Android 3.1r38 Launch – Immediate Sync, Direct Portal Link and more!

We are happy to announce a new version – 3.1 r38 is now available on the Google Play Store.

  • Immediate upload notification and sync.
  • Enhanced notification tray messages about uploads.
  • Enhanced debugging tools allowing user to retry uploads in case of a bad connection.
  • Direct link to the web portal from the app.

In the past, “Syncing” or uploading of movies and photos happened in the background – and could take up to 5 minutes.

The upload is now immediate.

As you may know, some customers have had problems with photos not uploading. This is especially noticeable where Wifi or mobile-data connections are not strong.

This release addresses that problem. Uploads are more reliable, and when they do fail, it will be much clearer what went wrong. A new “Try Again” button will appear, prompting the user to synchronize again, when they have a better data connection.

A new screen shows the user the status of the upload. The REVIEW PORTAL button takes the user directly to the case that just uploaded. No login is required – the user is securely authenticated from the app to the web REVIEW PORTAL.
If an upload does fail, a new button will appear on the main screen.
For advanced troubleshooting, a new button has been added to the “Debug Tools” screen
A new screen shows all details of the case, and allows you to re-sync the case when your connection is stronger.


As always, please share your feedback with support@damageid.com. We look forward to hearing your feedback!


Today’s Launch – Review Portal New Features Launched – Filter by Username, Medium and Large-Sized Layouts Improved

Fresh of the Press! We are happy to announce Today’s new features on the Review Portal.

  1. View Case – improved support for medium-sized and very large devices (HD Screens on Desktop). After updating for smaller devices and tablets, this completes a major round of updates across all device sizes.
The Review Portal as-seen on a 1200px wide screen. Formerly, the user would be forced to scroll to the right. This will make things more convenient. On very large screens, we now “grow” the pictures to the full width of the screen.

2. In the “Case List”, we added a new filter (Additional Filters) for User

“Filter By User” can be found in “Additional Filters”. Use this to segment your fleet. (Note: The user is the inspector or user who took photos).

Apple and iPad (IOS) Users – Are you Running the Latest DAMAGE iD Version?

DAMAGE iD is one of your most useful (and profit-making) Apps. 

But does ALL of your team know how to automatically update their device for the newest version. They might be missing out on all the cool benefits of new features!

It’s really simple. Here are the directions:

Auto-Update ALL Apps

  1. Open the “Settings” app on the iPhone or iPad.
Click Settings

2. Go to “iTunes & App Store”

Go to iTunes & App STore

3. Under the ‘Automatic Downloads’ section, look for “Updates” and toggle that switch to the ON position.

Toggle the “Apps”

4. Exit out of Settings as usual.

Sorry, no Auto-Update Only DAMAGE iD

You cannot auto-update DAMAGE iD only on iPhone or IPad. You need to manually check for an update.

  1. Open the App Store Icon
  2. Scroll down to find DAMAGE iD
  3. Click “Update” if an update is available.

Android Users – Are you Running the Latest DAMAGE iD Version?

DAMAGE iD is one of your most useful (and profit-making) Apps. 

But does ALL of your team know how to automatically update their device for the newest version. They might be missing out on all the cool benefits of new features!

It’s really simple. Here are the directions:

Auto-Update ALL Apps

  1. Open the Google Play Store app.

2. Tap Menu Settings

3. Tap Autoupdate apps.

4. Select an option: Over any network to update apps using either Wi-Fi or mobile data. Over Wi-Fi only to update apps only when connected to Wi-Fi.

Auto-Update Only DAMAGE iD

Note: Enabling Auto-Update on only this app is time-consuming on Android, unfortunately, because you have to disable auto-update on all other apps, and then enable it on DAMAGE iD only.

  1. Open the Google Play Store, go to Menu -> Settings.
  2. Tap on the “Auto-update apps” and disable auto-updates.
  3. Go back, then go to “My apps” section, search to locate DAMAGE iD and tap on it once.
  4. Now tap the Menu button and the first option should be the “Auto-update.” Ensure the checkbox is selected for DAMAGE iD.

Review Portal Update – Now Optimized for Smaller Devices

We’ve just made a new release to the portal.

We’ve optimized it for smaller devices and tablets.

The old version was suited for larger display sizes on desktops – full screen. However, we knew you wanted to access the portal with your mobile devices as well.

So we added additional mobile navigation, removed a few table columns and added over-under images/video so that you can see it with devices as small as an iPhone 5.

(The old, desktop version hasn’t changed at all.)

Check out the mobile-optimized version below (shown on a Galaxy S9)!

If you are using the new mobile version, let us know how it’s going at support@damageid.com. Enjoy the new update!

Damage Identification API Released

Today, we released our version 1.0 API for the DAMAGE iD API.

The release of the damage identification API is important because it opens up the functionality of DAMAGE iD to developers and IT integrators. Developers can use the API, or “application programming interface” to integrate more closely with DAMAGE iD – exposing it’s core services to software applications outside of the DAMAGE iD app and web portal. For example, the API could be used to pull damage tracking features into a conventional rental software application. Or the API could be used to bring Case statistics data into an analytics (reporting) package or database.

The documentation is a work-in-progress and will be updated as new features are added. The documentation can be found at https://www.damageid.com/api.

What is an API? According to Google, an API is a set of functions and procedures allowing the creation of applications that access the features or data of an operating system, application, or other service.

To gain access to the API, developers must have a typical username and password as well as an “API Key” which is available upon request at support@damageid.com.

Annotation Feature

Many of our current and potential customers have asked for the ability to mark specific damaged areas and add comments. We call this “Annotation”.

This video below shows how Annotation works.

“Annotation” is the ability to add new damage directly to the photo position.

This is a work in progress and there are some open questions.

That’s where you come in. We’d love to hear your reactions and thoughts on:

What if a user of the app circles damage twice? We will have a unique identifier which comes up when damage is found. However, we’re not yet sure how we will make sure the circles identify damage uniquely. We don’t want to re-issue a new damage identifier in this case, rather we want to associate multiple “circles” with the same damaged area.

Where should we insert this feature into DAMAGE iD? Our current approach is to add this screen after a photo is taken. However, we don’t want to slow down the (highly optimized) walk-around experience which our users really love about our app. Of course, most of the time, new damage isn’t found, so we’ll want to provide the ability to quickly dismiss the annotation screen or prevent it from appearing if no damage is found.

Should we add Annotation to the Review Portal – or is annotation in the app sufficient? This all depends on whether customers want to change the annotations on the Review Portal. (There’s probably some benefits to approaches).

How to annotate videos? Our new video feature (launched this Spring) makes annotation slightly more complex. Should we just annotation photos, or would you be interested in annotation of videos as well? (Videos would require a timeline slider and would be a bit more complicated than with photos).

Customers (current and future) – Please send your feedback to the comments section or send an email to support@damageid.com.

We can’t wait to launch Annotation!

You Might be Losing Thousands of $$$$ Annually on Unclaimed Damage

Still doing paper and pen walkaround?  Why not a digital walkaround?  Your savvy customers do!!  Digital integrity gives you the confidence to be able to show customers exactly what damage occurred during their rental contract,  and charge them accordingly. It also means that customers are reassured that they will NOT be charged for previous damage. 
Uncollected damage adds up.   Consider this Cost Calculator:
Windshield crack: start at $ 350; paintable scratch, which could require panel refinishing, $250 per panel.   Tire/ hub cap damage, hundreds.  Cigarette burns, stained interior. Your company could be able to charge to the customer but only if they had digital documentation DATE and TIME-stamped as to when the damage occurred. 
How could you save money on Uncollected Damages? Use DAMAGE iD as your damage software. It allows you to do a digital walk-around and the portal to compare the pictures and send to customers as proof. This gives your company the integrity to charge accordingly and your customers with be more satisfied with your company. 

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2019/05/05/rental-car-debacle-and-recommendation-shoot-video-before-leaving-lot/gEzsS9ag6umalS617Q4CzL/story.html

Don’t have your customers feeling RIPPED off. Use DAMAGE iD today!!

New Platform Announcement – Apple iPad

Last week we added iPad support for DAMAGE iD. iPad is a really great platform. We just love it. There is so much room on the screen. It feels like a clipboard in your hand – it just fits your hands better than a tiny phone. Feels like the right tool for a walk-around.

Although iPad is very different from the iPhone in terms of capabilities, the iPad version of DAMAGE iD is mostly the same as the iPhone version – with a few differences.

One difference is that you can rotate the iPad in any direction when taking photos. Another is that the icons and buttons are larger and easier to click.

In the future, we hope to make even better use of the special capabilities of iPad. One potential future application of iPad, given it’s larger size, is the ability to mark damage directly on the photo dragging your finger across the screen. Imagine red boxes or circles…. right to your photo or video! We think that feature would work really well on iPad and are looking forward to working on such a feature soon.

But for now, we just wanted to get it out on the Apple Store because we love new customers! (iPad support opens up DAMAGE iD to a whole new category of users.)

To download, just visit the App Store with your iPad.


Boston Globe Recommends all Auto Rental Customers take Digital Records

In the Boston Globe Article, A rental car debacle and a recommendation – shoot a video before leaving the lot May 5, 2019, Sean P. Murphy recommended that ALL people renting vehicles of ANY sort, be sure to digitally document the condition of the Property BEFORE using it.

If Your Customers are taking photos and Videos, shouldn’t YOU do the same??? All Rental companies for Cars, trucks, SUVs, Campers, golfcarts, snowmobiles, boats, airplanes, etc, should have a foolproof, digital documentation of their Fleet.

DAMAGE iD NOW offers a Video feature for Android users and Apple users will have the same feature very soon.

Using Video to Digitally Record Vehicle Condition

At the 2019 Las Vegas International Car Show, we announced we would be adding video to the DAMAGE iD platform.

On May 3, 2019 we launched major version 3.0 for Android, which includes support for video! (The iPad/iPhone version was released on May 22, 2019).

What are the benefits of video?

  • Tough spots to photograph. For certain vehicle areas, such as interiors, tires, trunk area, roof, it can be difficult to capture with a few photos. Rather, a (video) “sweep” is preferred.
  • Capture more. For example multiple items, multiple regions, underside of vehicle) using video. Video is alot like taking many pictures in sequence.
  • Shiny surfaces. Ability to capture small dents and dings within a reflected, shiny surface. By altering the direction of the camera slightly, light will reflect off the surface, revealing surface damage within the contours of the reflection.
  • Stronger evidence. Video is more difficult to tamper and modify than photographs. Video provides even stronger evidence for proving damage.
  • Multiple focus points. Video allows you to focus on deep, or 3D objects, while changing focus throughout. This can capture damage better than static photos.

How does Video work in DAMAGE iD?

The simple interface of DAMAGE iD stays almost exactly the same.

However, you will now see a red button beneath the camera shutter button. (See below).

Find a shiny, new, red button beneath the normal camera shutter button.

After clicking the red button, the camera will start recording video, and a clock timer will start.

DAMAGE iD video recording this hot vehicle! Be sure to move the device to capture the surface details.

DAMAGE iD also records AUDIO with the VIDEO. This means you can use your finger to point out damage, while explaining what you see.

Click “STOP” when done. Note that there is a 10-second limit on each of the videos.*

*Why did we decide to limit videos to 10 seconds? We wanted to keep upload sizes small. We also want to keep the walk-around focused on a position for later comparison. (If a rental agent takes a 3 minute video, it becomes really difficult to find damage or compare 2 videos.) Plus, if you take 24, 10 second, videos per case, that gives FOUR MINUTES OF VIDEO PER CASE.

Click the icon to review the movie or photo. This works the same as the previous version.

Once the video has been uploaded, visit the “Backend” to compare your videos and photos.

The following video shows how video clips will appear in the Backend.

FAQ

Question: Does video mean I will pay more for my DAMAGE iD Account?
Answer: No, video is offered as part of your DAMAGE iD account – entirely free for existing users. (We don’t charge by storage space used)

Question: What quality video is used?
Answer: We choose the best quality available on the device

Question: Is any compression or resizing performed on the video?
Answer: No, we do not compress or resize the video

Question: How are videos stored?
Answer: We use MP4 format. Videos are stored in the Cloud, just like the photos.

Question: Do you apply a timestamp to the video, as with photos?
Answer: No, at this time we are not applying the red timestamp to the videos. We are considering this in a future, release, however.

Question: Will uploads take longer than with photos?
Answer: Generally, yes uploads are larger than photos and will take longer than with photos. However, we’ve modified the uploading to start faster to accommodate this.

Las Vegas Nights

Paul & Jack from DAMAGEiD w Turks and Caicos Rent-a-Buggy at Martorano's Italian Restaurant
Dinner with our wonderful customer from Turks and Caicos (Rent-a-Buggy) at Martorano’s, the Italian Restaurant at the Paris.
Jack & Charlie of DAMAGEiD with Cameron from Carl's Vans at the Bellagio
We were invited to a party in the Bellagio across the street. Here we are with another customer, Cameron from Carl’s Vans.
ICRS Cocktail Party looking down at the Bellagio Fountains and Paris Hotel.

Little Things can be Big … Update to Find Cases by Number!

DAMAGEiD Award Winning Innovation!

Added today – The ability to find a case by number.

From the Case List (on the backend), choose “Additional Filters”. Next enter a case or partial case number and click “Go”. The cases will be filtered by that number. See the video below.

The case number is matched using “wildcard” matches, you only have to remember a few digits of the case number to find it.

We hope this helps speed up your process! Thanks to the feedback from our wonderful customers from France, we are continuing to improve DAMAGE iD!

Spring is Here!

Spring has arrived!!! Tis the season for Auto transporters to increase their services by delivering vehicles from one location to another whether it be for the SnowBirds or for the Auto Auctions gearing up for Spring Fleet sales.

DAMAGE iD has the solution for Smooth Logistics in documenting the condition of the vehicle both before and after its arrival to the final destination.  This Universal system, both on Android and iOS,  monitors the pre and post DAMAGE on the vehicle.  Once photos are stored on the Cloud, they are available for side-by-side date and time-stamped comparison ANYWHERE on one’s desktop.

This system is a great tool for Uniformity in organizing the DAMAGE Data of the transportation company’s logistics.  Even if a Company has an internal system in place, this Independent software can be used by ALL drivers to create a Uniform System of Organizing the pre and post condition of the vehicles.

Start using DAMAGE iD today!!   To request a demo or learn more, simply sign up right here:

How to sell CDW to Hesitant Customers

How to Sell CDW to Jack (the Risk Taker)
– Emphasize the “Standard Procedure” 
– Jack may be thinking that if he damages the vehicle, he’ll get away before anyone notices. Jack is a BlackJack type of guy after all! 
Jack is thinking that chances are in his favor can rush out before anyone notices, either by creating “cover” or feigning urgency. For this type of personality, you’ll want to let Jack know that a complete & thorough review is built into the process. Emphasize that reviewing the previous photos is an important and built-in step of the rental process, and cannot be skipped. Let Jack know he won’t be able to leave before the vehicle is completely checked over, and hold some collateral (such as a credit card number or license) to let him know he can’t run off. 
If you are using DAMAGE iD, you can review the previous photos before taking new ones – right on the app. If the customer seems like they are in a big rush, visually inspect the vehicle, and use the photo review to compare with old photos. With DAMAGE iD, agents can always take photos after the customer leaves. 
– Show Empathy Jack may be a risk-taker, but he has a big heart. Let them know that vehicle damage is expensive – especially for smaller rental agencies or those with lower rates. Tell a story about an difficult situation where a customer got away without paying for damage, and emphasize how that hurts employees and customers in the long-run (due to higher rental charges). 
A story from VERC car rentals is Boston is a great example. A few years ago, a customer switched rims and tires on a rental car to hide damage that had occurred. They had replaced the rims and tires with a much less expensive version. Fortunately, VERC was using DAMAGE iD and had photographic proof of the fraudulent activity. 
How to Sell CDW to Paula (the Conservative)
– Use Repetition Paula likes to play it safe. Emphasize the peace of mind Let Paula know that the best way to prevent unexpected expenses is to purchase CDW. But also let her know that the vehicle condition is carefully documented at time of checkout, and return. She won’t be charged for damage which isn’t hers, but any new damage will be charged to the customer unless CDW is purchased.
– Show You are Concerned about the Details Point out minor nicks with your finger. Spend a little time on each spot. Show you are concerned about the vehicle condition at every level. 

With patience, they may BOTH be happy with purchasing the CDW!!!

To Buy or Not to Buy? … Collision Damage Waiver

CDW insurance is great for your bottom line and for their peace of mind, but it can be a difficult sell.

Envision this scenario:

Jack and Paula were attending the annual International Car Rental Show in Vegas during the Spring of 2018 when they needed to rent a car…

They chose U-Save because Jack wanted to save $$$ for the Casinos.  However, since Paula isn’t the gambling, risk-taking type, she DEFINITELY want to avoid the worries of potential damage while renting the car, and purchase the Collision Damage Waiver offered by the rental agent.  Jack, on the other hand, IS a risk-taker, and he did NOT want to pay more $$$ for the daily rental by ADDING on the CDW cost.

They had a problem…to buy or NOT to buy the Collision Damage Waiver.  Paula reminded Jack that the Insurance following them on their CC does NOT include the $2,000.00 deductible.  Also, she noticed that the Agent was using a digital system, DAMAGE iD, when doing the customary “Walk-around” to inspect the car for previous damage and create a condition report.

What would YOU choose?   To buy or NOT to buy the CDW??

New Innovations Continue

DAMAGE iD Continues to Innovate in 2019!

Welcome 2019!

The DAMAGE iD development team has made new Upgrades and Innovations for the World’s Leading Vehicle Damage identification Solution.

Charlie Dalsass, software engineer for DAMAGE iD continues to make the changes required to follow the product road-map.

The long-term road-map for the product includes:

  • The ability to accommodate a wider variety of of vehicles and fleets. Whether it be for a Fleet Transportation System, a Motor Home or Camper rental, Rental Car Company, Amazon delivery Service, or any business or Municipality with a Shared Fleet.
  • The ability to manage the entire experience on the device or tablet. No need for the “backend” (desktop) system. For example, the latest Android Upgrade, version 2.2 will incorporate VIN Barcode Scanning to quickly and accurately identify the vehicle. Once the vehicle has been scanned, you can ADD the vehicle with a single click. There is no longer any need to visit the “back end” to add cars to your fleet!

Vehicle Transporters, for example, require the ability to scan and add a new vehicle because they do not typically have a fixed vehicle inventory. This opens up DAMAGE iD to a much wider category of customers.

Other recent Upgrades include the ability for the Agent to “Flag” or Mark Damage as pre-existing in order to alleviate Customer confusion as to when the Damage actually occurred. This strategy greatly improves customer satisfaction.

Another Customer Satisfaction improvement is viewing the Outgoing Images upon the Return of the Rental. Pictures don’t lie. And date and time-stamped images allow for NO questions when it comes to the condition of the vehicle at the time of the Rental Agreement.

This feature is now available on BOTH IOS and Android (versions 2.0+). DAMAGE iD is here to be THE Award-winning, Global Solution to solve your needs of identifying and documenting the previous and New Damage on your Vehicle. We are so excited about what the DAMAGE iD A-Team comes up with next!!

DAMAGE iD Now has Existing Damage, Outgoing Images on Return

Record any esisting damage.

DAMAGE iD continues to develop Upgrades for IOS and Android

Welcome 2019 as DAMAGE iD continues to Pump Out recent Upgrades and innovations for the World’s Leading Damage identification Solution.

Charlie Dalsass, the DAMAGE iD software engineer continues to produce user-friendly means to document the condition of one’s vehicles.

Whether it be for a Fleet Transportation System, a Motor Home or Camper rental, Rental Car Company, Amazon delivery Service, or any business or Municipality with a Shared Fleet, DAMAGE iD is here to be THE Award-winning, Global Solution to solve your needs of identifying and documenting the previous and New Damage on your Vehicle.

The latest Android Upgrade will incorporate the Barcode Scanning system to quickly and accurately identify the vehicle and ADD this unit onto the Cases of the Fleet List.
Most recent Upgrades have allowed the Agent to “Flag” or Mark Damage as pre-existing in order to alleviate Customer confusion as to when the Damage actually occurred. This strategy greatly improves customer satisfaction.

Another Customer Satisfaction improvement is viewing the Outgoing Images upon the Return of the Rental. Pictures don’t lie, and date and time-stamped images allow for NO questions when it comes to the condition of the vehicle at the time of the Rental Agreement. This feature is now available on BOTH IOS and Android.

Charlie continues to develop and Upgrade DAMAGE iD. We look forward to what he does next!!

Password Auto-Fill makes DAMAGE iD Faster to Use than Ever

Password Auto-Fill puts you in the fast-lane

It is now faster to use DAMAGE iD.

We’ve added the ability to pre-fill your username and passwords, because we know how frustrating it is to perform a walk-around while trying to type those tricky passwords.

Password Auto-Fill was introduced in DAMAGE iD Android version 2.0 and iPhone version 1.0.8 in late summer 2018.

Here’s how it works for each of the different app platforms.

Android

Android is dead simple. Just enter your password the first time, and from that point on, it will be remembered for you.

The password is stored in an encrypted form, but please note that someone else using your phone could login as you and compromise your identity.

In order to remove the password, just uninstall and reinstall the app.

IPhone

IPhone uses the Apple Keychain technology to secure your passwords.

If you are using ICloud Keychain or Safari Autofill to store your passwords already, the easiest way
to use this feature is to log into the “backend” site at https://app.damageid.com with Safari and choose “Remember my Password”.

Next, login to the app. After tapping on the “Username” field, the QuickType Bar will appear at the top of the slide up keypad. Look for a little key icon (see below).

After clicking the key icon, the password which was saved on the website will appear.

If you aren’t using ICloud Keychain or Safari Autofill, you can still use Auto-Fill on DAMAGE iD by entering it manually the first time.

To enter it manually, go to your IPhone Settings and choose:
Accounts and Passwords -> App & WebSite Passwords and choose “Add Password”. Add “app.damageid.com” for the website, and your standard username and password.

From that point on, you should see the key icon and the QuickType Bar
when logging into the app.