Best New Apps for Lawyers – August & September 2014

Fall is in the air!  Unfortunately, that means irritating and unstoppable campaign ads are on TV.  Even YouTube is sporting some annoying Americans for Prosperity ads, which just don’t seem appropriate right before a Beyonce music video.  Oh well.  At least there’s football (kind of).  And, of course, new apps. These are my Best New Apps for Lawyers – August & September 2014: iOS: PromptSmart by PromptSmart, $9.99. One of the biggest complaints with all previous attempts to use the iPad as a teleprompter was that the apps failed to allow for the fact that speeches rarely go at one speed.  While you’re presenting, you need to take a breath to let a major point sink in, turn to your slides to identify an important point, or simply pause to inform your audience that you KNOW they’re either sleeping or playing video games (this is particularly important in law school classrooms).  PromptSmart has not only solved that issue, they’ve got a patent pending on their solution! Welcome to voice-responsive teleprompting.  PromptSmart will actually follow your presentation, word-for-word, and scroll to the next part of your speech accordingly.  Don’t like fully scripted speeches?  Great, because PromptSmart comes with a notecard mode perfect for tracking key points in your presentation.  Seem too good to be true? Check out a video demonstration. Lockdown Two Factor Authentication by Cory Bohon, $3.99. Maybe it’s because I wish I was still at the 2014 Clio Cloud Conference, where I gave a presentation on Law Firms living in a BYOD World (a primer on the necessity of a BYOD Policy in law firms), but this set... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – July 2014

Well, summer has been in full swing, with world events (ok, my actual day job and the whole “planning a wedding” thing really) drawing my attention away from blogging. I intend to rectify that as the weather cools down, and my wedding planning concludes. However, I couldn’t possibly go without keeping y’all posted on the newest apps available! These are my Best New Apps for Lawyers – July 2014: Multi-Platform: Facebook Messenger by Facebook, Inc., free (iOS, Android). Yeah, I know, this isn’t some great new app that every lawyer needs to have because it’s new and fresh. Nope, it’s the app everyone needs to have because Facebook decided they wanted to publish an app that everyone needed to have. Quite a simple business plan, really… (once you’ve gotten past the whole “inventing a once in a generation product” part, that is…) The real reason? Well, Facebook has permanently separated your messenger from your Facebook app. This is part of what appears to be a number of features Facebook will rip out of their app and only allow you to use in a separate, stand-alone app. However, until we all decide to give MySpace another look, whatever Facebook does impacts pretty much everyone’s daily life. On the plus side, it’s an instant messenger service that’s independent of your phone’s minutes. It’s a video phone for those who don’t like FaceTime, Skype, or Google Hangouts. It’s a trading hub for photos and videos. Oh, and if you’re on WiFi, it’ll only cost you the price of a full charge for your battery to use! Wiper Messenger by Wiper, Inc., free (iOS, Android) Ok, I realize... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – June 2014

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: iOS: In-Depth PowerPoint Remote by Jia Jiancang, $4.99. 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... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – May 2014

Well, as May rolls into June, 2014 keeps marching along! It also means it’s time for me to release my list of best new apps for lawyers, for both Android and iOS (I would consider posting new apps for the Windows phone, but first need to actually hear of an attorney actually using that platform). So, without further ado, here are my Best New Apps for Lawyers – May 2014: iOS: U.S. Code Pro by AppCube, Ltd., free ($11.99 in-app purchase for annual subscription). Ok, I’m a sucker for apps actually designed for use by legal professionals, and our first offering of the day, U.S. Code Pro, is certainly that. This app contains the entirety of the U.S. Federal Code, up to date, and with frequent updates to make sure it’s kept current – if you’re willing to pay the annual $11.99 subscription price. In my opinion, the subscription is a bit on the high side for what’s being offered – regular updates to the statutes – but the app has several other features that many attorneys and law students will likely find useful. There is a full search function, which is indexed to titles and content. That way, you don’t NEED to know the name of the statute you’re looking for. The app also allows users to insert notes and annotations into the statutes, which attorneys who routinely find themselves in federal court may find handy. Notifyr by Arnoldus Wilhelmus Jacobus van Dijk (now THAT’S a name!), $3.99 Let’s face it, we live in a connected world now, and making sure that we receive timely notifications of messages,... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – March & April 2014

Well, to say that March and April of 2014 have been crazier than I expected would be a MAJOR understatement. Regardless, I’ve neglected you wonderful readers of my blog for far too long, and I pledge not to allow it to happen again for, well… at least for a few months. Ok, my daunting schedule aside, I’ve decided to combine the best apps from March and April into one post. And, by my review of the apps, I may really be making my life difficult. On the other hand, there are always plenty of interesting new apps to check out. Well, once more into the breach, dear friends, once more!: iOS: FireChat by Open Garden, Inc., free. This app may not have any particularly important features for lawyers, per se, but it’s one of the coolest features that I’ve seen. And, since this is my list, here it is! Did you know that iOS 7 included a hidden little gem called the Multipeer Connectivity Network? Me either. What does it do? It connects you. To other phones. Without WiFi OR wireless signal. So how does FireChat take advantage of that little system? By turning your iPhone into a can on a string… connected to every other can in the area. You can send messages and even photos to those around you. Even more important, you can create exclusive groups for your communication. Sitting in a mediation and want to talk to co-counsel, without shouting across the room? How about reminding your associate (or boss!) not to forget about a topic during a deposition? No need for a wireless signal, a WiFi... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – February 2014

It’s been a few weeks since my most recent post. A combination of work, life, and snow/ice has gotten in the way of writing, for which I apologize. But enough about me! February is over, and as a resident of the southeast, I say Thank God! However, February was an excellent month for new apps that the tech-savvy attorney can benefit greatly from. Without any further ado, here are the Best New Apps for Lawyers from February 2014: iOS: DkT by Matthew Zorn, free. Do you need access to federal court litigation documents? If so, then you undoubtedly use the PACER system to file, search for, or review documents in federal cases. DkT is an app designed to significantly improve your access to PACER documents on iOS devices. DkT directly interfaces with the PACER and ECF systems for all district, appellate, and bankruptcy courts across the country. DkT improves your mobile access to the PACER and ECF system by creating an interface and overlay with a custom mobile interface. Additionally, you will now have easy mobile access to bookmarking, batch downloading, quick emailing, and saving, printing and bundling PACER documents. Paper by Facebook, Inc., free. Ok, I admit it, this app isn’t on this list for any particular use in the practice of law. Instead, it’s an app that anyone who utilizes Facebook, for personal use, professional use, or any combination thereof, should check out. When you log onto Facebook, where do you get most of your information? From your crowded News Feed. Well, Paper takes your News Feed and turns it into a sleek, streamlined, aesthetically impressive news aggregator. Swipe... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – January 2014

Ah, January. That time of year when we return to work from the holidays to find that, generally, being away for the holidays didn’t make work any better! So sad. Another sad fact about January – the selection of brand spankin’ new apps is a bit slim. The holidays have passed, and with LegalTech 2014 coming up in February, it’s a little bit more difficult to identify those new apps for lawyers. But I’m no quitter! Here are the Best New Apps for Lawyers from January 2014: iOS: Interviewy by Carl Gresswell, free. We’re starting off this month’s list with a slightly unusual app. Ever had to go back and listen to the audio of a recorded conversation, wishing you had the ability to skip right to the important part? That’s exactly what Interviewy seeks to accomplish. Although the app was designed with journalists in mind, it’s certainly easy to think of how many ways this kind of app would be useful for attorneys. Whether you’re in the middle of dictating and need to remember an important thought, or want to be able to quickly access important parts of a deposition or witness interview, you’ll find plenty of uses for Interviewy in your practice. Yahoo News Digest by Yahoo!, free. It’s taken a few months, but now we know what Yahoo! wanted to create when they purchased the news app Summly last spring: the Yahoo News Digest app. Taking on the mission of keeping readers apprised of the most important news of the day, Yahoo News Digest provides users with 10 news items twice per day – once in... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – December 2013

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season, taking a little well-earned respite from the chaos that is December. For me, it means having some time to put together my set of New Year’s resolutions that I’ll ignore approximately 31 hours into the new year. It also means taking some time to write more articles, and putting together my next installment of the Best New Apps for Lawyers. So here are the best apps, released or receiving a significant update, from December 2013: iOS: SG Project OnePage 5 by Simple Genius Software, $4.99. Legal professionals are gradually gaining an understanding of how useful project management tools and software can be in a law firm. By allowing a project manager or leader to track various elements of a project from planning through completion, they have a better handle of how a project is moving along and where additional resources should be committed. These tools can be incredibly effective for a legal professional utilizing associates, paralegals, and technical staff to work on different parts of one client’s case. Enter Project OnePage 5. This app provides the 30,000 foot view of all active projects that a manager has running at any single time. Utilizing a 12×12 approach (12 total tasks and 12 time slots per project), OnePage gives the project manager a broad overview of each project that is pending, restricting your attention to only the most important information and preventing you from getting lost in the details and minutia. Ideal for providing timely updates to your clients about their matters, this app gives you a broad look at all pending projects in... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – October 2013

It can be tough to keep up with the newest offerings in the world of apps these days. So this will be my first installment of what I hope will be a monthly series to help keep you updated on the newest apps to assist you in your law practice, for both iOS and Android. This month has been packed to the gills with product announcements all over the tech industry, not least of which was Apple’s iPad event. Without further delay, here are the Best New Apps for Lawyers from October 2013: iOS TweetBot 3 by Tapbots, $2.99 for a limited time, $4.99 regular price. For attorneys who rely on Twitter as part of their social media strategy, or just as part of their daily routine, Tweetbot was already a valuable tool. Tweetbot’s best feature, though, was that it always made using your Twitter account less tedious and, dare I say, a lot more fun. Functionality may have come after form for Tweetbot, but this complete redesign makes Tweetbot 3 an incredibly functional way to enjoy using Twitter. Rebuilt from the ground up, Tweetbot 3 incorporates a new interface design that closely resembles the slick new artistry of iOS 7. Additionally, you are now able to mute Tweets from certain people, hashtags or keywords (as Gizmodo suggests, potentially to ignore things like spoilers for TV shows) without having to unfollow anyone. Extra functionality has also been added to allow you to sync your activity between your phone, tablet and computer. Cannonball eMail by Cannonball Corp., free. Why would we need another email client, you might ask? Well, if... read more
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