I saved the Web page shortcut to the iPhone home screen so it actually looks and is accessed just like an app, even though it is not. It works through Safari quite well.
Just a couple weeks ago, I was in my car heading back to the office when I got a text message from my office with a problem. It said the janitorial crew was there and my office was locked and so they weren’t going to clean it this week.
Well, I wanted my office cleaned! But I was still 45 minutes away. So I said, “Give me three minutes. I’ll pull over and set your key to open my office for today.” So I pulled over, took out my iPhone and gave my office staff’s key access to open my office so the crew could clean it. Problem solved.
Obviously, this is a simple problem, but nonetheless, it shows you how it can be used. I have done similar things for route keys and machine access. I’m hoping someday Videx builds an IR encoder that can connect to the iPhone via Bluetooth or wi-fi so we can actually use it to sync keys in the field too. We currently do sync keys in the field with Netbook computers, but it would be much more convenient to do so with an iPhone.
Syncing a key in the field in itself is a time and cost saving for us when there are problems. Our technicians have Netbooks issued to them and they have an IR encoder that plugs into the USB port.
If a key dies in the field, or we need to change permissions for whatever reason, we can save the effort of having the driver come back. We dispatch a tech to them and have the key renewed in the field. This has been a huge lifesaver when the drivers have been 45 to 60 minutes away, but the technicians have been much closer to them.
How to sync all devices
DropBox is something you install on your computer first. Basically it is a folder on your desktop that stays in sync across all your devices. It is like having a USB drive with files, but not requiring the physical drive. I use six computers and devices on a regular basis. Any file in that folder stays in sync across all my devices seamlessly and automatically.
While DropBox has an app for the iPhone that allows you to access all documents in that folder, I rarely use the app. Rather, they provide other apps the ability to access and upload documents to the DropBox and that is the way I use it most.
For example, I have in the DropBox every proposal I am working on, every presentation for the past few months, every important document I could possibly need in the field. Even more advanced, you can create a “briefcase” in the DropBox folder (using Windows technology) to sync files in the DropBox from across the internal network. In other words, you don’t need the original file there.
I use OneNote to take notes on my iPhone. The OneNote app syncs over the air with OneNote on my computer so it is a really nice and seamless way to keep the notes synchronized. OneNote allows me to insert pictures in-line with the notes, so it is much better than the default Notes app.
There are two regular uses for me. First, as all the brokers that visit me know, I take all my meeting notes on the device. To speed up note taking, I use a Bluetooth keyboard. When the brokers show me new products, I take pictures of them with my iPhone. I also take pictures of brochures, pre-order forms, and promotion flyers. I like to keep all information in one place.
When I’m done, by the time I head to my computer, all the information is there. I then can send my notes to anyone else in the company via email. Another neat feature of OneNote on the computer is that it can even search text-in images.
The other way I use OneNote is when I am doing site visits for new or prospective customers. I can track all my notes and take pictures of machines and locations. It works out very well.
We have a digital video surveillance system in our facility. With GView, I can access the cameras with my iPhone and iPad and view them in real time.
With our system, I can even set certain cameras to run on motion-detect and notify me. If anyone enters the cashroom (which has limited access through the CyberAudit system) I can immediately get notified on my iPhone with an email stating someone entered and it attaches three pictures taken about a second apart so I can see who it is!