AirbnbLast week Twitter was buzzing with discussions about the new Airbnb logo, it’s controversial new design definitely had an impact and got people talking about the already slightly controversial startup.  For anyone who doesn’t know, Airbnb was founded in 2008 and gives homeowners a way to rent out their spare room and travellers to find cheap and quirky places to stay in new cities.  Along with the new logo, they also released an updated version of their app and website, we’ve downloaded the app to take a look.

When you first open Airbnb, either sign up for an account or log in.  You’ll need to let the app access your photos so you can create a profile, but once you’ve done this you can get straight into using the app.

Airbnb has two main sections, Travel or Host.  Within Travel you can search for places around you right now or search a particular city for somewhere to stay.  If you’re not sure where you want to go yet, there’s a discover tab which will bring up some selected places to stay from cities around the world.  Once you’ve booked somewhere to stay it will appear in the Your Trips section, if you find somewhere you’d like to go but haven’t booked it yet – you can save it to a wish list.  All contact with hosts is made through Airbnb, so there’s also a section for you to check your messages.  Within each of the individual venue listings, there’s all the information you’d expect to find from a hotel booking service – things like detailed photos, descriptions and previous guest reviews.

If you’re looking to rent a space out, select Host from the main menu and a streamlined process will let you list your space, be it an airbed in your living room or an island off the coast of Sri Lanka.

The app itself is very clean and well laid out, gesture based controls move tiles left and right, while the menu is logically designed, making it easy for anyone to navigate.  The speed of the app isn’t the best on my iPhone 4s, however there’s a stylish custom loading icon which appears during load times, which is a smart addition. Overall it’s a great app, well laid out and really useful, I would thoroughly recommend downloading it and giving it a go for yourself.