Property search site HotPads has launched a free mobile application for Apple’s tablet device, the iPad.
The site also released a redesigned version of its Android app today, and the site recently updated its iPhone app. Both smartphone apps were originally released in January 2010.
"Since April 2010, we’ve seen more than a 350 percent growth (in our mobile user base) and the pace is picking up daily," said Paul Gleger, spokesperson for HotPads.
"We’re really excited about the possibilities of combining location information with housing data and serving it up on the go. There is a lot of we can do in this space and our plans are pretty ambitious. In the coming months users can expect a steady stream of updates and releases for our phone and tablet apps."
Users who download the iPad app are invited to search for listings near their current location or near a location they specify. An "Options" button allows users to search for for-sale homes, rentals, or hotels. HotPads has more than 500,000 homes for rent and 3.5 million homes for sale on its site.
Once users choose the type of listing they are looking for, they can choose filters for their results. For for-sale homes, these include price range; bedroom range; keywords; minimum number of photos; whether a property is for sale, a new home, an auction property, a foreclosure, a listing without a price, and/or whether a listing has been updated within a certain period of time.
Results appear in map view or can appear in a sortable list view if the user desires. Users can sort by such factors as whether a listing has been recently updated or created, by price, by square footage, by acreage, by distance from current location, or by number of listing photos.
In map view, when a user taps a listing for more information a listing page appears alongside the map. Users can still navigate the map while the listing page is open.
"We believe that HotPads greatly benefits from the additional features available in modern tablets — most notably the screen size," said Keith Sanders, HotPads’ lead mobile software engineer.
"Much like the desktop browser version of HotPads, users don’t have to leave the map search to view a listing — the listing appears on one side of the screen without interrupting the search, saving the user time and offering a much smoother experience."
The map populates as the user moves it. Listings the user has already tapped turn from orange to gray to differentiate them. Users can also save searches and listings.
The listing page includes a property description, photos, price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square feet, year built, the schools children living in the home would attend, and whether a property is a foreclosure.
The page also includes price comparisons to surrounding areas, including the home’s ZIP code, city, congressional district, area code, school district, and state. Buttons on the listing page allow the user to call the listing agent, email the listing details, or share it on Facebook.