The TallyPad 2.0 Update is Here: Lots of Great New Features.

TallyPad is a feature-rich fully-customizable tally counter for the iPad. Version 2.0, available for download today, brings a lot of great new features to the application.

Many people use TallyPad to keep score while playing board games, like Scrabble.  Because most board games have four players, version 2.0 now has a fourth counting area.  Also new in version 2.0, you can now assign a multiplier to each counting area. The multipliers are applied to each counting area independent of the values assigned to finger gestures. This is especially great for counting coins. For example, you can assign a value to each counting area (.01, .05, .10, and .25) representing pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.  You can then assign independent values to the tapping and swiping gestures. TallyPad counts all your change and gives you a grand total at the bottom.

TallyPad is great for just about any counting project:

  • Scorekeeping (especially board games like Scrabble)
  • Surveys
  • Tracking calories or diet points
  • Counting money and loose change
  • School projects
  • Household Projects
  • Voting and Informal elections

What makes TallyPad different from all other counting applications is that you can assign customizable values to four different finger gestures. For example, you can set TallyPad to add 1 to the tally count for a single finger tap, 2 for a two finger tap, 5 for a vertical swipe and 10 for a horizontal swipe. You get to choose the values. Also, you are not limited to whole numbers: Just switch TallyPad to decimal or money mode to add decimal values.

Because TallyPad saves all your custom-named tallies, you can keep track of a virtually unlimited number of tallies and come back to them later. You can also assign names to the three tally categories in each tally project. Also, the TallyPad user interface was designed to allow you to add tallies by tapping and swiping without having to look down at the iPad. This way you can keep your eyes on what you are counting--not on the iPad.

TallyPad is available from the AppStore for $0.99.


Free Version of the Workdays Business Date Calculator is Available for the iPhone

I have just released a free (ad supported) version of my Workdays Business Date Calculator for the iPhone. 

Workdays allows you to quickly calculate the number of workdays, business days or calendar days (or a combination of the three) before or after a given date. It is simple to use and allows you to calculate multiple dates on a single screen.

For example, if you are preparing a proposal that must be submitted 20 business days prior to July 15 and you want to figure out what day the proposal is actually due, you can use Workdays to quickly find the answer: Simply enter July 15 as the start date, and enter 20 workdays into the field.  You can also enable the “Use Federal Holidays” switch to treat July 4 (Independence Day) and a holiday and exclude it from the calculation.  

New Features

  • You can now calculate the number of workdays, calendar days, weekdays, etc. between two dates.
  • You can now email the results of your date calculations.
  • The application now defaults back to your last selections and settings on relaunch.

Because the observance of legal holidays varies from place to place, you can also enter your own “Custom Holidays,” such as the day after Christmas, and Workdays will treat the custom date as a holiday.

Workdays for iPhone provides a quick and efficient way to calculate business days and deadlines without having to count by hand on a paper calendar.

Workdays Free is available now for download on the iTunes Store.


GoodReader for the iPad now has PDF Annotations.

There are plenty of decent PDF readers available for the iPad and I have mentioned by favorite, GoodReader, on several occasions. GoodReader just got a whole lot better. Today's release of GoodReader version 3.0 introduced a long awaited feature: PDF annotations, including notes, highlights, markups, and drawings. 

Here is a list of some of the new features that come with version 3.0:

PDF Annotations, including notes,highlightsmarkups and drawings:

  • all annotations that you create or edit in GoodReader - notes, highlights, markups, and drawings - are saved in a PDF file, so you will be able to see them later on a computer or in another copy of GoodReader on your colleague's device
  • all notes, highlights, markups, and drawings created outside GoodReader, and properly stored in a PDF file, can be viewed or edited in GoodReader
  • types of annotations that you can create and edit in GoodReader: comments ("sticky notes") with 7 different icons, text highlights, freehand drawings, lines, arrows, rectangles, ovals, text underlines, text deletion marks (strikeouts), text insertion marks, text replacement marks. You can freely adjust color of all of the above.
  • other types of annotations that you can view in GoodReader: text boxes with callouts, polygons and polylines, "squiggly" underlines, "cloudy" shapes, rubber stamps, file attachments. All annotations that can be viewed, can also bedeleted. In addition, some of them can be edited in a limited fashion (color, placement, scale).
  • you can now extract files from PDF file attachments



The WestlawNext App for the iPad Redefines Legal Research for the Mobile Lawyer

Several months ago Westlaw unveiled its next-generation web-based legal research service, called WestlawNext. Although I knew an overhaul of their system was in the works, once I got my hands on WestlawNext I was blown away by Westlaw's implementation of the new service. I was also pleased to see that they had designed an "iPad Edition" of the website specifically formatted for viewing on the iPad. Although it wasn't a native "app" for the iPad, it was easily accessible from the iPad's web browser and the bookmark could be saved as an icon to the iPad's home screen.

My best attempt at describing WestlawNext is that it takes all of the best features and components from Westlaw and reorganizes and reintegrates them into a single web-based interface that is extremely easy and efficient to use. Westlaw clearly had the end-user in mind when they added much needed features, such as saving research and documents (including snippets and notes) to custom-named folders.

The "iPad Edition" of the WestlawNext site was quite usable from the iPad's mobile browser and I could have lived with it for my mobile research needs. But when Westlaw released its native WestlawNext app for the iPad in late August, I was ecstatic, as the iPad app itself is phenomenal.

The application's user interface is well designed and intuitive. The "Home" screen is where you start your research. A search bar is located at the very top of the screen, where you can enter citations, database names, and search terms, in either natural language or Boolean syntax. It also includes a button to select the jurisdiction(s) for the search. The center of the home screen contains five buttons that, when selected, list either your recent searches, recent documents, frequently used databases, favorited items, or a list of categories to browse from (cases, statutes, secondary sources, etc.) A button bar located at the very bottom of the screen takes you to your complete search and browsing history and to your custom folders where all of your saved research is stored.

If a search is entered into the search bar, the application takes you to a results page showing a list of search results on the right side of the page and a list of various filters (content type, jurisdiction, date, etc.) on the left. Depending on the type of search conducted (e.g. cases), the results list shows the case caption, court and date information, a short synopsis of the case, and snippets from the case containing your search terms, highlighted and in bold text. You can press a button located at the top right-hand corner of the page to send the results list to any email address.

Selecting a result from the list takes you to the document reading page, which is where the application really shines. There is quite a bit of functionality is designed into this part of the application, as this is where you will be spending most of your time reading documents and making decisions about the utility of those documents. The main part of the screen displays the document in typical Westlaw fashion, showing the full caption, a case summary, West Headnotes, and the text of the opinion. Search terms are highlighted and bolded in the document.

A tool bar at the top of the screen contains buttons that provide access to KeyCite (Westlaw's citation service), as well as buttons that let you adjust font size and typeface, email or save the document to a custom research folder, or attach a research note to the document. A tool bar at the bottom of the screen allows you to cycle forward and backward though your results and search terms.

In addition to searching by search term or citation, from the home screen you can also browse through databases and categories, such as statutes and regulations. You select your jurisdiction and then drill down through the jurisdiction's organizational structure or table of contents (e.g. volume, chapter, section) until you find the statute you are looking for. The text of the statute is presented in the document viewer with all the bells and whistles I mentioned above (KeyCite, email, font adjustments, etc.) You can also access legislative materials and Notes of Decisions (annotations.) 

Access to Westlaw's KeyCite information is available just about anytime a document is being viewed or listed in a results list. When you press the KeyCite button or color-coded indicator flag, case treatment information is presented with helpful text and graphics to indicate the status and depth of treatment of the case, captions, dates, and headnote references.

The application also tracks your search history, recent documents, notes, frequently used databases, favorites, and saved documents and, best of all, automatically stores the information on the WestlawNext servers so that the information stays in sync with your account. In other words, all of your mobile research is available when you sit down at your desktop in the office or at home (and vice versa.) 

Needless to say, I was very impressed with the WestlawNext application for the iPad. WestlawNext is a premium paid service and, therefore, a WestlawNext subscription is required in order to use the application. If you are looking for a free alternative to WestlawNext, you should consider the Fastcase application, which I have discussed in a previous post and is a terrific legal research application in its own right. However, it does lack some of the premium features offered by WestlawNext, such as the KeyCite citation service. If you are a Westlaw subscriber and have not yet tried out WestlawNext, it is definitely worth a look. And if you have an iPad, a subscription to WestlawNext becomes even more compelling.

I included a few more screenshots below.


Fastcase Brings Mobile Legal Research to the iPad

Fastcase has released its new legal research application for the iPad. Their iPhone version of the application has been available for some time now. However, I was looking forward to their release of the iPad version because I think the iPad is a much more suitable platform for conducting legal research.

The iPad version of Fastcase is the first native application of its kind for the device. If you are a WestlawNext subscriber, they had the foresight to create an iPad-formatted version of their new web-based service. WestlawNext is amazing, and is what I normally use for my day-to-day legal research needs. But the Westlaw service can be pricey and, for the sole practitioner or small firm that cannot afford the service, a free legal research service is a life saver. The fact that Fastcase for the iPad is a fully-functional and very well executed application makes it a must-have for the mobile lawyer.

The Fastcase user interface is clean and uncluttered, yet takes full advantage of the iPad's best features.  The initial view presents the user with the option of searching caselaw, searching statutes, or browsing statutes. Selecting "search caselaw," for example, will take you to a screen where you can, among other things, select the jurisdiction(s) to be searched and limit the results by date. Cases can be searched by both citation and keyword/search phrase. The statute browser (shown below) allows you to drill down through various titles and chapters until you get to the section you are looking for.

Statute Browser

Search results first appear in a table with a short summary (optional) under each citation.  Upon selecting a citation, a new split-view window appears which, if the iPad is in landscape orientation, shows a list of the search results in a table on the left and the selected document on the right. If the iPad is in portrait orientation, the main view shows the selected document and the search results list is accessible from a pop-out button in the upper lefthand corner. The search terms are also highlighted in the document. Another great design feature is a slider that allows the user to resize the text of the selected document.

Initial Search Results Page

Split View Search Results Page

Aside from a well-designed screen layout, Fastcase also provides some great legal research tools.  One such feature is the ability to save documents at the push of a button. The saved documents can be retrieved anytime from a tab bar at the bottom of the main screen.  Pressing the "Most Relevant" button on the search results page will scroll to the point in the document that contains the text most relevant to the search parameters.  The application also keeps track of your recent searches, so that you can always go back to them at a later date.  By tapping the orange numbers at the top of the search results page, Fastcase takes you to its "Authority Check Report," which lists other cases that cite to your current document. Unlike Westlaw's KeyCite service, Fastcase does not discuss the treatment of the cited case but, nevertheless, it is a useful tool so long as you don't mind doing a little extra reading.

Authority Check Report

All-in-all, Fastcase did a good job in creating a very usable mobile legal research application. It does not contain all of the features available in WestlawNext's full-service web-based application, but again, Fastcase is free.  If you own an iPad, Fastcase is definitely worth a look.