Android Mobile Phone

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I’m disheartened to hear stats on President Obama’s “Making Home Affordable” program. So far it doesn’t look like the program is working very well (at all). A CNN article last week stated ”The administration projected that between half and three-quarters of applicants would have new mortgages at this point. As of the end of November, the number is 4.3 percent.” That’s not good.

In light of this less-than-wonderful news, I thought it would be interesting to use the “Obama Cam” app on my mobile phone to snap a few images of some local REO and Short Sale properties in the Sacramento area. The “Obama Cam” application overlays an image of President Obama (17 to choose from) on any picture taken with my mobile phone (an Android G1).

These images are in no way meant to belittle the President, make a political statement for any political party, or even rant about the Making Home Affordable program. There is actually a deep element here for me since the shots juxtapose governmental programs with real life local distressed properties. I’m reminded of the ever-present struggle in today’s economy for so many households, that recovery is going to take a long time, and also that good intentions in Washington DC do not necessarily translate to good results on “Main Street”.






What do these images evoke in you? Why is the “Making Home Affordable” program not yet working as it should? Please give your two cents and feel free to share your experience. By the way, do you have an app like this on your phone? Your comments are welcome below. ”Obama Cam” Photos in Sacramento


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It’s hard to imagine doing business without a smart phone these days. I feel like I can leave the office and yet stay in constant communication with clients, while having incredibly useful techie business tools at my disposal. It’s like my six year old says, my phone is “Daddy’s small computer”.

I currently use Google’s Android phone, and as a real estate appraiser I find the following apps most useful for me:

googlemaps-smGoogle Maps: Hands down, this is one of the most useful tools for me while I’m on the road. I have leaned on this app many times for GPS location, directions, and finding different routes to navigate.

Google Voice: It’s still amazing to me that I can talk into my phone and Google_Voice_Searchfind search results based on what I say.  This helps me find what I need and drive more “hands free”. I’ve used this tool to find phone numbers, addresses, and other needed information while on the road.

voicerecorder-smVoice Recorder: This is a great little app. I can record a digital note to myself and store it on my phone or email it. I can even send audio notes to a client if need be.

Translator: It’s great to be able to find certain words if I need to use them during an inspection. I speak basic Spanish and I’m always saying things like: “Hola, como estas? Me llamo Ryan” translate 1or “Tienes perros en su yarda?” But sometimes I might need a certain word translated to help communication flow even better. The one big downfall with any translation tool though is you could end up saying something insulting if the tool doesn’t work right (hasn’t happened to me yet).

snapphoto-smCamera: I don’t know that my camera is technically considered an app, but it has saved me countless times when my handheld ran out of batteries. It’s also handy to email photos to clients during inspections if there are certain issues they should be aware of.

app-BFj_csTwitterRide: This is the best Android app for Twitter and it’s handy to tweet from the road and send messages back and forth.

facebook_48Facebook for Android: Honestly, I’m not too impressed with the Android’s Facebook apps, but this one has been mostly okay for me. Once I needed to get a Listing Agent’s phone number while at a property, but the only problem was that I did not know the agent’s name. I put up a quick “help me” status on Facebook and then local Realtor Erin Attardi saw the post and got me what I needed (now I know I can access a PDA link that Metrolist launched in 2009).

imagesCAQKRR31Others: There are some other apps I use from time to time like the flashlight and bubble level, but the ones I use most frequently are listed above. And of course the Star Wars light saber has been a strong defense when dealing with unexpected squatters in REO properties.

What phone apps do you use? What type of business are you in and what apps help you get things done throughout your business day? What phone apps do you use for business?


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