Hotel Chatter: When Apple first unveiled its iPhone 4S, our first thought was could the new voice-activated app/virtual personal assistant, Siri, find us a hotel room? And would her findings be better than our own? Now that we have an actual iPhone 4S in our hands, we decided to investigate.
We held down the home screen button and waited for Siri to pop up. Once she did, we simply said, "I need a hotel room." A few seconds later, Siri spit out a bunch of hotels near our current location.
This being Santa Monica, Calif. there were a bunch of hotels nearby. 21 to be exact.
The thing is, not all of these listings were desirable. American Motel? No thanks. A few were also not hotels like the listing for Centro LLC and another for HotelConnect USA LLC.
And with the few hotels that we would actually stay at, like The Huntley, all Siri pulled up was a map of where these hotels were related to our current location. When you clicked on the listing, Siri then showed you the hotel's phone number and exact address. No website, no average rate, no hotel reviews, nada. Damn, Siri, we expected more from you!
Yet while this is still a good start for voice activation travel booking, if we actually desperately needed a hotel room, we'd rather use HotelTonight which offers discounted last-minute rates in several cities across the U.S. or Expedia's own iPhone app which allows you to search and book hotels based on your current location.
Then again, we just (saw) a recent iPhone commercial where people are asking Siri to do all sorts of crazy things. Maybe we need to be more specific?