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Find cheap flights with Hopper for Android

The popular iOS app makes its way to Android, offering airfare shoppers a shot at getting the best possible price on tickets.

Hopper for Android is a must-have app for frequent and infrequent fliers alike.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

If you've ever tried tracking flight prices, you know that airfares seem to change by the minute -- and you just can't know if you're getting the best deal. Wait, and prices might shoot up. Buy, and they could drop the very next day. The stress of air travel begins long before you ever set foot in an airport!

Thankfully, there's Hopper, a free app that "analyzes billions of flight prices a day" to help predict changes in airfare, thus helping you decide when is the ideal time to buy. It debuted for iOS back in January, but Hopper is now available for Android as well.

It works like this: First you indicate your home base, the airport you want to fly from. Then you choose a destination. (You can search by city or airport code.) That'll quickly generate a summary letting you know what constitutes a good deal (based on historical data) and how much you can save by choosing a flight with stops as opposed to a direct flight.

There's also a color-coded calendar that reflects airfares, from "good deal" to "expensive." That's an amazing way to see at-a-glance when it's cheapest (and costliest) to travel.

You can also tap Choose Dates to enter a specific date range, and Hopper will generate a prediction for you (wait, buy now, etc.). This is also how you "watch" a specific trip; the app will notify you when prices drop and, hopefully, before they go up.

If you want to watch another fare, just run another search for your departure and destination cities. For any given trip you're watching, you can tap Dates, Prediction or Flights to toggle between the respective screens of information.

Unfortunately, and inexplicably, Hopper for Android lacks the Tips tab found in the iOS version, which shows cheaper dates and departure/arrival airports. Hopper for iOS also just got an update that allows you to purchase tickets directly from within the app, without getting bounced to an external site. That option isn't currently available for Android, but a company rep says it's coming soon.

In the meantime, Hopper is still an amazing way to track airfares and gain some insight into when you'll get the best deal. Best of all, it's free.