I can remember back in the dim and distant past when all my old mobile phone could do was make calls and send texts. To make a call you had to punch the numbers in from memory until such time as the manufacturers created the magical address book.  With the advent of smartphones, there is now a veritable torrent of dialling related apps and services that have revolutionised the way we contact and interact with people.

I was a firm favourite of Contacts+ until I discovered the drag n drop world of Drupe and I switched allegiance. I know, I am a fickle bastard! Then Srinath Rajaram came along asking for me to take a look at Rolo. On its website, the developer states: Rolo is an app that helps you track and  follow­-up with your clients, vendors & friends. Even if you have 1000s of clients & make 100s of calls, you’ll remember everything.”

That’s a tall claim, but I believe that Rolo is clearly more than “just a dialler” and more of a contact management system.

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ScanbotI spend a lot of time surfing the net looking at new apps and services. I have made some appalling discoveries and some, like Todoist, that have been life changing in the way they have enhanced my personal and business activities.

Every now and again, however, one slips under the radar.  By pure chance, I was passing time in the bar of a hotel enjoying a libation or two and counter-acting the healthy activities of my wife who was having some almighty number of lotions and unguents massaged into her, when I came across a video on YouTube by Carl Pullein which I include at the bottom of this review.

Carl’s topic in this video was Scanbot, a mobile scanning service that intrigued me for the following reasons.

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Out of sheer curiosity more than anything else, I recently bought an Amazon Echo Dot with its Alexa Personal Assistant function. If you are unfamiliar with the Echo concept, it is an Artificial Intelligence tool that can carry out a wide range of tasks on your behalf when you issue spoken instructions. As a basic example, you can activate the device by the start word, usually Alexa, and then telling it to play a Spotify playlist or a single track.

Not exactly earth shattering stuff but bear with me.  As I said, I bought the device out of curiosity; after using it for two weeks I don’t know whether to be excited or scared crapless! Here’s why.

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newton emailIt is no secret that I am a big fan of the Newton email app. The metamorphosis from CloudMagic was too much for some people who were unwilling to pay the premium price for one of the slickest and powerful email clients for mobile devices.  Just as you think the service cannot get any better, the developers have come up with a swathe of improvements. The most important of these is two-step authentication, an absolute must in the era of the hack.  Setting it up is very easy and you can either use it via a SMS message to your mobile  phone or by using a series of codes that you can access and keep safe.

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I have long maintained that if an app or service is of great benefit to you, then it is worth paying for. Hell, I even wrote a post about the services I am more than happy to pay for. But there is a band of people who believe that everything they want on the net is free and their right to use as such. A case in point is CloudMagic which recently returned as Newton  with a stack of turbocharged added extras.  A typical discourse would have been:

“Wow! CloudMagic is the best free email app for Android and IoS with some fab features. It really is head and tails above anything else on the market and I cannot envisage using another mobile email solution. Great, I have just tread that CloudMagic is changing its name to Newton and will have even more great value added modules. I can’t wait.

“Hang on, they want to charge for Newton? Screw that. I am dumping this and going with Outlook. It may be crap but it’s free!”
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