A Quest: The Ultimate Smartphone for Travelers

Major travel search site KAYAK.com recently announced the decision to discontinue support and maintenance for their BlackBerry travel application. The basis for the decision was the significant decline in users, making it cost prohibitive for the company.

The site will still be available for browsing on a BlackBerry, but there will be no new features, updates or fixes to problems that are on the KAYAK BlackBerry app. KAYAK will continue to support their free travel app on iPhone, Google, Android, Windows Phone 7 and Nokia devices. For the official announcement, visit KAYAK.com’s news area.

This news follows RIM’s CES 2012 announcement of the BlackBerry Travel app and the BlackBerry Travel Portal, but is this too little too late? The company’s marketing verbiage is that the app allows users to book travel and connect with LinkedIn contacts that are in the same location. Isn’t the BlackBerry Travel app just a RIM version of TripIt, which has been around a while?

Shannon Hurst Lane and Gary Vaynerchuk (taken with a BlackBerry)
Image taken using RIM Blackberry

I had a BlackBerry for a few years and used the heck out of it until the roller ball fell off. Then I went to Apple’s dark side with an iPhone 4. I’ll admit, there was a bit of a learning curve going from RIM’s BlackBerry to the Apple iPhone 4, but the ease of use when traveling with the iPhone, coupled with better photo capability blew the BlackBerry out the water in my book.

The Apple iPhone is not the end all be all for travelers (especially those who work from the road), but it’s much better than my experience with RIM’s BlackBerry. I completely understand why KAYAK has discontinued support for their BlackBerry travel application and this is a sign that smartphone users are migrating away from RIM devices. I also wonder how many other independent application developers will discontinue support of BlackBerry apps.

2012 Volkswagen Beetle aka RedBugg II taken with Apple iPhone 4
Image taken using Apple iPhone 4

What will be the next big player in the smartphone game? I’m placing my bet on Nokia and plan on snagging a Lumia 900 as soon as it’s available at AT&T. After using the Nokia N8 with Carl Zeiss optics during CES 2011 I fell in love with Nokia and was crushed that I couldn’t use it on my current network. Now that AT&T is bringing Nokia back to the US market with Windows Phone 7.5 (with a very affordable price tag), I can’t wait to take it on the road to capture all of my travel adventures.

Cajun Converse image by Tracey Clark of http://ShutterSisters.com taken on Nokia N8 with Carl Zeiss Optics
Image taken using Nokia N8 w/ Carl Zeiss optics (image by Tracey Clark of ShutterSisters.com)

I’m on a quest for the ultimate smartphone that allows me to ditch all my other equipment when I’m working on travel stories. What is your smartphone of choice and which travel apps work for your adventures?

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One Comment

  1. I’m now on an Iphone after having the cheapest Nokia I could find for some years – but everyone here is talking about the latest Samsung which is an I-phone look a like – my son has one and he’s one for doing his homework on the best models out there.

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