Back in November last year we had an exclusive hands on preview with the TradeMe app when it first launched. In May, we wrote that it was time for more features. Now, almost a year after the initial release, TradeMe have released a new update, with the usual bug fixes, but also a critical functionality update… In-app listing has arrived!
The app is a native iPhone (and iPod touch) app, but is of course also capable of running with 2x zoom on iPads (although it cannot be rotated). As we mentioned before the app has the features of your “My TradeMe” web account page, however up until now we have only been able to browse and buy.
With the release of Version 2.0.1 we can finally list auctions, and it’s a pretty groovy experience. When we select the option we are presented with a rather large and detailed screen for listing.
When we select our category the descriptions of some boxes change to reflect our choice of category. In the case of selecting iPhone 4 as my category, the Title and Subtitle changed as shown below, a subtle, but useful feature. You also get a healthy 2044 character limit for entering your description about the item.
If we set pick-ups to “Buyer Must Pick Up” the boxes for shipping disappear and we can also select multiple payment options.
Being able to finally take photos straight from your iPhone and add them to the listing is an absolute joy and is so much easier than taking a photo, transferring it to your Mac or PC and then adding the listing via the traditional desktop browser. If we upload a photo to the auction, the options to choose either a Gallery or Feature Combo for our auction appears. These are unavailable without a photo, preventing us from misfortunate purchases (as without photos these are a waste of money).
When we are finally done editing and select the “Continue” option, we get a final auction review screen before it actually lists. Much like the web browser version we can navigate back to make changes, however there is no preview available like on the full site (where you can basically read through all your choices and entries in one big list). So you have to read through the main listing screen (and all relevant sub-screens) to check for errors.
Once we list we can immediately view the auction, list another item, share our auction or simply jump back to the main UI screen for the app. On full-fledged web browsers there is sometimes a delay between listing and being able to view our own auction, but with this app we can view instantly.
So, in conclusion, the new listing feature is slick, efficient and intelligent. The only downside I noticed was the inability to easily preview my auction before listing it. If you own an iOS device and make regular use of TradeMe I would recommend this app, it’s a far superior experience on the iPhone than using Safari.
iPad users will still want this app for listing items as currently there is no way to attach pictures to listings via Safari, but it is rather redundant for browsing listings to buy as the screen is big enough to accommodate the standard web UI we are all used to on our desktops. Which I suspect is the main reason why the app was not designed to run natively on the iPad.