The bad news is that the search and filter functions on Craigslist don’t work as well when handling such a large number of listings, and the filter is either too aggressive or not aggressive enough. This is where your smartphone comes in. There are a myriad of free, unofficial Craigslist apps doing the job that the website should be doing on its own: filtering, sorting and finding you more suitable listings for your dream apartment, a used car, or a buyer for your old Ikea dresser.
If you love the design of newspaper classified ads, but like the content of Craigslist, then this app is for you. The typeface, headlines and graphics look like an old-school newspaper, but the app doesn’t function like one. There is a press-and-hold feature allowing you to interactively “cross off” or “circle” ads. There’s interactive mapping and all the filtering tools that make the other Craigslist apps so useful. So unlike the newspaper, you won’t have to slog through all those two-bedroom apartments in the burbs in order to find that studio in the city. Lifelike Craig looks better on an iPad than an iPhone because you can get the full range of listings at a glance. For iPhone and iPad. (Pay 99 cents and get the HD upgrade.)
Craigslist Mobile has a free and “ultimate” version. The free app will get you plenty, though, such as filtered searches with tiny photo previews that darken after you’ve viewed the listing (so you don’t look at the same one twice). The mapping feature takes you straight to the location of the apartment or service. From within a listing, you can also e-mail the poster, forward the posting to a friend or mark a listing as a favorite. Bonus: You can post a listing from within the app, so you can snap a picture of that overstuffed chair you want to get rid of and post it immediately. For iPhone, iPod and Android.
This app takes a different approach and actually looks like a miniaturized version of the Craigslist site itself. Stripped of bells and whistles, Craigsphone is probably the one app that most pleases the site’s purist founder; unfortunately, it’s a little too similar to the too-basic-to-be-functional website. There’s no fancy “mapping” feature, and you can only e-mail the listing from within the page (like the website), and there are no preview pictures. Unless you are an ultra-minimalist, there’s no reason to use Craigsphone when other options do a better job. For iPhone, iPad and Android.
Feature for feature, CraigsPro does nearly everything Craigslist Mobile does. The main difference users will notice is the app’s graphics, which are colorful and almost cartoonishly cute. But once inside, the guts of the app are less useful. Although there is a mapping function (similar to Craigslist Mobile), the way the listings are displayed isn’t optimal for the phone. Rather than being reconfigured for the device, the original listing shows the listing inside the app in a “frame” (close your eyes and think back to the mid-’90s and all those bad websites, and you can imagine CraigsPro). One bonus: You can tweet listings to your followers. For iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android. (There are also two more robust versions for 99 cents and $1.99.)
This free app is easy to navigate—and it filters those pesky listings having nothing to do with your search. You can get more specific (say, turning on that “title only” search) or leave subcategories open. The payoff comes in more finely tuned results that are easier to read at a glance in the palm of your hand. For iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad. (Users can pay 99 cents for the in-app upgrade.)
Take Your Craigslisting to the Next Level With These Mobile Apps was originally published as Craigslist on the Go and provided by RetailMeNot.com. Author Tricia Romano is a freelance writer who lives and works in Los Angeles. She likes reading on her Kindle and writing about saving money.