Tag Archives: iPad

What the ILTA Technology Survey Says About Mobile Legal Research

Recently released, the ILTA Technology Survey offers information professionals great insight into how lawyers are interacting with technology at their firms. The organization, made up primarily of firm IT and KM professionals, produces an annual technology survey, and, thankfully, releases it for free (the AmLaw Tech Survey and the ABA’s Legal Technology Survey Report will run you a few dollars).

Notably, among the many topics it covers, the survey focuses on attorneys’ use of tablet pcs and apps.

The results for the question “to the best of your knowledge, which non-native tablet/iPad apps are most used at your firm for business purposes (choose up to five apps)” are as follow, with a brief/not-all-encompassing description from me on what these apps do:

1. Citrix Receiver – enables access to Citrix environments from mobile devices

2. LinkedIn – social media platform for business professionals

3. Dropbox – cloud-computing storage service

4. Adobe Acrobat – .pdf viewer and editor

5. Skype – remote video and voice or instant messaging platform

6. FaceBook – social media platform

7. Documents to Go – enables users to view Microsoft Office and Adobe files in the iOS environment.

8. Evernote – enables users to take electronic notes

9. GoodReader – annotate and read .pdfs

10. Mimecast – enables access of Mimecast email environment

Interesting results:

14. TrialPad – presentation tool tailored to attorneys

15. Westlaw Next – legal research system

27. iTimeKeep – time tracking utility

39. iJuror – jury selection app

Westlaw Next’s inclusion is notable, in that it signifies tablets are being used for legal research, but its location on the list shows the strong popularity of the more well-known productivity-oriented apps (dropbox, evernote, documents to go, etc.). The answer to the overarching question how much traction is there for tablets and mobile devices to be used for legal research is still a little nebulous. Will user behavior change to where tablets and mobile devices are commonly used to conduct legal research? It’s hard to say. Is there a legal research platform that could really exploit the unique characteristics of tablets or mobile devices, to the point where the mobile-version would offer something valuable that would distinguish it from the desktop version?

Also notable is that attorneys themselves are typically not the respondents to the survey questions–rather, it’s the membership of ILTA who are queried. And, it is important to point out, once again, that those queried were to only chose 5 apps, and not every app they have observed/encountered their attorneys using.

Review: iPad IS a game changer!

After months of heightened anticipation and rampant speculation, Apple’s seemingly mythic iPad has finally made its debut. Hardly a media outlet has been able to escape the ensuing debate over whether Steve Job’s latest creation lives up to the hype. Now that the iBraryGuy team has managed to get their hands on one and taken for a serious test-drive, we are ready to weigh in. The iBraryGuy verdict? Apple’s iPad is powerful, sleek, and worth the price. Yes Virginia, it IS a game changer!

They say that a thing if beauty is a joy forever. The iPad may not last forever, but it is truly a gorgeous little piece of machinery. In the capable hands of Apple’s design and tech wizards, this beauty is also a thing of power, form, and function. The iPad is light and easy to hold with one hand while manipulating the touchscreen with the other. The screen is highly sensitive and quickly moves from portrait to landscape modes. The screen is crystal clear and easy on the eyes. All in all, the design is solid. Does it look like an oversized iPhone? You bet. Then again, why not build on one of the most successful and revolutionary devices of our time?

We really enjoyed the speed of the iPad in navigating applications and switching between them. Sure, you cannot multitask right now. But let’s be real. Is it really necessary to always be doing many things at once? That’s what a full-fledged computer or laptop is for. These new tablets are not meant to be replacements for their bigger, more powerful cousins. The iPad and the wave of competitors that are sure to follow ushers in a new level of convenience computing technology. To approach them with the same standards to which we hold actual desktops and laptops is to do these tablets and ourselves a huge disservice.

Some of the apps we have tested have been awe inspiring, to say the least. From the tactile page turning and full-color display of iBooks to the sweet video-streaming of Netflix and ABC to the interactive, pushpin format of the Associated Press, app developers have pulled out all the stops to create some really amazing offerings. We have also been impressed with the usability and functionality of Apple’s own iWork suite of productivity tools. If someone had told us we’d be walking around the house using a word processor and typing with only three fingers, we would have never believed it. Yet that was exactly how we typed this blog entry. It was a true “Jetsons” moment!

Yes, there are some drawbacks to the iPad. A camera for videoconferencing would be nice. A USB port would also come in handy. But the lack of these was no deal breaker given the convenience the iPad offers. The onscreen keyboard will take some getting used to for some folks as well. Our biggest complaint so far is that when the unit is turned off, tou can see all the fingerprints. At least they show just how much we are already using it. We also have not experienced either the WiFi connectivity issue or the overheating that some folks have reported. We’ve even found a workaround for the fact we did not buy a 3G model. But we will save that for a future posting.

The iBraryGuy team is happy with its new iPad and we expect to get a lot of “on the go” use out of it. That is what these new tablet computers are about after all. The iPad lightens our load while providing all of the computing power we need to be productive and have some fun. And yes, we certainly did have some fun with it. Pac-Man anyone? The iPad was worth the wait and the price. Apple has thrown down the gauntlet and changed the game.