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Frommer's Travel Guides go mobile

8/12/2008 by Gabrielle Kalika, Mobile Marketer

Frommer's Travel Guides, a leading publisher of travel guides, has gone mobile with editions for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch mobile devices.

The new 2008 editions of Frommer's New York, San Francisco, London and Paris guides are available for $9.99 at Apple's App Store and on iTunes for purchase or download. Media player content provider Modality helped with this launch that targets the most mobile Web-savvy demographic among mobile consumers.

"Travelers have a lot of options for finding basic information about restaurants, hotels and attractions on their mobile devices, but the majority of those listings are either user-generated reviews or machine-generated directories," said Nate O'Keefe, director of publishing at Modality, Durham, NC.

"Frommer's applications narrow down the vast options consumers have by offering them trusted recommendations and reviews from Frommer's professional travel writers," he said.

"For consumers, it's just like using a Frommer's book, except all of the information has been transformed to take advantage of the iPhone's unique capabilities."

Won't rue it

Some versions of the guide will also be locally stored on iPhones and the iPod touch so that users can browse ad-free content without an Internet connection. This is especially important for international travelers without an global data plan, or for use in unconnected settings such as on the plane or subway.

Subscribers will have access to local travel tips, restaurants and hotel reviews. Additional bonus features will also be available such as location-based services, interactive maps and Web and phone links.

Frommer's, a subsidiary of book publisher Wiley, publishes nearly 300 guides and sells an estimated 2.5 million copies annually. The online guide found at features about 3,500 world destinations.

Modality, which created the platform that supports the Frommer's travel guide, provides the content for the handheld devices.

In an attempt to advertise this application, Modality has recently partnered with Frommer's for a contest in which the winners will receive an iPod touch and gift certificate for $40 worth of Frommer's applications.

"When I'm traveling in a new place, my biggest challenges are finding access to recommendations I trust and being able to get to them quickly, regardless of whether or not I have a strong network connection," Mr. O'Keefe said.

"These applications solve both of those [problems] with current information from Frommer's writers that I can get to even when I'm not online," he said.