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New Release Focuses on “Mobile” with Big Photos and New Search

Jun 4, 2013 Michael Wurzer

Mobile is critical to delivering value to customers today, but how that is done and what exactly “mobile” entails is not always perfectly clear. For example, are tablets that deliver as high or higher a resolution than some desktops to be considered “mobile”? Or how about those super-big phones called “phablets“?

Clearly, the device and its capabilities are more important than whether we call them “mobile” or not and the key is to have software that responds to the capabilities of that particular device. For example, having location-awareness (typically through a GPS) is one of the quintessential “mobile” features of a device, but many tablets are only location aware through the browser and wifi-connectivity. On the other hand, a more common feature of mobile devices today (whether tablets or phones) is that they have touch interfaces, which, from a software perspective, is a big deal in terms of making sure the UI meets user expectations. Regardless of whether tablets are “mobile” or not, the reality is that tablets are becoming even more important than phones when it comes to accessing web sites. As a Read/Write Web article back in March noted, “for the first time tablets have surpassed smartphones for percentage of website views.”

Given this ever-changing landscape of devices and device capabilities, FBS has been targeting the capabilities of both tablets and phones to try to maximize Flexmls for all devices and two new features we released last week demonstrate that focus.

First, tablet users have long been able to use the same robust desktop search we have in Flexmls Web, but when the system was dealing with a smaller phone screen, we presented a search with fewer fields. What our customers needed, however, was a search on their phone that included every field and our release last week delivers that functionality. In addition, we added boolean logic and the ability to disable and remove fields from the search. This new design delivers all this functionality to phone-sized screens while at the same time maximizing the limited screen space on the phone. Here are some screen shots:

Our second upgrade leverage the new higher-resolution “retina” displays popularized by Apple on the new iPad and iPhones. We’re now saving and displaying retina-sized photos and we’ve added a full-screen photo slide show viewer to allow you to show off all that big-photo goodness to your customers. Set up a slide show on your tablet during an open house or listing presentation, or email your customer listings you recommend and they can view it on any device they want, whether it’s a phone, tablet, phablet, or desktop.

Going back to the Read-Write Web article, “no matter how much we harp on the notion that the mobile Web is not just the future, but also the present, the vast majority of Web traffic still comes from the legacy that is the PC.” Today, web software like Flexmls must work on every device and leverage the best capabilities of those devices and the two new features released last week continue to deliver on that promise. We have a lot more to come in the coming months, so stay tuned.