Drumroll please. After many months of late nights and working weekends, unto thee we present… the NEW and IMPROVED SmartShanghai app, programmed to make your life in Shanghai almost too easy. Got no data but need to find a place nearby for a quick bite? Done. Want to scroll through new apartment options whilst on the metro? Not a problem. Want to turn your phone into a trash-sorting robot through an in-app feature? Well, we haven’t quite got there yet. But we’re working on it!
First, download the app. C’mon, do it. You need this. Version 4. It is available as an update on the App store for iPhone users and Play Store for Android users. Links to those are here.
The New Layout, Top to Bottom
As you can see, the first major difference is that the feed from the old app which included a mixture of editorial content, jobs, galleries and basically everything else has been replaced by a more traditional homepage with a search engine for our extensive directory. In the top-left corner is a sidebar menu, but we’ll come to that later.
This search bar is probably the most useful feature of the new app. It works offline, which means all 17,477 (and counting) venues listed on SmartShanghai are at your fingertips even when you run out of data or have no signal. Great news for tourists too who might not have access to the internet when they’re out and about.
The app’s directory is simple yet comprehensive and resembles the same system we use on the site. The icons below the search bar cover all the bases from hotels to beauty. You may have noticed a loading bar when the app is booting up. This is the app downloading any content that we have added to the site in the past 24 hours, allowing you to stay up to date at all times.
Scroll down a little and you will come to the most recent editorial content. Brilliant-cut diamonds like Fighting Period Pain with TCM and the massive Essential Guide to Pudong can be found here.
Just below that is more editorial content with columns like Shanghai Famous, On The Radar and How To, combined with SmartShanghai’s collections (Patio Porn, Pools, Restaurants With A View), and galleries, which is no longer just pictures of people getting their drank on at Bar Rouge. If you tap the “View More Galleries” button, you can choose between nightlife and community pictures, where you can see adorable shots of your little ones attending events like the one at Shanghai Community International School or browse through pictures of the Wellington Winter Christmas Bazaar at Wellington College.
Keep scrolling and you’ll reach events. This area will show our editor’s pick for three of the more interesting events happening that day. Tap “View More Of Today’s Events” for the full schedule. If you see a little red ticket in the top-right corner of the event thumbnail, it means tickets are available on SmartTicket, which has its own special section just below events.
Finally, we come to three of SmartShanghai’s cornerstones. Housing, Jobs and Buy & Sell are at the bottom of the home page and have been given a slight face lift. Pictures are now bigger, and the information is clearer.
That sidebar menu mentioned earlier has links to all the above features, plus a few other things. Your login area is at the top where you can log in with your SmartShanghai.com account. Our prolific SmartReviewers now have their own section; check this out if you are looking for a good grub recommendation. There is also an Emergencies section that is available offline with some basic instructions, phrases and addresses should an accident happen.
Overall, it’s the biggest upgrade we’ve undertaken on the app. We started from scratch, programming the new app from the bottom up, instead of trying to just patch previous problems. And this time we did it using Flutter, which means that the app looks and works the same on both iPhone and Android platforms. We’ll be pushing updates frequently from now on, so please reach out and let us know what you think.