From Tools & Toys: Great iOS Apps for Managing and Enjoying Content

Great collection from Tools and Toys.

I still hear people criticize the iPad as just a gadget for "consuming" information rather than "creating" information.

And I’ve always said GREAT!

Because isn’t that what most of us are doing every day? Consuming information from blogs, websites, news pubs, videos, books, radio, podcasts, Twitter, Facebook, etc. etc. If an iPad can HELP us consume information BETTER than GREAT!

The only addition I would make is Mr. Reader for RSS feeds on the iPad. I use Reeder 3 on my iPhone (as Tools & Toys suggests) but Mr. Reader is so much more customizable on the iPad.

See Great iOS Apps for Managing and Enjoying Content

Apps in Law – New Blog Featuring Mercifully Short Video Reviews of Apps for Lawyers Using iPhones & iPads

I’m happy to announce my latest project Apps in Law at I offer short video review of apps that lawyers can use on their iPhones and iPads.

I plan to offer at least one review each week and readers can subscribe to the newsletter to be notified of new reviews.

Visit Apps in Law to view the reviews so far for iAnnotate, Week Calendar, Noteshelf, and GoodReader. And be sure to subscribe to the newsletter while you’re there!

Another Story About Why You Should Set Up The “Find My iPhone” Service For Your iPhone & iPad

A few weeks ago I had someone share a “Find My iPhone” story with me in response to my post on why every lawyer should set this up on their iPhone or iPad.

It was so good I had to share it in another attempt to convince everyone why it’s imperative to set this up as soon as possible.

This person was involved in a car accident which totaled the car, but fortunately the individual was relatively un-harmed after an ambulance trip to the ER.

In these moments, items like the iPhone rightfully become a secondary concern, and this individual’s iPhone was left in the car while they were getting checked out at the hospital.

But fortunately, they had enabled the “Find My iPhone” service so that when they got home that night, they logged on to and located the phone. The map reported that the iPhone was located on the lot where the car had been towed. And since they had not yet programmed a Passcode on the iPhone, they were able to lock the phone and set a Passcode – all this from the comfort of their home computer.

The next day they visited the car lot to retrieve their personal belongings from the car, including the iPhone. The only problem is that they couldn’t locate the iPhone. They went back to the front office and asked if anyone had seen the iPhone. The lady said they didn’t have it. Even when it was pointed out that the iPhone had GPS inside, the lady was adamant they didn’t have the iPhone.

Leaving the front office, the individual called a friend who used a computer to visit and verified that the iPhone was still in the same spot on the lot. They then turned on the iPhone’s alarm which emitted a loud, high-pitched tone.

Returning to the wrecked car, they could hear the alarm, but still had trouble locating the iPhone. Finally, they found it hiding between the dashboard and the windshield, which had been busted outward.

it’s possible that this individual could have located the iPhone without the use of the Find My iPhone service, but it would certainly have been much more difficult. The GPS alone is so useful because you know where the iPhone is located! At the very worst, this individual could have completely wiped the iPhone from their computer to ensure that confidential information was not compromised.

The odds are stacked against you – you WILL lose your iPhone or iPad at some point in your career. Don’t be one of those people who WISHED they would have turned on the “Find My iPhone” service, especially since it’s now FREE!!!

Get ‘Em Now! iPhone & iPad Apps On Sale for Christmas!

iPhone and iPad Apps on Sale for ChristmasI received quite a number of hits when I posted about iPhone and iPad Apps on sale during Black Friday, so you guys are obviously interested in finding deals on iOS Apps.

Well, you’re in luck because there are some mega-sales going on right now in the App Store.

First, ’tis the season and a lot of developers are feelin’ the spirit.

Second, there’s a “price freeze” that went into effect yesterday (Dec. 23) on the App Store for the holidays, and I presume as Apple gears up for the Mac App Store coming on line in two weeks.

I love finding App deals myself, and since I KNOW there will be a profusion of iPads under the trees this year, I’ll be updating this page as I find more sales to share. So keep checking back!

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Make Your iPhone & iPad Surf the Web Like It’s Internet Explorer or Firefox

Last week during my “iPractice on an iPad” session at the Ohio State Bar Association’s Legal Technology Conference, I was proclaiming how the iPad can be useful to pull up information from the web when you’re out of the office.

One gentleman asked about certain web sites that require you to use Internet Explorer or Firefox to navigate their site. His specific example was the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation at He regularly visited the site to access claim documents for clients, which were usually PDF files. When you visit this site from Safari on a Mac, or Mobile Safari on an iPhone or iPad, you get a message that says “your Internet browser is not compatible with this site.”

Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation homepage

It’s hard to tell how common this is, but it’s extremely frustrating when you run your practice from a Mac. I see it commonly on sites from government-type agencies (e.g. municipal sites, law enforcement, court sites, etc.).

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Free Security for Your iPhone & iPad That Should Be Mandatory

Locked iPhoneLarge law firms hire full-time IT professionals to monitor and support their fleet of mobile devices. Part of their responsibility is to remotely “wipe” lost or stolen devices to protect confidential data. This is usually done via a centralized server or some other expensive setup.

It doesn’t matter if you’re solo or a 1,500 attorney firm, you MUST take the security of your mobile devices seriously. We carry around so much confidential information on our iPhones & iPads today that I argue it’s negligent to be flippant about their security. E-mail is the most pregnant source of confidential data, but today’s iOS devices store document drafts, access Dropbox accounts, log text messages, and so much more.

For MobileMe subscribers, Apple has been providing a service called “Find My iPhone.” The problem is that MobileMe costs $99 a year, and most people don’t feel it’s worth it. The “Find My iPhone” service, however, is a standout highlight because it provides an amazing ability to locate an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad on a map whenever it’s connected to the Internet (3G or WiFi).

Generously, a few weeks ago Apple made “Find My iPhone” free for anyone running iOS 4.2 on an iPhone or iPad. You don’t have to pay for a MobileMe subscription – all you need is an “Apple ID” which you already have if you’ve ever purchased music or apps from iTunes.

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Are You An iLawyer Yet?

Are you an iLawyer yet?A few months ago I was interviewed by Christy Burke for a story on Legal IT Professionals entitled “Are you an iLawyer yet?

Christy did an excellent job covering spread of Macs and iOS devices in the legal world, even including some remarks from Jeff Allen of Graves & Allen, one of the “godfathers” of Mac-using lawyers.

Here are a few choice quotes from the article:

Burney says, “I’m seeing more lawyers switch from Windows to Mac for a number of reasons. The 2009 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report reported that 4% of respondents now use the Mac OS up from 3% in 2008. One major catalyst was when Apple switched the Macs from the IBM PowerPC processors to Intel-based processors in 2006. That opened up possibilities for lawyers to continue using legal-specific Windows software applications on their Macs, usually in a virtualized environment.”

He also notes that Apple’s success in the consumer market and the blurring of boundaries between home and office have contributed to the Mac trend in legal. “Since many lawyers have a Mac, iPhone or iPad for their home or family, they have gotten familiar with Macs in general. Also, since Apple has slowly but steadily increased its support for the business world over the last few years with the iWork software suite, file-sharing capabilities, Exchange support, security and more, lawyers than ever are talking about using a Mac more now.”

As a New Yorker, I am required to ask…”So what’s the catch?” Macs sound too good to be true – are they? Brett Burney says, “Many lawyers are swooned by ads for Apple and claims of how easy it is to switch to a Mac and that it promises a much better world than Windows. Many times, they’re calling me because they had a bad experience with Windows systems or just spent a lot of money on Windows software. Switching to Mac from Windows is not instant magic and will not happen overnight. As fantastic as Mac OS is, it is still a different environment than Windows. The rewards are plentiful and gratifying, but moving to the Mac requires a learning curve and lawyers must be prepared for that.” If you love Mac and Apple products feel free to proceed, but be sure to proceed with adequate caution, especially if you are a legal IT person with a large user base where the effects of migration are exponentially greater than for solos.

Read the entire “Are you an iLawyer yet?” article at Legal IT Professionals.

Gotta Get Some Readdle Apps for 80% Off!

Readdle Black Friday Madness SaleI’m a big fan of Readdle apps since they’re fantastic for viewing and managing documents on iOS devices. Their namesake app, ReaddleDocs, is a must-have for every lawyer with an iPhone or iPad.

None of the Readdle apps have been very expensive, but from now until Nov. 30, they’re slashing prices to the point where you can pick up all their goodies for pennies during their Black Friday Madness Sale.

For the iPhone, you must get:

  • ReaddleDocs (was $4.99 now 99¢) – all-purpose document and file viewer that can pull files from computers, Dropbox, and more
  • PDF Expert (was $4.99 now 99¢) – PDF viewer with full text search and support for bookmarks
  • Scanner Pro (was $6.99 now 99¢) – enables the iPhone to be used as a portable document scanner
  • Flash Drive (was $4.99 now 99¢) – a Wi-Fi thumbdrive for the iPhone

For the iPad, you must get:

You can find a ton of other iPhone & iPad apps on sale from the comprehensive list on MacStories.