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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:

new apps 1Facebook 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:

new apps 2TranscriptPad 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 all, why would you be interested in putting all your depositions on your iPad if the slow processor simply caused frustration. With iOS 8, you will notice that TranscriptPad runs even faster on older iPads than the original version, an effect multiplied on newer ones.

A new workflow for adding flags, editing your annotations, seeking and scanning with in your depositions, and additional export options for both your depositions and accompanying reports make TranscriptPad 2.0 a no brainer for litigators.

new apps 3Freelancer.com by Freelancer.comfree.

Many in the legal profession may be very resistant to change, but one thing is for sure – if you can’t find efficient ways to compete in the digital world, you won’t be competing for very long. Whether it’s automation or outsourcing, you’re going to need effective ways to improve your systems. Freelancer.com is one of the largest outsourcing marketplaces on the internet, and it’s now available for iOS.

Keep in touch with your freelancers and employers, no matter what time of day. Never miss a message with instant push notifications, and even chat in real-time with your contacts – Freelancer will let you know if they’re online! You’re even able to award projects to freelancers who have posted bids, right from your phone.

new apps 4Fingerprint Login by DoubleVision Labsfree.

If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know that securing important data is incredibly important to me. And routinely ignored by most lawyers. Thankfully, there are tools that are available that help make common-sense security a little bit easier to use for those without the interest in remembering 50 different passwords. Fingerprint Login is one such tool.

Utilizing 256-bit encryption, Fingerprint Login provides enhanced protection for your most important information. Thankfully, all you need is your fingerprint. You can secure information in your phone, lock certain apps, and even remote-access your other devices, all with your finger!

Android:

new apps 5Hide and Lock – File Hider by SocioSoftfree.

As I discussed above, security is incredibly important to me. Well, not just to me, to pretty much every state bar ethics committee who has addressed the matter. Oh, and your clients probably find it pretty important too. These days, an attorney who can’t call up important information or files on-the-go is pretty much a relic. So you’ll need to secure those files.

Hide and Lock is a remarkably useful tool for doing just that! You can hide and/or password protect your files and folders on your Android device. Protect pictures, videos, documents, or any other file. You’re even able to hide them from apps like Gallery, something that cannot be said for all file protection apps!

new apps 6Primer – Marketing for Startups by Google Learnfree.

As the old saying goes, the only people worse at “business” than lawyers are doctors. Sure, it’s not necessarily true, but my own anecdotal evidence lends strong support to the proverb. A lot of attorneys are interested in owning a firm, or at least being an equity partner. If you want to have ownership of a business, you need to know a little about business.

For those people, Primer is there for you! In the initial release, Primer offers brief courses (5 minutes or less) on promoting your business. Learn about Content Marketing, Public Relations, and Search Engine Marketing, and how you can utilize those tools to improve your bottom line! Google promises more topics in the future, so get in on this now and be WAY ahead of your competitors.

new apps 7Messenger, by Google, Inc.free.

Ok, I admit it, it seems strange to put Google’s latest addition to text messaging in this post. Hasn’t that been done already? Well, fortunately, Google has decided that the text message apps out there aren’t good enough, and decided they could do better! They did.

Messenger takes a lot of the great features in Hangouts and brings them to your text messages. You have the ability to text your standard messages, audio, photos, and video. Unlike many other standard messaging apps, you also have the ability to color-code your message strings (following the Lollipop design of the newest Android OS). Easy archiving of messages, adjustable settings for group messages, and on-the-fly ability to ignore selected users are just some of the other features available.

Windows Phone:

new apps 8Softcard by AT&T Services, Inc.free.

Although Apple Pay may be the biggest name in the NFC payment world, the power of mobile payments is now available on Windows Phone thanks to Softcard by AT&T.

Add your eligible payment cards to your phone and get the benefit of mobile payments with all of the security offered by your actual card. Or set up a prepaid account and keep it loaded, and use the payments at any retailer that accepts mobile payments.

In addition, you can store all of your participating loyalty cards (does anyone know if I can use my Harris Teeter card? I lost that thing in college and haven’t replaced it!), and even get special offers and coupons sent directly to your phone!