Easily Carry Your Classifieds with Craigly

Craigslist is synonymous with local classified ads. A lot of us use their website on the desktop to sell/buy goods and services. But when it comes to accessing the site on the iPhone, it can be a frustrating experience. Solution? Let’s dive into the App Store.

Craigly is one amongst several other competing apps, and is going to be under our microscope today. The app comes in two variants – Craigly for iPhone costs $0.99 and Craigly Premium costs $1.99. Craigly Premium is a universal binary supporting iPad and packs an additional Text to Speech feature.

Pick Your Location

At launch, Craigly asks if it can use your current location when searching for classifieds. This option avoids the hassle of setting up your address every time you search. Once you have allowed or disallowed this, the search page is unmasked.

Geo Location

Geo Location

With just five fields, the search page is neat, clutter free and intuitive. The location is by default set to Nearest taking advantage of the geo-location feature. With the location aware feature turned on, you can start searching for deals right away based on price range and category. A fabulous representation of all the listings on Google Maps can be viewed from the search results page.

Adding Locations

If you want to search for classifieds posted beyond your current geographic location, just tap on the Locations field to add more to the list.

New locations can be added in two ways – by locating or searching for cities, and by choosing the nearest locations based on the distance.

Adding Locations & Nearby Locations

Adding Locations & Nearby Locations

The first way is by straight forward addition of a city or town from an exhaustive list. Before jumping into the list of cities, I should mention the fine job done to categorize the locations. Locations are available in seven large categories – three for US locations and four for International locations.

Location Categories & US Cities by Name

Location Categories & US Cities by Name

Adding a new location begins and ends with tapping on the name of the city. You can select and add any number cities to your search. Locations are arranged alphabetically and I was surprised that there is no search option to find the location you have in mind. You will have to scroll down or tap on the appropriate alphabet to find the city you are looking for.

Adding Multiple Locations

Adding Multiple Locations

If you just want to view listings posted from places nearby (that you can drive to in a couple of hours) the search by nearby locations is the right option for you. Just drag the slider to the maximum distance you can cover and select the neighbourhoods.

Categories

Whatever the specifics of what you’re looking for on Craigslist, it will be neatly tucked away into a particular categories – one of nine. Once you have selected the category, you are taken to a list of sub-categories.

Categories & Sub Categories

Categories & Sub Categories

Only one sub category can be selected at a time and, unfortunately, there is no search option here too and you have to embark on a tedious scrolling mission to find the right category.

Performing a Search

Now that we have added our location preferences and product/service category of choice, let’s go ahead and search for what we are looking for.

Once entering the search string, you can fine tune the search based on your budget. You can also opt to search only for those listings with images and search only the title of the classified & not the rest of its content or descriptions.

Executing a Search

Executing a Search

After a brief status message showing the number of searches to be completed before the results are displayed, we are shown the search results. The advertisements are listed by freshness i.e. the date of posting – with the most recent post at the top.

Search Results

Search Results

The listings are displayed in the built in browser, equipped with basic social sharing options. You can save the advertisements you like by adding them to the favorites list.

Replies to the advertisers can be sent directly from the app without the need for a registered account. Sending a reply opens up the mail app with the advertiser’s email id, the link to the ad and options to add your current location via Google Maps and a photo if need be.

Image View & Posting a Reply

Image View & Posting a Reply

If you are in a hurry, images can viewed and comments added from the search results page itself without having to tap and view the entire classified. However, the icons enabling those functionalities are a bit too small for convenient access.

If you like the results of a search with the right mix of keywords, locations, categories etc., you can save it for later use. The same search can be performed later in a single click from the Saved Searches section.

Saved Search

Saved Search

Posting a Classified

Craigly allows us to post our own classified advertisement right from the app. For posting an ad, you will need a Craigslist account which can be created without leaving the app, if you don’t have one.

Adding Accounts & Signing Up

Adding Accounts & Signing Up

Multiple accounts can added and managed from Craigly.

Creating a Classified

Creating a Classified

After creating or logging into your account, select the location, product/service category and images. Once you have added them, the posting page shows up in the built in browser for adding details like price range, product descriptions and the like.

Posting a Classified

Posting a Classified

To jazz up your experience while using Craigly, you can create a playlist, add songs and listen to them from the More Settings section. A prime example of an application adding functionality that is, more or less, completely irrelevant!

Final Thoughts

One thing the Craigly app should be given full points for is its ability to take out the complexity of Craigslist and package it into an app with a simple interface.

Be it locations or categories, Craigly eliminates the “in your face” design of the web app into a bunch of intuitive lists & sections. You can choose to see what you want to see.

Absence of search options in the location and category listings is quite frustrating – particularly annoying when you are scrolling down a mammoth list of all US cities.

In summary, Craigly is one of the best among a bunch of Craigslist based apps available in the App Store. If you’re looking for something to help with this specific task, you could do far worse!


Summary

Craigly provides a simple front-end for browsing and searching Craigslist on your iPhone. It improves on the default website (which can be difficult to use on a mobile browser), and also lets you easily post new listings.

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