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:

best new apps 1Inbox 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:

best new apps 2Slideshare 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 slide presentations, including Microsoft PowerPoint. And because it’s owned by LinkedIn, you can share your presentations with your entire LinkedIn network.

 

best new apps 3Rocket Matter for iPad by Rocket Matter, LLC, free (subscription required).

Last month, I was hopeful that Rocket Matter was going to release it’s iPad app in time for my September post. Of course, it was released the very next day. When Larry Port, the Rocket Matter CEO, contacted me about the omission, and I told him that they were killing me with the release date! I also agreed to review the app.

Check out my full review (5 out of 5) of the Rocket Matter app for iPad here.

 

best new apps 4- Outline – for iPad by Gorillized, $1.99.

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know that one of my long-term goals is to find an effective way to eliminate the legal pad.  – Outline – for iPad is the newest app to take a step towards a legal pad-free world!  Outline is an all-in-one notebook app created specifically for your iPad.  Take typewritten or handwritten notes, annotate pre-written documents, and organize your files together into multiple notebooks for easy organization.

Compatible with Microsoft OneNote, Outline allows you to highlight passages, attach documents or other files to your notes, and organize all your information. Like Circus Ponies Notebook, Outline can even serve as a basic trial notebook.  Given recent concerns about access to confidential information, it’s definitely helpful to lawyers that Outline comes with its own password protection, allowing you to add another layer of security on top of your device’s password (which you had BETTER be using).

Android:

best new apps 5Next Lock Screen by Microsoft Corp., free.

Microsoft, not previously known for being tremendously interested in creating apps (just look at how long it took them to release PowerPoint for mobile devices) has gone on a publishing spree over the last month.  One of the most interesting apps they’ve released, as part of the “Microsoft Garage Project,” is Next Lock Screen.

Next is a time-saving lock screen, designed specifically for professionals who need quick access to their information and don’t have time to jump from app to app.  You see your calendar, missed calls, and text messages at a glance.  With the one-swipe-to-dial feature, you can dial into conference calls without unlocking your phone (and Next even enters the appropriate PIN for the call).  A quick launch feature brings all of your most used apps right to the lock screen based on your location and the time of day, and is fully customizable.  Any busy lawyer will find this app useful.

best new apps 6HERE Maps by Nokia Corp., free (beta).

As an iOS user, I was excited when Google Maps became available on my iPhone. Even after Apple introduced its own map version, I still preferred the turn-by-turn navigation and overall features of the Google version.  However, I’ve noticed some significant issues, not least of which is the apparent change in the algorithm to send me through dimly lit areas full of abandoned warehouses, no matter where I am.

Apparently Nokia noticed this problem too, and has released its popular app HERE for Android.  HERE will help you map your trip quickly, and offers an offline mode in over 100 countries.  With public transportation information for more than 800 cities, you’ll always be able to find your way.  Additionally, HERE integrates with other apps to allow you to securely share your location with family and friends, and customize your map to display your own personal preferences.

Mybest new apps 7Script Smart Note by MyScript, free (in-app upgrades).

Like Outline for iOS, MyScript Smart Note is an app that will help lawyers reduce their need for legal pads.  While not the all-in-one notebook solution that Outline provides, MyScript provides a different unique solution.  Using your finger or a stylus, MyScript allows you to handwrite notes which are then converted into interactive text.

Once entered, it’s easy to edit, search and take different actions based on your notes.  Highlight and edit passages and move words or phrases with simple gestures.  Although the free version is somewhat limited (10 pages), in-app upgrades allow users an unlimited capacity for notes, as well as the ability to sync with numerous email clients, social media sites, Evernote and Dropbox.

Windows Phone:

best new apps 8Flipboard by Flipboard, Inc., free.

To he honest, it’s about freaking time with this one!  Flipboard, one of the most popular news and magazine article aggregation systems out there, finally comes to Windows Phone.  Listed among the most useful apps for attorneys by multiple different sites, this app allows you to store your favorite RSS feeds and flip through the stories.

Curiously, though, the app does not allow for the characteristic “flip,” the app’s namesake.  Regardless, this free app is one of the best for collecting your news feeds and reading them on your own time.

best new apps 9Tetra Lockscreen by Microsoft Corp., free.

As I mentioned before, Microsoft has really gone on a tear with their new apps recently. One of the coolest (never thought I’d say that about a Windows Phone app) is the Tetra Lockscreen.  Without unlocking your phone, Tetra displays upcoming events, gives you a visual timeline of your day, shows your current location on a street map, displays your nearby calendar events with clearly identifiable locations, and even calculates your activity in steps, distance, or approximate calories burned.

It’s tough for me to admit that a Windows Phone app may be the coolest new app available, and this app is not necessarily particularly helpful to attorneys, but I just had to include this one.