The iPad and the Cloud--The Future of Mobile Lawyering

I have been road testing the iPad for just about two months now and have had the opportunity to use it for work in a number of locales: at the office, at home, in court, in meetings, and on an airplane. As of today, the list of applications available for the iPad has reached 8,675, with around 150 new applications added daily, and, with over two million iPads now in the public's hands, the "is that the iPad?" questions are beginning to wane. People's questions are begging to focus on what the iPad can be used for and, correspondingly, what applications are worth downloading. 

For me and others who are using the iPad on a daily basis as part of their workflow, the answer to the "what applications" question is becoming quite clear: The best applications are those that use cloud-based services. Why? Because the utility of the iPad as a compact mobile computing appliance comes from being able to do outside the office what you normally do inside the office. Whether you are working from the office, home, a hotel, or the beach, the services you use need to be universally available regardless of the device you are working from--whether it be the iPhone, iPad, laptop, or desktop computer. Those services that offer applications that make it easy for you to efficiently switch between devices, so that you can get your work done no matter where you are, are the services that will ultimately be the most useful.

In this respect, several iPad/iPhone applications for cloud-based services are emerging as winners.

Dropbox ( - Dropbox is essentially a cloud-based file storage system that allows you to maintain files online. The service automatically syncs your files between multiple devices, including your desktop computers, so that you always have the most current version of a document available. The service is free for up to 2GB of storage, and they charge a small monthly fee for up to 50 or 100 GB. For what I do, 2GB is more than enough space. Dropbox offers free applications for both the iPhone and iPad that give you access to all of your up-to-date files. Also, since it is a cloud-based service, you can share files with others via URL links. One advantage of using the service is that if your hard drive crashes on your laptop, all of your files are backed-up on the system. Also, because it is a web-based service, you can access you documents from anyone's computer, so long as you have access to a web browser.

Good Reader ( - The Good Reader app ($0.99) builds on the availability of cloud-based services and provides an interface for accessing and viewing documents--and of particular interest to me, very large PDF documents. I previously published a detailed review of Good Reader here and I continue to use Good Reader for reading voluminous documents. Not only can you access documents stored in the cloud (such as on Dropbox) but you can quickly and easily import the documents directly from your email server, through iTunes, or over a WiFi connection 

Evernote ( - I struggled for a while trying to find a good note taking application for the iPad. Ultimately for me, the best solution was Evernote. Evernote is a free cloud-based service (that can be upgraded to a premium pay service if you really need the extra space--which I don't) that allows you to store notes, web-clippings, photos, voice recordings, and many other things in the cloud. You can access your notes from their free iPhone and iPad applications, from their webpage, or from their native desktop applications. I now use Evernote for all of my note-taking needs because you can create, edit, search, tag, and view your notes from anywhere, and they are always kept in sync. If I am in court, I take notes on the iPad Evernote application. I then assign tags to the notes to make it easy to find later. You can also search notes by name, keyword, date, etc. An underused feature is the ability to forward an email to your assigned Evernote email address and the email will be stored on the system.

Toodledo ( - Toodledo is a full-featured cloud-based todo list service. The web-based service is free, and the related iPhone and iPad applications are $2.99--well worth the minimal cost. Your todo list is always kept in sync between the iPhone, iPad, and web service. There are also third party applications that sync with Toodledo, such as Todo for the iPad, which I prefer because it provides a more aesthetically pleasing interface, but it is essentially the same thing, as it uses the Toodledo service to maintain the todo list.


Count Just About Anything with TallyPad--The Ultimate Customizable Tally Machine for the iPad

LawOnMyPhone typically focuses on the use of mobile technology--principally the iPhone and iPad--in the practice of law. As such, my application reviews typically address legal software or applications that assist lawyers in their practices. But, today I am making an exception to that rule to bring your attention to TallyPad for the iPad. Why? Well...because I wrote it. So this is not a product review, but, rather, a promotion of my newest iPad application.

TallyPad is a feature-rich fully-customizable tally counter for the iPad. Just tap or swipe your finger in one of the three designated boxes to add or subtract from the corresponding tally count. 

TallyPad is great for just about any counting project:

  • Surveys
  • Scorekeeping
  • Counting money and loose change
  • School projects
  • Household Projects
  • 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 chose 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 now available on the App Store for just $0.99. I have also posted a few more screenshots here.


GoodReader for the iPad is a Must-Have for Lawyers

As a lawyer, one of the first things I looked into after purchasing my iPad was whether the device could support my document management needs. My practice is document intensive and although I do just about everything on my Mac, there is still one task that I resort to doing the old fashion way: reading lengthy documents. Performing document review on a monitor for hours at a time is just too hard on my eyes. So, with iPad in hand, I set out to learn whether the so-called “game changer” would change my document-reading game. In short, it did; thanks to GoodReader.

GoodReader is essentially a document reading and management application for the iPad. Aside from displaying the most common document types (pdf, MS Office, iWork, txt, html, etc.), as well as image and video files, GoodReader provides excellent file management tools, allowing the moving, copying, and deleting of files, creation of folders, password protection, archiving, and e-mailing, just to name a few. I was curious whether the application would live up to the developer's claim that it could handle very large pdf files. GoodReader certainly impressed--instantaneously loading and flawlessly displaying a 127-page pdf document.

Documents can be imported into GoodReader in a number of ways--via wifi connection, cloud service (e.g. MobileMe, Dropbox), Google Docs, FTP server, and any IMAP and POP3 mail server. Documents can also be downloaded from the web straight into the application in three different ways: by entering the URL unto GoodReader, by surfing the web using the application's own web browser, or through iPad's Safari application by inserting the letter g before the URL in Safari's toolbar (e.g. g

The latest update also incorporates the iPad’s application file sharing API which allows documents to be opened in GoodReader directly from other applications, such as the iPad’s stock mail application. I found this last feature to be extremely useful and efficient. All you have to do is press and hold on the attachment's icon in the mail application and a menu pops up asking if you want to open the document in Quick Look or in GoodReader. If you choose GoodReader, the file opens in GoodReader and is automatically saved to its file management system.

GoodReader has many more features that I have yet to explore. GoodReader is a well designed and comprehensive document management application and is a steal at $0.99 (US), especially when compared to the next comparable application Air Sharing HD selling for $9.99 (US).


The iPad Lawyer

As I anxiously await Saturday’s debut of Apple’s iPad, I’m starting to dream up all the possible ways lawyers will be able to use the iPad in their everyday law practices. Now that Apple’s embargo on discussing the iPad has been lifted, prompting the release of numerous video reviews including the hour-long demonstration by Andy Ihnatko on, it is clear -- at least to me -- that we will be seeing a lot of iPads in the hands of lawyers and in the courtroom. 

I plan to dive right in and start using the iPad for just about everything while I’m away from the office. Aside from the obvious uses, such as a word processor and e-mail client, the iPad promises to be an excellent notetaker and research tool. Several developers have already released robust notetaking applications for the iPad, such as Notability. The Fastcase application (assuming it will be updated for the iPad) and the Google Scholar website should be much more usable on the iPad than they are on the iPhone, and it will be interesting to see whether the rumored soon-to-be-released Westlaw application will be as amazing as their (still in beta) Westlaw Next service.

I also routinely use the Dragon Dictation application to dictate e-mails and notes on my iPhone and I hope to use the same application on the iPad to dictate notes, letters, etc., into iWork. Apple’s comment that iWork on the iPad will be able to sync with Google Docs -- which I commonly use for drafting and collaborating on documents -- will cater to my particular workflow. In addition, I’m toiling with idea of using either Apple’s Keynote application or an e-book reader, such as Stanza, in place of the written outlines I typically use for courtroom oral argument. How nice would it be to flip from page to page in your outline with the tap of a finger?

I have a lot more ideas that I would like to explore once I have an iPad in hand, but in the meantime, I would love to hear feedback from other lawyers on how, if at all, they envision incorporating the iPad into their law practices. If you have any thoughts or ideas, please feel free to post your comments.


Court Days 2.0 Update

I am excited to report that I just completed a major update to the Court Days legal date calculator for the iPhone. I added a lot of new features and enhancements, many of which were requested by Court Days users. 

Some of these new features and improvements include:

  • You can now provide you own custom court holidays. This is especially useful if your jurisdiction is not in the application's default database or if your local court sets its own holiday schedule.
  • You can now calculate the number of court days, 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.

The update has been submitted to Apple for approval and should be available on the iTunes Store soon. In the meantime, take a look at some of the screenshots below.