While the iPhone won’t actually let you insert a check into the device – that will probably never happen – USAA will soon let you make a deposit of sorts. And the best part is that you won’t even have to send the actual check to the bank.
USAA, which is a privately held bank and insurance company, is introducing an interesting twist on mobile banking. The company is updating its iPhone app, which would allow customers to photograph each side of the check with the iPhone’s camera, hit send and a deposit is made. Everything will then be handled electronically. But users might still want to hang on to the check.
And since this could open the door to fraud, USAA is only going to offer this to customers who are eligible for credit and have some type of insurance through the company. However, at present about 60 percent of the bank’s customers would actually qualify. The reason for the move to this form of deposit is simple, unlike Chase or Citibank, which each seem to have branches everywhere, USAA has a single branch in San Antonio.
At this point, it doesn’t look like other banks will follow suit just yet, but in time it might be as easy as snapping a picture to deposit a check. Now if only the iPhone could dispense cash like an ATM…
Sling on This App
This week the SlingPlayer version 1.1 app was submitted to Apple, and hopefully should be released soon. It would provide true 16×9 widescreen support for viewing of video contact from the service, and support for the DISH Network, which will likely include a native browser for Slingbox users. This would allow road warriors to see the actual TV guide instead of just a picture of the guide, something that could be very helpful for remotely programming your DISH Network DVR! The other rumblings are that the app might stream video directly to the handset via the iPhone’s 3G data connection, but only outside the United States.
Old School Gamers Get App
Considering that there is no shortage of major geeked-out events throughout the year, you’d think there would be more apps for mobile designed for these. Events such as the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the annual video game industry trade show, or the massive International Comic Con, which just took place in San Diego, attract massive amounts of people who would be the core audience for show apps.
First, the attendees are typically younger (or at least young at heart), and second they are usually quick to adapt to new technology. But strangely this year, the killer app for the geek crowd was aimed at another crowd entirely. This year the show promoters of Gen Con hobby gamers convention, which again is being held in downtown Indianapolis this week and weekend, are providing attendees with the ability to download a free digital guide to the convention for the Apple iPhone or iPod Touch.
This is notable, because unlike E3 or the consumer-friendly E for All video game convention (also to be held in Los Angeles this coming October), Gen Con (or the Best Four Days in Gaming as it is known) is actually a fairly low-tech event. Instead of massive amounts of video games, computer monitors and the latest high-tech way to play, Gen Con is actually about paper, dice and board games!
However, in its 42nd year this classic conference is trying to be a bit more high tech. A major benefit to an app like this is that many show programs are out of date by the time the show launches. These free paper program books, whether for conventions or trade shows, have to be printed weeks in advance. With an app it can be updated as needed!
After Hours Gaming App of the Week:
Civilization Revolution – Even if you can’t make it to Indianapolis for some old school board games, this app will have you conquering the world. Better than Risk, this one lets you guide your world power through the ages from Stone to Space. Available for $9.99 for the iPhone and iPod Touch, this one is based on the PC classic, and has the streamlined gameplay of the console version. It features 16 playable civilizations, multiple difficulty levels and integrated tutorial. You will start small with limited technology and must explore, expand and even exploit a bit to advance through the ages. Becoming civilized is easy enough, but building a civilization that will stand the test of time, that’s quite a challenge. This one is available now from the Apple App Store.
Check back next week for the latest from the world of mobile apps.