Thursday, July 21, 2011

shameless plug, yet useful app

Okay, please excuse what may seem like a shameless plug for the nbbo (non-box big orange) who pays my bills. It's really an honest & legitimate POV.

If cricket weren't in the market for a certain pickup, I doubt I'd have played with the app as much as I have, much less promote it. Of course, I'd have downloaded it to appease the guy who signs the checks.

HOWEVER, cricket IS considering selling his pathfinder & upgrading to a particular pickup named after a city in the great state of Washington. Thus, this new handy app from my employer is, well, handy. I would be lying if I didn't admit to using the app every 3 days since it launched. I'd be lying if I didn't admit to loving the way it lets me take my saved listings from one device to another to another. Even cricket appreciates it. are a few of my favorite features of the initial offering:

searching for vehicles near me: excellent. the app offers more search criteria than the mobile site does.

viewing the listing details: the photos of the listings are crystal clear (even relatively so on the ipad, despite being designed for iphone/itouch). the listings have plenty of real photos so you can get a good idea of the condition, mileage, colors, etc.

saving of listings i like: using the MyAutoTrader tool (that I created in 2006 when I was searching for my own car), I can save the listings I think Cricket will like while I'm sitting idly at the dentist, during a pedi, or otherwise engaged (ahem, not in traffic, of course). When I get home, I can easily click the icon and show the listings to Cricket. He smiles and says "well done grasshopper." Not really, but he should. I feel like such a contributor!

Of course, there are some features that aren't as useful to me, like:

VIN scan: it's a pretty cool idea, but pretty creepy too. In theory, you can scan the VIN barcode of a vehicle and the app will let you search similar cars (or if that vehicle is listed, it pulls it up for you--saving you the trouble of searching). The downside: well, you have to actually be INSIDE the vehicle to access the VIN barcode. It's great for those test driving at a dealership, but for those who see a car that strikes their fancy in the parking lot of Kroger, well, jeepers creepers. I'm not so keen on the idea of someone hanging outside my vehicle as I arrive with a cart full of groceries. Then he/she asks if they can look inside my car at the VIN? Yeah, not sure about that.

Listing your car: the app currently doesn't allow Cricket to list his car. Maybe a future deployment will allow him to upload the pics he's taken from his iphone to the listing, or at least help him price it? But, well, time will have to tell.

Try out the app for yourself, it's free on iTunes.

*I wasn't compensated for this review. Of course, they're my full-time employer so they pay my salary. However, I wasn't asked or compensated for this review or plug.

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