Feature Request is a new regular 9to5Mac series where authors offer their opinion on how to improve popular hardware or software products.
A lot of the apps on the new Apple TV bring similar experiences as on iOS to the big screen, but we’re bound to see some unique apps designed specifically for the living room that perhaps didn’t make a lot of sense on smaller or mobile devices. One example of this and my first Feature Request: Airbnb should add a concierge-style experience for guests through its new Apple TV app.
Think about the concierge-style software on TVs at most hotels. Typically these systems give guests access to hotel information (room service, attractions, maps, restaurant hours, etc), content like paid movies, and sometimes access to car services and more. While Airbnb guests might not need a lot of the typical room service and spa information, it could add a lot to the experience for guests.
Currently the company’s Apple TV app focuses on discovery, allowing users to browse and bookmark rentals on the big screen, but it doesn’t extend the experience post-reservation with concierge-style features for guests once they arrive.
For starters, imagine the Apple TV app being used to offer guests information about the rental property, instructions on things guests need to do or remember, and handy information and links to local points of interest. It could also act as an easy way for guests and hosts to stay in contact with one another, serving as an enhanced version of the messaging/itinerary features Airbnb already has.
And there are a ton of possibilities to allow hosts to customize the experience for their guests, or to partner with other companies. Imagine the Airbnb concierge app partnering with Uber to integrate a car service. Or Uber Eats or a similar service for food deliveries, for example. Similarly, it could partner with companies like Groupon to present coupons and deals for local attractions or content providers for entertainment options. It could even be possible to allow guests to adjust Wi-Fi or HomeKit-connected products in the rental, like lighting systems, if developers were able to build that functionality into Apple TV apps.
Sure it’s possible to offer a similar experience on mobile devices, but that would require the guest to have their own device or the host to leave an expensive device for their guest. Having it already on the TV through a relatively inexpensive Apple TV box makes it much easier and the TV concierge-style experience a familiar one for guests.
It would only offer another perk for customers of the service, but beyond the Airbnb concierge app, this week’s Feature Request is one example of how app developers can think outside of the box when it comes to apps on the Apple TV and in the living room.
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