Camera Phone Apps that Tackle Chores

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- For many mobile users, the thrill of a cameraphone has worn off. We expect cameras in our phones. We expect them to be 5-, no 6-, no 8-megapixels! No wonder a growing number of us have replaced our aging digital camera with one that dials phone numbers. Camera phones are now a fact of life.

Thank goodness there are innovative developers creating mobile apps to keep camera phones interesting. Mitek Systems ( MITK) uses its mobile imaging technology to make it easier to deposit paychecks without leaving the house. Russian software company ABBYY, specializing in document recognition, integrated its technology into TurboTax's SnapTax, a mobile app allowing filers to photograph W2 forms and automatically populate 1040EZ forms.

So, what else can a camera phone do beyond taking a photo?

Get rid of junk mail: PaperKarma has an extensive list of annoying addresses most people don't want to hear from again. To get off the junk-mail circuit, use PaperKarma's free app to snap a picture of the piece of unsolicited mail (make sure the sender's address is visible) and submit. PaperKarma takes care of the rest by sending a request to the offender. Catalog Choice offers a similar app called MailStop Mobile.

Apply for auto insurance. Progressive Insurance's ( PGR) app lets you do a few things with a camera phone: Apply for insurance by snapping a picture of a driver's license or Vehicle Identification Number; and report damage by sending photos of the wreck. State Farm's Pocket Agent app also utilizes a phone's camera to submit photos of car damage.

Deposit a check: J.P. Morgan Chase's ( JPM) Chase is still one of few consumer banks to add mobile remote check deposit. Customers take a picture of the signed check with their phone and it gets virtually deposited into an account. You keep the paper check.

US Bancorp ( USB) and PNC ( PNC) now offer the same feature. Citigroup's ( C) Citibank recently added the feature.

Rumor has it that Bank of America ( BAC) and Wells Fargo ( WFC) will offer the mobile service by year's end.

Pay a bill: Adding a new payee to an online bill-pay account will become simpler when banks implement a camera phone. Right now, Balance Financial is one of the few that let customers skip typing by taking a picture of a bill. The app searches for the name, payee address and account number and populates the online bill-pay form. Mitek also offers the feature, called Mobile Photo Bill Pay.

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