I’m not looking for an apartment, the last time I looked for anyplace new to live was years ago. I used the Internet to do my search and also the newspaper but nothing at all was integrated. Flash forward to today and there is an iPhone app from MyNewPlace that you can download at http://www.mynewplace.com/iphone. The app does just about everything except pay for your rent.
If you have an iPhone and you are looking for a new place to rent then you need to get MyNewPlace in the iPhone app store. I don’t have an iPhone but I do have an iPod Touch, so I quickly downloaded the free app and took it for a spin. The integration of listings, maps, and even sending messages to the leasing office, or if you have an iPhone making a call to the leasing manager with one touch of a button, was very slick.
But the app goes beyond that. You can set your search criteria. Do you have a pet? You can search for pet friendly places easily. Set the price points you are looking for as well as other amenities. Customize your search to exactly what you are looking for. Then when you find a place you can look at a map and see where it is located.
Here is an example of the map page on the app.
You can view images of each of the properties. If you go and visit a property you can use your iPhone camera to take photos of the property and save them with the listing. I hope that the app will support the video function eventually as well so you can make a quick video note about the property.
Speaking of notes, you can put personal notes on each of the properties. Maybe set up a pro and con list or something like that. This makes it so easy to keep track of the different properties and what you personally like or dislike about them. Finding the properties that you liked the best is also easy because you can set them as favorites.
There is also GPS for location-based search. Suppose you are in a part of town that you like and you wonder what is available near where you are standing at the moment. Fire up your iPhone and use your current location to see that there is an apartment on the same street where you are standing.
Take a look at this video for a demonstration of how the software works.
I checked out the main website for MyNewPlace and set up an account. What I noticed on the online account was that I could sign in easily with Facebook connect. You can use that to post your favorite listings to Facebook. That is if you are on the online site and not the app. I could not find Facebook integration in the app itself. What would be really a great next step would be for the iPhone app and the online account to be synchronized. If you use the service online you can quickly post the listing that you find to Facebook and you can even tweet it to Twitter. So if you are looking for a place with friends the sharing of information is instantaneous.
The app has many great features, however I would like to see it progress even further with the full integration and synchronization between the online account and the app. I’d love to see more of the features of the online service built into the nice package of the app. It is pretty slick stuff and there is no doubt why MyNewPlace is one of the the biggest apartment sites on the Internet. They are a 3-time BusinessWeek Best of the Web Winner as well. Plus the best part about the MyNewPlace iPhone app is that it is free, so give it a quick download and look around. It doesn’t hurt to look. You just might find your next new apartment.
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