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Delta Media Group Blog

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What is iCloud Tabs and why should I care about it as a Realtor®?

Back in June Apple officially announced it's new iOS 6 operating system features, one of which really caught my attention - iCloud Tabs.

iCloud Tabs is a feature built into the next version of Apple's iPhone operating system giving users the ability to "pickup browsing wherever you left off."

Basically, users will be able to use their iPhone to browse websites and then pickup their iPad and easily open up whatever websites were open on their iPhone on their iPad. This feature even carries over to Safari on a desktop or laptop computer.

The reason this feature really caught my attention is that I have found I really don't enjoy browsing websites on my iPhone. Maybe it's my age and my changing eyesight...I'm not sure...but what I do know is that using an iPad is a much better experience for me but the iPhone is convenient sometimes!

This really got me thinking of the direction we were heading with our real estate websites. We had been working for quite some time on our next mobile platform update for our Agent and Brokerage Websites and for me it really hit home. I realized how I really dislike how website browsing is handled between an iPhone, an iPad, and a laptop. Specifically, I don't like being prodded to download someone's app constantly (ahem...ABC News) just to read their news article. I don't like clicking on a link when reading an email on my iPhone only to be told that the page can't be found on a companies' mobile website. I don't like bookmarking a URL from my laptop and when I try to open the bookmark on my iPhone or iPad the page can't be found on a companies' mobile website. These are all really frustrating to me as a consumer.

What Apple is about to push out is another update that will change how we browse the internet and use websites. It's also about to change all of our expectations on what we want in a website experience as consumers. We will quickly get frustrated with the retailers that don't handle this next iOS update properly which will reflect negatively on that retailers brand and could ultimately damage their brand.

I'm looking forward to the day when Apple releases this update. I can picture it now. I'll be at my Starbucks using a mobile website, sipping on my Tazo China Green Tips Full Leaf Tea. I'll soon realize that I have to be at the office for a meeting and I'll run to the office. After my office meeting I'll sit down at my laptop and I'll seamlessly continue what I was doing. But instead of being on my iPhone using a mobile website I'll be on my laptop using a full website. All seamlessly, all because of what Apple is doing with iCloud Tabs.

Sounds great doesn't it? Sure! It sounds great to me as a customer and it should to you too.

Just imagine your customers and consider this: Wouldn't it be great if your customers could use their iPhone locating properties near them, view them right on their phone and then later that same day open up their laptop and be able to easily open up the same page and seamlessly continue what they were doing? That would be a great customer experience and would go a long way towards building your brand.

So, that really sounds great but there's the reality check needed in the website design industry!

I currently don't know of one mobile website I use as a customer that will seamlessly handle this right now. Not even Delta's current system as of today. That's bad news for us website developers.

Well, what's the good news? The good news is this: Delta's next mobile platform will handle iCloud Tabs and the next platform is scheduled for release sometime in August. We're working ahead of the curve with this release and we're not only adding features but we're also making this update iCloud Tab friendly which ultimately gives your customers a great website experience.

With this next release your customers will not only get access to an entirely new, clean, mobile interface but they'll also have a streamlined mobile/non-mobile browsing experience.

If you are an Android user don't feel left out. Apps like TabCloud give you similar functionality inside Android and Google Chrome. Although I don't use an Android device I've read some positive reviews of TabCloud and if this feature interests you and you're on Android you should probably check it out.

One more thing...if you're not sure that your current real estate website will work with iCloud Tabs contact us and we'll audit your sites to see if they are.

This is just another feature that should be leveraged in your local market place as you and your agents position yourself with the competition helping with agent recruiting and listing presentations.

Stay tuned for more information in the next couple weeks on this mobile update!

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