Browse Tag: Android

National Real Estate Investor Android App

National Real Estate Investment app logoNote: no software reviews here at The Source constitute a recommendation of any product or service by NAR.

The Android Market website has gotten a facelift.  It’s now called Google Play, and if you ask me, it bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain “App Store” run by a company whose name rhymes with chapel.

I prefer the Android platform for the phone.  Why? Better hardware, roughly the same software offerings for business use, and all without an insulting price tag.  But that’s me. What about the commercial property pro on the hunt for news on industry trends?

NREI Android App

I’ve follow National Real Estate Investor as part of my daily research and was interested to see they had published an NREI Android app.  After a bit of a test, I can recommend it if you’re in the market for a bunch of high-quality CRE content at your fingertips.  It’s nice to have an icon devoted to a quick update on the industry.

One nice feature of this app is the button for Retail Traffic that allows quick focus on retail.  Another button brings you headlines and posts from various blogs.  Items can be easily shared with a share button located along the bottom.  The app works well and earns a couple of punches of the icon a week on my HTC EVO.

My only complaints are minor: a shortage of content under the blogs category – our industry’s corner of the blogosphere updates more often that this app might suggest.  The other is a senseless number of permissions.  In my opinion, a news aggregator application doesn’t need and shouldn’t want to be able to read your phone’s state and identity, but that is the default with NREI’s Android app.  (Android users can always check what an app is doing under the hood by clicking the “Permissions” tab on any app’s download page.

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Google Maps Takes It Indoors, Adds Building Floor Plans, Asks For Yours

Google — we like to call it “The Big G” around here — has announced a terrific new feature that will be of keen interest to everybody in commercial property from leasing to brokerage to management and everywhere in between.  Not content to merely make it ridiculously easy to navigate streets and outdoor spaces to get to your building, airport or mall, Google Maps 6.0 for Android will now take the party indoors and provide floor plans with the same ease of use we’ve come to expect from Google Maps.

I applied the Google Maps 6.0 upgrade and took it for a spin on my HTC Evo. While the office building I was in didn’t have any interior map data, I did appreciate the new layout and look – especially the new drop-down menu, a long-wanted improvement.

The Maps Walkthrough does a great job illustrating the new features and also answers our next question: how can I add my property’s floor plan data into the new Google Maps?

Easy. While the Floor Plans program is still in beta, meaning it’s early and they’re still working out kinks in the system, you can start adding your building data here. Its’ as straightforward as finding your building in Google Maps, then uploading a floor plan in JPG, PNG, BMP, or GIF format, like so:

Google Maps Floor Plan Upload Form
How to upload floor plans into the new Google Maps

Using the new Google Maps is very familiar. Walking is the main means of navigation, but the same features for biking, public trans and driving all remain where you’d expect them. The possibilities for special mapping applications for indoor use are really exciting — real and virtual showings as well as virtual tenant improvements come to mind right away — but we know the industry will come up with even more new uses for this ubiquitous mobile application.

At the bare minimum, the ability to add floor plan data to Google Maps is a very quick and convenient way to add value to any commercial property in any portfolio. The Big G wouldn’t have it any other way.

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