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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    San Antonio Texas
    Posts
    14

    Default Smart Phone use on Inspections

    OK, so I have a new Sprint HTC EVO. How do I use this to make my inspections more productive. I already have a Tablet PC to capture the info while I do the inspection but there has to be other inspection related uses for a phone I am paying soooo much for?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: Smart Phone use on Inspections

    I have the same phone and love it.
    Here are a few good programs for you to tinker with.
    Easy note
    Scribe
    Tag to Do
    Checklist(my favorite in this group)

    The second group would actually allow you to set up a mini software program if you wished to use the phone camera.
    Catch
    Springpad

    I often use my phone to insert notes into the picture and if you combine "memo pad" with a app that is the only one I have ever paid for called Swift Key you will find it very easy to do.

    Checklist is the fastest way to actually take notes for the entire inspection if you set up, a template.

    If you wish to take fast voice notes with color tags to put them in catagories you will enjoy Voice2Do.
    I have spent time looking them up so if you find something better let me know.

    You also might at some point wish to try remote programs that would allow you to remote control your computer or tablet.
    There are a few others I have left out but that should keep you busy.

    Hope this helps


  3. #3
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Smart Phone use on Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Stewardson View Post
    OK, so I have a new Sprint HTC EVO. How do I use this to make my inspections more productive. I already have a Tablet PC to capture the info while I do the inspection but there has to be other inspection related uses for a phone I am paying soooo much for?
    *"Vrecorder" works good. Easy to record, easy to listen to and easy to delete.
    *"Camcard" is a wow. It takes a picture and reads almost all the info on the card.
    *Chase bank app is great. Log into your checking account, click on "deposit" and take a picture of the front and back of the check.
    *"aCar" is one of the best apps I found for recording almost everything about your vehicle.
    *I personally like "LED Desire Light". While there are others that do the same, I like how this one works.
    *"Weatherbug" works good for me. It does a great job following me around and the widget works great (especially size wise) for my home screen.

    *I like "CamScann" even though I don't use it for home inspections.
    *If you like to read, the Kindle for this phone is great!

    Last edited by Kevin Luce; 12-16-2010 at 06:11 PM. Reason: Added the last Like.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Smart Phone use on Inspections

    The new smart phones are amazing... if you haven't checked them out lately you'll be amazed. I thought my Blackberry was handy. My Google phone has blown me away.

    I can open and actually look at past reports (pdf files) have full functionallity of email (including wathing the dumb videos my friends send me)... respond to emails quickly/easily as long as I don't need to type more than a couple sentences.

    The apps are amazing (compass, voice recorder, gps, locating businesses, looking up phone numbers, etc.)

    Unfortunately, there's not a lot of on-site help it offers but it's sure streamlined the rest of my life.


  5. #5
    Daniel Leung's Avatar
    Daniel Leung Guest

    Default Re: Smart Phone use on Inspections

    Some App Tools on iPhone4:
    "Maps" as GPS
    "Compass" for direction
    "Flashlight" in attic and crawl space
    "iHandy Level" for roof slope
    "Convert Units"
    "FaceTime" you can show things online to your inspector friends
    "Sketch Me" to sketch a photo


  6. #6
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Smart Phone use on Inspections

    I keep looking at the Iphones and the like but I can not justify them at a30 plus fees for the data package and the cost of the phone. I have 2 cell phones with way more time than I need to be on the phone with texting and it is 100 a month for both. All the fun and crazy stuff on the phones today are really nothing more then that,,,,,,,crazy fun stuff. To each his own and all of you seem to love the toys but I just don't have the time or desire to play on the phone all day nor a justification for the monthly fees.

    Cell phone, Navigator in the vehicle and a bunch left over for that coffee or store run from time to time.

    Now I have been thinking about the new NookColor or something like that. Soon they will be full on computers with full internet for cheap. Then I will by one.


  7. #7
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Smart Phone use on Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I keep looking at the Iphones and the like but I can not justify them at a30 plus fees for the data package and the cost of the phone. I have 2 cell phones with way more time than I need to be on the phone with texting and it is 100 a month for both. All the fun and crazy stuff on the phones today are really nothing more then that,,,,,,,crazy fun stuff. To each his own and all of you seem to love the toys but I just don't have the time or desire to play on the phone all day nor a justification for the monthly fees.

    Cell phone, Navigator in the vehicle and a bunch left over for that coffee or store run from time to time.

    Now I have been thinking about the new NookColor or something like that. Soon they will be full on computers with full internet for cheap. Then I will by one.
    Lol, my last phone looked like a small brick with an antenna on it. For the longest time I felt like I just needed a phone and not all this other stuff like a color screen. How my thinking has changed. While the Evo (and iphone) can do a lot of things that donít add up to anything when the day is done, there are those few apps that makes life a lot easier and saves time and money.

    Note: My daughter at 16 just received her first cell phone. I offered the small brick with the antenna to her, but she clearly rejected it.

    That makes me think, does anyone want to buy a used cell phone?


  8. #8

    Default Re: Smart Phone use on Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Stewardson View Post
    OK, so I have a new Sprint HTC EVO. How do I use this to make my inspections more productive. I already have a Tablet PC to capture the info while I do the inspection but there has to be other inspection related uses for a phone I am paying soooo much for?
    Take it under the house and watch a movie? Be sure to bang on the pipes now and then to make it look like you are actually doing something.

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  9. #9

    Default Re: Smart Phone use on Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Stewardson View Post
    OK, so I have a new Sprint HTC EVO. How do I use this to make my inspections more productive. I already have a Tablet PC to capture the info while I do the inspection but there has to be other inspection related uses for a phone I am paying soooo much for?
    On a more serious note, check out Qik. I can stream live video to the web for free from my Droid. You could actually show a remote viewer something on the inspection while you videoed it in real time. I've done it and it works great. I did a complete, live walk through of a house for a friend in Canada and he watched it on his computer while I did it. It includes the sound as well. Endless possibilities here.

    Get a Photo Bucket account and the companion app on the phone will automatically upload any pictures you take.(if you want) I forgot my regular digital camera one day and used the 8 MP camera phone. When I got back to the office, all the pics were sitting there in my PhotoBucket account album. Easy to download to the desktop and edit/insert in report.

    If you are on Sprint, check out the ClearWire 4G if it's available in your area. It screams! I get 2-3 Mb/sec down and 1 up here in Los Angeles. I have their 3G/4G mobile "hot spot" and can provide 4G connectivity to 4 other people via WiMAX WiFi while I'm using it. I've actually switched everything over to this. Using 4G WiMax for the house and land line phone as well. No more AT&T. Much cheaper with the package than what I was paying. I had AT&T DSL and land line that was $75/mo plus a Sprint EvDO air card at $60/month before. Now the whole package is $80/month.

    Ain't technology great?

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Smart Phone use on Inspections

    I was thinking of trying the I-phone. My 2 yr. old grandson has one and enjoys it.

    rick


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Burbank, CA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Smart Phone use on Inspections

    I've had an Android Incredible since June, love it. Already had all email, calendar and contacts on Google, so now auto synced up in real time with home and wife's android, no more over-scheduling.
    Don't need a "service". Don't need a GPS, built in Google navigate saved my @ss more than once. Don't need a phone book/yellow pages. Don't need a Kindle or other separate reader, phone reads PDFs or text docs, has a rudimentary office app. Don't need a radio, Pandora app brings in free internet radio arranged in "stations" I set up the parameters for. On long drives, I've had the phone plugged in for power and audio (2009 Scion has an audio connection) and run Pandora and Navigator at the same time. Navigator breaks in on the music with voice directions as needed. Also has real time traffic info, don't need the radio for that either. MP3 player, stay abreast with construction industry podcasts.
    I use a tablet for inspections, 12Mp camera, but the phone backs up my flashlight, audio recorder, camera, and now level thanks to this thread.
    Still learning new uses for this, if they get any more complex, the learning curve will exceed the 2 year contract!


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: Smart Phone use on Inspections

    In the old days I might once in a while forget an address or have a page missing in my map book.
    Not sure how many times the phone number was not where I thought it was but with Android everything syncs up to help me run my business.

    When I schedule a client I simply type all the info into my Google calendar and the address info automatically links up to the internet so I can go straight to the listing or see my driving route.
    I paste info straight into my Gmail and send the confirmation where all my contacts and clients are searchable with a few keystrokes.
    Who even needs file cabinets anymore.

    My paid for software all syncs up with my Google calendar and email also so if I ever get caught off line it is still there.
    I find it funny how these guys come on here almost bragging that they are still in the dark ages and wonder if they are also still using paper and pencil checklist reports with carbon paper.

    I had one of these guys talk about how my GPS would not get his address correct when at the NACHI Chicago chapter meeting last night so I simply spoke into my phone and had a satellite view of his home in seconds.

    Nobody can be forced to learn but they will almost certainly be left behind.

    Even my mother is trying to learn and now goes on faceboook all the time to catch up on news as she was wondering why nobody writes any more.


  13. #13
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Smart Phone use on Inspections

    I have a radio in my vehicle. I punch the address into the navigator when I get in the vehicle. I have the clients text the name and address to me.

    It sure sounds like fun but when I am driving I am not going to be messing with anything. As far as phone numbers? I cannot think of a time I had to get one while driving. Realtors and all pertinent contacts are in my address book on my phone. Again it sounds like a lot of fun but I already have all the toys at home. I have a TV with all the stations. All the xbox and such I could stand. A computer to look up anything I want with me or at home. I can take pics with my cell and use the built in light for a flashlight if needed but have maybe used that twice in the past couple years. Don't need a recorder. I had one for a while years ago and stopped using it years ago.

    Like I said this is not a dinosaur deal. All the goodies one already has at home or in a vehicle is plenty to work or travel with. If I wanted to read a book I would certainly get something a bit bigger than an iPhone and such like a color nook. If not for the color I like the Sony reader better. At least I can get a book size book and you can increase or decrease the text size.

    Email on my phone would not be remotely needed by me. I do not have to or are not that desperate that I had to send an email or read them until I get home. Taht instantaneous is not needed in the slightest. If someone shoots an email when I get home (not pull over to the side of the road) I pull it up and send a confirmation to them. Besides, when I talked to them it was the confirmation. I don't need another one but send it off to them anyway. After all, we already agreed I was doing the inspection. Need more info on a past inspection for a client....sure...when I get home.

    This is one of those items that could be, can be , maybe, kinda sort, neat, cool, keen, helpful at times etc etc etc but at 150.00 after fees just for my cell phone. I just cannot justify it.

    Again, nothing to do with dinosaurs. As an inspector I already live and die by the phone. I don't need to literally "need to live and die by my phone". Staring into a little rectangle every idle second of my life is not something I need or desire. Life already goes by to fast. Absolute instantaneous everything cannot be healthy for anyone. Every younger friend of mine with kids or even my nieces or nephews stare into that foolish triangle and get completely consumed by it. It is hype at it's best. They add all these wonderful goodies so it does consume you and everyone tied to you. Next time you folks go anywhere, Walmart, movies, JC Penny, restaurants etc etc look around. Everyone is walking and talking and answering texts, playing games, making a list and checking it twice.....when does it end.

    Just my opinion. No dinosaurs. I have all the toys I need and I feel they are just one more toy...............that consumes the owner. Kinda like waking up, turning on the television and staring into it all day until it is time to go to sleep and waking in the middle of the night to turn it off because you fell asleep with it on only to wake up to turn it back on to stare at it all day until it is time to go to sleep.

    Anyways, enough of the rant. I am just thankful I did a few inspections this week and certainly hope to get many more before the end of the month. \

    All the best to you folks (damn toy users )

    I think I will go play some black Ops on a large screen tele thru the xbox


  14. #14
    Deck Expert's Avatar
    Deck Expert Guest

    Post Re: Smart Phone use on Inspections

    I bought a Droid X a couple months ago. I am a better contractor with it than I was when I didn't own one. It's not a phone, but a mini computer. It happens to make phone calls well, a bonus that my laptop does not do without a lot of fuss.

    My documents are all up on Dropbox, which syncs my info onto the cloud from my laptop, (now sitting on my desk, so it's now a desktop). My Droid allows me to view, edit, sync, email and anything else I need to do with my documents while in the field. Client needs a change order for work? No problem, create change order, send doc by Bluetooth to print it to my HP bluetooth printer mounted in the truck.

    My telephones are now set up through Google voice. I got a free phone number for my Los Angeles clients to call in on, and I have full free control of my cell, fax, landlines and all calls going to voice mail get recorded sent to me as a translated into type email, and I now have all voice mail calls saved into the job file. That becomes legal evidence in the case of a suit...

    Google handles my email account with my Bill@centralcoastwaterproofing.com account seamlessly integrated into their GMail. I have a free google apps set up where everything I need is quickly available from my Droid.

    Job inspections, job notes, etc are all on Checklist, attaching pics to a job defect notice, easy...

    Evolve and prosper...hey, look out sonny, here comes one of dem damn iron horses!

    Life is better with a Droid than without.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Green Lane, PA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Smart Phone use on Inspections

    I just got the Droid too. Smart-phone? YES! Smarter than me, I'm still navigating but it's way useful if for nothing else than getting e-mails while I'm on the road.


  16. #16
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Smart Phone use on Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Deck Expert View Post
    I bought a Droid X a couple months ago. I am a better contractor with it than I was when I didn't own one. It's not a phone, but a mini computer. It happens to make phone calls well, a bonus that my laptop does not do without a lot of fuss.

    My documents are all up on Dropbox, which syncs my info onto the cloud from my laptop, (now sitting on my desk, so it's now a desktop). My Droid allows me to view, edit, sync, email and anything else I need to do with my documents while in the field. Client needs a change order for work? No problem, create change order, send doc by Bluetooth to print it to my HP bluetooth printer mounted in the truck.

    My telephones are now set up through Google voice. I got a free phone number for my Los Angeles clients to call in on, and I have full free control of my cell, fax, landlines and all calls going to voice mail get recorded sent to me as a translated into type email, and I now have all voice mail calls saved into the job file. That becomes legal evidence in the case of a suit...

    Google handles my email account with my Bill@centralcoastwaterproofing.com account seamlessly integrated into their GMail. I have a free google apps set up where everything I need is quickly available from my Droid.

    Job inspections, job notes, etc are all on Checklist, attaching pics to a job defect notice, easy...

    Evolve and prosper...hey, look out sonny, here comes one of dem damn iron horses!

    Life is better with a Droid than without.

    Good for you

    If I were still contracting (which I am thinking more and more lately about getting back into) I can see a tremendous use as you pointed out.


  17. #17
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Smart Phone use on Inspections

    Update ..... so,my contract was up and it was time for a new phone. I wound up with the HTC lbspire. Great phone and after beating ATT up I got the phone and package I wanted. Great deal and very useful. And I can send this message from the phone. Among other things. One thing the phone does is light up an attic with a seriously bright flash light.


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