HAPPY NEW YEAR!
It’s time again for another update to the Hytech Lawyer’s favorite lawyer productivity applications:
1. Goodreader ($4.99 App Store)
One of the best selling non-Apple apps for iPad in 2011. This App allows you read and in most cases mark-up PDF and many other varieties of documents. Also has a well designed document management system which permits multi-level document files (i.e., organizing documents by case/matter). Aggressive development team constantly refines and updates programs. A must have for the serious iPad lawyer.
2. Documents To Go Premium ($ 16.99 App Store)
Another must have application for the serious iPad lawyer. Allows you to open, edit, save, email and create documents in the most popular word processing and spreadsheet applications to include MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and WordPerfect. Allows you to see redlines in documents with tracked changes although there is not capability to redline documents on the iPad (we are not aware of any Application that provides this functionality).
3. Pages ($9.99 App Store)
Apple’s proprietary word processing program. Most robust word processing program I am aware of on the iPad. Converts Word documents for editing. Documents created in Pages can be converted to Word and shared by various means. If you are going to draft documents on the iPad, you will want this App.
4. SpiderOak (Free upto 2 GB App Store)
SpiderOak does everything that Dropbox does and more (allows cloud storage and the sharing of files between computers, smart phones, iPads, etc.), but is much more secure. Your files are encrypted and SpiderOak does not have a key. SO DON’T FORGET YOUR PASSWORD. To start out, you install the desktop app and select folders you want to backup. Once backed up, you can choose to sync them to other computers/devices or create “Share Rooms” to share files with other users. I use SpiderOak in my practice for cloud storage (after 2 GB charges based on storage size), file transfers and collaboration with other. In my opinion a “must have” App.
5. Dropbox (Free up to 2 GB APP Store)—NON-CONFIDENTIAL FILE USE ONLY
In some respects, Dropbox is a wonderful App. It allows cloud storage and the sharing of files between computers, smart phones, iPads, you name it. With this App you can make a file available to all your devices by moving to the Dropbox on any of your other computers/devices. Incredibly easy to use. The problem—there are serious questions about the security of files stored in Dropbox and access to them (see my prior posts). Further, the terms of service are such that Dropbox can pretty much do what it wants to with your files. Thus, in my opinion Dropbox is not suitable for storing or transferring confidential and/or privileged materials. However, it is probably true that using Dropbox to simply transfer files, and then deleting the files from Dropbox post transfer presents minimal risk. I use it frequently for transferring nonconfidential files because many applications are designed with Dropbox capability.
6. UPAD (4.99 App Store)
UPAD allows you to use you iPad as a notepad for handwritten notes. I use it everyday (with stylus) in place of my yellow legal pad (although UPAD does have yellow page templates). I have tested almost every popular handwriting Application (Penultimate (old #1 choice), Note Taker HD, Noteability, PaperDesk, PhatPad 7Notes HD Premium) and have found UPAD to be the easiest to use with the best file storage functionality and most natural writing feel.
7. Penultimate ($ .99 The App Store)
Penultimate is my old handwriting application favorite. A very nice looking interface and simple to use. Given the bargain basement price, I still highly recommend it.
8. Notability ($ .99 The App Store)
This all in one App allows you to handwrite, type and or record audio notes. Because the handwriting feature is not as good as that in Upad, I use this application when I need audio backup for my notes, or plan to type and write notes.
9. AudioMemos 2 ($ .99 The App Store)
Audio Memos is a professionally made audio recorder that provides great sound quality. It has an intuitive interface, which is easy to use and full of powerful features. You can email recordings. Caution—keep in mind the ethical issues related to recording others without their knowledge.
10. Keynote ($ 9.99. The App Store)
Apple’s answer to PowerPoint for the iPad. You can create presentations on the iPad, but I have found it more practical to prepare presentations in PowerPoint and then email them to my iPad. Keynote will convert PowerPoint presentations to Keynote. As you might expect from Apple, Keynote has some wonderful effects for transitions, etc.
11. Trialpad ($89.00 The App Store)
In my opinion, Trialpad is one of the two best trial presentation applications available for the iPad (the others being ExhibitView). It is also the most expensive (although cheap compared to the cost of preparing even one foam board exhibit). Trialpad allows you to organize documents and display them via projector or monitor system. You can highlight, redact, mark, and enlarge documents on the fly. It also has the capability to organize and share video and has a whiteboard feature. Documents are transferred to the iPad via Dropbox, e-mail, or iTunes sync. Trialpad is intuitively designed and easy to use.
12. ExhibitView ($29.00 App Store)
ExhibitView (formal review coming in January) has been in the trial presentation business for several years offering a $499.00 PC based trial presentation program that is designed to be easier to use than some of the more complex programs such as Sanction and Trial Director. They have finally released an iPad application that has carried over this ease of use philosophy to the iPad. The application has all of the basic trial presentation tools highlighting, blow-ups, marking and redactions that are needed by the typical trial attorney. You can also create slides using the mark up tools and save them as separate documents. The loading of files is limited at this time to DropBox, as compared to TrialPad that allows inputs from multiple sources. A plus for ExhibitView is that presentations created in its rich PC version can be transferred to the iPad application. While TrialPad has a few more features, ExhibitView’s much lower price and outstanding functionality will probably make it the best choice for most trial lawyers.
13. Dragon (Free. The App Store)
Wonderful free Application (I use the paid version on my PC at work). Dragon is the leader in voice type dictation, i.e., it types what you say to it with amazing accuracy. You can then cut and paste or email the text. Caveat—your dictation is processed in the cloud—I would be hesitant to use it for confidential information.
14. Explain Everything ($ 2.99 The App Store)
Originally designed for educators, “Explain Everything” is an easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations. You can also use Explain Everything as an interactive whiteboard using the iPad2 video display.
Explain Everything records on-screen drawing, annotation, object movement and captures audio via the iPad microphone. Import Photos, PDF, PPT, and Keynote from Dropbox, Evernote, Email, iPad photo roll and iPad2 camera. Export MP4 movie files, PNG image files, and share the .XPL project file with others for collaboration.
The potential uses for this app are only limited by your imagination. For example, you can create an animation showing the direction of travel of automobile involved in an accident. You can import and crop photographs, add graphics such as arrows, shapes, etc. You can also introduce typewritten text or handwriting. In a nutshell, with the app, you can put most anything on the screen and manipulate it in real-time, while the same time recording it for later presentation in movie format. The animations can be displayed from the app, or uploaded into Keynote or PowerPoint
15. Fastcase HD (Free. The App Store)
Fastcase HD is a free legal research application, putting the American law library in the palm of your hand. Fastcase contains cases and statutes from all 50 states and from the federal government. You can search by citation, keyword (in Boolean or natural language), or browse statute collections. You cannot print or copy in this free version, but great for on the fly research.
16. LawStack (Free. The App Store)
LawStack is a portable rules library. It comes preloaded with the following:
- US Constitution
- Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
- Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure
- Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure
- Federal Rules of Evidence
- Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure
You can buy additional references for a fee, e.g., USC Code.
17. FedCtRecords (Free-temporarily)
Finally– an application that allows you to easily navigate the Federal Court Pacer system on your iPad. The application allows you to select the court you are interested in from a menu. All you need is your Pacer ID and either the case name or civil action number. You can pull up all general Pacer information and filed documents. Documents can be viewed and emailed from the Application. This App is easy to use and well designed.
18. Nolo Plain English Law dictionary (Free. The App Store)
Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary defines basic legal terms and Latin phrases. Excellent resource.
19. WestlawNext (Free, but need a WestlawNext account. The App Store)
Access WestlawNext features including, WestSearch™, KeyCite™, Folders, History, document notes and highlighting, browse database content and more — all redesigned for the iPad multi-touch screen.
20. Feeddler RSS Reader Pro ($4.99 The App Store)
Feeddler is the most popular RSS reader for the iPad. Feeddler is Google Reader client that stays perfect sync with Google and presents RSS stories in a clean and organized interface. Great for following your favorite blogs and web sites.
21. DocScanner 5.0 ($4.99. The App. Store)
With DocScanner, you can turn any document into a PDF by simply snapping a photo. The App can also accurately convert typed documents to text. I have found this “portable copier/scanner” to be very useful.
22. Skype for iPad (Free. The App Store)
The new iPad App for use with the popular video calling service Skype. Call, video call, or instant message anyone on Skype for free. Plus, you can purchase Skype Credit enabling you to call landlines and mobiles at really low rates.
23. Teleprompt+ ($14.99. The App Store)
Teleprompt+ is a simple yet powerful professional teleprompter for the iPad. Perfect for use in speeches and presentations where you have a fixed script. You control the speed of the scrolling. I love this App but have only had occasion to use it three times in the year I have owned it.
24. Calvetica ($ 2.99 The App Store)
An alternative calendar program that allows you to easily flip through weeks and months of appointments much more quickly than the default calendar. Syncs with the built in Calendar. I use both.
25. TripIt (Free, The App Store)
Allows you to manage and share your travel itineraries. Upgrade available by subscription that will provide real time flight change, travel advisory and gate information. However, the free version is very useful.
26. AppShopper (Free, The App Store)
Allows you to track the hottest apps and receive alerts regarding price changes on Apps you want to purchase.
As always, I would like to hear about any lawyer productivity Apps that you find particularly useful.
Enjoy and Be Productive!
Bill Latham, a/k/a The Hytech Lawyer