ScanBot The Best Scanning App

ScanBot is a very useful App if you manage any business processes and activities. Even if you have a scanner and even if it’s one of those good ones that will fax the scanned document for you, I still use ScanBot. It’s probably ideal for students too that might want to grab an electronic copy of documents they’re given, exam papers or notes.

I tried the free version first, click/tap below or search for ScanBot and you’ll see the standard version and the Pro version. The free version was impressive and I was happy to pay for the Pro version, it’s been so useful even at home when you have those tasks that need a document signed and scanned and sent.

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You can link it to iCloud or DropBox so the scans get saved there automatically, it works perfectly, I use DropBox. I typically use ScanBot on my iPhone and then sit at my computer and craft the email, drag the scanned document into the email and send it off. You can even change the file name in the App, rotate scans if necessary. It’s way more powerful than I need and everything I need is there.

I completely recommend this if you ever scan anything, it’s brilliant.

ScanBot

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App Store Update Improvement

I install a lot of apps. Hundreds per year, just to check them out and often delete them after trying them but sometimes I let them stay thinking that I may try them again at some stage. I rarely do try them again.

My phone and iPad say I have 505 apps but I’m not sure if that means on the device or in total ever purchased or installed for free, either way it’s a fair amount.

I used to let my devices update apps automatically but turned that off as I like to see what is being updated, it prompts me to maybe use an app again that I have not thought of for some time, see what has been updated.

My App Store update improvement idea is to allow the swipe left to display a delete option to exist. If there’s an app update available for an app I simply do not use, it would be very convenient to be able to swipe left and delete it. It would be even better if the update display showed the date of the last time you used that app.


Mac App Store Says Updates Available But None Are Showing

I had two Macs I wanted to update with the latest 10.2 MacOS Sierra, one of them, a Mini, was fine, everything was displayed as expected in the Mac App Store but my MacBook Pro said there were 9 updates available but when I went into the Updates section, top right icon, there were no updates showing.

So, if you have this issue where the Mac App Store says updates are available but none are showing, this is what worked for me.

I clicked on the Purchased icon, second top right, and scrolled through the list looking for apps with a status of Update. You might see Download and Install but don’t do that, at least not now, they’re not the ones you need.

Once I had clicked on Update on all those showing and they had downloaded and updated, I clicked on Updates in the top right hand corner again, and the MacOS update was showing. Hopefully everything is back to normal and hopefully this helps you.


Gene Effect

This game brings back some wonderful memories of my first play through. It was Christmas holidays here in Australia and we were staying in a reasonably remote area, so there was no internet. Fortunately, Gene Effect by Lightstorm3D  worked fine without internet so it was my go-to game for that holiday period.

First released in 2012 and last updated in January 2014 I’m really pleased to see it is still working on iOS 10 some 20 months after it’s last update. I think the jukebox may not be working, you get access to jukebox tracks as you progress through the levels, but when I tried to play them on the iPad nothing much was happening. I remember corresponding with the developers some time ago so I’ll write to them again and see if they can update the game as I’m keen to play through it all over again.

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So what’s to like? Easy gameplay is what I appreciate the most about Gene Effect, you go left, right, up and down. You have a Repulsor to destroy rocks and enemies and there are some missiles you can acquire and fire to help your progress.

I love the sound effects also, great sci-fi type sounds, classics and perfect for the game. You’re in command of a mining vessel basically and you’re mining an alien world, deep in their caves. There are some nasty plants and strong wind tunnels that make it hard to navigate without hitting the cave walls, which will zap your energy, so be careful.

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I’m not sure what the Apple App Store cost is as I already had the game installed and I can’t see what the price is, but it’s about $5 USD on the Google Play Store so I imagine it’s about the same on Apple’s.

If you enjoy an atmospheric game that won’t take years to complete or thousands of dollars in in-App purchases, then give Gene Effect a go and let me know what you think. Maybe try it over the Christmas Holidays, it’s a great App for holidays!

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Clever Sometimes One-Take Promo Videos

I had never paid much attention to Dollar Shave Club until I heard about their $1 Billion purchase by Unilever. So I checked them out and their promo video is magnificent. Which made me think about some other promo videos I had seen, some are really clever one-take efforts, like the Thank You one below, most are not one-take but they’re really clever, these are my favourites. Really proud too to have been involved in the first lot of work to create AirBolt.


Start-Up Funding Is Really Hard

We’re seeking funding for our start-up social enterprise, a FinTech solution that enables charities, not-for-profits and community groups to tap into a new source of funding.

It’s a really good idea.

Heard that before? I have. Many times. Often when I’ve heard it it’s been at some sort of start-up gathering or event. I reckon for the most part about half of the ideas I’ve heard, I have thought they were a good idea.

So that’s what happens with the investors, don’t you think? It’s so much more than that of course, you need to work out your numbers and be able to justify them, demonstrate passion and everything else. Many investors want to see that you’re already making lots of money. If  you’re not making lots of money then raising start-up funding is really hard. You need to find an Angel or a Farmer investor, one that will plant the seed and help you grow it.

It’s hard just trying to meet up with them, right? They get approached by hundreds of people with great ideas so if they don’t just ignore your approach you end up finding out that your start-up isn’t the sort of thing they’re investing in, or you’re too early, or what ever else it may be.

So what to do? Crowd Funding? I’m not convinced this is the right way yet, it’s powerful and has worked for many products, but does having hundreds or thousands of investors in your business really work?

There is no convenient answer but I love great ideas and I’d love to hear from any readers who have a great idea, I wonder if we can share our start-up plans and get some honest feedback, help, direction? Is there an opportunity for us to create a cooperative here and help ourselves? Ready to give it a try, let me know, I’ll set up the environment for us to do so.


5 Great New Apple Products

Great and easy-read article over on Tom’s Guide.

I think the Echo killer idea is great and I’ve written about that before, I think the Apple TV or any Mac that stays at home could be the base station then we have iNodes throughout the house.

The idea of the Apple Fit device is great too, I’ve spoken about this with colleagues and friends, especially after getting the Apple Watch. I like the fitness aspects of the Apple Watch but the rest of the features are just not compelling, I’d rather wear one of my beautiful dumb watches and have an Apple Fit on my right wrist.

The Apple Protect is probably a good idea too.

I don’t care too much about a gaming Mac or a full Apple TV but I’ll probably get the latter if it arrives one day.


Apple’s Home Automation Solution, Master Siri

When Apple bring Siri to the Mac it opens up a wonderful opportunity for them to extend Siri throughout the home. Maybe they don’t even need Siri on the Mac now it’s on the Apple TV.

As long as there’s a “Master” Siri server somewhere on the home network we are ready for voice interaction in every room of the house. This brings the whole “Welcome home Greg, the children have taken the dog for a walk 12 minutes ago, they asked me to ask you what’s for dinner and message them the answer”. I think that will be awesome.

Master Siri will recognise everyone in the house. She’ll learn the noises, like the front door opening, she’ll be able to see who’s phone has connected to the home network and be pretty sure who it is. If the door opens without a phone being connected she can say “Hello, who’s come home please?” and an unrecognised voice or no answer can result in alerts and alarms as per your configuration.

Obviously we need input and output throughout the house and this is an ideal opportunity for Apple to sell many extra devices. Call them iNodes maybe, for now. They have a microphone and a speaker. I reckon they should be light globes or power point extensions, something that is always powered, no recharging or replacing batteries. Most rooms will have a light and many will have power points so you can easily put one in each room.

Imagine, that No-Toilet-Paper issue is easily solved, the child can simply say “Siri, can you ask mum to bring me some toilet paper please?” If Siri knows which room mum is in, maybe because they’ve interacted or mum’s phone is in that room, then Siri will speak through that iNode. If she doesn’t know where mum is she will do a house wide enquiry to locate mum and deliver the message. If there’s no response Siri can ring mum on FaceTime or message her.

There’s no more screaming out that lunch is ready, you simply say “Siri, tell the kids to come and get it”. Let’s make an outdoors iNode too that can be in the yard and by the pool. Put a battery powered one in the treehouse maybe.

This would be revolutionary and would bring the Star Trek computer experience into the home, or like the smart house computer in that excellent TV series Eureka.

Even if you’re out of the house, you could say “Siri, is Johnny home from school?” And get the answer and follow up with “if he’s not in his room please tell him to go there now and get on with his homework”.

As we connect more and more devices like LIFX lights, Nest, Point and all other connected devices, the Master Siri API will allow them all to integrate directly with Siri. You won’t have to have your phone, you’ll just talk to Master Siri.

Mistress Siri?

What ever floats your boat.

I can’t wait for this!


Sniper X With Jason Statham

What a fantastic mobile game. It’s the only one that’s ever made me laugh out loud.

The graphics and game play are magnificent, it’s easy to get the hang of it and you do not need to buy anything. You can buy and I have several times especially for events and I’m happy to support the developers when they create such great work, but you don;t have to, it will just take longer and you probably won’t be able to do the whole event because it takes a long long time to build up enough gold naturally.

The most entertaining aspect is Jason Statham’s commentary, it’s hilarious and rude, so parents, take note, there are rude words in Jason’s commentary but they are well placed and very amusing.

Sniper X With Jason Statham is free to install on iOS and Android, if you enjoy a shooting game, give it a go, it’s excellent.

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Mobile Advertising Is Broken

I was prompted to write about the problem with mobile advertising after writing this. Mobile advertising is broken and there’s a great opportunity there for someone to do something better. Hey Apple.

I’m fine with watching Ads in games and elsewhere on my iPhone and iPad, in fact I’ve discovered some great Apps, games and others from the advertising. A lot of the Ads are even better than the games, and Mobile Strike is a great example of this. They have Arnold Schwarzenegger in their Ads and the graphic effects in their Ads are far better than the graphics in the App itself. I’m happy to see good quality Ads and often.

The problem is, the Ads repeat, they show even if I have installed the App and this would not be hard to fix.

Don’t serve me an Ad for an App I have on my phone. If necessary, record my usage and serve it to me if I am not using it reasonably frequently but don’t waste your money serving me Ads for an App I have or for an App I will never install.

In addition to the Close and Replay buttons that come up at the end of the Ad, give us a Not Interested button, this will allow different Ads to be served to me and maybe I actually see something I’d like to install and the advertiser can make some money instead of blowing it on wasted Ads.

Just a thought.