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Monday
Oct312011

The iPad for Lawyers - Links for State Bar of Montana Bankruptcy Section Lawyers

I had a great time presenting last Friday at the State Bar of Montana's Bankruptcy Section's Annual CLE in Helena.  I was asked to speak on integrating iPads into a law practice, and I covered a lot of material over two hours. So much material, in fact, that I didn't get to mention everything.  So as promised, below are links to everything I mentioned and didn't mention.  If you attended the session on Friday and still have questions, please feel free to ask them as a comment to this post.  Thanks again for having me!

iPad Accessories

Browsers

Storing Files

Being Productive

Legal Apps

Meetings

Reading

Other Apps - Productive, Useful, and Just Plain Fun

Tuesday
Oct252011

Checking Available Storage on your iPad

If you want to see how much space your apps, pictures, videos, and the like are taking up on your iPad, you can always plug it in and navigate over to the device in iTunes.  But if you're lazy, or nowhere near your computer, checking the available space on your iPad is a snap.  Here's how to do it:

First, head to Settings.  Then choose the General tab, and press About.  You'll get a breakdown of the number of songs, videos, photos, and applications on your iPad, as well as the capacity and space available.

If you are interested in seeing what apps are taking up the most space, press Usage instead of About, and you'll get this view:

As you can see, games take up the biggest space on my iPad....:-)

Monday
Oct102011

Answers to Questions - 60 iPhone and iPad Apps Seminar

Last week I was honored to reprise our very popular 60 iPhone and iPad Apps in 60 Minutes, presented by Josh Barrett, Jeff Richardson, Reid Trautz, and me as your humble moderator.  Because the session was so fast-paced, we had very little time to answer all the great questions we received.  We took the time to jointly answer the questions, which appear below.  If these answers raise even more questions, please let me know.  

Question #1 from S.F. from Anchorage, AK:  What is the best way for lawyers to use Dropbox or a similar service with an iPhone or iPad, assuming the need to access client information occasionally?

Answer:  Dropbox is a useful service for sharing documents between multiple computers and between a computer and an iPhone and/or iPad.  Because Dropbox is run by a third party, however, you need to be conscious of security issues.  Jeff's solution is that he only uses Dropbox for non-confidential documents, such as copies of pleadings, depositions and exhibits.  For confidential attorney-client documents, Jeff keeps those documents in an app like GoodReader or Quickoffice that allows you to password-protect documents.

Tom also uses Dropbox, but understands that SpiderOak provides better security.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t integrate with as many iPad apps as Dropbox, which limits its utliity.  Tom also recommends GoodReader as a good app for downloading and accessing your Dropbox files - it is relatively simple to connect your Dropbox account to GoodReader, and start downloading files to your iPad.  Tom says "Whenever I download a new app, one of the first things I do is check to see whether it integrates with Dropbox.  You may find you have a lot of apps that do so, and it may be easier to download into those apps directly from Dropbox, rather than into GoodReader."

Josh often uses the file manager built into LogMeIn Ignition to grab confidential client files left on the computer back at the office. The transfer from desktop to iPad is encrypted end-to-end and doesn't let the document sit on a cloud based service so the confidentiality concerns some raise about services like Dropbox don't apply. The key to using any cloud based service with your device is setting up a good workflow to help keep track of document revisions, versions and originals.

Reid uses the Dropbox-GoodReader combo, and also uses DropBox to transfer PDFs to the Apple iBooks app for reading. Jeff adds that, on the iPhone, the Apple iBooks app is his favorite app for handling PDFs.

Alternate Calendar Apps
Question #2 from J.H. from San Francisco, CA: Does entering an event in Calvetica simultaneously make the entry in the iPhone Calendar app?

Answer:  Yes.  One of the nice features of third party calendar apps such as Calvetica, Easy Calendar or Agenda is that the all use the iPhone and iPad's built-in calendar database.  Thus, you can use one app to enter an event, another app to edit the event, another app to view the event, and they are all working from the same database.

Question #3 from C.P. from Greenwood Village, CO:  Do the calendar apps interface with Microsoft Outlook calendars?
Question #4 from L.L. from Saint Louis, MO:  Do the calendar apps interface with MS Outlook?  We use an Exchange server to coordinate with our iPhones.

Answer:  Again, yes,  Because all iPhone and iPad calendar apps use the built-in calendar database, if you have your iPhone and iPad configured to synchronize with your office's Exchange server, you can add an event in a third-party app and then the change will be synced to Exchange and will show up in Outlook on your computer.

Stylus
Question #5 from C.McD. from Blue Bell, PA: What stylus do you like for Penultimate?
Question #6 from M.M. from Reno, NV:  What is the name of the suggested stylus?

Answer:  Jeff's current favorite stylus is the Kensington Virtuoso Stylus for Tablet which he reviewed on iPhone J.D. here.  Tom's current favorite stylus is the Adonit Jotpro Stylus.  Josh uses the MORE/REAL Stylus cap because it has the weight and balance of a regular pen. That said, Josh recommends waiting until version 2 is released with the faster tip. If you go to the iPhone J.D. website and do a search at the top right for “stylus” you will find lots of reviews pointing out the advantages and shortcomings of many different options.


Accessing Online Legal Resources
Question #7 from: M.S. from Shawnee Mission, KS: Two general questions regarding the iPad.  First, do you have any suggestions on how to access electronic dockets and pleadings etc. in federal court?  I can access it through my browser on the iPad but cannot scroll within documents that are retrieved.  Do any apps help?  Second, and similarly, I cannot scroll down within the web browser when accessing Lexis on my iPad.  Do any apps help for this?

Answer: When you access PACER from an iPad, once you select a document from the docket, if you click the button to view a document you only see the first part of the first page and cannot scroll down.  However, there is a workaround.  Instead of clicking the button that says "view" click the button that says "download."  This will send a .zip file to your iPad, and your iPad will ask what app you want to open the zip file in.  One such app is GoodReader an app that Jeff recommended. Josh recommends ReaddleDocs for the same functionality.  Either app will allow you to unzip a .zip file and view all of the PDF files contained in that file.

As for accessing Lexis on the iPad, Lexis is supposed to be updating Lexis.com so that it can be accessed from an iPad.  Moreover, before the end of this year, Lexis will be releasing a Lexis Advance app for the iPad.  For more information on the upcoming Lexis app, see this post from Jeff on iPhone J.D.

Voice transcription
Question #9: S.E. From Draper, UT: Can the Dragon Diction app be download to an iPad?

Answer:  Yes.  The Dragon Dictation app works on both the iPhone and iPad.

Remote access
Question #10 from R.H. from Milwaukee, WI:  Is there an app to allow my iPad to connect to my desktop remotely?  I use Time Matters.

Answer:  Yes, any of the remote access apps that we discussed in our session will let you do this — Citrix Receiver, LogMeIn Ignition or GoToMyPC.

Question #11 from P.O. from Austin, TX: Is LogMeIn Igntion better than iTap RDP?
Question #12 from P.dB. from Stuart, FL: Do you recommend LogMeIn more than iTeleport?


Answer:  None of the presenters have used the iTap RDP, but in Tom’s opinion, it looks like a good option.  It uses Windows’ Remote Desktop Protocol, which is a solid method for remotely accessing your computer.  Tom thinks that LogMeIn might be better for one reason:  ease of configuration.  With LogMeIn, it “just works,” and requires very little configuration.  It looks like the iTap RDP requires a little more work under the hood, which might limit the app’s appeal to more advanced users.  Further, with LogMeIn you can access your desktop from any computer using just a browser, with no configuration; with the Remote Desktop Protocol, you’d have to configure it on any computer you plan to use.

Likewise, none of the presenters use iTeleport, which also looks like a solid remote desktop application. However, like iTap, it does not appear that you can use iTeleport on regular computers to remotely access your desktop - LogMeIn’s universal capabilities give it an advantage here.

Reid’s office has a corporate GoToMyPC account, so he has to use their iPad app. He finds it works well on his iPad2, although sometimes a bit balky.

First generation iPad
Question #13 from J.G. from Pocatello, ID: Do most or all of the apps discussed work with the first generation iPad?

Answer:  Very few apps that work with the iPad require the iPad 2, although some do exist.  All of the apps that we discussed work on the original iPad and the iPad 2, although some of these apps are designed for the iPhone and therefore run on the iPad/iPad 2 in iPhone emulation mode.

Accessing Word documents
Question #14 from M.H. from Lubbock, TX: What is the best app to read and edit Microsoft Word documents?

Answer:  The most popular apps for reading and editing Word documents are Documents to Go, Quickoffice and Office2.  Jeff's current favorite is Documents to Go because it is the only app of the three that shows you footnotes and shows you redline edits (although it will not let you create footnotes or create redlines).  But these apps are updated frequently, so hopefully the other apps will add this feature soon.

Apps for transactional law
Question #15 from D.C. from Naperville, IL: I am a transactional lawyer, with a specialty in business law, estate planning, tax and some business litigation.  What are the apps you would consider important for a lawyer with that type of practice to have?

Answer:  As a transactional lawyer you deal with a lot of documents.  If those documents are in PDF format, GoodReader or PDF Expert are essential apps for managing and annotating those documents. Josh prefers PDF Expert because of the easy to use document signing too, the ability to reorder/move/delete pages from a PDF and the ability to fill PDF forms. You also need one of the Microsoft Office compatible apps like Documents to Go or QuickOffice.

Josh recommends creating a folder on your Dropbox with your principal forms. This will give you access to your key drafting inspirations from anywhere.

If you use a Mac in the Office, also consider TextExpander Touch (with the desktop companion TextExpander) which allows you to expand text snippets into words, sentences or even paragraphs. With this app, Josh types "attfee1" and TextExpander types his preferred attorney fee clause. The snippet "simplemisc" expands into my preferred miscellaneous clauses for a basic contract that I can then edit. "engageltr" expands into the text I start with when drafting my engagement letter or email.  Note that iOS 5 will also provide a shortcut feature like this but it is unclear whether you can sync the shortcuts to a computer.

One key to making the iPad work well for transactional lawyers is to have some flexibility or be willing to try new things in your workflow. For example, Josh does lots of drafting in plain text on the iPad and only worries about formatting when back in front of a desktop computer. Even with the Word compatible apps mentioned here, they aren't WYSIWYG. You will still need to fine tune back at the office on your own or send to an assistant to format. Plain text is also necessary to take advantage of TextExpander since at this time the Word compatible apps do not support it but apps like Elements or Plaintext do support TextExpander.

Friday
Oct072011

60 iPad and iPhone Apps for Lawyers - The Apps, Redux!

As promised, here's the list of the apps that were mentioned in Wednesday's 60 iPhone and iPad Apps in 60 Minutes webcast. You'll notice there are more than 60 - the presenters mentioned a few other apps during the presentation, so I'm including them, too. I'll be posting the answers to attendee questions here over the weekend or early next week, so stay tuned.

  1. Black's Law Dictionary - the venerable legal reference ($54.99) Black's Law Dictionary, 9th Edition - West, a Thomson Reuters business
  2. Book of Jargon - Corporate and Bank Finance version (free) The Book of Jargon™ - Corporate and Bank Finance - Latham & Watkins LLP
  3. Calvetica Calendar - new, cleaner way to view your calendar ($2.99) Calvetica Calendar - Mysterious Trousers, LLC
  4. Agenda - another clean calendar app for iPhone ($1.99) Agenda Calendar - App Savvy
  5. Easy Calendar ($1.99) Easy Calendar - T. van Zummeren
  6. Appolicious - keep up with the latest apps (Free)Appolicious - Appolicious
  7. Atomic Web Browser - great browser alternative to Safari ($.99) Atomic Web Browser - Browse FullScreen w/ Download Manager & Dropbox - RichTech
  8. Sticky Notes for iPad - make sticky notes (free) Sticky Notes for iPad - tewks
  9. Keynote - the definitive presentation tool for the iPad ($9.99) Keynote - Apple®
  10. Penultimate - note-taking app ($1.99)Penultimate - Cocoa Box Design LLC
  11. iThoughtsHD - mind-mapping tool ($9.99) iThoughtsHD (mindmapping) - CMS
  12. Chase Mobile - deposit checks with your iPhone (free) Chase Mobile (SM) - JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  13. Citrix Receiver - remote access app (free) Citrix Receiver for iPad - Citrix Systems, Inc.
  14. LogMeIn Ignition - another remote access tool ($29.99) LogMeIn Ignition - LogMeIn, Inc.
  15. Food Truck Fiesta - find food trucks (D.C. only) ($.99) Food Truck Fiesta - APPease Mobile
  16. Google Translate - great voice translation app (free) Google Translate - Google
  17. Jibbigo - another good voice translation app (different versions - this is English-Spanish) ($4.99) Jibbigo English Spanish Speech Translator (for iPhone 3GS, 3rd gen iPod or newer) - Jibbigo LLC
  18. Flipboard - magazine-style news aggregator (free) Flipboard - Flipboard Inc.
  19. Zite - another great news aggregator - learns what you like (free) Zite Personalized Magazine - Zite, Inc.
  20. Instapaper - save web pages to read later ($4.99) Instapaper - Marco Arment
  21. Documents to Go Premium - view and edit Microsoft Office documents ($16.99) Documents To Go® Premium - Office Suite - DataViz, Inc.
  22. Dragon Dictation - terrific speech transcription (free) Dragon Dictation - Nuance Communications
  23. Dragon Go - search by voice (free) Dragon Go! - Nuance Communications
  24. Eye Glasses - use your camera as a magnifying glass ($2.99) Eye Glasses - Freeverse, Inc.
  25. Google Voice - free phone service (free) Google Voice - Google
  26. HootSuite - social media aggregator, for managing your Twitter account (free) HootSuite for Twitter - Hootsuite Media Inc.
  27. iCPR Full - emergency medical tool (free) iCpr Full - D-Sign
  28. Digits Calculator ($.99) Digits Calculator for iPad + iPhone - Shift
  29. PDF Expert - PDF annotator ($9.99) PDF Expert - Fill forms, annotate PDFs - Readdle
  30. Fastcase - legal research (free, but full use requires Fastcase subscription) Fastcase - Fastcase
  31. GateGuru - provides restaurant and services info for just about any airport (free) GateGuru - featuring Airport Maps - Mobility Apps LLC
  32. TripIt - fantastic tool for organizing your travel itineraries (Free) TripIt - Travel Organizer - FREE - TripIt
  33. Goodreader - excellent file reading app ($4.99) GoodReader for iPad - Good.iWare Ltd.
  34. Price Check by Amazon - compare prices (free) Price Check by Amazon - AMZN Mobile LLC
  35. Noted - note-taker (free) Noted - CignoSoft
  36. Siri - personal assistant (free) Siri Assistant - Siri
  37. Fuze Meeting HD - online meetings (free) Fuze Meeting HD - CallWave
  38. Plaintext - text editor/writing (free) PlainText - Dropbox text editing - Hog Bay Software
  39. Court Days Pro - date calculator ($2.99) Court Days Pro - Rules-based Calendaring for La... - Law On My Phone
  40. DaysFrom - date calculator ($.99) DaysFrom Date Calculator - QD Ideas, LLC
  41. Note Taker HD - note-taking app ($4.99) Note Taker HD - Software Garden
  42. Notes Plus - note-taking app ($4.99) Notes Plus - Handwriting, Note Taking, Shape Drawing, and Sound Recording - Viet Tran
  43. Noteshelf - great note-taking app ($4.99) Noteshelf - Ramki
  44. NotesPlus ($4.99) Notes Plus - Handwriting, Note Taking, Shape Drawing, and Sound Recording - Viet Tran
  45. Kensington Virtuoso Stylus ($15.62 on Amazon)
  46. Adonit Jotpro Stylus - works just like a ballpoint pen! ($29.95)
  47. Wunderlist - To Do List (Free) Wunderlist HD - 6 Wunderkinder
  48. Text'nDrive Pro - listen to text messages and email ($9.99) Text'nDrive Pro - Hands Free Email Message Reader - HandsFree Software
  49. Word Lens - translation app (free) Word Lens - Quest Visual
  50. Office Bleepster - communicate with your office staff ($9.99) Office Bleepster - Peakland Innovation Group, LLC.
  51. TextExpander Touch - macro utility ($4.99) TextExpander - SmileOnMyMac, LLC
  52. TuneIn Radio Pro - listen to and record thousands of radio stations ($.99) TuneIn Radio Pro - Synsion Radio Technologies
  53. PDF Converter - save files to PDF format ($6.99) PDF Converter - Save Documents, Web Pages, Photos to PDF - Readdle
  54. Pro HDR - improved HDR photography ($1.99) Pro HDR - eyeApps LLC
  55. Skype - VOIP and video calls (free) Skype - Skype Software S.a.r.l
  56. WordPerfect Viewer - view (but not edit) WordPerfect files ($4.99) WordPerfect Viewer for the iPad - Corel Corporation
  57. Join.me - online meetings (free) join.me - LogMeIn, Inc.
  58. JotNot Scanner Pro - scan receipts and other documents ($.99) JotNot Scanner Pro - MobiTech 3000 LLC
  59. MindMeister for iPad - mind-mapping tool ($7.99) MindMeister for iPad - MeisterLabs
  60. PhotoSync - transfer photos from iPhone to iPad ($3.99) Photo-Sync - Carsten Fels
  61. Trickle for Twitter - Twitter display ($.99) Trickle for Twitter - Caleb Thorson
  62. Reeder - RSS reader ($4.99) Reeder for iPad - Silvio Rizzi
  63. Mr. Reader - another great RSS reader ($3.99) Mr. Reader - Oliver Fürniß
  64. iMovie - edit movies ($4.99) iMovie - Apple®
  65. Localscope - find nearby businesses ($1.99) Localscope - Cynapse
  66. GoToMyPc - remote access (free) GoToMyPC (Remote Desktop) - Citrix Online
  67. TrialPad - fantastic trial presentation tool ($89.99) TrialPad - Saurian
  68. Snapseed for iPad - photo editor ($4.99) Snapseed for iPad - Nik Software, Inc.
  69. Instacast ($1.99) Instacast - Vemedio
Enjoy!
Tuesday
Sep062011

Browsing the Web on your iPad: Which is Best?

When I first got my iPhone (and later the iPad), I thought that Apple's built-in Safari browser was just about the coolest thing I had ever used on a mobile device.  It was such an amazing app, allowing a fantastic browsing experience.

My, how times have changed.  It's not that Safari has gotten worse; it's just that there are a lot of other apps that can help browse the web so much better. And although the upcoming release of iOS 5 promises big changes to Safari - including private browsing and tabs - why wait, when you can start using one of these great alternatives right now?

I'm going to cut to the chase, actually, and just declare a winner at the outset - it's the Atomic Web Browser ($.99, link to the iPhone app.  Out of all the browsers I have tried, it is far and away the best, for two main reasons:  speed and feature set.  It's blazingly fast, getting to pages must faster than Safari or the other browsers.  And as for feature set, here are just a few examples:

  • Private Mode
  • Ad Blocking
  • Search bar is customizable with any number of search engines
  • File downloader
  • Integration with Dropbox - you can download files directly to a Dropbox folder
  • Color Themes
  • Add navigation buttons to the bottom of your screen
  • Share web pages using Facebook, Twitter, and email
  • Install bookmark scripts to use Instapaper, Read It Later, Delicious, track FedEx/UPS/USPS packages, and more
  • Detect phone numbers
  • Auto-Fill forms

These are only a few of the settings available in Atomic.

And I'm just getting started!  You really need to try it to see what I'm talking about.  It will be the best 99 cents you spend on your iPad.

You should also have one other browser on your iPad, as a just-in-case - it's the Skyfire Web Browser ($2.99, link for iPhone).  There's one main reason you need Skyfire - it has the ability to play Flash video.  iPads don't support Flash, so if you want to watch a video that's only in Flash, you'll need to use Skyfire.  The browser doesn't actually support Flash, either - it takes the video you want to watch, uploads it to its own server and converts it to a format that you can view on the iPad, and then shows it to you.  I wouldn't use Skyfire as my primary browser, but I've got it around in the event that I need to watch a flash video - which, I'll admit, doesn't happen very often.

You may be unpersuaded by my loyalty to Atomic, and want to try out some other browsers.  All right - have it your way.  Here are some links to a few other browsers I have tried, and found wanting:

There are literally dozens of web browsing apps in the App Store, so if these don't satisfy you, try them out - but I have a feeling you'll be coming back to Atomic in the end.

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