Indian travel search service iXiGo is joining the trend of brands in the country that are building mobile apps for customers which have functionality away from the core business.
The Android app (known as On the Way!) allows road travelers to access various point of interests on a particular journey and is hoping to tap into the growing number weekend trippers.
The app allows a user to select a start and end destination and shows every restaurant and hotel, as well as utilities such as ATMs, gas stations and attractions plotted on a map.
iXiGo has also used some of the functionality from the existing web version of its trip planning service to power On The Way app.
The app's features are similar to other apps such as Google's Field Trip, Poynt, LocalBeat for India, Find Places, Singapore's ShowNearby, 2GIS. Facebook's Nearby can also be seen as a similar service.
Rajnish Kumar, chief technology officer and co-founder of iXiGo, says:
"There is a lot to discover on a road trip that people typically don’t know of - to address this. Instead of enjoying the trip, most people waste time and effort asking for directions or figuring out what the best place to stop would be.
"We’ve built an app that not only gives you directions but also helps with important and precise information on the various points of interest that lie on the way."
In recent years there has been a trend among some of the big players in India to release mobile-led products which are not part of their core business, but are created as additional (and presumably helpful) services for customers.
For instance, in March 2012, MakeMyTrip launched TripAlong, a tool that will help air travelers locate fellow travellers on aircraft, in airports or at a destination.
In November 2012, MakeMyTrip also launched RoutePlanner, a portal which gives routes and modes of transport between two places in India. The service has one billion route and mode of transport possibilities.
Both the TripAlong and RoutePlanner apps are not involved in the transaction side of travel, preferring at this stage to simply help people during the planning/discovery/enjoyment phase of a trip.