Plenty of new apps were released or updated in November. While you were eating Thanksgiving dinner, I was… well, probably eating Thanksgiving dinner. But afterwards, I put together the Best New Apps for Lawyers from November 2013 for both iOS and Android.
Knock (to Unlock) by Knock Software, Inc., $3.99
Although this app has relatively limited applicability (only for iPhone owners who also own a Mac computer), my recent discussions about security and the sheer ingenuity of this app requires its inclusion in this article.
The concept: using a Bluetooth Low Energy connection, you can unlock your password-protected Mac with just two taps on your phone. You don’t have to open the app or even take your phone out of your pocket. Two taps, and your computer is unlocked. Also, since it utilizes Bluetooth connection, you’ll never accidentally unlock your computer by tapping on your phone while miles away at work.
The only caveat: it may not work for older Macs. So check the compatibility first!
TextExtractor – OCR Scanner by Alex Lesley, $0.99
We have plenty of experience now with apps that are able to scan documents into electronic format. Now, the next step: optical character recognition. TextExtractor is designed to be an easy-to-use app that provides state-of-the-art character recognition of any document you scan into your iOS device.
Able to analyze documents that have been scanned in via your device’s camera or saved in the photo album, TextExtractor is able to recognize English, Russian, French, German, Spanish, and Italian text. Once captured, you’re able to copy, edit, and save the recognized text in your archive. You’re also able to share the saved text (via .txt, .pdf, and .jpeg formats) by email. Additionally, thanks to the developer’s use of open-source systems, you can actually utilize TextExtractor from within a number of other apps.
Mustbin by Mustbin, Inc., Free
Mustbin, a new cloud-based storage app, uses the camera on your iPhone or iPad to record images of important documents. So what, that’s just like most scanning apps, right? Wrong. Mustbin then encrypts the documents and syncs them across your iOS devices.
Once captured, you can organize and categorize your encrypted documents into bins, and even securely share them with other authorized users.
QuizUp by Plain Vanilla Corp., free.
Let’s all be honest here, we’re not JUST looking for apps that apply only to our professional lives. After all, all work and no play…
QuizUp is the “largest real-time trivia game ever,” according to its developer. Need a little break? Challenge your friends or other players online across 250 different categories of useless knowledge! The system includes over 150,000 questions, with categories ranging from sports, TV shows, business, art, history, music, geography, and many more.
Google Play Newsstand by Google, Inc., free.
Google’s new app for Android, Google Play Newsstand, is a combination of old apps Google Play Magazine and Currents, all in one. A news delivery service comparable to Flipboard, Google Play Newsstand will also offer you suggested content from subscription-only services like The New York Times based on your reading history.
If you have subscriptions and publications from the Google Play Store, they will all be available in one app. Newsstand even has an offline mode, similar to Evernote’s paid version, that allows you to download versions of your subscriptions to read when no internet connection is available.
MyEffectivenessHabits by AndTek, free.
To-do lists really are things that we love to hate. While we may love the satisfaction that comes with crossing items off, creating and organizing them can, to be honest, be a real pain in the ass. Make your list, and organize it by… there are just too many pointless ways for me to pretend to list them. By importance? Again, let’s be honest: if it made it onto my to-do list, I rate it as some kind of “important.”
MyEffectivenessHabits helps you organize your to-do list. Organizing your tasks along two axes, you’re able to rate each entry based on its importance (Important/Not Important) and its urgency (Urgent/Not Urgent). Referred to as an Eisenhower Matrix, this method of organization was the preferred method for the late President Eisenhower. Really, you have to ask if YOU’RE worthy of this app!
MapQuest for Android by MapQuest, free. (Update)
You read that right: “MapQuest.” No, this isn’t a trip back to 2004. MapQuest has decided that they’re not going to let Google Maps and Apple Maps dominate the point-to-point navigation system any longer, and have put together this massive update to get you to come back.
So what did they do? Well, MapQuest does just about everything you would ask in a navigational app. High-resolution images in the maps allow users to interact with the maps on multiple levels and layers – assisting you in finding nearby businesses and attractions. Turn-by-turn navigation has a significantly improved real-time traffic re-routing system. The whole visual presentation has been re-tooled. Real-time traffic conditions are neatly and clearly displayed.
Google Maps may still be better, but MapQuest is hoping that you’ll try their free app, and maybe like them as much as you did back when you used to print out their maps before you left the office!
ToDoist by Doist, free.
Another new to-do list makes the cutoff this month, so you know it’s gotta be notable in SOME way, right? Right. Todoist allows you to synchronize your to-do list and task list across multiple devices and platforms (mobile, desktop, e-mails and web browser). With the ability to manage unlimited tasks/sub-tasks and save your lists in the cloud, you’ll always have access of everything you need to know about what you are SUPPOSED to get accomplished.