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Web Buzz: Instant hotel deals with Hotwire's mobile app

Hotwire's app for iPhone and iPod Touch is a quick way to scope out hotel deals and book rooms.

October 21, 2012|By Jen Leo

The longtime travel deal website Hotwire has released a mobile hotel app.

Name: Hotwire

Available for: iPhone and iPod Touch

What it does: Offers instant access to hotel deals in 3,145 cities and 61 countries. You can see the hotel rating, price, amenities, general location and whether it's recommended by other customers, but you won't find out which hotel you've booked until after your credit card is charged.

Cost: Free

What's hot: Using the app is simple and easy — it takes only four clicks to book your hotel room. And the fact that you can book a room on the other side of the world right before you board your plane here in the U.S. seems magical. You can even book a date 330 days in the future. Although I tested it on an iPhone 4S, it was designed to work best with iOS 6 and iPhone 5.

What's not: Nothing wowed me. Sure, it's clean and easy to use, and I can get the same low-priced hotel deals as I can on its website — but I wanted a little more excitement. With today's progress in apps, finding same-day deals wasn't enough to impress me.

Worth it: If you know and love Hotwire, as many do, then add it to your app collection. In testing Hotwire competitors, I found that I preferred Priceline.com's Express Deals for major U.S. destinations. It told me which five hotels it would choose from, with pictures to boot.

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