Unless you are brand new to this site you probably remember The Villages mobile app I released a few months back.
I want to thank all of you that have installed it on your phones and have been putting it through its paces and sending me suggestions for improvement.
This week I finished (hmm…I don’t ever really feel like I’m finished) an update which brings the app to the next level.
There’s always room for improvement so keep sending me your feedback here but hopefully this update adds to the value this app provides Villagers as well as those who are just visiting.
Now, if you already had the previous app saved to your device you shouldn’t have to do any fancy updates or downloads. Just open it up like you normally would and you’ll see the new version. This is one reason I prefer to have this as a mobile app as opposed to a native app in which case you would have to download updates from the iTunes App store or Android Marketplace. Plus doing it as a mobile web app allows it to work on more than 5,000 devices.
If this is all new to you and you’ve never seen or heard of this app, its easy to get. Just open up the browser on your mobile phone and type in TheVillagesMobile.com and hit “Go” or “Enter”. If you are using an iPhone upon your first visit you will be prompted to save the app to your homescreen. I’m not sure why this feature doesn’t work for other devices but it just doesn’t. In any case, be sure to bookmark it or add it to your homescreen so you can find it when you need it.
Here’s What’s New
For starters, its on a whole new hosting platform which you should find to be A LOT faster than the previous version. Gone are the long wait times while a new page loads. So far in my tests this thing is lightning fast.
I’ve added several new listings, most of which were suggested by those of you that were early testers.
You’ll also see that this version has Current Weather (pretty sweet feature) and also “Recent Articles” which will show you a list of recent posts from our blog. Not that I think that will be the most used feature, but who knows, you might get bored waiting in line somewhere or at the doctors office and want something to do to pass the time. It’s there for you.
One suggestion I received a couple of times that I have not added yet is maps. Now, I don’t think it makes sense to have a map for every restaurant, especially since most are clustered together in Town Squares. But I still might add maps of the Golf Courses and the Town Squares themselves in a future update.
With the previous version some asked if there could be an easier way to get back to the homepage. Well with the new version, just click the logo at the top of any page and it will take you back to the homescreen. Easy peasy.
Alright, hope you enjoy the update and tell your friends about it.
I’m thinking about sending out a letter along with a window sticker promoting the app to all the local businesses that are listed on the app. What do you think about this idea? I was thinking it might help build awareness if some of the businesses put the sticker with information about the app in their window. Interested to hear your thoughts though before I go and do that.