Toyota iPhone App doesn’t take advantage of the iPhone opportunities

8 October, 2008

Sometimes it’s amazing to see how developers fail to take advantage of a mobile platform and not seem to ‘get’ the benefits of the mobile device. One of the few Australian iPhone applications ‘Toyota Dealer Search’ is an example of how to miss out on the opportunities of a device like the iPhone.

You can find it in the Apple App Store (or just search for ‘Toyota’).
Let’s walk through the process:
1. Launch the ‘Dealer Search’ app (no worries)
2. Enter a postcode (easy!)
3. Look at the list of dealers

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Now that’s fairly straight forward, but the problems are this:
A) You can’t click on the phone number to actually call the dealer with your iPhone. You have to write down the phone number on paper and then go to the phone application, kinda defeating the purpose of having your internet enabled device and phone in one.
B) You can’t click on the address to open it up in Google Maps to find it, or take advantage of the GPS functionality to get directions from where you are to where the dealer is.

Let me make it very clear. The application hasn’t closed the loop on the user experience and taken advantage of the very platform it has been built for. Remember, this is an iPhone application available on the App Store, not something that’s available on all mobile platforms (which still should have click-to-call at a minimum).

In fact, if instead of using the purpose built application I simply open the iPhone Safari browser and type in “Toyota Dealers Sydney” in the Google search field, I get search results including the Dealer URL, phone number and showing me a map. If I click on that map it opens in Google Maps and I can get all the details of each dealer including being able to call them, go to their website, get their address and even save them to my contacts if I need to refer to them later.

Gdl
Gmd
Gmi

So by skipping a couple of lines of code, they’ve missed a great opportunity.

BTW: Mobile Monday Sydney is having an iPhone night on Monday 13th October, come and join us, it’s free! (Find out more at the Mobile Monday website).

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7 Responses to “Toyota iPhone App doesn’t take advantage of the iPhone opportunities”

  1. […] Cross Post: Toyota iPhone App doesn’t take advantage of the iPhone opportunities My post at my other blog on what’s wrong with the Toyota Dealer iPhone App […]

  2. […] Presentations and discussions will be ably compered by Mobile Monday Sydney’s own Oliver Weidlich, himself something of an iPhone app design guru. […]

  3. Amy Frasca said

    Interesting review.
    Get me a hybrid! They should have more fun on the app- like- you insert the make year model of the car you already have, then it compares all of the environmental advantages to trading for a hybrid. 🙂

  4. justin said

    you have to shake your head don’t you…
    They probably paid alot of money for this dead end site….

  5. […] Presentations and discussions will be ably compered by Mobile Monday Sydney’s own Oliver Weidlich, himself something of an iPhone app design guru. […]

  6. mark said

    Old post, but I just downloaded the Toyota iphone app and they must’ve updated it or you missed something because it does everything you say.

    If you click on the map button in the address it takes you directly to Google Maps with the route from your current location to the selected dealer (which I find very handy when I take it in for service or find the need to visit a dealer while 4wd-ing away from home).

    You can also click on the phone number to call the dealer. And clicking on the email address opens up Mail (which I don’t think I’ll ever use though)

    • oliverw said

      Hi Mark,
      (Sorry it took so long to approve your comment, been busy)
      Yes, they updated it to include some of those things. Unfortunately they still haven’t made it as easy as it should be (e.g. type ahead on suburb, it couldn’t find “Bondi beach” just now, it doesn’t retain state, it’s inconsistent with Apple’s HIG [back, page turn] etc etc. It’s getting better, but it’s not there yet 🙂

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