Article in App of the Week category.

Hopper Is Both Fun and Affordable

You may judge me, but I’m a sucker for whimsy apps. So many apps stick with this ubiquitous clean, modern aesthetic. That’s not bad at…

You may judge me, but I’m a sucker for whimsy apps. So many apps stick with this ubiquitous clean, modern aesthetic. That’s not bad at all and I praise apps that opt for that approach, but it gets me even more excited when I see an app that is made up of custom, delightful animations. That’s Hopper. Oh, it’s also great for actually booking flights and hotels.

Hopper, as the name suggests, is named after the four-legged animal. Anthropomorphic bunnies are rampant throughout the app from the running in loading glyph, to hiding on the pages. They’re a fun way to separate the app from others. That little bit of fun can be what keeps users coming back to their app versus competitors that also promise to save you money.

Hopper takes things from a different angle when it comes to savings. The app has a colorful calendar view where it categorizes days into different buckets based on when it is best to book. Perhaps booking a hotel on Monday and Tuesday is best as the prices may go up by Thursday and Friday. You can see this all ahead of time and it gives you visual cues to determine what’s best for your stay.

There’s also this unique price prediction tool. Hopper can show price variation based on historical data. It may even suggest waiting to book for a couple of weeks because prices tend to drop around that time, or it may suggest buying as prices trend upwards. It also has recommendations for flights, highlighting how much it will cost to move from a layover to nonstop. This price predictor alone feels reason enough to download Hopper.

Other unique features for Hopper are the price freeze, and notifications. With the price freeze tool, you can put a deposit down on a flight or hotel that gives you two weeks to pay the rest of the balance. Notifications are based on your proposed trips so you know exactly when to buy and never miss a deal.

What also sold me on the app from a design point of view was all the clever animations. The app is replete with these sprite-based animations. The loading screen shows a plane landing at an airport as the bottom navigation bar pulls into the frame. As you swipe between tabs, the background moves along with it giving a 3D parallax effect. Typing in the search box swaps out the background for clean white, while the search box persistently hovers. It feels like a lot of love went into the details of this app to perfect the user experience.

I can’t sit here and promise that Hopper is the most affordable hotel and flight booking app on the App Store, but it’s got a great look, seldom-cloned features, and the promise of low rates. I think it’s worth trying out that's for sure.

But enough about other people's apps.


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