All posts by Ross Cohen

Inside the Making of Our New Apple Watch App

By Ross Cohen, COO of BeenVerified:

One of the things I’m most proud of as a co-founder of BeenVerified is the opportunity our company provides its employees to constantly grow their skills in new areas. An obvious recent example of this is the effort that went into the design and launch of the BeenVerified app for Apple Watch, which involved designing a new app from scratch for a brand new platform.

While the project provided some unique challenges, I felt there were also some amazing opportunities for our development team, including the opportunity to visit the Apple Campus in Cupertino. Our team was one of just 500 developers invited to test their app at Apple’s Watch development lab.

BeenVerified visited the Apple Campus in Cupertino as part of developing the Watch app.
BeenVerified visited the Apple Campus in Cupertino as part of developing the Watch app.

We asked our engineers who worked on the app about their successes, challenges and favorite features to come out of the BeenVerified app for Apple Watch. Below are their answers:

What was the biggest challenge in developing the app?

“The biggest challenge of developing the AppleWatch app was the space constraint. The limited real estate on the screens meant that we had to keep the app to the bare minimum that the user would still love to use. On top of that, we did not have an AppleWatch to test on until the app was 90% finished which added a degree of difficulty.”

Can you talk about the process of developing the app?

“We started developing the app by experimenting how the Watch communicates with the iPhone in order for us to understand how someone can most effectively use the BeenVerified Watch app. Then we began to study what other apps for the Watch were coming up with and how we could improve our app. It was interesting to see how people were developing for hardware that they haven’t laid hands on yet. After that it was a rush to the finish by constantly iterating in order to get the app ready for release. Lots of rushing, but well worth it to be one of the first ones out the door on the new hardware.”

What is the coolest part of the app?

“The coolest part about our app is the fact that instantly after inputting a phone number, you are presented with the users info as well as their photograph. We all get so many calls on our iPhones from random numbers, but can’t look them up in time, because you can’t leave the call screen. Our app alleviates that challenge. You can now look up numbers while the phone is still ringing. It’s just a huge convenience. These days, you just never know who is calling you, and there are a lot of crazy phone scams out there. We wanted to create an app that helps people avoid these calls. This app is a big step closer to the caller ID that’s missing on the iPhone. For people who buy the Apple Watch, this is the type of app we hope that will become part of their everyday routine.”

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My co-founder and BeenVerified’s CEO, Josh Levy, put it nicely: “It was natural for us to develop an app for the Watch. We’ve built our company on offering people new and easy ways to access public data in an affordable and organized manner. And what could be easier than viewing incoming call details from your watch? We like to think that our app is one small reason the Apple Watch and wearables like it will become essential communication tools in years to come.”

We hope if and when you take the plunge and buy an Apple Watch, our app will be one of the first you go out and download. We wanted to focus on a real problem our users face and solve it with public data. This is what we’ll continue to do as new devices, platforms and products emerge.

We hope you’re as pleased with the result as we are and we’re always seeking to improve with your feedback.

Reach out to us on social media with your suggestions or leave us a comment below:

Facebook.com/BeenVerified

Twitter: @BeenVerified

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What’s hiding in your background check?

 

A common use of BeenVerified.com’s background check service is the self-check. Sometimes concerned, but often just curious people will “BeenVerify” themselves to know what’s out there. Just as your doctor recommends self-examinations to monitor your physical health, so should you monitor and be aware of your online reputation. Simply put, you should know what’s in your public record.

SLC Minilypse-City Library

We’ll take a closer look at some of the following items that may show up in your own public record in future blog posts and what, if any, response might be appropriate. Here are some things you might find in your search:

1. Current and Historical Addresses  BeenVerified.com is a popular destination for those looking to update their address books. Make sure your current residence is accurately listed in case old friends want to get back in touch. If you’re a homeowner, you may want to ensure your home’s vital statistics are listed accurately to ensure the correct value.

2. Criminal Records  We’ve covered how to interpret and understand criminal records in detail in the past. If you have a criminal record, there are ways to present yourself in the best possible light as we will examine in a future post. And remember, employers are barred from using BeenVerified to screen for employment or tenancy by the Fair Credit and Reporting Act (FCRA).

3. Bankruptcies, tax liens and civil judgments All three of these events can appear in your public record. It’s important these events are updated to reflect current realities of your situation. For example, an unpaid tax lien can appear on your public record for ten years after the fact and affect credit decisions for years later. If there is an inaccuracy in your public record, then you should dispute it and get it corrected.

4. Social media accounts  You may not be overly concerned if your primary social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter show up as part of your public record, as they are usually intentionally left public. But what about that old MySpace or LiveJournal account? You may decide after running a self-check that it’s time to do a social media account clean up. We’ll go into detail on some of the best ways to do that in a future post.

5. Incomplete Information  Public records do not come from one data source but disparate sources across the country from different states and municipalities. If you can’t find something you’re looking for, it may because it’s not yet been digitised. In that case, you may be interested in learning more about BeenVerified’s court runner service.

Don’t stay curious–run a background check on yourself  now with BeenVerified.com and take action if needed.

If you’ve run a check on yourself and have questions let us know in the comments section below.

Updated Intro Sharing

​New Product Update: Introducing Sharing!

​You asked, we listened! Many of our users have requested a fast and easy way to share a BeenVerified report with another person. Well, thanks to one of our expert developers, Brian, you can now share any background check with trusted friends and family at no extra cost. So, if Mom wants to see who you met online, there are several easy ways to do that through Sharing:

Continue reading ​New Product Update: Introducing Sharing!

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The Difference between Googling and a Background Check

We live in a Google society. Everyone is busy Googling other people. (Heck, Google is even considered a verb in the dictionary!) Searching people is not only acceptable in today’s culture, it is celebrated.  It has become so common place that some important ideas are often overlooked.

Search engines do a lot of things extraordinarily well, but people search is simply not one of them.  Think about it.  Search engines essentially spit back the information you are looking to verify in the first place.  If you want a more complete picture, you need access to 3rd party, objective, transparent sources that search engines simply do not provide. Can we step back and analyze this further?

Continue reading The Difference between Googling and a Background Check