Four Ways Home Inspectors Can Get More From iPhones

Tap Inspect is only as good as the device home inspectors run it on. If you’re troubleshooting with your iPhone, these tricks can help. From quick reboots to energy-saving strategies, here’s how to get the most out of your Apple device:

If Your Device or App Is Stuck

A speedy reboot might help. Holding down the home button and the power button at the same time can reset your device without a trip to the genius bar. This video from shows you exactly how:


If You’re Running Out of Battery

One of the major criticisms of the iOS 7 operating system is it drains the phone battery like vampires to fresh blood. Luckily there are several easy peasy ways to nip that in the bud. The fastest and simplest way to retain more battery life longer is to disable the “Background App Refresh” function. Unlike older operating systems, iOS 7 keeps apps open so you can flip from one app to another with ease. The problem is that running multiple apps at one takes energy. To close extraneous apps, push the “Settings” button, then hit “General.” From there, tap the “Background App Refresh” button and slide the “On” bar to “Off.”

Another simple way to save your battery is by reducing the brightness of your screen. Head to “Settings” and click “Wallpapers & Brightness.” From there, you can turn off the “Auto-Brightness” function and slide the Brightness meter down a few notches to conserve power.


If Your Camera is Too Slow

Try using iOS 7’s “burst mode” wherein you can take rapidfire pics without lifting a finger. To activate burst mode, just open up your camera app, focus on your photo object, and hold down the white photo button. The camera will automatically start taking photo after photo of whatever you’re focusing on. This video from OfficialSoftModder will show you how:

An added bonus of iOS 7 is that you don’t have to unlock your phone to open your camera. Instead of punching in your password, tap the camera icon in the lower right hand corner of your screen and swipe up. The camera will pull up automatically.


If You Keep Running Out of Data

Hat tip to iOS Soft Modder for this one. Keep tabs on how much data each individual application is using by tapping “Settings,” then “Cellular.” Scroll down and you’ll see a list of your apps as well as info on how much data each app has used since you installed iOS 7. If you want to track how much data you’re using per app in a given time frame, hit the “Reset Statistics” button at the bottom of the page.


What We’re Downloading: Apps for Home Inspectors

In addition to being home inspectors, we’re also unabashed app-heads at Tap Inspect. In addition to doing home inspections by phone, we’re constantly checking out new ways to streamline all of the other aspects our business on mobile devices. This month, we’re checking out four business apps and we’ll report back on our experiences next month. If you’ve used any of these or think there’s an app we’ve just got to check out, let us know in the comments.



Our blog, website and social networks keep us connected to the Tap Inspect community (that’s you!), so any app that promises to help us stay on top of our online presence piques our interest. This free app, powered by Google Analytics, is designed to not only help  keep track of who’s been to your site, how long they stayed and what your fans are connecting with; it also purports to keep entrepreneurs connected to their viewership goals and subscriptions.



One of the most time-consuming, gut-wrenching aspects of being an entrepreneur is sifting through write-off receipts at the end of the year. This fa-fa-fa-free app allows you to take a photo of any receipt under $75 you plan to write off and store it online along with information on why it’s a write-off. You can also sync it to credit cards and bank accounts to make end of the year organization a bit easier. (Hat tip to Yahoo! Finance for helping us find this one).



Yes, a great GPS system will get you from Point A to B, but even the best often don’t take factors like accidents, environmental hazards and surprise traffic into consideration. Enter Waze, an app that lets you know what users already on your route are watching out for. The app purports to provide info ranging from hidden speed cameras to the cheapest gas stations, making it perfect for home inspectors tackling a geographically heavy day.


Over the next month, we’ll be testing and reporting back on how we felt each app enhanced or hindered our business. Do you have any experience with these apps? If so, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.

App-solute Power: Apps Home Inspectors Should Use

You’re already doing home inspection reports by phone (Thanks Tap Inspect!), but these apps can take it to the next level. Here are four apps that will transform your cell or iPad into a company command center.

Tap Inspect allows you to import photos from an inspection into your report, but this iPad app provides editing and annotation features that allow you to show clients exactly what they should notice in the photo. Free and simple to use, Skitch is an easy way to add those arrows and circles your clients love that point out the mold lurking in the bottom lefthand corner of your photograph.

Cost: Free!

You can complete a home inspection report on the job site. You should be able to get paid there too. This app for the iPhone and iPad allows you to create customized company invoices (complete with your logo and everything) that can be shown to your customers or e-mailed to them directly. Customers who want to pay on the spot can do that too since Invoice2Go can connect with any PayPal account. A double bonus is that the program will also automatically sync to your desktop computer, creating a backup of your invoices just in case anything happens to your cell or iPad.

Cost: $10.49 for the basic app.

The inspection’s done; now it’s time to get paid. With Square, home inspectors can process Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover credit cards by phone without leaving the job site. Funds will be deposited into your business account within 24 hours. To get going, inspectors need to sign up for a free cell-ready credit card reader here, then head to the app store to download the app for their iPhone or iPad.

Cost: The apps are free, but the processing isn’t. Square charges 2.75 percent per transaction every time you accept a credit card payment by swiping. Transactions that are manually entered into the phone will cost a 3.5 percent plus a 15 cent fee.

Chase Quick Deposit
There are lots of arguments to be made about why small business owners should avoid big banks like the plague, but Chase offers one super sexy incentive for business owners on the go (ahem: inspectors). With Chase Quick Deposit, inspectors with iPhones and iPads can make deposits into their bank accounts by simply taking two photos of a check with their cell phone. No more rushing to the bank. No more crossing your fingers that your lockbox/glove compartment/home safe doesn’t get broken into. In addition to Quick Deposit, the company also offers online billpay by phone and the ability to check bank balances and transfer funds with your cell.

Cost: Quick Deposit is free for Chase users with a personal checking account. For small business owners who need to make several deposits of multiple checks per month, the company provides an at-home check scanner for a minimal fee.


This article originally ran in our Tap Inspect newsletter. To sign up for our mailing list, click the “Join Our Mailing List” button to the right.