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iphone

Yesterday I wrote about why you need a home inventory and a general overview of what type of information you need to include. My second passion is definitely tech and since Apple’s slogan is “There’s an App for that” I went out to find one to help me get my home inventory in order.

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Home Inventory ($4.99)

Created by Gotta Have it Software the Home Inventory app is designed to allow you to take inventory of your belongings while allowing you to sync with a free website and produce reports which you can then store for later use. Using either the iPhone interface or the accompanying website you can input and track each and every item you own.

Adding Inventory

Adding inventory is easy and can be done by starting with either the item category like furniture or electronics or the item location like bedroom or office.

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Once you have selected your starting point adding an item to the inventory is as easy as clicking the plus in the upper right corner of the app.  You are then presented with 14 fields such as make, model, serial number etc. This makes not forgetting the details a snap.

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The app allows you to include up to 9 photos per item  and uses the first photo for item identification within the inventory.

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Once you have completed the inventory and saved your items they can be synced with the servers at homeinventory.gottahaveitsoftware.com. I haven’t seen documentation on how this sync is performed or how secure the connections used to transfer your data is. Once the data has been uploaded to the server you can generate inventory reports in PDF form that you can save on your computer or print out. If you don’t have access to a computer to save off your reports you can still view the in App reports on your phone.

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In addition to tracking your inventory they provide the ability to also store information relating your current insurance policies.

GottaHaveIt doesn’t charge for the online storage of your data and there are no monthly subscription fees.  In all I found the interface was quite easy to use and relatively intuitive. I was able to inventory several items in my office in fairly short order. I saved time on documenting serial numbers by just photographing the panel and saving the photo as one of my nine.

Cons

My number one concern would be security. As bet as I can tell the passwords used to logon to the website are sent in clear text. Any script kiddie with 2 mintues and a Mountain Dew can snatch those bad boys right off the wire. This means the likelihood of someone gaining unauthorized access to your home inventory is greatly increased. I would much prefer to see a valid SSL certificate and encryption in place for at least the logon portion of their website.

The PDF reports generated from the website aren’t all that pretty, of course it is about utility not a beauty contest. It would be nice to see some better formatting of the reports though. Another downside to the reporting is the inability to produce a report directly from the iPhone app. You have to use their website download a copy of the report.

Overall Impression

Overall I found the app to be easy to use it increases your productivity when taking on this otherwise daunting task. The ability to take the photo’s and immediately include them in your inventory reports is a huge plus. The reports which are viewable on the iPhone are easy to read and pretty down right handy. Because of the lack of security on the website I would be wary of how much information you include until they get a little more secure system in place. Other than the security issue I think this is a great app that was worth the $4.99 I paid for it.

If you aren’t sure about using the app, you can check out the Home Inventory Lite version which will allow you full functionality for up to 10 Inventory Items.

You can buy Home Inventory online or from your phone or via the iTunes Store
Home Inventory

Disclaimer: This is not a paid review, the views expressed in this review are the actual views of the site owner and were not influenced by the promise of payment. The maintenance and continued operation of this site is supported by affiliate advertising links, including links to the iTunes store. I may receive a couple of pennies if you choose to buy this app after following one of my links. Thanks.

What do you think of this App, rate it:

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I have been using my iPhone now for a little over a week and it is by and far the most amazing piece of equipment I have ever purchased. It may not be the most necessary thing I own but it is one of those things I don’t know if I could live without now that I have had it.

Calendar (GoogleSync)

This is an obvious item included in the base iPhone you get at the store, you can add your meetings and events straight to the calendar and set reminders to pop up prior to your meeting/event. One thing I found was GoogleSync mobile. This service from Google allows you to sync your Google Calendar and your Google Contacts with your iPhone, and vice versa. As you add events to your calendar on your phone it will update on the Google Calendar. I added to this combo Google Calendar Sync which is a Windows application which syncs my Outlook calendar at work with my Google Calendar. So it moves from Outlook to Google, to Phone.

Todo (Appstore $9.99)

This is the only app I have purchased and it was worth every penny. I am a huge to do list freak, and normally I just write them down on whatever I have close to me at the time. The good thing about having this app to do it with, is that my phone is with me all the time. There are several free apps for simple to do lists but this app had some features I really liked. They allow you to create lists for your items, like home, work, web. Then within those lists you can create projects like; site redesign, networking, advertising, etc. You can easily see where you stand with overdue, and current to do’s in the base display from the app, this below shot is from my actual application on my phone.

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Evernote (Appstore Free)

If you haven’t installed and signed up for Evernote yet, you need to. That goes for everyone, not just iPhone users. This is a great note application that sync’s your notes with the Evernote website, your pc, your Mac, and your iPhone. I use Evernote to hold all of my ideas as well as any other permanent note that isn’t necessarily and actionable (todo) item. A great thing about Evernote on the iPhone is you can take a picture of a business card and add it as a note then evernote will actually make that business card searchable so you can find the text in the card.

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E-Mail

This is another one of those stock things provided with the iPhone. It is actually one of the most disappointing things on the iPhone personally. I have it set to get mail for my e-mail on this site, as well my personal Gmail account. In both instances I am limited to checking every 15 minutes because the iPhone doesn’t support the imap idle function and no one has released an affordable/free app to do pushes. You can only register one exchange account on the iPhone and currently it is dedicated to my Google sync account. Either way I love being able to respond to e-mails a little quicker no matter where I am.

Other Apps

Those are the top 4 things I couldn’t live without on my iPhone but they certainly aren’t the only things I have on it. Some of my other apps I use regularly include:

  • Tweetdeck/Twitterfon/Twitterific – I haven’t decided on my favorite iPhone Twitter app yet
  • Facebook – I actually like using this better than logging into the site.
  • Trapster – A speed trap locator app that uses user input data to alert you to nearby traffic enforcement
  • Stanza/Kindle – Both eBook readers for the iPhone. I don’t really see myself reading a lot on this little screen but they both seem to work ok
  • Documents 2 FREE – I use this little gem to read PDF’s on the go. It works great, the only thing I wish it did was save my spot

What apps do you use? Anything I should check out which I may have missed?

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