In the past, doing an investigation meant a lot of legwork just to gather a slither of information about someone. Imagine the setting of a black and white detective film where the protagonist borrowed a thick document from the local police chief and spent hours turning pages, sipping whiskey from the bottle, and chewing a cigar. Nowadays these same results can be had by tapping on your phone, as public record search engines deliver full background reports right to your device. This way it’s possible to screen roommates or look up the arrest history of a dodgy neighbor without having to sit down at the computer, not to mention the app versions come with nifty exclusive features. But are these tools convenient enough to replace traditional browser-based background checking?
Viewing Reports on Touchscreen Devices
Conducting a search on a phone or tablet offers more freedom, there is no doubt about it. When you are on the road or in a hurry, then you’ll absolutely appreciate the option to just pull out your smartphone and search for the person’s profile. Most big-name background check sites such as Intelius have created their own apps that provides the same quality service as their equivalent browser versions. This is a huge boon because your account is carried over and if you’ve subscribed to the service, then searching on the app won’t cost an extra fee.
Background reports tend to be a bit more cramped on the smaller screens but navigating through the categories is rather easy as most companies change the design so that little icons represent the different content types. Still, reading through long pages of data is a bit tiresome when using your fingers for swiping, especially when accessing content like a family tree or criminal records because these topics feature multiple expandable menus.
Caller ID: The True Reason for Mobile Background Checking
Smartphone-based background screening has an ace up its sleeve. Each company has a different name for this feature but the concept is commonly known as caller ID – which is also the title that Intelius has chosen for it.
Caller ID is an independent function built into the background check app, capable of quickly identifying any incoming number by running a reverse phone number lookup. In other words, if you see a mysterious number pop up in your call list, then the system goes through a public database to see who it belongs to. Whether the caller is a marketing agency, tax collector, crazy ex or a long-lost schoolmate, you’ll know who it is before picking the phone up.
Be the Master of Both Worlds
A background check app is a great tool to have on your phone but solely relying on isn’t worth its own problems. Reading someone’s report while sitting on a train or having a lunch break isn’t all that troublesome but you’ll find the activity much more convenient from a desktop computer, especially if you need to refine the searches or browse multiple profiles. With this in mind, the most prudent choice is to reserve the smartphone app as a backup option and use the caller ID feature to identify unknown contacts, while making the most of reports on the browser version.