Faxing stuff: apparently still a thing

Last Monday was my birthday, and I took a personal day to go downtown and enjoy my favorite NYC cheesesteak.  While relishing my sandwich, I couldn’t help but overhear a group of guys talking at the next table.

“I mean, who sends a fax anymore?” one of the young men asked his group.

As they went on talking, I was able to figure out that they were a film crew.  Apparently, in the course of their current shoot one of them needed to send a fax on the fly. They met with some difficulty, since they couldn’t find a Kinko’s or other available fax machine that they could use.

Being nosy and alone, I helpfully chimed in with some information about the eFax site, which I’ve used to send digital faxes.  However, I wish that at the time I’d known about the eFax iPhone app, because I would definitely have recommended it to them.  It’s great – a straightforward business proposition that takes faxing into the mobile productivity era.

This simple app would have probably been perfect for our friends in the sandwich shop.  Some sophisticated business users may have found it too simplistic, but luckily eFax has responded by announcing today that users can now integrate digitized signatures into documents for fax and email. The free app can now e-sign, authorize and approve documents right from your iPhone.

As if it’s not enough that you can now receive, endorse, and return documents when you’re miles away from your desk, they’ve also added some nifty sorting and searching features for folks with lots of documents to fax.  I also like the smart integration with the phone’s contact list that allows you to easily populate a cover page with your intended recipient’s information.

Although an app like this is not as entertaining as playing Temple Run, the value of managing your faxes from your handheld likely sounds very sexy to some business folks.

TripIt 3.0 Update for iOS let’s you see “What’s Next”

I’m a pretty big fan of the TripIt service on the web and for mobile devices. Forwarding travel confirmations to TripIt and having it automagically build my travel itinerary is just flippin’ genius. So I thought I should clue you in on the latest update to the iOS app.

TripIt has updated its travel dashboard to give you a quick outlook on your TripIt account activity & future plans.

– What’s next lets you see your immediate upcoming travel plans

– Trips lets you see all of your trip activity

– Network gives you an idea of what the people you share TripIt info with are doing including letting you know if anyone in your network is currently in your area.

– If you’re a TripIt Pro subscriber, Points lets you keep track of all the rewards information you have synced with your account. Read More

Financial Management on the Go with Freshbooks and ReportAway! app for BlackBerry

Do or Die, I love the cloud. The reason being is that all of my gadgets can access information I store in the cloud. One of the services I use to manage client financial information is FreshBooks. I can manage clients and projects, track time spent on jobs, and create invoices and whole host of features I can’t begin to mention. More importantly, FreshBooks ties into my other financial software services (also cloud), and I can download apps that I can use to access and manage FreshBooks account information from my smartphone.

I’ll give you another little tid-bit about me – Even though I am an Apple supporter (I’m too grown to be anybody’s fanboy), I really want BlackBerry to come out on the other side of this “funk” they are in. So when I found out that ReportAway! offers BlackBerry users access to their FreshBooks account, I made sure to spread the news.

Similar to MiniBooks for FreshBooks for iOS, ReportAway! for BlackBerry smartphones allows you to create invoices and track time to your FreshBooks account. Read More

New Send To Kindle App for PC

When I bought an Amazon Kindle Fire for my wife, the setup procudure included creating an email address for her Kindle. I thought to myself “Why do I need an email address for a Kindle?” Unbeknownst to me, in order to get actual personal documents on a Kindle other than the Fire that can receive docs via mobile apps, the best way was to send the doc via email – The Kindle did the rest.

Amazon has stepped up its game and has released a Send to Kindle PC application that lets users “right-click” documents to send them directly to their Kindle. Additionally, you can highlight multiple files to send at once, and if you’re currently viewing a document, you can print to your Kindle as well – Similar to how Adobe Acrobat installs a virtual printer that lets you print to PDF.

Right now, the application is free, but only available on PC with Mac support coming soon. So, if you are viewing a document on your PC that you know you want to view while you’re on the go, sending an email to yourself is so last year (or thereabouts). Try the Send to Kindle app and let us know what you think in the comments section.

Official Hotmail App for Kindle Fire

I am making sure to keep my eyes peeled and ears to the ground on any Kindle Fire apps that help with productivity. For those of you still hanging on to your Hotmail account, Microsoft has adapted the Hotmail app for Android to work on the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Yes, the native Kindle email app can download your email, but the new Hotmail app you can sync all your mail, contacts, folders, and subfolders via the more robust Exchange Active Sync protocol according to the Inside Windows Live Blog. In other words, whatever you’re working on in the Hotmail app (updating contacts, or performing triage on your inbox) gets synced with all your devices attached to your account and online. Read More

Notification Control Provides One Place To Change Email Notifications

Every time you sign up for yet another web service or social network, you have to decide what email notifications you want to receive. At first you think “I want all the emails because you guys rawk!” As time goes on you say to yourself “All these email notifications are getting on my last nerve!” Going to each service to adjust your notifications can prove to be a time-suck. Setting up filter, after filter, after filter in your email inbox may force some emails you actually want to get lost in the shuffle.

With Notification Control, you can adjust your settings from a number of services all in one location.

The cool thing about Notification Control is that you don’t have to go down the list to authorize NC to access each and every service you want to manage. If you’re already logged in to those accounts, NC will jettison you right to the correct page where you can change your settings. Read More

SugarSync Lands on Kindle Fire

It looks like the Amazon Kindle Fire is getting a serious look from developers, as some of my favorite mobile apps are getting the Fire treatment. Next on list is the SugarSync cloud storage service that lets you choose which laptop/desktop folders you can sync to other devices and vice-versa.

The cool thing about SugarSync is once you’ve selected the files/folders you want to sync and they are in fact uploaded, you can also choose to download those files on any compatible device for access even if you are offline. Read More

LiveScribe Echo a few weeks later

A while back I wrote about my LiveScribe Echo smart-pen.  At the time, I was totally enamoured with the tool, and it was perfect for use at my job.  Now it’s a few weeks later and I’ve changed jobs, and I have to say the Echo smart-pen is just as awesome as it was when I first got it.  As a matter of fact, I’ve found a great new use for the pen.

First of all, the device has held up really well.  After weeks of daily use, it looks and functions like new.  The capacity is impressive, since I still haven’t come close to filling the 8 gig limit of this pen and I’ve already logged quite a bit of Pencast footage on it. Read More

TripIt Travel App Lands on Kindle Fire

One of my concerns for the new Amazon Kindle Fire is (or was) “will it have enough apps?” Reason being, the Android platform is kind of fragmented across all of the different device manufacturers and carriers who use the platform to add their own spin on a mobile products. Throw in Amazon, who not only completely strips Android down to its nuts and bolts to create its own tablet, but also create another Android app store for consumers (and developers) to scratch their heads at, and you’ve got a recipe for distaster.

From the looks of it, the Amazon Kindle Fire is pretty hot device, and as a result, hasn’t have any problems proving its worth to consumers looking for a more fiscally responsible tablet instead of ponying up a BMW car note for an iPad. Plus they’ve found plenty of mobile app developers looking to been seen on as many devices as possible.

Case in point, I wrote last week about the Documents To Go app being available on the Fire, possibly making you more productive on a tablet that was primarily designed to browse and consume content from the Amazon ecosystem. I just got word that the popular TripIt travel app is landing on the Fire, giving users more control over their travel plans as well. Read More

Cluzee? It’s snoozy.

Since the debut of Siri, the voice-controlled virtual assistant included with the iPhone 4S, there has been a race to offer the same capability on Android devices.  The latest attempt, Cluzee, seems to be creating buzz as an app that might equal (or even surpass) Siri’s offerings.  However, can Cluzee really surpass Apple’s electronic Jeeves?

The buzz around Cluzee is due to the fact that it offers a few flashy features that Siri doesn’t, like providing driving suggestions for the locations of upcoming calendar appointments. Cluzee also provides the standard range of personal assistant magic tricks, including a list of “essentials”, “local search”, a “personal day planner”, “personal health planner”, and “personal radio”.   Read More