It’s become a common occurrence these days to hear the statement, “There’s an app for that!” The popularity of smartphones and tablets in recent years has resulted in an explosion of applications to run on them. It seems we’ve all been inundated with an app to serve a specific need, as our home, business and even personal lives have had an app developed for it.
Many apps, like a built in GPS system, have proven to be indispensable to people either lost or looking for directions, and in my experience, a real estate app I installed helped immensely with a search for new house. A lot of apps available these days might seem silly and unnecessary, like one that mimics a zippo lighter or simulates playing a harmonica when holding it up to your mouth.
Legal Advice is Available for Download on iTunes.
Even the legal industry has gotten on the app bandwagon these days. Like most other elements in our lives, lawyers and their firms seem to want the attention an iPhone or Android app can bring. A quick search of iTunes and Google Play produces a few interesting results:
Nolo’s Plain English Law Dictionary – Available on iTunes This nifty app is actually a pretty good release offered by a leading player in the internet legal advice arena. Nolo has offered internet users the ability to create wills, living trusts and other legal documents for years via their software and website. The app provides a fairly detailed legal language dictionary with plain English descriptions.
Glykka’s Sign Easy, Sign and Fill Documents – Available on iTunes This handy app makes it possible to digitally sign documents from anywhere in PDF, Excel, Word and Email formats. I can see a lot of useful reasons to have this app on my iPhone and think the underlying technology could be a precursor to many other things a smartphone might be doing in the future; like performing person to person transactions in the field.
AB Mobile Apps Ask a Lawyer: Legal Help – Available on Google PlayM This app is one that’s brash enough to come right out and offer legal advice for free! The app is actually a front end for an actual law firm, so one can expect the legal advice given is on the level. It’s an interesting concept that strikes a resemblance to how the insurance industry gathers potential clients by offering some easy to use web technology.
The apps mentioned here seem to be originating from reliable sources and do a good job of providing a service to their target audiences. Nolo has been around for a long time and has passed the test for reliability. Glykka’s product serves a need that does have a lot of potential for growth as people try to conduct more business on the fly with their portable devices. AB Mobile’s Ask a Lawyer might be a useful tool for someone in the early stages of seeking out legal advice and simply wants to get in touch with a lawyer eventually.
A Person in Need of Legal Advice Should Go Old School – Look on the Internet
One should keep in mind that attorneys have been making their legal services available to the public via technology for years. Most reputable firms have maintained excellent websites that in some cases, provide the same things these apps are now offering. Their sites make it easy to get in touch with a lawyer directly, which is usually the best move from the start.One such example is the guide at SSRights.com on choosing the right attorney. Guides like these can help people seeking legal help wade through the sometimes muddy waters online.
The apps might be fun to explore and get some general information about legal matters, but the law is an intricate and detailed field that can be next to impossible to navigate for the average person. It might be in your best interest to get in touch with an actual lawyer first, then start installing the apps.
Seriously, who carries cash any more? Today, 66% of in-store transactions are made with credit, debit, or pre-paid cards, and customers tend to spend more when they use credit cards over cash. If you conduct business on the go, you need to be able to accept credit cards. Luckily, there are several companies offering innovative solutions for accepting credit card payments through your mobile device—and their transaction rates are very reasonable. Here are some of the best.
Square Card Reader ($275 per month or 2.75% per swipe; squareup.com)
The Square Card Reader, which is free when you sign up for Square’s service, plugs into your iDevice’s headphone jack and securely encrypts every card swipe. Once you’ve received the card reader, you can download the Square Register app (free, app2.me/3735) and link it to your bank account. Funds from Square payments are deposited into your bank account within two business days.
With the Square Register app, you can create loyalty cards for repeat customers and send customized receipts by text or email. Your customers can buy or redeem Square gift cards to your business, leave a percentage tip with a simple tap, and, of course, sign their names with their fingertips.
PayPal Here (2.7% per swipe, paypal.com)
PayPal surprised everyone when they jumped on the mobile card reader bandwagon in 2012. Since they already handle a huge amount of transactions, it makes perfect sense. In addition to accepting credit cards, the PayPal Here card reader pairs with the PayPal Here app (free, app2.me/5974) to accept PayPal payments and checks (the latter via the camera function on your iDevice). Funds from swipes are available within minutes in your PayPal account, which you can access immediately if you have a PayPal debit card. Checks could take up to six days to clear. There’s only one fee—2.7% per swipe, which is similar to the transaction fee on PayPal payments. If you have several sales representatives PayPal lets you connect multiple card readers to your account. Like with Square, PayPal will mail you a free card reader when you sign up for their service.
Intuit GoPayment ($12.95 per month + 1.75% per swipe, or 2.75% per swipe; gopayment.com)
The Intuit GoPayment card reader is also free, and works with the GoPayment app (free, app2.me/5975). You can add business logo and contact information to receipts, and the GoPayment app calculates sales tax based on your location. A distinct advantage of Intuit GoPayment is the ability to sync your transactions with QuickBooks. If you process a lot of mobile payments, the Intuit GoPayment card reader is a less expensive alternative in the long run than Square and Paypal Here.
ROAMpay X ($0.38-$1.58 per swipe, roamdata.com)
ROAMpay works in partnership with compatible merchant accounts—it does not sell a merchant accounts service like the other companies listed here. Through the company’s site, you can contact several merchant account providers that are compatible with ROAMpay, and they will set you up with a ROAMpay application. Like other card readers, the ROAMpay X plugs into the iDevice’s headphone jack. However, the additional plastic flaps might create an awkward fit, depending on the case you’re using.
While you have to jump through more hoops to use ROAMpay than any of the other services listed here, the potential benefit is significantly lower transaction rates. Once you’re signed up, you can use the ROAMpay X app (free, app2.me/5976) to capture transactions, signatures, and customer data. You can also use the app to email receipts, track transactions, and transfer funds to your bank account.
Flint (1.95-2.95% + $0.20 per charge, flint.com)
Flint offers a unique solution to accepting payments from your mobile device. There are no card readers or dongles, and you don’t have to worry about setting up a merchant account. Flint uses the Flint Mobile Pay app (free, flint.com) to accept payments, and it uses your iDevice’s camera to securely capture your customer’s credit card information. Some customers may feel unsafe letting you point your iPhone at their credit card as if you’re taking a picture, but they shouldn’t worry—no data or images are saved on the phone, and you have to enter card verification info with every transaction. Like with the other apps, you can also send customized email receipts with loyalty offers, and funds from mobile payments are deposited into your account within two business days. Flint also offers a secure online portal to void transactions, issue refunds, or look up customer information.
Accepting credit cards has never been easier, and these top-notch card reader choices will keep your business running smoothly and looking professional.
Karim is a professional writer and an expert in mobile technology. Many of the benefits of smartphones can be achieved with an always on data connection and with SIM free phones with iPhone SIM only plans, offering flexibility and savings with the contract.
Christmas is right around the corner, so now it’s the right time to pick out some holiday apps for your iPhone. Here are the Christmas apps I personally enjoy, and I hope you’ll also like them. Continue reading »
Apple is currently trying to improve the notifications system on their iPhones, iPads and iPod touches. The present notification system on the iOS forces users to to deal with the notification no matter what. Users would either have to go to the application like facebook or SMS in order to retrieve the message or just close it. Though not a big deal, Apple is planning to make this system more users friendly so that users are not forced to quit something they are already on to their systems at the time of notification.
Apparently Apple has coordinated with another small company in order to help them on this endeavour. This company is also known to have prepared apps for Apple in the past and if the rumors are to be believed, the company involved in the notifications’ system improvement could be Boxcar.
We received the news yesterday about Apple’s restriction on Sony’s Reader regarding its applications on App store and how it was going to affect Amazon. The restrictions imposed by Apple definitely did not go down too well with Sony as they complained that the restrictions were imposed on a very short notice. However, Apple has come up with a clarification and has stated that there has been no change in developer rules and guidelines. Apple has reiterated that all they need to know about an App, like Amazon is if they have the ability to sell ebooks of their own, which Amazon does any way.
Apple has said that such Apps would be allowed on App store if only these Apps are also ready to list the ebooks available on Apple as well. Sony’s available ebook app is definitely a competitor to Apple and the Inc. is making sure that they hold their grip on the App store.
A new jailbreak tweak called the voiceactivator is going to be made available sometime this week that will enhance the present functions of the voice control feature in the iPhones. The current functions of voice control allow a user to make calls, play the song from a particular album or by a particular artist and also enable the genius feature. This is in fact a very useful function while driving.
The new voiceactivator tweak which is being developed by developer chpwn would also allow one to open Apps, URLs and also enable Activator functions. The following is the tweet by chpwn-
Custom Voice Control commands! VoiceActivator is a new tweak by chpwn (http://chpwn.com/) to let you take full control of the Voice Control feature of your iPhone or iPod touch. Launch apps, open URLs, use Activator actions: it’s all here, in on
chpwn is also the developer of the jailbreak apps Infinidock, Infiniboard, Infinifolder and Proswitcher.
Every time an iPhone app gets submitted or updated on the App Store, Apple lets developers generate up to 50 promo codes. These promo codes can be offered by developers to reviewers and friends so that they may download these applications for free.
Until now, these promo codes could only be redeemed by Apple customers in the United States. No longer. Apple has changed its terms to now let promo codes be redeemed by customers across the world. In a statement to app developers, Apple has noted,
“Your promo code distribution is no longer limited to U.S. customers. Promo codes in iTunes Connect can now be redeemed by all App Store customers worldwide. Your Team Agent can request 50 codes per version of your app in iTunes Connect and your customers can redeem these codes in any App Store. To learn more about requesting promo codes in iTunes Connect, see the iTunes Connect Developer Guide.”
Google Latitude, the location based service that lets users to check out on friends in the vicinity could soon be launching as an iPhone app on the App Store. In fact, Google only recently went ahead and launched the service in the Japanese app store only to pull it back soon after.
iPhone users are not exactly a new market for Google Latitude. The service has been available as a web application for more than a year. But this was primarily because of the Google Voice fiasco that saw Apple and Google on a virtual warpath. Things seem to have eased since then which means a Google Latitude app for iPhone should be coming soon.
We expect an official launch to happen soon. We will let you know when the app becomes publicly available.
It is not just the apps on the iPhone homescreen that can now be organized with folders. According to a rumor, Apple could be offering similar folders to the iBooks app that will let users organize the books in their virtual library better. Called Collections, the new feature will let users to collate books and PDF documents into separate groups for easier management.
To organize books into collections, users will have to tap on ‘Edit‘ icon. Now, tapping on any book icon will bring a checkmark that can be used to move the document to any specific Collection. There is also going to be a Collection tab on the top of the iBooks app from where the user can view all the Collections which may then be edited or deleted. The section will also let users create new Collections.
No word yet on when these features will be rolled out.
Sometime back I had written about a jailbreak tool called HDR Camera Enabler that would enable HDR photography on an iPhone 3GS even though that feature is disabled by default on the iOS. Now if you are looking for a counter feature – the ability to disable HDR photography on iPhone 4, here’s this new tool.
Before you start wondering if anyone will need this, do remember that HDR photography capture can be a power guzzler and some people may think it fit to enable and disable such features at will. If you are one such user, you need to check out the new jailbreak app called myOS. myOS is an application that is available on Cydia that makes it possible for iPhone users to enable/disable not just HDR photography, but all the other iOS features as well. The app lets you manage the following
- Homescreen Wallpapers
- Unified iPod
- App Store
- HDR Photography
- Game Center
- Voice Control
myOS is available right now on the BigBoss repository and can be had at a price of $0.99. Check it out and let us know if you found it good.