I was asking for it. Last month, I suggested that the reason I didn’t include new Windows Phone apps in my list was that I didn’t know any lawyers who used them. The first response from a lawyer with a Windows Phone came within about 15 minutes of publishing my post. So, here you go, my first post including new apps from all three major smartphone operating systems. In case you’re wondering, no, I don’t care at all about Blackberry OS users.
My first post-USA defeat in the World Cup (you guys were awesome, proud to be an American Outlaw!) list of new apps is here. These are my Best New Apps for Lawyers – June 2014:
As we become more accustomed to presentations in PowerPoint or other slideshow-based format, it gets continually more important to make sure we have a way to present those slideshows professionally. However, it is also necessary that we do so in a way that stands out. PowerPoint Remote is an incredibly deep presentation app that allows you to control, preview, and annotate your PowerPoint presentation on the go.
While your presentation is running, you’re able to preview your upcoming slides, or even just have your upcoming slides in a thumbnail section on the screen. Instantly add annotations to any part of your presentation, and even pause your presentation and bring up an electronic “blackboard” at any point (this feature is by FAR my favorite). Options to highlight text, create a “laser pointer” effect on the screen, and even track how long your presentation has lasted come built in. Anyone who regularly uses PowerPoint should look into this app!
It’s a new app from LinkedIn that’s been in the top 5 Business Apps in the iTunes App store since it’s release. Considering the overwhelming popularity of LinkedIn among attorneys, even if you’re not looking for a job, you had better know about this app!
Job Search allows LinkedIn users to search for, and even apply for, a new job using their LinkedIn profile. Easily perform searches for jobs based on a particular geographical area and what type of job you’re looking for. Once you’ve performed your initial search, Job Search will act as your eyes on the ground, notifying you if an ideal job comes up at a later time. Apply directly from your LinkedIn profile, and – most importantly – do so in total privacy. Nothing you do on Job Search will ever be posted to your profile or sent to your connections.
InkyMail by Inky, free.
Email can really be a hassle on a smartphone, particularly when you have multiple email addresses, with dozens (or hundreds… or thousands) of emails each day. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could have an office assistant in our phones to help organize the email? You know, separating out fliers for CLEs from important items like filed documents or the newest copy of Mad Magazine? That’s what InkyMail does.
InkyMail downloads and analyzes all of your email, sorting it into different categories like Personal, Subscription, News, and Deals. One-click options to perform tasks like Unsubscribing from unwanted newsletters are both a time-saver and a dramatic stress-reduction tool. Concerned about your client’s information? Don’t be. InkyMail uses end-to-end encryption that is local to your device, meaning that not even Inky’s staff have access to your information. Compatible with Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, Outlook, and all standard IMAP and POP servers, the real question is whether you can come up with a good reason NOT to use InkyMail.
For law firms, particularly small to mid-sized ones, business (like politics) is local. Presently, there’s no better way to advertise yourself locally than Google Places. Moreover, since use of any Google-owned property these days seems to require signing up for Google+, it certainly makes sense to get the most out of your profile.
Google My Business allows you to promote your business on multiple Google platforms, all from one app (think of it as Facebook Pages, except for Google). Open the app, and you have instant access to your company’s information and promotions on Google Maps, Google Places, or other Google search listings. Update your customers by posting new information on your company’s Google+ page, add photos of your business, and even check out customizable analytics about your business (like how many people search for you) right from your phone.
Overheard by ARO, Inc., free.
This is really more of a Public Service Announcement to lawyers – to make sure you’re aware of this type of app – than a recommendation. Ever been talking to someone and thought to yourself: “Self, I really wish I could play back the last three minutes of this conversation.” Yeah, if you’re a lawyer, you absolutely have. Don’t bother denying it.
Overheard uses your phone’s microphone and actually buffers up to three minutes of whatever your microphone hears, allowing you to save the recording for later use. Want to make it even more creepy? Overheard has you covered! You can actually add SOUND EFFECTS! Need just one more step in the whole “creepy” direction? You’re able to share the recording via Facebook and Twitter right from your phone! That’s right, your entire network can find out what your boss sounds like when his voice is given a Darth Vader filter.
Email by Google, Inc., free (subscription required, starts at $19.99).
Most email apps have one fatal flaw – because they want to incorporate as many of your accounts as possible, they lose a lot of the functionality each account provides. With the new Email app by Google, they’re looking to change that. If you’re used to the particular feature set for Gmail, you’ll love this app.
Whether you use Yahoo, Hotmail, or even Outlook-based email, you’re able to incorporate all of your email accounts without sacrificing all of the features you’re used to with Gmail. Choose which accounts you sync, and set your phone to automatically download attachments when your phone connects to a Wifi network, helping you avoid expensive bills for exceeding your data limits.
Despite the rising influence of cloud-based systems, most law firms still rely on applications installed on desktop computers or servers, and documents and other important information is usually saved locally on the server. But we’ve all been in those situations when you need access to that information saved on your computer… when the computer is miles away.
Enter Parallels Access, the leader in remote access systems. With a subscription to Parallels, you now have remote access to not just your basic information, but your whole system. Edit and save documents, access important files, and never again be left hanging when you can’t get to your important files because you’re away from your desk.
As I’ve discussed many times, slideshow presentations are incredibly powerful tools (when used judiciously) for enhancing your presentations. That’s why Google Slides, of the Google Docs line of cloud-based productivity tools, is perfect for attorneys. Create your slideshow and save it in Google Slides and you’ll have access on any computer, and now, any Android device.
Did you create your show in PowerPoint? Not to worry, you can open it right in Google Slides. Need to collaborate with someone across the country? No problem, you’re both able to work on the slideshow simultaneously! Since it saves to the cloud, you have access anywhere and any time. Present your slideshow straight from your Android device, without the need for any expensive apps. And for the nervous ones among us, your slideshow saves to the cloud as you type, so you’ll never lose a presentation again!
Major Updates/New Version
In a previous post, I told you about Aviate, this cool new contextual home screen app that adjusts the information displayed based on where you are in your day. At the time, it was invitation-only. However, with a big update this month (not to mention a big title change after being purchased by Yahoo!), the Aviate Launcher is available to all!
New to Windows Phone users this month is the gold-standard in online presentations. Access a database of nearly 2,000 TED Talks from luminaries in politics, entertainment, education, sports, and pretty much every professional field you can imagine. Yes, even ours! While it may not give you the instant gratification that a mindless game of Fruit Ninja might provide, your brain will thank you!