Our choice this week falls on the release of Hipmunk Flight Search app, which is now available as a free universal app for iPhone and iPad. Those familiar with the web and iPhone version will not be disappointed. Sexy flight search meet sexy platform.
It’s hard to describe the unique appeal of Hipmunk’s UI – it’s THAT different. Usually looking for flights entails painstakingly entering data in web forms, with the results displayed in ugly overloaded grids that often strain the eyes. With Hipmunk you get options displayed in a clean, linear module, colour-coded by airline. Click to change option views to see price, layover details, select legs and book your desired flight via Orbitz.com.
The flight display benefits from the larger screen space, which lets you have an almost complete overview of all options, something lacking in the iPhone version. There’s a useful slider to filter out departure times, only otherwise present on the web version. The fun factor is reinforced by an iPad-only feature – a dancing hipmunk that entertains you by swaying from side to side while the flight search loads. Very cute. Another cool feature is the option of starting search on the iPad and continuing it in the desktop browser via codephrase that appears in the app. I don’t use the app for booking, just for research, but the process of booking and buying seemed almost seamless during my test runs. The app is a downright pleasure to use – if you have not checked it out yet, please do. It has definitely joined the ranks of my other apps in daily use, like Evernote, Dropbox, in terms of an enjoyable and practical experience while working.
Hipmunk for iPad is a free download from the App Store (iTunes link)