Hipmunk, a site for searching flights and hotels, made sure its iPhone app took into account a phone’s limitations. Search results on the phone are displayed in short lists for readability, and the app magnifies those results, rather than loading a new page, which can take longer.
Hipmunk also figured that the best way to deal with the biggest nuisance in mobile commerce — entering a credit card number to check out — was to avoid the mobile part. So Hipmunk offers two choices that allow buyers to pay later on a computer, instead of on the phone; it will e-mail a link, or generate a secret password to enter on the computer.
“Fundamentally, if you have to enter in a credit card number, there’s no pleasant way on your phone,” said Adam Goldstein, Hipmunk’s chief. “It is extremely frustrating, which is why out of the three options we give you to book, two are not on your phone.”
Just in case you don’t have it yet (and why not? It’s free!) here’s the link to download hipmunk on your iPhone/iPad. We’re working on a proper iPad app, but I for one have no complaints using the iPhone version on my iPad.
Thanks for thinking of us, New York Times!