Airbnb is rolling out a massive redesign of the app created in collaboration with famed former Apple designer Jony Ive and his company LoveFrom. The new changes allow users to search for stays by categories and travel plans that span more than one home and are rolling out today to users in the US.
Categories will essentially serve as filters for stays that include certain elements, including camping, surfing, great views, bed and breakfasts, and countryside. Airbnb is highlighting its design category, which it says contains more than 20,000 homes “chosen for their iconic architecture and interiors”. This category includes homes by architects such as Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier. Another category, OMG!sorts remains simple based on how unique and interesting they are.
“Overall, it’s an incredible opportunity for Airbnb to leverage the expertise of one of the world’s most celebrated designers, Jony Ive,” Airbnb spokesperson Liz DeBold Fusco said in a statement. The edge† When asked about Ive’s involvement in this redesign, DeBold Fusco answered “yes” without going into more detail.
In addition to categories, Airbnb is also rolling out Split Stays. This option allows users to divide their time across multiple stays in the same area in case one stay is unavailable for the entire duration of their trip. Airbnb says it will help you search for Split Stays by intelligently linking two homes with a similar location, property, and amenities.
The company is also launching something called AirCover, a free protection plan that gives users access to a security line and also comes with some precautions against scams. This includes a booking guarantee, a check-in guarantee and a get-what-you-book guarantee. If the stay you booked wasn’t what you expected, or you can’t check in, Airbnb says it will refund you or find you a “comparable or better home.” This also applies to cancellations of bookings made by the host within 30 days of your scheduled check-in.
Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, calls this “the biggest change to Airbnb in ten years,” saying we can’t help but see Ive’s fingerprints everywhere. Airbnb picked up Ive in 2020, shortly after leaving his longtime position as Apple’s product designer, and announced a multi-year partnership with Ive and his design firm LoveFrom, which also has agreements with Ferrari and its holding company Exor.
In an interview with Chesky on Decoder in 2021, he noted, “Jony and I are working together to think through the whole Airbnb design and ecosystem — the trust system, the ratings, the profiles, the payments, how the whole thing works together.” When asked when we might start seeing Ive’s work, Chesky replied by saying, “Definitely 2023. There could be some things next year.”
Looks like we’ll be seeing more from Ive/LoveFrom soon too. DeBold Fusco hinted at further collaboration to The edgenoting, “We can’t share more about our work with him, but stay tuned.”