break out the functionality of the “Music” App, they have provided a New Apple Podcasts App. This makes it easy to go right to the Podcasts App, search, subscribe, and play the audio and video podcasts that you want without having to find them in the Music App. I downloaded this free App and was pleasantly surprised to see that two of my downloaded podcasts were there and ready to play. Like the iBooks App the App is designed to allow you to see your existing content or flip it over to see the “Catalog” of available podcasts. You can either stream an episode right in the App, download it for later viewing or subscribe so that future episodes are automatically downloaded.
The App is pretty basic, and does exactly what it describes. It’s a Universal App that works natively on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. I’d love to see a “genius” feature that would recommend new podcasts based on the ones that I’m already subscribed to.
Google Chrome is my default browser on the desktop. While I like Safari’s features, I’ve just found Chrome to be more stable for me over the years. The one problem with not using Safari as my default browser is when it comes to having access to my bookmarks on iOS devices. iOS of course syncs bookmarks between iOS devices and the desktop version via iCloud. If there is an important bookmark that I want to have on iOS I’ve found myself in the past launching Safari just to bookmark it. Just the other day I was wishing that Google would make Chrome available as an iOS App. However, with Chrome Sync Pro I don’t have to wait.
Chrome Sync Pro is a Universal App for iOS that syncs your Bookmarks, History and even currently open Tabs from your desktop version of Chrome to iOS. I installed the App on my iPhone and then the browser extension in Chrome on my Mac. Once I relaunched the App it was all there. My bookmarks, browsing history and even the two tabs that where currently open on my MacBook Pro. When you tap on a bookmark it will either open in Safari or if you have multiple browsers (I have iCab too) it will ask you which browser do you want to be your default?
The Bottom Line
This is a GREAT way of always having your current bookmarks, history and tabs from Google Chrome on your iOS devices. I do wish that the App would actually sync them directly to Safari on iOS, but I can certainly live with the current implementation of having them live within the App. If Google Chrome is your default browswer, you’re gonna want this App. I have to thank my colleague Paul Trani for turning me on to this app.