Browsing and posting Craigslist items at your fingertips

Craigslist’s graphic-light website means that iPhone and iPod’s mobile Safari can handle the site without issue, but with a multitude of Craigslist apps available, wouldn’t you like to browse listings in a better way? I certainly would, so I dropped 99 cents on Craigslist Pro for iPhone & iPod. (The free, ad-supported version is called Craigslist Pro — Multi-City Searches, Photo Preview, and Posting and the more feature-robust version is CraigsPro+: Craigslist + Notifications + Photo Wall + Posting + Photo previews, so don’t be confused by the similar monikers.)

Craigslist Pro offers the entire network of Craigslist sites, so you’ll first want to set your search area. The app can auto-locate cities near you, or you can select cities manually if you travel. I found searching via Craigslist Pro to be cumbersome — but only at first. For the most concise results, you’ll want to set your category, and then probably narrow it to a specific section (tapping “For Sale” and then “Furniture by Owner,” for example). Once you’ve set this, you can type in your keyword, and the app will only search those parameters. Further filtering can be set via the “Settings” icon — here you can choose to preview photos, only show listings with photos, search titles, set your results order display, or narrow your price range. Quite a few steps to take to see what you want, but once you’ve created a search, you can save it for later — by far Craigslist Pro’s best feature.

Saved searches will appear under the “Searches” tab and will indicate the last time you checked the listing. When you rerun the search, new listings will display with a “new” banner. Craigslist Pro is very slow when loading photo-heavy search pages in list format, but I found the photo wall (accessible via the “view” icon at the top right) that displays thumbnails with prices loaded much quicker. If you tap to view a complete listing, the app displays a checkmark on the results page, again saving you time of looking at ads more than once. You can reply to ads from within the app or add a listing to your favorites list if you need to think about it. I’m more Craigslist shopper than seller, but Craigslist Pro also offers integrated posting for Craigslist account holders.

Craigslist Pro for iPhone & iPod is hardly an investment, and I found its saved searches to be extremely helpful. If you’re unsure if it will help you, give the free version a look before buying.

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