Technology clubbed with the power of Internet is making life easy and hassle free for the common man. From booking tickets to planning a vacation or eating out, today a customer can make each and every decision as per her budget and other factors. With mobile gradually becoming the first screen, the power has shifted into the pocket of a common man.
But it is being misused with the proliferation of mobile apps; at times these apps either don’t serve the purpose or are poorly designed. Besides most average smartphones in India also have storage issues so it is a tough choice on what apps to be kept and what should be uninstalled. So when news came out that the Ministry of Tourism has tied up with Tripigator to launch an official trip planning and destination discovery app, I wasn’t highly excited to play with it. Firstly, it was one more trip planning app, and secondly it was backed by the government.
I am delighted to say that I was completely wrong. The new government is really investing time and effort to build innovative apps. In fact we saw the same with the IRCTC Android app reviewed at Lighthouse Insights; it scored full marks on design and execution.
Tripigator – Ministry of Tourism Android App
The Tripigator android app (download app here) which already has more than 50K downloads, allows you to log in via social accounts or the normal email route. I went ahead with the Google login and within no time I was welcomed with this colourful home page and an apt message -“Be a traveller not a tourist…”.
The app has two basic functions – 1. Plan a Trip, and 2. Discover Places. My Trips section appears after you had planned your first trip. Planning a trip is the most powerful and elegant feature, it works by collecting basic inputs from the user such as destination which is optional along with interests, budget and energy level. Based on the inputs the app suggests travel plans. The below screengrab shows one of the travel itinerary that Tripigator made for me for Pondicherry.
The best thing about the app is that it helps you plan your travel even when you aren’t sure where to go. If you’re not sure about the destination then based on the other inputs, Tripigator builds a number of itineraries from your starting location. Like it did for me from Pune as shown in the below screengrab:
Tap on the visual itinerary list, you will get more options to choose from and modify the list as per your needs. You can either collaborate with friends for the trip or you can save it in your trip lists. Features like Trip Summary and Trip location on the Google map are available at the extreme right section.
The second feature of discovering places is guided by places near your current location and by a simple search. Tap on any listed place you get enough details of the place, activities to plan your trip. Besides, there is a Filter option that gives you a wide variety of choices to find a location based on your interests, region and other options to help choose the right destination. ‘Near me now’ pulls up a list of activities, eateries, hotels, etc. A helpful feature when you’re at a new destination.
Finally the profile page that is pulled up by tapping on the extreme left hand side corner icon. Along with My Trips, features like Recently Viewed, Plan a Trip, Discover Places, etc. can be browsed.
Should you download this app?
Yes! For its design and execution Tripigator makes a strong point to exist on your smartphone. A must have app when you are out travelling or in the mood to travel but have no clue where to go. The variety of itineraries brought by the app and its customization features stand out. Discovering destinations added with filters is really smart and summing them up into a small screen is a commendable effort from the app developers. However it would be interesting to know how the app is building such huge data, managing it and what insights it plans to drive in the near future.
The app scores full marks in design and experience with no glitches so far. With a mobile app it is always a challenge to showcase all the required features while keeping it simple and uncluttered. Small things like showing the itinerary in a visual way, keeping it simple and giving required tips on how to use the app make it user friendly for non-geeks too.
Tripigator is an intelligent travel app. Do give it a shot and let us know your experiences.