Update: So why did World Nomads take the road less traveled and produce the Ask a Nomad iPad app when it doesn't even have an iPhone app?
Simon Monk, World Nomads' founder, says the company thought the user experience for its travel question and answer format would be better on the iPad, but there was a marketing angle, as well.
"Looking at the app store, we believed it would be easier to get noticed and featured if we developed a great iPad app simply because there is less competition, and getting featured was likely to be a key factor in it's success," Monk says.
Indeed, Ask a Nomad was featured in the apps store, which certainly contributed to its 10,000 downloads in a little more than a month.
The Ask a Nomad iPad app is also unusual since the iPad format usually emphasizes imagery. For example, consider the panoramic imagery in the Jetsetter iPad app, which has attracted a lot of attention.
But, the World Nomads iPad app lacks attention-getting photography.
"The value of the app is mostly in the knowledge and your ability to store the information offline so that you can carry it with you when you travel," Monk says. "Pictures, while nice, would have got in the way of this."
The same thinking applies to the absense of maps in the iPad app when you consider that Google Maps is integrated into the Web version of World Nomads' q & a format, Monk says.
Google Maps were "only going to get in the way on an iPad," Monk says.
Monk says a series of Ask a Nomad iPad app improvements are in the works to enhance the user experience, but integrated maps, photos and videos are a lower priority.
An iPhone app is on the drawing board, as well.
The original post follows:
Couch potatoes and travelers -- You can try to get all of your travel questions answered with World Nomads' new Ask a Nomad iPad app.
The Australia-based travel information and travel insurance company says its iPad question and answer app is featured in the iTunes app store in 78 countries and has been downloaded more than 10,000 times since its debut a little more than a month ago.
With the app, whether you are sitting on your couch and planning or dreaming about a trip, or even if you already at your vacation spot, you can ask travelers and locals a question and hopefully get some sage answers. The free iPad app's GPS features also enables you to access interesting tibits nearby.
You can also review your questions and answers offline and the latest answers, if you have any coming your way, will pop in when you are online.
There is an industry analysis here and a consumer analysis here of the increasingly popular question and answer format in travel.
It appears that the question and answer format is particularly well-suited for the iPad and the tablet format generally. But the Ask a Nomad app also appears to have a paucity of images, which also would be nice on the image-hungry iPad.
Here's a YouTube video about the new iPad app:
Meanwhile, in other apps news:
- Travelocity supplemented its apps lineup by adding a free Android app, enabling users to shop for flights and hotels, including Top Secret Hotels with their unpublished rates, as well as accessing seat maps and Frommer's destination guides. A Travelocity app already was available for the iPhone.
- Limos.com released free iPhone and Android apps, enabling people to comparison shop for town cars, SUVs and limousines. The apps depict your current location as a red pin on a map and then you can use that location or manually input another to search for airport, point-to-point or hourly transportation. Limos.com operates a global service through third-party car services, although the majority of available cars are in North America.