Best New Apps for Lawyers – July 2015

Download this Episode Download Audio July has come and gone, and with it the two-year anniversary of The Cyber Advocate! (And there was great rejoicing!)July was also quite a month for new apps out of the Microsoft Garage Project, their den of frenzied app-creation activities. As you’ll see below, they did quite well. I hope you had a relaxing month, because it’s time to dive in! Here are my best new apps for lawyers released in July 2015: Multi-Platform: Multi-platform apps begin at the (0:20) mark of the podcast. OneNote by Microsoft Corp., (iOS, Android), free. (Update) As part of its continuing strategy to make their flagship systems evenly accessible across all platforms, which you’ll see more of below, Microsoft has released new versions of it’s OneNote app for both iOS and Android. For iOS users, the iPad app has effectively been replaced with it’s more advanced iPhone sibling, meaning there won’t be any differences between the apps anymore. Additionally, you’re now fully able to view the “recent notes” view, and has fixed the preview mode, allowing pages to be previewed in landscape mode. For Android, Microsoft has added a highly requested feature: the ability to move or copy a note from one section or notebook to another. You can even copy and save a note to your home screen instead of OneNote. For users of Android Wear, Microsoft reports that a significant update is on your way too. Convo by Scrybe, Inc., (iOS, Android), free. (Update) While technically an update, this really should qualify as a new app. Convo, one of the top business collaboration tools available, has completely revamped its desktop system, and released... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – June 2015

Download this Episode: Download Audio I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! With Independence Day weekend in the proverbial rear-view, it’s time to tell you about some of the great new apps released last month. We have some new stuff here at the Cyber Advocate, too! For everyone who has checked out our new podcast, the Legal Technology Review, we appreciate it. For those who haven’t, here’s your perfect opportunity: Beginning with this post, our Best New Apps series will become part of the podcast. Not to worry, you’ll still be able to get the monthly list right here. The podcast will offer more detailed information on how you can use each app to improve your practice. Additionally, the podcast will include additional apps – an honorable mention, of sorts – that didn’t make the final cut for the post. So without further ado, here are my best new apps for lawyers released in June 2015: Multi-Platform: Multi-platform apps begin at the 1:34 mark of the podcast. Microsoft Outlook by Microsoft Corp., (iOS, Android), free. (Update) Microsoft’s Outlook app underwent a significant update last month, adding functionality that is both incredible and critical for anyone concerned with the security of mobile devices. Bring Your Own Device, or “BYOD,” is a major concern for IT staff, and attorneys and law firms should be incredibly concerned about the potential for confidential data to be compromised due to a lost or hacked phone or tablet. The recent update should help your firm and IT manager enforce compliance with your BYOD Policies, particularly with mobile device management. Now, you can prevent users... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – May 2015

Hey everyone, happy June! According to my calendar, summer starts in about 20 days. According to the actual weather… been here for a while! I’ve been insanely busy these past few weeks, and have some exciting news to announce (which I end up giving away in this post, but you’ll need to read it to find it!) about new features coming this month! But I couldn’t leave everyone without your list of new apps! Here are my best new apps for lawyers released in May 2015: Multi-Platform: Google Photos by Google, Inc. (iOS, Android), free. Ok, so this one might not necessarily have too many lawyer-centric photos, but Google Photos is probably one of the coolest apps released this month (and it’s my blog, so I’ll include it if I want to!). Sorry, just a little tired. 🙂 Now a completely separate app from Google+, Photos is your complete photo collection, on-the-go. With unlimited storage, you can add as many photos as you want. Once uploaded, Google will tag the photos based on facial recognition, object recognition, and location. Apparently, facial recognition can even track the same person as they age! (This would be terrifying if they could identify everyone by name, which they claim they cannot.) Even your old photos, taken back in the stone age (prior to, say, 2001) become searchable, too. That old photo by the Eiffel Tower – Google has that location on file, so it comes up in your search for “Paris.” Pretty cool, huh? Not impressed? Ok. It can also recognize the breed of your dog. *Drops mic* QuizUp by Plain Vanilla Corp. (iOS, Android), free. (Update) A... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – April 2015

I’m back! For everyone who missed me over the past two weeks, I’ve completed a hellish move into temporary housing until my wife and I move into the house we purchased in mid-August. For everyone else, well, there were some nice apps released last month. Here are my best new apps for lawyers released in April 2015: Multi-Platform: Facebook Messenger by Facebook, Inc. (iOS, Android), free (Update). Facebook’s first foray into breaking its social capabilities into multiple apps got a major update last month. Messenger, the stand-alone app that allows you to send individual or group messages to your Facebook friends, added a video calling feature. You are now able to start a video call directly from an existing message, expanding on the recent introduction of voice calls through messenger. Probably the most valuable element of this new feature is that you’re able to conduct video calls between any mobile devices, regardless of the brand, OS, or network. LinkedIn Elevate by LinkedIn Corp. (iOS, Android), free. Does your law firm create its own content, via blog or social media? Do you routinely share articles and stories relevant to your law firm’s practice areas with your employees or clients? Are you simply looking for a way to share valuable content? LinkedIn Elevate might be just the platform for you. Taking advantage of your employees’ social networks, LinkedIn Elevate allows you to share the unique or important content you create or discover with a wide audience. Using state of the art analytics, find out the best times to post content so it gets the best audience, boosting your circulation and enhancing your employees’ authority with their... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – March 2015

Well, the Madness of March has come and gone. I’m sure most of you, like me, had your brackets obliterated early on (much appreciated, Iowa State and Virginia), and only the random guy from Wisconsin in your office is even getting points for the championship game. In addition, it was also another great month for apps. I had to leave off several pretty cool apps. Here are my best new apps for lawyers released in March 2015: Multi-Platform: Caliber by Tiplinks, Inc. (iOS, Android), free. Technically, Caliber is not a new app. It was released last year, and this version is technically Caliber 2.0. But Caliber IS a new app, completely redesigned, and definitely worthwhile. And the updated version seems as though it was designed with attorneys in mind. Caliber is a contacts app that connects with your LinkedIn profile (the most popular social network for lawyers by far), and imports your contacts. Once that’s done, Caliber asks you for your interests, and begins suggesting relevant professionals you might want to connect with. What happens next really should be a lesson for LinkedIn. If the person you want to connect with has Caliber, the invitation will appear in the app. If not, it’ll go through LinkedIn. If they respond, you get added to their contacts. Caliber even offers a limited text system that many will find more convenient than LinkedIn’s InMail. Stre.am by Infinite Takes, LLC (iOS, Android), free. Unless you either live under a rock or spent the last month in depositions in construction defect cases (like me), you’ve by now heard about the app sensation Meerkat. Although there’s a decent... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – February 2015

Hopefully everyone was able to get through that miserable February weather… just in time for March to enter like a lion, or whatever that proverb says. We’re expecting both temperatures in the 70s and snow this week in North Carolina, so hopefully it’s crazy everywhere! Fortunately, February marked the second month in a row of some pretty excellent apps to talk about. So, without further ado… Here are my best new apps for lawyers released in February 2015: Multi-Platform: IF Do Button (iOS, Android), Do Camera (iOS, Android), Do Note (iOS, Android) by IFTTT, free. One of the best automation platforms available, IFTTT has been helping you organize your life for a while now – at least if you’re like me. Recently, they’ve decided to go through an entire re-branding of their system, taking the “If-This-Then=That” and making it into separate apps for convenience. Now, using three separate apps, the team at IF wants to make it a bit easier to operate some of the most frequently used functions. Using the Do Button, you’re able to trigger one of a significant number of actions based on a particular input, like controlling your smart light system at home. Do Camera, as should be painfully obvious, triggers events based on taking pictures on your phone. Do Note triggers many of the note-taking features, such as copying to Evernote or Pocket – a feature I use daily to collect my resources for these very monthly new app posts! It’s one of the best tools on the market, so if you’re not using it yet, you should really get to it! iOS: Teleprompter... read more

The Best New Apps for Lawyers – January 2015

February has arrived! Anyone else really confused as to why the Seahawks decided to pass the ball on 2nd and goal from the 1 yard line? Other than Cris Collinsworth, who was apparently even more baffled by the call than I was. Anyway, another month has passed, and a whole new slate of apps have been released. And when I say a whole new slate, I mean a WHOLE new slate. As in, so many that I had to leave a bunch of good apps off the list, like the new apps FullContact, Timeline, and Bluenote, which I nevertheless highly recommend checking out. Here are my best new apps for lawyers released in January 2015: Multi-Platform: Facebook at Work by Facebook, Inc., free (iOS, Android). Well, it’s not necessarily the best start for quite an impressive list of new apps, but there’s no denying that when Facebook releases a whole new system for enterprise social networking, it needs to be discussed. Facebook at Work wants to help you, well, Facebook at Work. If your company utilizes an enterprise communication system (meaning you’re able to send instant messages to your co-workers), then Facebook hopes you’ll consider trying this new offering. Designed with a news feed for staying up-to-date with the goings-on of your company, the best feature is probably the groups settings, allowing for collaboration between any number of your co-workers. I personally wonder whether Facebook at Work or Google Hangouts will win this battle. Any thoughts? Comment below! Starlike by AOL, Inc., free (iOS, Android). Most people may not think that being able to follow feeds from multiple social... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – December 2014

A new year is upon us! As I write this, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is going strong in Las Vegas, and soon you’ll be hearing all about the devices, software, and other tech that will drive the future of our world! However, it’s also important to know about the present. What can you do NOW with the devices you have NOW. In other words, what are the best apps out there? These are my Best New Apps for Lawyers – December 2014: Multi-Platform: MSN Money by Microsoft Corp., free (iOS and Android). While it’s not the sexiest part of being an attorney, keeping track of your finances is a must. There are hundreds of apps and systems available, but few have the established clout of Microsoft Money. Keep your entire financial portfolio at your fingertips, for free. With updates about stock, financial, and commodities markets, you’ll always be up-to-date. Tools like a tip calculator (for those of you who need it), mortgage calculator, retirement fund guides, and more give you everything you need to manage your finances. Sync with your established version of Microsoft Money for quick access to all of your financial information. TurboTax by Intuit, Inc., free (iOS and Android). It’s not sexy, I know. But it’s necessary, and it’s tax season. In the past, I’ve been somewhat critical of Intuit, Inc.’s absurd lobbying in opposition to free online filing of tax returns, but even I have to admit that this year’s offering is nice. Simply snap a photo of your W2 with the app, and TurboTax takes care of the rest. Allowing you to share... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – November 2014

Have you finished digesting your Thanksgiving turkey? Did you get everything you were supposed to get on Black Friday? Have you nursed those wounds from the stampede? Good! It’s December now, so it’s time to take a look back at the best apps for lawyers from this past month. These are my Best New Apps for Lawyers – November 2014: Multi-Platform: Facebook Groups by Facebook, Inc., free (iOS, Android). That’s right, Facebook has come out with another app! Facebook’s Groups function, similar to groups features in other social media apps, allows people to post and share content exclusive to the group. Unlike Facebook’s Messenger app, which is no longer available in Facebook’s mobile app, Groups are still accessible. The new Facebook Groups App is designed to allow you to “share faster and more easily” with the members of your groups. In the standard Facebook app, group interactions are a bit buried and difficult to use amid the other functionality. View all of your groups right from the main page, listed by most recent interactions, or create new groups. For attorneys who rely on collaboration with online communities, this app can really save you time. iOS: TranscriptPad 2.0 by LIT Software, $89.99. LIT Software, makers of the incredibly popular TrialPad app, have completely overhauled their companion app, TranscriptPad. Designed to put your depositions all in one place on your iPad, TranscriptPad takes an electronic transcript reader and adds annotation tools that typically required a highlighter, numerous post-it notes, and a large box for hauling massive deposition transcripts. The key upgrade in 2.0 is based on the concept that efficiency is key. After... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – October 2014

Fall is in the air! The leaves are changing color, a cool wind is blowing, and they’ve added pumpkin spice to everything you never wanted to taste like pumpkin. The past month has been a flurry of activity for tech companies like Apple, Samsung, and Amazon.  New product launches usually slow the introduction of new apps so developers can match them to the new products, but October still saw some excellent new additions. These are my Best New Apps for Lawyers – October 2014: Multi-Platform: Inbox by Gmail by Google, Inc., free (iOS, Android). Inbox is Google’s newest entry into the email department. But Google has Gmail, right? Depends on how successful Inbox is, according to most of the experts. You have to request an invite, so before you do, what will you be getting? Inbox bundles similar emails so that you can review them all at once. Get highlights of each of your emails without opening them, just in case you’re REALLY busy.  What can you do with your highlights? Check in for flights, see photos, and even see the shipping information for your purchases.  You’re even able to set reminders right from your emails, and then snooze those reminders when necessary. Is that enough to replace Gmail? We’ll see. iOS: Slideshare Presentations by Linkedin Corp., free. Slideshare is the largest online repository of electronic slideshows. Need some help on a topic you want to present about? Want more information from experts in your field? Odds are, there’s a presentation on Slideshare to help you out. Download and upload presentations on any topic, from many different types of... read more
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