Why, Google, why?
Earlier this week, Android Police spotted code in the Android app that hinted at its impending doom; subsequently, ZDNet reported that the company noted in a support page that Trips will no longer work after August 5.
That’s a bummer, not only because of how useful Trips had already become, but also because of its immense potential. I spent the past month away from home, in Europe, and I extensively relied on it to follow my itinerary and what I could do at each of my destinations.
Because it’s a Google product, Trips could grab flight ticket and hotel booking info from your Gmail inbox (similar to Google Calendar), and set up a ‘Trip’ in the app for you – with all these details available to view offline. You could then download an offline city guide for your destination, find things to do, restaurants and bars to visit, and even score discounts on local attractions and experiences.
I also used Google Maps a lot to find places of interest nearby, and the service has gotten pretty good lately, thanks to more people contributing up-to-date information, photos, and reviews. I’d have loved to have seen these recommendations surfaced in context with the location of my hotel and Airbnb accommodation.
Similarly, I also found myself marking up Maps with suggested attractions and restaurants from locals on my holiday in Portugal. How cool would it be if Trips pulled in those pinned locations into the app and highlighted relevant offers, or helped me plan a day of exploring with these in mind?
When Trips disappears, Google hopes you’ll replace it with a visit to google.com/travel in your browser, with a setting to let the company track your web and app history turned on. Boo. Beyond the reduced privacy, it obviously doesn’t include the offline functionality that the app offered.
That’s how the cookie crumbles in Googleland. If you’re a fan of Trips and are sad to see it go, you might find solace in these other apps that serve up information and tips for your next vacation:
With that, Trips joins the tons of other apps that Google has killed off over the years in these digital cemeteries.