iPad Launch Brings New Real Estate Apps to the Market
There are only a handful of real estate applications designed specifically for the iPad, but for initial adapters of the new Apple (AAPL) tablet computer, the myriad of real estate programs available -- no longer just for the iPhone -- look to provide slick and sufficient upgrades. A search for “real estate” in the Apple online store shows only seven apps designed specifically for the iPad, including offerings from Zillow and ZipRealty. But apps designed for the iPhone, which are compatible with the iPad, number in the hundreds. More than 1m users have downloaded the Zillow iPhone and the new version of the program for the iPad (icon above) contain features that take advantage of the device’s larger screen, including increased photo viewing tools. The app provides property listings throughout the United States, based on Zillow’s Web-based real estate search engine. “We jumped at the chance to create the Zillow on iPad App because we saw this as a unique opportunity to create a brand new, photo-driven home shopping experience on the most incredible Apple device yet,” said Rich Barton, Zillow's chairman and CEO in a statement. “Our app for iPad has the potential to radically change the way people search and comparison shop for real estate and we're excited to be on the App Store for iPad from day one.” Reaction is mixed to the new iPad-optimized version of the Zillow offering. “Being able to see more homes on the bigger map and all the photos in the gallery is awesome,” one commenter wrote in a review of the program in Apple’s App Store. “You really took advantage of the touch screen and made the app interactive and fun to use. Do I dare say it is almost better than the Web site?” Critics of the app said Zillow’s “Zestimate” home valuations for properties located near properties for sale clutter the map. Another criticized the lack of an ability to filter searches by property type -- homes or condos. Another real estate app, ZipRealty Real Estate, was also optimized for the iPad with its latest update. The app includes listings in 36 markets in 22 states and the District of Columbia. While some commenters praised the app for its ease of use, of those who rated the app, more gave the ZipRealty app the lowest possible rating, a one-star (20), compared to those that gave it a five-star rating (four). For the time being, there are only a limited number of real estate apps designed with the iPad in mind. But while eager users wait for the new apps, they can still utilize real estate apps designed for the iPhone, like the Realtor.com offering from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), auction service REDC, as well as a number of local apps produced by various real estate brokerages. Write to Austin Kilgore. The author held no relevant investments.