Lonely Planet launches iPad app

Lonely Planet has launched a 1000 Ultimate Experiences app for the iPad, which went on sale in Apple stores in the US on Sunday.

The iPad, which has been touted as a bridge between a laptop and a smartphone, allows users to watch video, listen to music, play games, write emails, surf the web or read electronic books.

It also runs most of the 150,000 applications made for the iPod music player and the iPhone.

Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Experiences App will allow iPad users to explore its recommendations through images, video and insights from its leading travel authors.

Inspired by the Lonely Planet book of the same name, the app replaces the traditional book reading experience with a deck of 1000 cards which users can swipe, flick and thumb their way through, bringing together the top 1000 ideas, places and activities to inspire their next trip.

Lonely Planet’s Discover guides are also in development for iPad in the iBook format.  Titles will include Great Britain, Italy, Spain, France and Ireland.

“The iPad is a ground breaking device that gives us the flexibility to publish content in extraordinary ways we would never have thought possible a year ago,” said Matt Goldberg, Lonely Planet chief executive.

“We are delighted to offer an exciting new product for the launch of iPad and are experimenting restlessly with new technologies and platforms as we build on our strategy to become the world’s leading travel media and services provider.”

Meanwhile, hotel operator InterContinental Hotels Group is to become one of the first hotel companies to equip its concierge teams with Apple iPads.

InterContinental, which owns 166 properties, will trial the device in  theInterContinental New York Barclay, InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, InterContinental London Park Lane and InterContinental Hong Kong

Concierges will be able to use the iPad to show guests high resolution satelline maps, close-up street views and short video clips.

The chain says that the iPad was perfect for common concierge tasks such as providing directions, giving restaurant advice and making reservations for guests, but would not replace human interaction.

“We wanted to make sure the iPads didn’t replace the human touch that comes from our concierge teams, but enhanced their jobs and made it easier for them to deliver better, more enriching and meaningful service,” said a spokesman.


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