Google has added an option to search for vacation rentals in its Hotel Search user interface, and has also reconfigured and updated the UI so it is more intuitive and easier to use, according to reports.
Google users who search for hotels will now have the option of filtering short-term rentals, a feature that is available on mobile and expected to arrive on desktops next month.
There are a few providers participating in the venture, including TripAdvisor, VRBO, Hotels.com and Expedia. The partners are responsible for sending confirmations to users, and the hotel itself receives the reservation and payment specifics.
Users will now be able to search for flights, vacation rentals and hotels side by side, which means the company listings will be in direct competition. Some instances will allow users to book their hotels directly through Google and pay using Google Pay.
“Last year, we took the first step in working with LG to launch a dedicated button for the Google Assistant on its flagship devices to help people get things done on the go – whether it’s staying on top of your day or finding directions with just your voice,” the company wrote in a blog post.
The Google Assistant button is available in the full portfolio of new Android devices with LG and Nokia, including the LG G8 ThinQ and LG K40 and the Nokia 3.2 and 4.2. New smartphones from Xiaomi (including the Mi Mix 3 5G and Mi 9), TCL and Vivo (including the V15 Pro) will also feature the Google Assistant button later this year.
According to reports, a single tap will bring up the Assistant, while a double tap will bring up the visual snapshot feature that offers information about the users’ day and location. A long press activates a “walkie-talkie feature,” in which the Assistant will listen to longer queries for sending texts and emails.