Airbnb has built an Apple Watch app, for messaging your host

The app will help guests and hosts stay in touch on the go

Airbnb is trying its hand at the Apple Watch, with a new app that aims to provide a quick and easy way for hosts and guests to message each other.

On Thursday, Airbnb users who've downloaded its iOS app and have an Apple Watch will receive the new app through a software update.

The app isn't Airbnb's existing iOS app beamed to a smaller screen. It's an entirely new app coded from scratch, aimed at making it easy for hosts and guests to stay connected on the go.

Airbnb's existing mobile apps -- and its desktop site -- let users message each other, often during the booking process and during their stay.

The Watch app is designed to provide more speed and simplicity, for when users don't want to pull out their phone.

It lets guests and hosts send each other messages, either by dictation or by selecting from preset responses they can create in their Apple Watch settings.

The app was designed for hosts in particular, especially those who might be constantly bombarded with similar sorts of questions.

A preset response might come in handy when guests constantly ask what the Wi-Fi password is, for instance, or need directions.

Hosts can receive booking requests through the app, containing the traveler's name and photo, requested dates, and a message from them. Hosts can then accept or decline from their wrist.

If a host accepts the request, the guest is notified and can respond on his or her own Apple Watch, using the dictation feature or with a preset response.

airbnb apple watch message Zach Miners

Airbnb Apple Watch users can send messages either by dictation or through preset responses.

The Watch app doesn't include other features outside of messaging. Travelers must still search for listings and submit booking requests through the site or the other mobile apps for Android and iOS.

But with the Apple Watch, "Apps that try to do too much end up letting you down," said Scott Raymond, engineering manager at Airbnb, during a demo at Airbnb's headquarters in San Francisco.

Airbnb users frequently use the company's messaging service before, during and after stays, the company says, and the Watch app offers a streamlined way of doing so.

Not all Airbnb users will regard messaging on an Apple Watch -- which does not have a keyboard -- as practical. Many Airbnb users won't even own the Watch, which only recently went on sale, at a starting price of US$350.

But Airbnb's app shows a desire to get a foothold in wearable computing, which could eventually become a mainstream platform. Other online service providers and publishers, like Yahoo, Yelp and The New York Times, have released their own apps for Apple Watch.

Airbnb's service is already integrated with Apple's Passbook, which is built in on iOS devices and on the Apple Watch. That feature lets Airbnb travelers receive alerts about upcoming reservations, or access information about their booking.

Airbnb also has some integrations with smartwatches powered by Android Wear, to provide notifications to users about bookings.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?