Google Releases Updated AirFare Shopping App For Android

In July, 2010 Google announced that they were acquiring ITA Software, which was a flight information software company. When first announced, the deal was controversial in that travel search companies like Kayak and TripAdvisor saw it as a threat to their business, but the deal closed in April, 2011 after review by the Department of Justice. Today Google announced the availability of OnTheFly 1.2 for Android.

With OnTheFly you can find the lowest price for either round trip or one way flights. The app’s user interface makes it very easy to enter flight origination and destinations and enter the dates for the flight, but perhaps the most intriguing feature of OnTheFly is its flight price “temperature” graph.

If you are flexible on which days you are traveling, you can use OnTheFly to pick the lowest airfare during a given month. You select the departing time frame and the length of your trip, tap Search, and the result you see is shown in the screenshot. OnTheFly automatically determines the lowest airfare for your trip during that time frame and shows it on a calendar and a line graph.

If you want to select different dates you can either tap on the calendar or move the slider left or right along the bar graph. As you move the slider the calendar automatically updates, along with the the price of the flight. After you settle on the time frame for your trip tap Choose Flights to see the which airlines have flights on that date, along with their price.

At this point you reach the limits of what OnTheFly provides because it does not have a direct way to book a flight. Instead, you are provided with the airline’s phone number to call and book the flight. At least all you need to do is tap the phone number displayed to initiate the call, but it is disappointing that you can’t purchase the ticket right within the app. If you want to actually purchase plane tickets from your phone, you might want to look at Hipmunk, which also just became available for Android and has been available on iOS.

If you are interested in trying out OnTheFly, you will find for free in the Android Market. An iOS version is also available.

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