I've always been a fan of using technology. I've reported in the past about switching from paper and tape appraisal inspections to laser and pocket pc or tablet pc. Taking the leap from one to the other takes a little getting used to, but if you ease into, it will take forever to get the hang of it and reap the benefits.
Last month A la mode released a new version of their appraisal software that works on the iPhone. it's still in beta testing right now, so it's not perfect. That said, I've tried it out on several inspections with mixed results. I've lost some inspection notes and sketches during the inspection...I've learned to back up on paper right now, but other inspections have gone well.
I'm trying the software out on small vacant homes right now because of the couple of problems I've encountered; I use a tablet on all other inspections. However, the potential for this software to save time is great. There are some fantastic features built into this software: take photos with the phone and have them appear in the right spot in the final report; take photos of each room and add notes; sketch with your finger; add notes to rooms labeled on the sketch; add comps on the fly; pull a subject map; record voice notes; free-form notepad; ability to email a PDF of the sketch and all inspection notes; and best of all sync back to your desktop application from the field with an iPhone. The application will work with an iPod Touch, but you lose some of the features if out of WiFi range.
The potential for this application is great. Sending your inspection notes back to the office from the field for a secretary to start typing is great!
A la mode is working on some bug fixes and enhancements already. The full version should be released within the next couple of weeks.
Best of all the application is free, even if you don't use WinTotal. Just email a pdf of your inspection notes back to yourself. You can even copy high resolution photos right from the PDF.
I'll post some updates when the full version and syncing are released.
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