Rumors have been swirling around for some time and some leaked images recently appeared showing Google was about to release a travel application. They are still in the works but a beta version started going out soon to some lucky users and it can now be downloaded for the brave to try.
Google Trips is going to form more of a simplified version of an app like TripIt. On TripIt, users create rich itineraries based on travel, reservations, hotel confirmations, rental cars, etc. That information can be entered in by forwarding reservations to the service or via manual input. The service has matured and is something I personally use when planning business travel.
Trips will work in aggregate to receive reservations and using strong Google Maps and Gmail integration, users will be able to explore things to do, places to eat, sites to see. Then it will take all that information and create a rough itinerary based on those plans. The app will allow users to place the trip on the local device and allow offline usage for those who are flying without a connection. There is a card that shows reservations, a card that shows saved places, and some cards for exploration. When fully utilized, the app will serve as a hub for a casual trip and may work for business use but has a long way to go to be a fully featured app for enterprise use.
Google will surely keep this application in beta away from public release until it’s more well-baked, but in the meantime APK downloads will provide links for the direct download of the app. I always caution when using beta applications so run the app at your own risk, but it is something that I am interested in checking out more. A good travel itinerary app is surely missing from Google as they have moved more and more into location services. I would anticipate we see this application available for public consumption in the near future, especially with Google I/O coming up.