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Entries in ipad (8)


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!


On the Lecture Circuit.....

These days, most of the seminars I present are on the iPad, and how lawyers can best use them as a productive tool in their practice.  Over the next few months I'll be giving quite a few talks around the country as well as online.  Here's the rundown:

On Thursday, June 21 I'll be presenting "From Typewriters to Tablets:  Mobile Apps for Attorneys," for the 2012 State Bar of Arizona Annual Convention.  It's at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.

On Thursday, July 26 I'll be giving a webinar for PIABA, the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association.  As you might guess, the session is titled The iPad for Lawyers, and I'm presenting along with attorney Peter Mougey.  Unfortunately, the webinar is open to PIABA members only.

The very next day Friday, July 27, I'll be presenting at the San Antonio edition of the 35th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Course for the State Bar of Texas.  The topic is "There's an App for That:  Using Technology in the Courtroom," and I'll be presenting with Judge Dan Hinde.

At the 2012 ABA Annual Meeting, I'll be presenting "Developing Your iPractice: How Lawyers are Using the iPhone and iPad" with my good friend Paul Unger.  We'll be speaking on Friday, August 3 from 8:30am to 10:00am, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, in the Gold Coast Room (Bronze Level, West Tower).  I'll also be signing copies of my two books, iPad in One Hour for Lawyers and iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers on Thursday, August 2 at the Law Practice Management Section Booth (#1009) in the EXPO Hall.  I'm excited about this meeting, because the 2nd Edition of iPad in One Hour for Lawyers should be available at that time.

As you can see, I'll be very busy the next month - if you're around during any of these meetings, I'd love to see you!


An "Open In..." Rant (and a call for your Open In Faves)

It happened to me again today.  I downloaded a few new apps, and want to test them out using documents on my iPad.  I go to GoodReader or Dropbox, find the document I want to use, and then press the "Open In..." button in each app.  As I suspected, neither of the new apps appears in the list.  Apple's iOS inexplicably limits the number of apps that appear in the "Open In..." box of any app on your iPhone or iPad - a "feature" or "bug" that really needs to be changed.

Conventional wisdom says the number of apps in the "Open In..." box is 10, but I can say differently.  Just testing out different types of documents in my GoodReader app, most of the document types limit me to 10 apps in the "Open In..." box - Word, PDF, Excel, and PPT all offer me 10 different app from which to choose. However, I also have an RTF (Rich Text File) in my list of files, and when I press "Open In..." for that, I am presented with...twenty-five app choices!

Theoretically, when you click on "Open In..." you are given choices that apply to the file type you are trying to open.  For example, when I want to open a PowerPoint file, Keynote is always the first option in the list. It's clear that an RTF file can be viewed in a lot of different apps - otherwise, why would it give me so many options?  And if that's the case, why can't iOS give me that many options for all of the files I try to open?  It's a puzzling conundrum that has yet to be figured out, and one on which Apple has so far been silent.

Jeff Richardson had a great writeup on this very issue over at iPhone J.D. back in January - he sets forth the problem succinctly, and offers some workarounds.  I agree that the best workaround is simply to delete apps that do show up on your "Open In..." list until the apps you actually want appear in the list - then reinstall all of the apps you had to delete.  But as Jeff explains, this approach is inelegant - and as far as I'm concerned, a real pain in the butt.  

I'd Apple to fix this feature/bug, but I'm not going to hold my breath - it has been a known issue for nearly two years, and still nothing from Cupertino.  So I guess my plea goes out to the app developers themselves - if you intend users to view documents or other files within your app, then give us another option than an "Open In..." button.  The most direct way of doing this is to allow us to connect to our Dropbox or Box or other file synching accounts - that way, we could open the documents directly, without getting other apps involved.  And easy access to our files is what all of you developers want for your users - right?

Given that the "Open In..." list isn't likely to change any time soon, I thought I'd open up the comments below for you to chime in on the question:  What are the 10 Must-Have Apps in your "Open In..." box? If you're limited to 10 apps, which are the apps you absolutely need to have there?  Here are mine - looking at the list, it's pretty basic:



What about you?  What apps make your ideal "Open In..." list?  I realize that not all of these apps open the same types of documents - but if this was the same every time I tried to open a document, this would open just about everything for me.


Announcing iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers

I'm thrilled to announce the publication of my latest book, iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers, published by the ABA's Law Practice Management Section.  The idea that drove me to write this book, is the sheer number of apps in the App Store for the iPad - at last count there were somewhere between 80,000 and 90,000.  I keep getting asked the same question - how do you know which apps are best?  So I decided to create a curated listing of what I consider the best iPad apps, in the categories most important to lawyers. The result was this book - short reviews of 220+ iPad apps in the following categories:

  • Getting organized and being productive
  • Documents:  creating and organizing them
  • Apps for the law office
  • News, reading and reference apps
  • Utilities
  • Travel apps

I also spend some time describing how to buy, download and install apps on your iPad.

The book is currently available in print from the link above.  We'll also have an iBook and e-Book version available soon.  Unfortunately, the book won't be available on Amazon for some time, either in print or on the Kindle - this is due to an outmoded ABA policy (don't get me started).

If you'd like to know more about the book, please let me know.  I hope you enjoy it!


The New iPad - First Thoughts

I got my new iPad on Friday, and have had a couple of days to play around with it.  I have also compared it to my iPad 2, and I have to say that my initial thoughts about it match up with my experience.

This is a great device, so I'll cut to the chase: if you are looking for your first tablet, or wondering whether you should upgrade from an iPad 1, the answer is an unqualified yes.  If you have an iPad 2, then it really depends on how you answer these questions:

  • Does the resolution on your iPad 2 bother you?
  • Do you want a faster cellular connection?
  • Do you want a better camera?

If you answer Yes to one or more of these questions, I'd suggest you upgrade.  If you answered No to one or more, you're probably okay keeping the iPad 2 for a while longer.

The first thing I noticed about the new iPad was its weight - it's only 1.8 ounces heavier than the iPad 2, but it is quite noticeable to me, especially when I put the SmartCover and back cover on it.  To be fair, my Switcheasy CoverBuddy doesn't quite fit - it's made for an iPad 2, which is a little thinner than the new iPad - I'll get rid of it when something that fits is available.  That said, it's still lighter than the original iPad, so I'm not complaining.

At first, I couldn't tell the difference between the iPad 2 display and the new iPad's retina display - I thought, "maybe they sent me an iPad 2 by accident."   After a while, though, the differences began to become clearer - literally - the display is significantly better on the new iPad, whether you're reading a book, watching a movie, or reading email.  Here's a comparison of the Gmail app icon - it's from a great review of the new iPad at The Verge:

For most of you, the real difference here will come in the clarity of the text you read with the iPad.  It's clear, crisp, and really enjoyable.

Next - the camera.  I've already said that I just don't get why anyone would want to hold up something this big to take a picture.  But if you happen to be someone who does, you'll want to take a look at the new iPad's camera.  I took two pictures of my new book iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers.

Taken with iPad 2 cameraTaken with the new iPadNot even close.

I did not purchase a 4G model - I don't need one because I have a 4G Mi-Fi hotspot - but reviews I have read say that the 4G speeds are "faster than wi-fi fast."  That assumes, of course, you are in an area where 4G networks are available.  

Now, it's not all roses and honey with my new iPad.  There are a couple of things I wish were different, and they all deal with the battery.  In order to keep the iPad's impressive 10-hour battery life, they had to increase the size of the battery, and they did - by about 70%.  For me, there have been two effects of this massive battery:

  • The device gets unusually warm after using it for a few hours.  Not "it's going to explode!" warm, but warm enough to know something is working pretty hard under the hood.
  • Bigger battery = longer charge time.  Be prepared to leave it plugged in overnight to get a good charge.

The Huffington Post offers a great roundup of 9 reviews on the iPad, if you'd like to read more about what tech experts are saying (spoiler alert:  they all love it, too).

I agree with the experts that the new iPad is the best tablet currently on the market - so I'll say again, if you're thinking about buying a tablet, you owe it to yourself to take a look at the new iPad.

So what's your take?  Do you already have your iPad?  Does my review (or the others above) push you over the edge to buy one?  Is there no way you'll ever one?  Leave your comments below and let's discuss!