TripAdvisor’s iOS and Android apps have been updated with a useful offline feature, which lets travelers download review, photos and city maps before they set out on their trip, so they can then access the information on-the-go even without internet connection.
This allows travelers to make spur-of-the-moment decisions — you can download information about a city including hotels, restaurants and attractions, and then access them throughout your trip to select whatever you want to visit, all without having to incur expensive roaming charges.
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To access the feature, click on ‘Downloaded Cities’ on the main page, which redirects you to a list of cities that you can download content for. There are 300 cities available for this offline feature at launch, with TripAdvisor promising that there will be more to come.
After that, search for the city and download the content (when internet connection is available). A word of warning: file sizes can be rather large if the city has a large number of listings, so you will probably have to be connected via WiFi.
Once that’s done, you can view information about the city even when you’re not connected to the internet, though there will only be 10 reviews per point of interest, and you can’t carry out tasks such as leave a review. The app will also automatically transit between the offline mode and the full version when you’re back online.
This offline feature on its mobile apps comes after TripAdvisor president and CEO Stephen Kaufer revealed earlier this year that over 40 percent of traffic to its site comes from mobile devices. Kaufer also hinted that TripAdvisor can offer more than just trip-planning help, and could possibly have a mobile ‘personal travel guide’ featuring custom tours and object recognition.
Letting travelers get access to information while offline seems to be a first step in the ultimate aim to be a guide throughout the trip, and not just before it takes place.