What’s On Your Phone? John Kim

John Kim is the Senior Vice President of Global Products at Expedia. In this role, he covers all things related to technology at the company, including online search, mobile apps, the mobile web and the homepage, and he’s been with the company for three years. Prior to Expedia, John was Vice President of Product and Marketing at Pelago, which was acquired by Groupon in 2011. Before that, he held product and marketing executive roles at Medio, Yahoo! and Overture Services and was a strategy consultant at Accenture. He also served as a White House appointee, advising the President on increasing the level of Asian-American and Pacific Islander small business contributions to the national economy.

In his free time, John is an NFL draft junkie who loves studying and scouring the reports on NFL players, to understand the logic behind how people make draft picks.

What smartphone do you have?
I have an iPhone 5 and a Samsung Note 3. I like them both equally, but I find each phone optimizes a different use case for me. With the Note 3, I love the big screen and the way it pairs with my Galaxy Watch. The best thing is the way the notifications on the watch interact with my calendar – I’ve found I can’t live without it. The iPhone is still the simplest, most intuitive device I own; because of that it gets regular, heavy usage.

JK headshot

John Kim

What are you preferred apps at the moment?
The Expedia app is by far my favorite. It’s the most robust way to get information about my trips. Plus, it’s gorgeous. So I like booking my trip in the app because it’s visually pleasing. And it’s easy. You open it, and the functionality just makes sense.

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I play Candy Crush. I love how it’s brought back the idea that if you can make a game or an app engaging and simple enough, people will be drawn to it.

I like the process of checking in on FourSquare when I’m visiting new places. As a frequent traveler, I can keep track of where I go. For example, I can easily remember the names of restaurants so I can return the next time I visit. Plus, I like how it’s solving global discovery.

A pretty standard one I use is Facebook, but I think it’s cool that friends can know what I’m doing at a moment’s notice.

I use Uber quite often. I rely on it because I know it’s rare that I will be stranded anywhere when I have Uber.

Cycloramic is a paid app, but it’s absolutely worth it, especially for travelers. The app physically takes over your phone – you set it on a flat surface and it will vibrate the phone in a way that turns it in a circle so you can take 360-degree panoramic photos. It’ll do all the work for you. It’s really cool technology.

What’s your screensaver?
Right now it’s the cover of a comic book I’m reading, Chew. I enjoy the comic book series quite a bit, so it brings me happiness when I look at my screen.

What’s your ringtone?
It’s a train whistle. I loved trains as a little boy – I was fascinated by how they worked. Now I think there’s some symbolism behind the whistle and envisioning a conductor yelling, “All aboard!” I imagine people getting onto a train and being excited to take an adventure together.

What’s On Your Phone? is an occasional blog series that asks business leaders, celebrities and plain ol’ folks to tell us about their smartphones and apps.


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