Airbnb is an innovative service which allows prospective renters and rentees to book a room direct, without going through a middleman. It has taken off in popularity despite a few public relations scares, and one particular safety mishap, but mostly the service is an example of how to build an online service via word of mouth.
Today they are launching their Android app, and it works about as well as could be. You can browse listings in over 190 cities, without having to register, though once logged in you can book specific rooms, or follow up with hosts of ones you’ve already paid for.
The app is attractive with easily-accessible menus and no navigation ambiguity. Listings are straight-forward, with high-quality photos and videos. There is a Featured section too, with curated listings for popular cities like Austin, Paris and New York.
The only thing you can’t do (yet) is create a listing from within the app, but the feature will likely be added in time. The existing iOS app curently accounts for 10% of the company’s traffic, and they’re hoping to double that number with the release of the Android app.
Download the Android app from the Marketplace, and check out Airbnb’s updated mobile site.