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Airbnb tweaks Android app to drive more reservations

The peer-to-peer accommodations company adds preapproval options and the ability to set rental dates for hosts who use Android.


Airbnb, the company that connects travelers with people looking for temporary tenants, is adding several features to Android in hopes of increasing reservations.

The San Francisco company announced the latest version of the app on Monday, adding two features for hosts -- preapproval options and calendar management -- that are already available to Airbnb's iOS users.

The preapproval options means hosts can preapprove, deny or request more information from a guest interested in staying at their property. Calender management allows hosts to set a listing's availability within the app. Airbnb thinks these changes will help people communicate faster and keep listing information up to date, and ultimately drive more reservations to the site.

This was the case for its iOS app, according to the company. Users who downloaded the iPhone app, after these host features were added, used the service 83 percent more and responded to requests 78 percent more. Airbnb didn't say how many iOS users are using its iOS app.

Airbnb hopes the additional features will boost the number of users for its Android app, which hosts aren't really using. Currently, only 5 percent of hosts are using the Android app. The app has been downloaded between 100,000 and 500,000 times in the last 30 days, according to Google Play.

Serving folks on Android is important to Airbnb since it wants to expand its international listings. The Android operating system powers more than 70 percent of smartphones worldwide.