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Thursday
Feb132014

Are you an iPhone Hoarder?

It seems a lot of people out there hoard their electronics. That's according to the annual Mobile Mountain Survey conducted on behalf of SellCell.com. According to the survey, Americans are holding onto a staggering $47 Billion in old electronic equipment they aren't using anymore. That's up from $34 billion last year. iPhones account for roughly $13.4 Billion of that total, up from $9 billion last year.  That amount is greater than the budget of 16 U.S. states!

Why do people hang on to them? Some are giving them to family members, or donating to charity. But 40% are keeping them as a spare, "just in case," and a whopping 36% said "I don't know what else to do with them."

For the 36%, here's an answer: sell them for cash. I have been a loyal customer of Gazelle for several years now; when it's time to upgrade my phone or tablet, I tell Gazelle the type of device I have, Gazelle gives me a bid, sends me a box, and I have 30 days to send in the gadget. Gazelle checks it out when they get it, wipe all data from it if you haven't (but I highly recommend wiping your device before it leaves your possession), and if the quality checks out, sends me my money via PayPal. I have been able to subsidize the purchase of the new gadget with the sales of older gadgets, so it has been a very profitable relationship. 

There are a couple of other services that do the same thing, but I find Gazelle has been the most straightforward and easiest to use. What about you? Do you sell your devices when you no longer need them, or would we find them stuffed in a drawer or closet someplace in your house? If you're keeping them, why? Let us know in the comments, if you dare.

Monday
Mar252013

Announcing: iPad in One Hour for Litigators

When I talk to lawyers about using the iPad in their practice, I invariably get around to telling them that for some reason, app developers have really concentrated on making apps for litigators more than for any other type of legal practice.  And that's a great thing; having worked for more than 6 years as a trial technologist at my old firm, I saw that it was next to impossible for lawyers to use technology at trial without assistance from a paralegal or technologist, hired or otherwise.  Lawyers who didn't have the resources were stuck with hauling boxes of paper to the courtroom, and watching as better-equipped lawyers across the aisle presented their cases effectively and efficiently using technology.

For those lawyers who want to use technology in the courtroom at hearings or in trial, the iPad has really helped to level the playing field.  You can now go into court with nearly your entire case on a slim tablet - depositions, exhibits, legal research, and you can also use the device to take notes and keep track of trial testimony.

I'm thrilled to announce that my latest book, iPad in One Hour for Litigators, is now available for purchase in the ABA Bookstore, and soon in the iBookstore.  Like my other "One Hour" books, you can probably read the entire book in an hour; to do everything I mention in the book will take you a lot more than one hour, because I mention a lot of things that lawyers can do to more effectively use the iPad in litigation matters.  I approached the book much as I would approach a new case, and explored the different types of apps you can use for each phase:

  • A New Case - Managing Details and Deadlines
  • Discovery - Documents and Depositions
  • Preparing for Trial with the Right Accessories
  • Legal Research on your iPad
  • Picking a Jury, iPad Style
  • Evidence Presentation
  • Tips for Using the iPad in Court - advice from lawyers who are using the iPad in the courtroom every day

I tried to mention all of the apps currently on the market that are worth a look - but as is the nature of technology, new apps continue to appear that can help a lawyer at trial.  I'll try to mention new apps I like here on the blog, and keep you up to date on improvements made to apps described in the book.

I hope you enjoy the book!

Friday
Jul272012

iPad Apps of the Week - New and Updated

Welcome to a new edition of iPad Apps of the Week.  Each week, I want to feature those apps that are 1) new this week (or at least new to me), or 2) updated with new features in the past 7 days.  I haven't tried the new apps, so my mentioning them here is not a recommendation or endorsement - they are simply apps that might be useful to lawyers in their practices.  Here we go:

New Apps

Cloud Outliner - "Cloud Outliner for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad is designed to create, organize, and share your ideas, thoughts, and tasks. This full-featured editor lets you create the outline with simple drag and drop actions. Just change the outline and it will be synced with the outline in your Evernote account. With iCloud integration, the app keeps outlines up to date across all your iDevices."

iTranslate Voice - "Instantly speak another language, voice to voice. Can you imagine talking into your phone in one language and immediately hearing yourself in another language? That’s exactly what iTranslate Voice does. Just speak into your phone and it immediately speaks back to you in one of our 31 languages."

 

Updated Apps

iCab Mobile

  • Supports syncing of bookmarks, filters, search engines and settings with iCloud, Dropbox, and Kanbox
  • File upload feature works on more pages
  • When uploading items to a web page, you can use the iPad's camera to shoot photos for the upload directly within the browser
  • 2-finger swipe gestures now available for iOS 5 users

PDF Pen 

  • Improves performance working with folders
  • Resolves issues with accented characters in iCloud folder names

 


Pages
, Numbers,
and Keynote

  • Now (finally!) with iCloud support - to sync your documents between all devices with iCloud

 

 

Google Earth

  • Tour guide: Explore places you never thought to search for with new tours of your favorite cities, historic landmarks and natural wonders.
  • 3D imagery: Take flight above entire cities in 3D. Get started with Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Geneva or Rome and look for new additions in the coming weeks. Available for iPhone 4S and iPad 2 or later.

 


 

Wednesday
Jul182012

Apps of the Week - New and Updated

I'm starting a new feature here at iPad 4 Lawyers, where I provide a list of new and updated apps that came out over the past week.  The new apps I mention without judgment; unless I say otherwise, I haven't tried any of them, but I mention them because they look useful for lawyers, or good iPad apps to have in general.  I'm including updated apps here too, because when I download an update to an app, I often forget to find out if it has any new features - sometimes it's just a bug fix, but sometimes they have added some really cool options. 

New Apps This Week (or New to Me, Anyway)

RichText Edit - from the App Store: "RichText Edit is the first and only writing tool exclusively designed for iPad that can import, edit and save documents in one of the most popular and universal document format: RTF or Rich Text Format.  Rich text documents combine text with formatting information in a way that allows the text in those documents to use any mixture of fonts, font sizes, font styles (bold, italic, underline, color, etc.) and paragraph styles (centered, bulleted, etc.)."

BC Olympics Live Extra - this great free app claims it will stream every single event live from the London Olympics.  Right now you can only view preview videos, but the quality is pretty good so far - let's see how it fares once everyone is trying to watch the action at the same time.  You'll have to view ads to get to the video, but if you're an Olympic fan, this is a must-have app.

Next Issue - this app is being called "Netflix for magazines," and I'm interested to see if it works.  You pay a monthly subscription fee ($9.99 or $14.99), and then you have full access to recent issues of major magazines - right now 21 magazines are available, including Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Fortune, Money, People, Sports Illustrated, Time, and Vanity Fair.  They will hopefully add more magazines soon.  I like the app so far, except for one thing - it's slow.  Some of the magazines take a long time to download (and some of them hang up and don't download at all), and getting back into the magazine when you are coming from another app is very slow.  It's still a keeper for me, at least for now.

Updated Apps:

Adobe Reader

  • Add text to PDFs with the Add Text tool
  • Use forms that have Field Validation, Calculation, and Formatting
  • Organize and manage documents in Reader's improved file organizer - create folders, copy, move, rename, and delete files.

 iA Writer

  • Folder support in local and iCloud storage
  • Trash can in local and iCloud storage
  • Open With... added to Export Menu
  • VoiceOver optimization

 Lexis Advance

  • Ability to view annotations
  • Enhanced navigation for multi-part documents
  • Search across 21 additional content types
  • Numerous new filters for narrowing results
  • Search terms bolded in results list
  • Go directly to document if searching single citation
  • Visual indication that document has been saved to a folder

Mobile Transcript

  • Added server sync for highlights
  • Added support for french trasncripts
  • New email export options

 

 PDF Expert

  • Faster PDF rendering
  • AutoSync for Dropbox and other storage
  • Support for Microsoft SkyDrive
  • Record audio notes into PDFs
  • Ability to move open notes 

Pocket Informant Pro

  • MAJOR release - too many new features to mention here
  • Themes
  • Assign multiple locations to a context
  • Bookmark locations or see recently-used locations
  • Simple task mode
  • Dropbox backup/restore of settings, audio notes, and database
  • Skip a task recurrence
  • Updates to Google Calendar and Google Tasks functionality

Splashtop 2 - Remote Desktop

  • Added Wake on LAN

 

 

Tapose

  • Changed page swipe
  • Adding and deleting Sticky Notes improved
  • Changed default home page in browser for faster load time
  • New Slide Bar button to be more intuitive
Thursday
Jul122012

Battle of the iPad Browsers - We Crown a Champion

Over the past two days we have taken a look at four of the most popular browsers for the iPad, and ranked them based on criteria I believe is important for a valuable browsing experience on the iPad. Before we declare a winner, however, there are two more contenders to review.

Opera Mini

I wasn't originally going to review Opera, but on Tuesday someone mentioned it to me on Twitter, so I thought I would take a look.  I suppose I have blinders on about Opera - it has always seemed to me an also-ran in the desktop browser race:  a good, solid browser, but nothing to really get excited about. For me, anyway, the iPad app feels much the same.

Speed:  Of all the browsers I reviewed, Opera seems the slowest, by a lot.  When I first installed it, I couldn't get to any site - it kept timing out.  I uninstalled and reinstalled the app, and while it started working again, it takes a lot longer to get pages to load.  This may be, as I have been told, because Opera's iPad version is basically a proxy to its servers.  Whatever the reason, the experience slower than the others.  Score = 5

Bookmarks Bar:  No bookmarks bar here - in fact, although Opera claims to have tabbed browsing, the "tabs" here work differently than all the other browsers.  I would expect tabs to be visible - after all, they're tabs.  With Opera, you need to press a button to access all the available tabs - it's just one more button to press, but that's still one more than the other browsers.  You can save favorite pages on Opera's Start Page (also known as Speed Dial), but as I've mentioned before, I would prefer a visible, directly accessible bookmarks bar.  Score = 7

Opera's Main Menu; Tabs are handled to the left of the address bar (I have 3 open)

Customization:  Not much in the way of customization here, seemingly less than Safari or Chrome. Score = 2

Sharing:  Again, similar to Safari and Chrome - you can share to Facebook, Twitter, My Opera, or by email, but that's about it.  Score = 3

Search:  Google is the only standard search engine offered in Opera.  You can also use the search bar to search Amazon, eBay, or Wikipedia, but no other search engines. There's an area where you can Manage Search Engines, and there is room to add more search engines...but no actual mechanism to add them.  Score = 3

Private Browsing:  I think Opera is the only browser without a Private Browsing feature.  If it has one, I can't find it.  You can clear your browsing history, passwords, and cookies, but all the other browsers allow that too.  Score = 0

Synchronization:  The Opera iPad browser offers a connection to Opera Link, which synchronizes your bookmarks, Speed Dial and search engines between all Opera-installed computers.  Score = 8

Cool Features:  I hate to say it, but I can't find anything about this browser that stands out as cool to me.  It's an average browser, with below-average features.  If you are a fan of Opera on your desktop, then you'll probably like it more than I do.  Score = 0

Total Score for Opera Mini:  28 (out of 80 - yikes!)

Google Chrome

Google is the latest to the iPad browser fray, and it comes with a lot of street cred.  I use Chrome as my primary desktop/laptop browser, and I much prefer it to either Internet Explorer or Firefox.  Will it provide me with the same great experience on the iPad? Let's find out:

Speed:  I've seen some reviews complaining about Chrome speed, but so far I think it's pretty zippy. Probably not as fast as Dolphin, but definitely better than the others.  Score = 9

Bookmarks Bar:  Like Dolphin, it's a bit hard to score this one.  Unlike its desktop counterpart, there's no visible bookmarks bar.  However, when you open a new tab, you get automatic access to your Most Visited Sites, and a push of a button brings you to all of your bookmarks.  So, not as convenient as having a bookmarks bar at the top, but better than nothing.  Score = 7

Customization:  Alas, iPad Chrome - where are your desktop settings?  Granted, the settings in the desktop version aren't amazing, but they're pretty good - they give you everything you need to get under the hood and make changes.  With the iPad version, you get very few options for customizing the browser.  Score = 2

Sharing:  Believe it or not, Chrome has the worst sharing settings of any mobile browser I've reviewed. The only way to share a web page is by email - you would think that a browser from Google would at least allow you to share out to Google+.  Score = 1

Search:  When the browser comes from a search provider, would you expect more or fewer search options?  If you guessed fewer, you'd be right - Chrome offers the same three search engines as Safari - Google, Yahoo! and Bing.  Score = 3

Private Browsing - The iPad version of Chrome uses Google's "Incognito" feature directly from the main menu - just select New Incognito* Tab from the menu, and anything you do on that tab won't appear in your browser or search history, and won't leave cookies behind.  Score = 10

Synchronization:  Finally, an area in which Google excels!  It's probably because I'm a Google user, but being able to sync to my desktop Chrome browser is insanely useful.  Within seconds after connecting to my Google account, I had access to all of my bookmarks on my other computers - even the bookmarks I keep on my desktop Bookmarks Bar.  Even better, just press on the Other devices button, and you will see a listing of those sites that are currently open in any other instances of Chrome.  Yes, Chrome only syncs with Google - but since that's what I use, I'm going to give it a slightly higher rating than the other browsers - it's my contest, after all.  Score = 10

Tabs currently open on my desktop Chrome.

Cool Features:  If Google really wanted a high score from me in this category, it should offer access to its great library of extensions, like I have on the desktop version.  Extensions make Chrome so much more useful, by bringing the power of other services into the browser, where they can work together to provide a benefit.  Unfortunately, no extensions for iPad Chrome (yet), and not much else in the way of cool features.  Other than the synchronization features, which are cool, this is just a pretty average browser.  Score = 2

Total Score for Chrome = 44 (out of 80)

I can't believe that Google score less than Safari - I actually prefer Chrome to Safari because of its synchronization options.  Unfortunately, it comes in a dead last in my less-than-scientific matchup.

So, Who's the Winner?

After the scores are tallied, the winner is.....iCabMobile!

Keep in mind that these scores are based on my own judgments about the browsers I reviewed, and you may have completely different experiences with the iPad browser you use  I hope, however, that some of this information will prove helpful when figuring out the best browser to use on your iPad.

So which browser is your favorite?  Sound off in the comments.