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Google optimises Flight Search for tablets

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Shift accommodates travel tablet trend

Google has unveiled a newly-optimised version of its Flight Search tool that it hopes will allow tablet users to check flights more easily.

The move comes after research revealed 46 per cent of tablet users who search for travel online ended up booking a flight on their device. Google’s Inside Search blog reveals the features users can expect.

Flight Search, which until now has been targeted at desktop computers, allows holiday hunters to find the best flights for the trip they wish to make. Having typed in a departure and arrival destination, they can choose from specific airports and airlines in order to find the right flight for their needs.

Of course, for most people, cost is the key factor here. Flight Search users can compare individual prices for the dates they’ve selected, while the lowest fares tool shows dates either side of those selected in a tablet-friendly graph, potentially revealing a cheaper time to take your trip.

Alternatively, the map tool shows the path of the flight, as well as showing other nearby tourist destinations and their air fares, which are updated in real time. Having selected their flight, users are directed to that provider’s website to start booking.

Travel searches inspired change

This marks the latest stage of Google’s plan to capitalise on an increased number of travel-related search queries dealt with by the search engine, having already made Flight Search more accessible to smartphone owners.

Google is hoping that the changes made to Flight Search will make booking “easier and more enjoyable” for tablet users. It is looking to breathe new life into the feature it launched in September 2011, following the $700 million (£434 million) purchase of flight information provider ITA Software.

Of course, optimising its content for tablets is not an entirely new venture for Google, who released an iPad-friendly Google+ app back in July.

Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword, said: “The statistics clearly indicate that this is a necessary move for Google, so it’s difficult to find fault with their decision. Whether it will encourage even more tablet users to book flights using the service, only time will tell.”

Written by James Riches

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