MyRealPage listing searches on Blackberry: an update

Our latest iPhone and Android mobile application received a very warm welcome, and along with it a keen interest in a Blackberry version. We promised to update you on our plans in that regard and hence this post.

I am happy to say that we are proceeding with the Blackberry version and have started the development. We normally don’t like to advertise any future product development or post any release timelines (many in software industry follow that rule). Our development cycles are short and we try to release often. But, as promised, we do want everyone to know that the Blackberry version is in development now and has high priority.

If you are curious to learn more about this application and some of the thoughts that went into it, read on:

First off, I wanted to note that our iPhone and Android application was not designed to simply move our search forms into a smaller screen. In every region we serve, we offer 4-5 different search forms which are appropriate to the region, i.e. listing attributes, areas, subareas, neighborhoods, etc. Few people would notice that because they would only see their regional forms, but anyone that saw our listings in, say, Edmonton and Greater Vancouver would immediately see what I am talking about. So, we know search forms well but we thought that the major appeal of a modern smartphone was not the ability to submit web forms, but rather the ability to geolocate the user and display listings nicely mapped to the current location. Maps and geolocation are at the heart of our iPhone and Android application.

The iPhone and Android application were developed in response to the new features that have very recently become available on these smartphone platforms (we haven’t tried it on Palm’s WebOS, but it may actually work as well, as the underlying technologies are very similar. Anyone with Palm Pre out there to help out? :). Blackberry did not provide these features and hence it wasn’t included. Now, we think we will be able to implement most of the functionality that is sported by our iPhone and Android application on the Blackberry as well, but it will require some Blackerry specific development and “work-arounds”. However, we are committed to leveraging the geolocation and mapping capabilities of the Blackberry platform as well.

There are a lot of things cooking right now in our development. Mobile search is far from the only one. Stay tuned!

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