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Property search engine Rightmove launched its iPhone app today, allowing users to search for properties by location or by using the phone's GPS.
According to Rightmove, around 95% of visits to its mobile website came from iPhone users, so releasing an app that provides the best possible experience for these users makes sense.
I compared the Rightmove and Globrix mobile websites last week, and found the iPhone optimised Globrix version the easier to use. I've been trying out the new app to see how it compares to the mobile site.
Homepage / search
The main screen provides the option to search by location, postcode, etc then to select buy or rent, while users can also choose to search for properties near their current location.
Users can also access recent searches, saved searches, and any properties they have looked at previously and bookmarked.
For some locations, searches will return large numbers of results, so some decent advanced search options to filter and sort the properties are essential. A pop-up message points users towards the filters:
The app provides more options to narrow property searches than the mobile site, adding search radius and most recent properties and allowing users to sort results by proximity and price:
These pages are a massive improvement on those from the mobile site; they are more appealing visually and further options, links to maps etc are easier to locate and use:
The photos are much better too, while they were too small to be of much use on the mobile site, now property images are bigger, and further pictures can be viewed in a separate gallery:
If you scroll down the property page, further options are nice and clear. You can call the estate agent straight away, or fill in a brief form to request details of the property, or just save it to view later.
Property locations are pinpointed on Google Maps though it would make it easier for users if a clear link to find directions from your current location was provided. It will offer to use your location, but just pinpoints that and the property on the map:
This is a very useful iPhone app, and represents a massive improvement over the old mobile version. It has more visual appeal, is quicker to load up and easier to use. I'd like to have seen more use of the maps and GPS to provide information and directions, but it is otherwise difficult to find too much to criticise about the app.