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Trying out an alternative to iPhone's Zillow app

So what if it's not as sexy as reports of 3-D television or dashboard internet coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas? Sawbuck Realty's announcement that they've launched a Web site that taps into your phone's GPS function to provide you-are-here real estate listings searches grabbed my attention.

I mean, GPS-driven listings search made me yearn for an iPhone when Zillow came out with its free app in April. Sawbuck, using a Web site rather than an app tailored to just one brand of phone, was promising to make location-specific home-listing searches available to any smart phone.

"It was an easy decision to focus on a mobile site instead of an application," Sawbuck CEO Guy Wolcott said in a press release. "It seems like everyone is trying to create the next killer iPhone app and ignoring the millions of people using other smartphones."

Count me among those millions. So I grabbed my BlackBerrry and headed toward the window hoping to get maximum connectivity for my tryout. I called up Sawbuck Mobile in the phone's browser. "Getting Your Location" the screen said. And said. And said. I gave it 20 minutes before I quit.

To make sure the problem wasn't my phone's GPS, I called up its Sprint Navigation service and told it to map out the route home. It instantly honed in on my location at the Post's newsroom on 15th Street in the District. GPS wasn't the problem.

Oh well. If Apple ever puts a real keyboard on that little white phone, I'm theirs.

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  January 7, 2010; 3:25 PM ET
Categories:  Buying , Neighborhoods , Selling  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Consumer Reports takes washers for a spin
Next: Our homes are late to the tech revolution


Hi Elizabeth,
We're so sorry you had trouble connecting to Sawbuck Mobile from your BlackBerry. This is the first report of a problem on any device. We did extensive testing on all types of phones, including a number of BlackBerry phones.

If you let us know what version of the phone you’re using we’ll look into it and do some additional testing. Did the site pull up, but the “getting your location” bar never went away? Even outside of Sawbuck's service area, which you definitely are not, the site works. From Seattle, I am able to pick a location and search for homes in DC, LA, SF, etc.

Again, I apologize for the inconvenience, but let us know what device you're using and we'll look right into it.

Sawbuck Realty

Posted by: cynthiapang | January 7, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

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