Branchfire in The Big Apple!

Early last week, a few members of our team headed to New York City to attend the 2017 BlackBerry Security Summit. BlackBerry packed the two-day conference with plenty of engaging sessions and speakers to learn from. As sponsors of the event, we had ample opportunity to meet with potential customers and BlackBerry representatives.

The highlight of our trip, though, was getting to meet our customers in banking, legal, and finance. We love hearing all of the ways that our customers in professional industries use iAnnotate to become more efficient. Many customers mentioned how much they love the search feature, others were excited about the seamless Apple Pencil integration, but everyone loved that iAnnotate helped them go paperless and we think that’s awesome!

We would like to give a special thanks to BlackBerry for putting together such a great event!

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Paper Waste is a Waste of Paper!

In spite of the advancements of software, offices still rely on paper and pen to review and make corrections to important documents. Documents end up getting printed out and shared with a multitude of people, just to be marked all over and re-printed. 

Here at Branchfire, we really care about the impact we make on the environment and we want to put our planet’s paper problem into perspective:

HOW much?!

Image credit: Giphy

Image credit: Giphy

  • In the U.S., companies spend more than $120 billion per year on print, most of which is outdated in about three months
  • Print is usually the third highest expense behind payroll and rent

What Are We Doing to the Environment?

Image credit: Giphy

Image credit: Giphy

  • Paper consumption has risen by 400% globally in the last 40 years
  • 35% of harvested trees are used to manufacture paper

  • Paper usage in the average business grows by 22% per year, meaning the amount of paper you use will double in 3.3 years

  • 18 million acres of forest are lost every year. That’s the same size as 20 football fields every single minute

How Bad is the U.S.?

Image credit: Giphy

Image credit: Giphy

  • The average person at the end of 2010 consumed as much paper as 6 people in Asia or more than 30 in Africa
  • We use about 68 million trees every year

  • We have less than 5% of the world’s population, but consume more than 30% of the world’s paper

Raise your hand if you thought that the impact of paper was that bad. Nobody? Well, you aren’t alone. Because we have so many digital tools at our disposal, businesses often overlook the price that they, and ultimately the environment, are paying.

The ugly truth is that we still heavily rely on paper to review documents and share feedback with one another. That’s part of the reason we created iAnnotate.

So far, we’ve helped save over a billion pieces of paper! But, we've only made a tiny dent in global totals. We challenge you to think about the amount of paper that you use and take steps to reduce paper waste.

 

* Statistics are from thepaperlessproject.com and raymorgan.com

How are you using iAnnotate 4?

One thing that always astonishes us is the sheer number of different uses you've discovered for iAnnotate. Lawyers mark up legal briefings. Professors use it during lectures while students mark up their notes. Audiobook narrators, entertainment industry insiders and others have shared interesting uses for iAnnotate we never would have expected.

What hasn't surprised us is how you've found newer ways to use iAnnotate 4. We improved how fast iAnnotate 4 displays large, complex PDF files, and a number of professionals have written about that.

 

When Apple announced the Pencil we knew it would be big, but we're still excited to hear how useful it is in-concert with iAnnotate 4.

It really is as close as it gets to the paper and pen experience.

And of course we'd be remiss not to mention one of our favorite iAnnotate users sharing how helpful it is to have the app on his phone.

 

Having your documents and tools available wherever, whenever is a huge win.

As always we'd love to hear from you about how you use iAnnotate. Tweet us @branchfire or write in to our support team and let us know.

Introducing iAnnotate 4!

When we built iAnnotate back in 2011 we had a feeling it might catch on. We had no idea it would grow into one of the most popular productivity apps for the iPad. But here we are, five years later, still bringing in new users.

Now we're introducing iAnnotate 4, a major update of the app with features you've all been asking for. Version 4 is a new app. It will not replace your old iAnnotate, but will be the focus of our development from now on.

Here's some of what's new in iAnnotate 4:

iPhone

You can read, annotate and share documents right on your phone. We brought all your favorite features to this smaller device, so you can continue to work when you're on the go.

iPad Pro

We've heard from a lot of iPad Pro users who want to use iAnnotate in multitasking mode, so we made that possible. Now you can annotate while you play music in iTunes and do other important things. :) We even added special support for the Pencil (automatically start to draw when it touches the screen) and Smart Keyboard (hold down the 'command' button to see a list of keyboard shortcuts).

New Annotations

Version 4 includes support for rectangle, circle, and arrow annotations. We also added a new-and-improved signature tool that makes zooming in to write easier than ever.

Webpages and Image

Open a webpage right in a tab, then clip to PDF and mark it up. Only iAnnotate offers this straightforward web annotation feature. It's perfect for students, teachers, and anyone else who wants to grab an article from their favorite site.

iAnnotate 4 also offers image sharing. We still convert them to PDF, but give you the option to share back out as an image with your annotations flattened. You can text message them, share on Facebook and Twitter, and more!

Easier Save Experience

In the original iAnnotate, it wasn't always clear to users when their documents save back to their device or the cloud. We improved this in iAnnotate - now documents save when you switch tabs, and will also give you a chance to save when you close them out.

More Cloud Options

New in version 4 is iCloud support. Just create an iCloud connection and store your documents there to make backup a breeze. We also built support for OneDrive for Business, one of our most commonly requested features.

Lots of Small Upgrades

One thing that excited us about iAnnotate 4 was the opportunity to make a lot of small improvements to the app's experience, while still retaining the overall design. Here are a few cool new features to look out for:

  • Work on as many documents as you want to with unlimited tabs!
  • Try our new single action button for easier sharing through your favorite apps.
  • Our powerful new plus button simplifies importing documents to your library.
  • New toolbar buttons let you show only the tools you want to see.

As a final note, we want to say thank you to all of our users. You have been such an important part of the iAnnotate story, and we really hope you stay with us as we start writing this new chapter.

 

Annotate on the Web with folia!

folia users have shared and reviewed countless documents through our mobile apps. They've created folias, uploaded documents, and made annotations on iPhone, iPad and Android. Meanwhile, our web version only allowed them to view documents and annotations. You had to use folia on a mobile device for the full experience.

Now we're excited to announce that folia offers annotation and other critical features right on the web. With this update, folia brings the complete experience on phone, tablet and desktop.

With the new features in our web app, you can:

  • Upload documents from the desktop with drag-and-drop
  • Mark them up with shapes, pins, and typewriter annotations
  • Move, delete, or change the style of annotations
  • Read and respond to conversations

These improvements let you use folia entirely from your browser, making it easier than ever to get and give feedback on documents. Imagine you start your workday with several documents you need someone to review. Upload them to a folia, add a few markups, and share right from your computer.

And with our powerful sync technology, your folias always have the latest docs and annotations. Students using folia can mark up documents in class, then review them on a computer later to see if anyone replied. Workers can add documents from their office computers to read on their phones on the commute home.

We're actively working on the rest of our features to the web, including support for ink, highlight, underline and strikeout annotations. But don't wait for that, start using our new annotation features today. Hit us up on Twitter if you have any questions.