Review by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday December 17, 2013.
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I hate my apartment. My super is terrible, my leasing company never responds to my messages, and the parking situation is terrible. The problem is that my building is in the perfect location and the price is right, so I'm stuck here until I find somewhere better. Lovely is an app with the potential to help me, or anyone else, find a better place to live.
Lovely for Android is an apartment-hunting app like several other apartment hunting apps currently on the market. Users enter the price that they are willing to pay, enter a city or zip code for a desired neighborhood, and then cross their fingers that a decent place can be found within their price range. There's not much separating this from the Trulias and Zillows of the world other than its approach. Similar to the iPhone version that launched long ago, Lovely for Android focuses on apartments and tries to simplify the process.
In my search to find a new place to lay my head, results are often crowded by listings outside of my desired area or price range, something that Lovely does not do. It searches to find apartments meeting my criteria and then plots them on a map, showcasing clusters of places that suit my needs. If results aren't available it's easy to make adjustments because the map can be panned and zoomed to fluidly move into different locations.
Once a desired location is found, users can contact their future landlords by phone or email. They can also choose to save the listing and take a closer look on other devices because Lovely links to a cloud account. I've had some issues with the synchronization updating to be viewable, but Lovely promises that it's viewable via phone, tablet, or web.
Another issue I face finding a new apartment is that I live in a commuter and college town, so housing can get pretty competitive depending on the time of year someone searches. Lovely includes Alerts that will notify a user when new listings matching their search criteria appear. It also includes a short list section to mark favorites and a way to connect with LinkedIn to verify your information to landlords, though I personally wouldn't go as far as to volunteer that much information to property owners.
Lovely is one of the cleanest and fastest ways that I've used to look for an apartment. The app has the basics of what's necessary to find a place and has an easy to navigate app to facilitate its usage. I've yet to find a place meeting my needs within my current city, but at least the app is flexible enough to make the discovery of new housing options a tad simpler.
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.