App of the Week: EasySign helps you find the digital dotted line
Whenever we geeks lean even further back in our computer chairs than usual to contemplate all the gifts technology has given us, right at the top of that list, neatly bubble-wrapped in a sturdy, brown delivery box, is online shopping.
In the digital age, we no longer have to get off our backsides in order to buy things to cover it up.
Thanks to services from Aramex's Shop and Ship to Amazon's one-click, it's likely that our offspring will never know the retail tedium we endured as young children, faking fits over in Women's Intimate Apparel that were completely ignored because our mums were too busy rifling through a bin of discounted lingerie.
Sadly, however, it seems the more significant the transaction, the further back in time we still must go to find the necessary tools to authorise it. More often than not, cars, homes and even bank accounts still require paper documents, properly stamped receipts and signed forms - in either original or clear-copy varieties - delivered at random times that require us to drop everything else just to keep things moving forward.
And if we're lucky, some of it can be accomplished using technology as state-of-the-art as photocopiers and fax machines, assuming we can find someone with a horse and buggy that can get us to them within a fortnight.
Sure, the internet is pervasive. But when the time comes to sign on a serious dotted line, whom among us has the tools always at the ready to print it, fill it out, sign it, scan it and e-mail it back?
Now we can solve part of the problem, at least, thanks to EasySign (free; iPhone, Android), a file management app that allows you to securely sign and resend documents digitally without having to first print out hard copies.
Though not complex to use, it's best to start with the video tutorial when you open the app, which shows you how to make your signature (you can do it with your fingers, but a tablet stylus helps).
After that, it's common-sense stuff. When you get a document e-mailed to you (it can handle anything from pdfs to Word and Excel documents) simply import it directly from your mobile e-mail client and add your signature and/or initials as needed, and use a scroll menu to date the document.
You can even pick your signature's colour (my advice: avoid pink for any professional transaction over Dh10).
When you're finished, click "save" and the updated, signed version of the file will be ready for your recipient's inbox.
While the app is free, it's a demo that allows you to use it for just three free documents before signing up for a premium package (from Dh3.67 for three documents to unlimited documents for Dh37).
EasySign can take a lot of the tedium out of our busy, grown-up lives. And I find it useful, if only because that whole faking fits thing is getting kind of old.
Have some great personal finance apps that you want to share? Write to Personal Finance at firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: March 31, 2012 04:00 AM