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99

Expedia brings an app to Windows Phone but only as a web wrapper

Expedia

Expedia.com is one of the most popular sites for planning vacations and trips. The site offers deals on hotels and flights for cheap, and it's one of those big, name brand services that many people know about.

The good news is that Windows Phone 8 users now have an official Expedia.com app. The bad news is it's just a mobile web wrapper, meaning this app simply pulls down the mobile web version of Expedia.com. Except you get more on the website, including cars and packages, which the web app obfuscates.

Expedia does have a full-fledged app on iOS, which is designed well with scrolling images of local deals. That means that the company took the easy way out with Windows Phone by making an app that simply routes to their website, preventing things as staying logged in to your account, quick access to support and an overall more enjoyable user experience.

Still, if you want an Expedia website-within-an-app, well, you can rest easy tonight as your wish has come true. We're still waiting for a native app.

Thanks, Barry W., for the tip!

QR: expedia

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Reader comments

Expedia brings an app to Windows Phone but only as a web wrapper

99 Comments

Boo on apps that are just websites inside an app. Double disappointing since the Expedia HQ is right next to Microsoft. It was even a division within Microsoft before being spun off on to become its own company.

Another company which does not have WP on priority list is Facebook. They released their snapchat rival slingshot on iOS and Android but not for WP.. what shit!!??

Maybe they're actually working on a native app but just put a web wrapper for the time being. I really hope that's the case.

don't blame the developer. blame the people who make business decisions (product managers cough cough). They are the ones who decides what to do. Developers just build stuffs based on 'stories'. If i'm told to put a web wrapper and i spend time building a native app, they gonna hire someone to replace me :(

 

Firefox OS made a huge deal about webapps, but it seems like WP is delivering them. Most of the official apps these days are just web wrappers. :( I'd rather pin the website to my Start Screen than clutter up my app list with yet another shortcut.

Completely disagree with you. While IE11 is my primary browser, Firefox is a very close second and the only option when you want add-one. Refuse to use chrome at all costs.

I'd venture to guess that many to most smart phone and tablet users don't save or sync bookmarks - that they've gone all app icons. This appification of the internet is not good.

Take your "app" back, we deserve better than this crap. Someone make sure they see this article and read the comments.

EVERY company feels like the web browser version of their service is SO great, but they only bother spending money on IOS and Google apps... UNSAT! I think it might have been cheaper and easier to just code the pointed site icon and live tile to their website! I do not accept such chicanery, unacceptable but unfortunately it is better than nothing at all...USE USE USE Show these buttnuggets the numbers! >=/

On ios. They still spend and earn more, not on google play unless google always them to create blot ware with their ad ons.

Look, it should be clear to everyone.   In a world where Android have seventy plus percent of the market, iOS around fifteen and we are at what four percent worldwide, we get webwrappers.

Now, one would hope that when we are at ten percent or more that these companies may (especiallly if we complain at that point) revisit their decision.

What's the phrase, "beggars can't be choosers".   Unfortuately at this point Windows Phone is beggars.

So now people wont by the phone because we dont have the WP apps. And people will not make apps because there is no marketshare. Some needs to spend some money to get these things moving. it can't be us... may be MICROSOFT...

They are trying I'm sure. Wouldn't be surprised if they paid for this web app. But getting apps out is about long term support, development and maintenance. Microsoft can't do that for a whole bunch of other companies.

Actually it can be us.   When I started to think about buying my first WP device I knew MS was behind in their application selection.   I bought a HTC HD7 for multiple reasons, but one of the big ones was to show support for the WP OS and to increase even if by a tiny fraction, WP's market share by buying in.

Certainly having a WP device and buying apps in the Store does in fact help.

b23h Got 5 WP devices... not sure how much more a invidual can contribute. that was when i believed in NOKIA now may wait for 6 months.. and if things are same may switch platform...

Because a Web wrapper App can run at near native speeds on WP8.

 

This is part of Microsoft's push of HTML5 development and Web RIA migration to devices. There is no need for a native App if a wrapped website can provide essentially the same speeds and offer even more functionality.

 

The reason you don't see web 'wrapper' Apps on iOS or Android is the performance is a big hit as they don't even run close to native speeds.

 

Especially since the app has less functionality than the website it mimics. In IE11, you can save your login, and it has the additional booking options. At least give the same functions...

"if you want an Expedia website-within-an-app, well, you can rest easy tonight as your wish has come true"

LOL.

I hope Expedia has a working fire alarm, cause they just got BURNED.

 

It really stinks that not only is this a webapp but it has LESS functionality than the website. That's messed up.

I guess its better then the ms made webapp hopefully their web devs will collaborate to make sure it renders properly after they make any changes to the site

I think it's great. It means that WP8 is enough in the radar to know they need an app. They will probably monitor downloads and decide from there.

It's a step forward.   Yes, at least they did SOMETHING.   Given our position in the market I can easily imagine the decision for a webwrapper.   That does not mean I'm thrilled about the decision, however it is something.   With luck as we gain market share later we'll get a real app.

Just a wild guess, but I would say that starting this November and extending approximately a year past the release of WP9 that if we haven't developed past 10% worldwide, we're screwed.   Let's hazard a guess and say December 2016 is our day of reckoning.

Well with BBM on the way, there wont be many reasons for corporations to choose blackberry. This should help drive the market share forward as only corporations and med to large business buy phones in large volumes.

Sad that MS created Expedia, then spun it off as a separate company, then MS' phone OS gets the shaft with a web wrapper...

Maybe at least you can use it to get $25 off (although that non-eligble hotels list is huge so I guess it must be non-chain hotel):

"Save $25 using code MOBILE25 on your first hotel booking on the Expedia app of $100 or more! See details at: http://www.expedia.com/app"

Web wrapper app with notifications and live tile / lockscreen support would be alright.

Hopefully this is just a start.

Are the web app the same as a hybrid app that can take advantage of windows system. I'm confused at why companies dont just ask Microsoft for help to make the apps

It's not even that hard to write WP8 apps. I would say that SDK is actually the best I've used. If you have a half decent back end, getting a WP8 app shouldn't be that difficult. Just lazy.

Most apps are just web wrappers....they just fetch data from website and borrow similar mobile UI. Examples: YouTube, Facebook, ect.

Boo, nobody download. Like the famous Linus tech says, speak with your wallets, in this case just don't download. Shame on you Expedia, lazy move

If after 4 years of WP being put we're still getting wrappers, the situation is worse than most realize

Yep...

To advocate for the developers though, each WP version has used drastically different frameworks. Not API tweaks, but full fledged language changes.

I wouldn't want to develop a native app for a platform that changes its mind quicker than your younger cousin, hopped up on aderol.

I prefer orbitz but I believe that's a web wrapper too. Plus I can't use the filter scroll bars in it with my dell venue pro cause it just moves the screen... not the filter/bar.

I feel they need commended for making the first step... They can now review downloads and feedback comments and make the next version exactly what the WP community wants, rather than a ported version of the iOS version. We don't want to be a mimic, but a much better alternative!

While I hate web app, I don't even understand why anyone would need this as an app (native or web) vs using the website. How often do people need notifications from Expedia? Or whatever a native app would do.

It's better than nothing. Since they have a dev account and stuff on the store, they will be able to get more direct feedback and can be more easily persuaded.

Download it, give it one star & a terrible review, then delete it. Download stats show interest and reviews will show dissatisfaction.

Downloaded and tried it. Just going to the mobile site is better, at least it does offer Hotels, Flights, Cars, & Packages(yet it will give you the option to call or Shop on full site). Did my part, tried the app and did submit a review, along with giving feedback on the site itself and app, asking when will they update the ability for must needed functions in this app.

I tried the same username and password that works on my PC version of Expedia.  It did not recognize the username which works on the PC.  I tried the alternative of using my email address and the same password.  It then let me on the "My Itinerary" page, but would not let me on the page I'd need to use to enter a new trip (itinerary).  The commenter before me says he booked a room and saved money so it must work for some Expedia users.  It must be a hit or miss thing.  Seems like a broken App (web wrapper).