Rightmove has launched a property search app for Android, adding to an existing portfolio that includes iPad and iPhone apps, and a mobile-optimised site that sees 835,000 visits a month.
The app features a Google Street View function, full screen photos and floor plans, and allows users to contact estate agents directly.
Rightmove communications manager Tom McGuigan said that aim of the new app was to make searching for properties easier and quicker for Android users.
We've had our mobile site since 2010, so Android users have been well catered for, but a native app makes the process much easier. It fits in with our overall strategy as well because mobile has become really key for us.”
Mobile currently accounts for 20% of Rightmove’s property searches and in a recent consumer survey the company found that 52% of respondents had used a mobile platform to search for property.
So is it any good?
I found the app really easy and convenient to use, with the overall experience a slight improvement on the desktop site because it's so straightforward.
The developers have stripped it down to the most basic functions, making it feel less cluttered than its desktop equivalent.
When opening app you can either search to buy or rent a property, and then apply a number of filters such as number of bedrooms, price or property type.
Once the filters have been selected, you can choose to enter a place name or search based on your current location via GPS. All properties can then be viewed in either a list format or on a map.
When viewing properties on the map, each icon can be clicked to bring up the price - and an image of the property is shown at the bottom of the screen.
The map also has a ‘Search here’ function, which allows you to search for properties in new areas using any filters that have already been applied.
The property pages are also well designed: you can swipe through all available images at the top of the page before being offered additional options for floor plans and map or street views.
All property images can then be clicked on to expand them to full screen.
When connected to wifi, these options open almost instantaneously, though using 3G obviously slows the process down - particularly when loading images.
However this is the only real issue with the app, and one that will hopefully become less of a problem as connectivity improves across the UK.
Overall, the simple design and functionality caters perfectly for mobile users - and it's an excellent addition to Rightmove’s mobile offering.