Category Archives: Product Tutorial

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.”

***

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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BeenVerified on Apple Watch: The Caller ID You Always Wanted

Be honest: your iPhone has a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It likes to remind you of this by ringing from the most inconvenient places: the jacket you left in the closet, from the bottom of your purse, or in your pocket while you’re driving.

The Caller ID app you've always wanted for your iPhone--now on your wrist!
The Caller ID app you’ve always wanted for your iPhone–now on your wrist!

To add insult to injury, after scrambling to fish your phone out of whichever creative hiding place its nestled itself in, you’ve likely missed the call and worse, if not from a contact, likely have no idea if the call was worth picking up in the first place.

If only there was a way to access call information, answer calls and place them hands-free from a device that was always with you, like Apple’s new Watch. Well, good news, now there is!

We’re launching BeenVerified for the Apple Watch. You can get it simply by updating or downloading the latest version of the BeenVerified app in the App store.

Here are three ways it could change your life:

Serious Caller ID—With Images!

One thing we’ve always wanted for our iPhones, well before the launch of the Apple Watch, was a dedicated caller ID system. With our new app you’ll have one in the most convenient place: your wrist. Now within a couple of rings, you’ll know from a photo on your wrist if you’re being called by a telemarketer (decline!), or your friend’s new phone number (answer it!). Not only is it useful, it looks like something from a James Bond film.

Hands-Free Voice Activation

Get our free Watch app now by simply downloading the latest BeenVerified iPhone app in the App store.
Get our free Watch app now by simply downloading the latest BeenVerified iPhone app in the App store.

You already know there are times when it’s inconvenient and even dangerous to dial a phone number the old-fashioned way. Now at the gym, on your bike or in the car you have the option to dial numbers through the sound of your voice. Just speak a name or number into your watch to make a call in seconds.

A New Defense Against Spam/Scams

You don’t have to wonder for weeks or months about that mysterious number calling you. The BeenVerified watch app will tell you in just seconds whether the incoming call is a telemarketer by providing spam scores instantly. And with the government warning about the ongoing use of scam phone calls, particularly from con artists impersonating government agencies, you will now have the confidence to know instantly if callers are who they say they are.

Our mission began in 2007 to make public data easy to access, affordable and usable in your everyday life. Our new free Apple Watch app is the latest example of a useful product we hope will make your life better.

We’re proud that our previous apps have been downloaded over 7,000,000 times and hope to continue to provide America with reliable, accurate and affordable public data products.

See our watch app in action:


Try our iPhone & Apple Watch App here:

App Store

Top 3 Surprising Things in a Background Check Other Than a Criminal Record

 

When people think of background checks, their minds tend to go immediately to criminal incidents, but background checks actually provide a wide range of information beyond any criminal history.

Highlighter
Photo credit: Butch Dalisay

The top three surprising things you might find in a background check includes: past associates, bankruptcies, and information on old social media profiles.

The old saying “birds of feather flock together” may not be true in all cases, but it is true that you can often judge a person by the company he or she keeps. Background checks can help you understand what kind of people the person you are searching for keeps close ties with–or has in the past.

First, a background check will likely reveal any previous or current spouses.

This is obviously a crucially important piece of information about someone you are dating who gives you a funny feeling. Unfortunately, incidents of married men and women dating are more common than one might want to believe.

However, keep in mind the possible associates section is also likely to reveal siblings, roommates, and sometimes business partners.

Knowing these people may fill in holes in a person’s background and may lead to some important questions about the past. Of course, a background check, because it also provides dates for many different associations, can also help verify if there has been a change or break in associates in the past.

People also may not realize that a background check can reveal financial information about a person.

A background check may reveal important financial information such as whether a person has experienced a bankruptcy, foreclosure, or had a financial judgment entered against him or her in a lawsuit. Of course, the information is generally provided without a context and is limited in its legal uses, but it can give you some information about a person’s approach to finances.

Finally, background checks can help you find out how a person has chosen to present himself or herself to the public, by revealing old social media profiles. Social media profiles can help you find out more information about a person from benign information like favorite bands and sports teams to more significant finds like associations with ex-lovers and colleagues.

When all of this information is put together, it becomes easy to see how a background check may be able to help you get a fuller understanding of a person, without revealing any information related to a criminal behavior.

You can run a background check on anyone in America now with BeenVerified.

You Won’t Believe What’s In Our New App

 

We’re excited to announce that the latest and greatest version of our iOS app is now available for free in the App Store. You can download it here.

So what’s so special about the new app? Simply put, it offers the most free public data of any source we know of out there. And now we’ve given you more ways to access the information that matters to you most.

With the latest BeenVerified app, you can access more free information on the people you search than ever before.

Search for any person in the U.S. and access:

· Current and past addresses,
· Names of possible relatives and business associates,
· Aliases associated with the person,
· Their phone number (where available)…

…and did we mention all of the above is now free?

But we know you expect more from a BeenVerified background search, so we’ve made premium features available at lower cost and more easily accessible than ever before.

We know spam calls from telemarketers have only gotten worse lately, so we’ve added functionality with the ability to search for any phone number and view that numbers spammer score and view or report any telemarketing abuse from that number. With new, lower-cost subscription plans starting at just $9.99 you can even see the name of the phone number’s owner.

We know your family’s safety is of the utmost importance, so our subscription also gives you access to premium public data including criminal records. You can access a person’s financial history to see if they have any bankruptcies or judgments and see if they’ve failed to pay taxes in the past.

We know identity theft is as great of a concern to you as ever, so we make it easy to research yourself and see if anyone might be using your personal information and acting as an impostor.

But that’s not all. You can use BeenVerified’s iOS app for:

• Estimating market value and taxes for your home, those around you, and any property you might visit.

• Quickly finding social media profiles with just an email address.

BeenVerified’s new iOS app is your source for all the public information out there on any person in the U.S.

Why stay in the dark?

Download the app and run a free search now and check out the screen shots below!

Search for anyone in the US.
Search for anyone in the US.
Find address and phone number information.
Find address and phone number information.
New and improved reverse phone look up.
New and improved reverse phone look up.
Get all the vital stats on a property.
Get all the vital stats on a property.

 

 

Three Big Mistakes You Can Possibly Avoid By Running a Background Check

 

Mistakes: we all make them. But the power of Internet research has helped greatly reduce unneeded and potentially costly mistakes in our lives. Easy access to public data in the form of a background check has made unnecessary mistakes even more avoidable.

Avoid potential mistakes with a background check. Photo credit: Herman Yung
Avoid potential mistakes with a background check. Photo credit: Herman Yung

Here are three examples of potential mistakes you don’t need to make with a quick and affordable background check:

Overpaying for your new home

A background check offers a lot more than information on criminal records. BeenVerified collects and aggregates all the public data available on each person, property, email and phone number available in the US. This makes a background check an immense source of information on a wide variety of topics and can be useful in many situations, including when purchasing a new home.

All you need is an address to gain access to a wealth of information about that property. Notably, you can find current and previous owners, previous sales figures and tax information. This can bolster your research and ensure you don’t overpay for your new home.

For example, a property search can provide insights into the current owner’s financial situation and likely willingness to sell. And by searching neighboring properties, one can get a better idea of if the asking price of a home is overvalued or in line with the average for the neighborhood.

Letting your child ride in the car of an unsafe driver

With children’s activities from sports to extra academic help multiplying by the year, sharing rides with other parents can quickly become a necessity. But should you trust your child’s safety in the car of anyone who happens to be a parent of a child in the same activity? And what criteria can you judge their appropriateness to be around your child? Does a cursory visit of their house suffice?

One way to boost confidence in who you’re dealing with is to search the public records with a background check of the person’s driving record. Fortunately, background checks are now easy, accessible and affordable. They can even be conducted from the palm of your hand with your iOS or Android device.

This gives one the ability to review full criminal records, including speeding and other driving violations of anyone in the US. While a background check can’t give you absolute certainty, it is significantly better than simply judging by appearances when it comes to the well being of your child.

Missing The Signs Your Identity Has Been Stolen

While checking on relative strangers can be important, running a background check on yourself is crucial. Just as credit experts recommend regular check-ups of your credit report in order to avoid mistaken infractions and spot signs of identity theft, so should regular check-ups of all the public data associated with your identity be a part of your routine.

When you run a background check on yourself, ensure all the information is correct. If your name is associated with unknown associates or a number of incorrect relatives then that could be a sign of a larger problem. Likewise, ensure your current and past address information is accurate and that no criminal infractions are attached to your name. If you notice a high number of irregularities, then further research may be needed to ensure no other person is utilizing your details. Check your bank accounts and credit report to confirm if anything is amiss.

Do keep in mind that public record information is often imperfect and is a collection of reports from many disparate sources. What you should be on the lookout for is large-scale inaccuracies and not just an incorrect middle  initial. The more information you can provide in the initial search, such as age, exact location and any variations on your official name should help avoid inconsistencies.

Has a background check helped you avoid a mistake lately? Let us know in the comments.

3 People Who Overcame Criminal Records And Dominated

 

Last week we noted that one of the most popular search subjects for BeenVerified’s background check is when people search for themselves. One of the primary motivations for this is when people are curious about whether or not incidents on their record will show up when other people search them.

Bill Gates ran into trouble early in life and went on to dominate.
Bill Gates ran into trouble early in life and went on to dominate.

Whether or not criminal activity shows up in a background check could have a major impact on your future prospects—but it doesn’t have to confine you to a life in the shadows, either.

With that in mind, we searched news archives for well-known figures with criminal records who went on to overcome any stigma associated with their past actions. The celebrities we found not only overcame their past digressions but went on to dominate in their personal and professional lives.

All three stories below show that a criminal record does not automatically mean a life sentence of mediocrity. So if you search for yourself and that unsavory item is still on your background check, perhaps you can find inspiration from one of the three famous figures below.

  1. Bill Gates 

    One of the richest men in the world, despite a criminal record. Photo credit: Domain Barnyard
    One of the richest men in the world, despite a criminal record. Photo credit: Domain Barnyard

The founder of Microsoft and one of the richest men in the world, Bill Gates has never enjoyed playing by the rules. This allegedly also includes traffic rules, as he was arrested multiple times for traffic violations in the 1970s.

Despite having a criminal record, Gates went on to run the most powerful company in the world. His net worth is currently estimated at $81.3 billion and he just recently topped the Forbes 400 list.

Consider Bill’s example if you feel your criminal record is holding you back from a successful career by investigating starting your own enterprise where you’ll only have to answer to yourself.

  1. George W. Bush 

    Former President Bush had his own run-ins with the law.
    Former President Bush had his own run-ins with the law.

Despite what you may think about his policies, the man with the distinction of being the first president with a criminal record deserves credit for turning his life around. Former President Bush was arrested as many as three times in what by many accounts was a rambunctious early adulthood. His most serious incident was when he was arrested for DUI at the age of 30 in Maine.

Unfortunately for Bush, this last revelation was made public just days before the 2000 Presidential election. It was not enough to sway the election against him, and the revelations may have been dampened by the fact that he gave up alcohol completely at the age of 40.

If substances are at the root of past mistakes, come clean and seek professional help to get back on the right track, if needed.

  1. Mark Wahlberg 

    Mark overcame a troubled childhood to thrive. Photo credit: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
    Mark overcame a troubled childhood to thrive. Photo credit: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Before launching a successful music, modeling and acting career, Mark Wahlberg was constantly in trouble with Boston police as a young man. If you’ve seen the movie The Departed, you’ll have an idea of what his environment was like growing up. His most serious incident involved a fight where another man lost an eye and he was sentenced to two years in prison for aggravated assault.

After the incident, realizing he was on a slippery slope to a career of crime, Mark freed himself from the gang he was involved with and began to take positive steps towards building a life with positive influences.

Are bad influences in your life leading you to negative incidents? Like Mark, break free of “friends” who lead you down the wrong path before it’s too late.

If you’re concerned  about your past run a background check with BeenVerified today.