Vacation Rentals Guide App

Challenge:

PAP Vacances is a platform offering vacation rentals with more than 30,000 advertisements of apartments to rent from private owners in France and abroad. The offerings included apartments in the mountains, houses at the sea, cottages or a bed and breakfast in the countryside without intermediaries and agency fees.

The website consisted of pages with rental offerings featuring the details on the apartment, photos, a map, and contact information of the owner.

The company came to Elinext to develop a mobile application for their platform based on  its main features. The most critical for the customer was to have a user-friendly UI, custom map, and integration with social networks for sharing shortlisted places with user’s connections.

Solution:

  • General

The main idea was to preserve the style and layout of the website to ensure intuitive user experience and associate the mobile application with original PAP Vacances web platform. That’s why we used a standard list-based with the links arranged one by one, ensuring a standard flow for users to follow from top to bottom  with transitions between screens made as “slides” or “fade”.

To guarantee fast app reaction and rapid UI view, developers made organized work on the low level with threads management written on C++ language (semaphores, critical sections).

  • Sections

The application starts with the tutorial on its functionality getting the user to know how to use the app.

    • The main section “Welcome” includes pre-coded categories with the type of vacation rentals: “Holidays at the sea”, “Holidays in the mountains”, “Holidays in the countryside”, and others of such a kind;
    • The section “Search” features search by location automatically saving the history of previous searches;
    • Special offers go within a separate “Promotions” section which looks exactly like the main section with vacation rentals offerings;
    • “More” section is for the connection with admins, for such issues as reporting a bug or making a suggestion.

  • Pages

Each page with a vacation rental suggests the following features:

  • Detailed description of the rental space, amenities, sleeping arrangements, applied activities, prices, photos;
  • Calendar displaying the availability of the place on a certain date;
  • Social network connection where users can share information about the places via social networks installed on the phone;
  • Comments section to leave impressions about the place;
  • “Add to favorite” button to bookmark  several places to the personal list and review them later;
  • “Call” and “Message” button to get in touch within one click.

Elinext developers had to integrate several third-party systems and APIs for such features as comments, social media integrations etc.

  • Map

The initial version of the app required a custom map, so our team found specific third-party SDK implemented on C/C++ language which provided better performance in comparison with standard maps included in iOS / Android phones, though it had less functionality focusing more on the vacation rental offerings pinned to the map.

In the latest releases, custom map was replaced with embedded Google Maps functionality.

  • Mobile

PAP Vacances application is compatible with iOS 8 and above and works with the relevant generations of iPhones and iPads. It is also compatible with Android 4.0 and above and works over all generations of Android Tablets.

Results:

As a result, we launched an iOS and Android applications “PAP Vacances – Location de vacances de particulier à particulier” which was downloaded more than 50,000 times and rated high among the French users.

SCREENSHOTS

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INFORMATION

Region: France

Industry: Travel

Type: Mobile

Engagement model: Fixed cost

Duration: 1 month

Staff: 1 iOS developer,1 Android developer

Platforms: iOS, Android