With Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, in full swing, here’s a look at the free real estate-related applications for the search giant’s Android mobile operating system. The Android App Market surpassed the 50,000 mark in April and is steadily growing.
Apple’s iPhone launched in June 2007 — more than a year before Google’s Android platform in October 2008 — and has about 185,000 apps in its App Store. Combined, the two systems have a reported 25 percent global market share.
Statistics for the most popular real estate apps are hard to find — particularly because "real estate" is not a category in either the Android or iPhone app stores. The Android App Market does list top apps in other categories — some of those that may be useful to real estate professionals are listed below, in no particular order, along with their self-reported features.
Rentals (under Lifestyle section): Search for property rentals nearby or by geographic location; filter searches by radius and property features; save searches; view property details and photos; take notes; e-mail listings information; rank and save promising listings.
ZipRealty (under Lifestyle section): Search for homes for sale and recently sold homes in 4,800 cities nationwide; sort search results by price, location, and size; see photos and property details; get third-party home value estimates from Cyberhomes.com, Eppraisal.com, and Zillow.com; use Google Maps and Google Street View to get up close and personal with listings.
Zillow Real Estate (under Lifestyle section): Search for rentals, homes for sale, Make Me Move homes (where an owner puts their dream price on their home without actually putting it on the market), and recently sold homes; locate listings by typing in or speaking an address or from your current location; see homes in Google Maps’ satellite or street view; get home value "Zestimates" for 95 million homes; view full-screen photos; filter searches.
Real Estate by Smarter Agent (under Shopping section): search for homes for sale, apartments for rent, and recently sold homes by city, neighbrhood, school, address, or multiple listing service number; view maps, photos, prices and other property details.
Mortgage Calculator (under Finance section): Calculate your monthly mortgage payments; view monthly and yearly amortization tables; see the effect of contributing additional payments; compare the results of paying off interest vs. principal on the loan.
Real Estate Droid (under Finance section): search for properties; save favorites; see home valuations from Zillow; view neighborhood information; take and save your own photos; use mortgage loan calculator; check out real mortgage quotes.
Real Estate Terms 500 (under Finance section): point clients to this app to decipher real estate jargon, or use it yourself to brush up on terms like "joint tenancy," "contingency," and "adjustment index."
Safe Neighborhood (under Tools section): search for registered sex offenders by address or current location; view profiles that include name, photo, aliases, address, physical characteristics, and relevant offenses.
Two Google apps also stand out (under Travel section):
Places Directory: search by keyword for amenities near homes, such as restaurants, movie theaters, and banks; see ratings and photos; get distance to and directions to a chosen destination.
Google Maps: search locations by voice; get directions whether you’re traveling by car, bike, public transit, or on foot; see traffic reports in real time; view listings for businesses and places of interest; use Google Buzz to catch nearby chatter around your location; get curbside views of homes and surrounding streets with Google Street View.
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