eSummary Mobile Offers iOS App for Lawyers & Insurance Professionals

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Apps are getting more and more specialized. Now there’s an app tailored to insurance professionals and their need to pass claims information securely from and to their iDevices. eSummary Mobile from ABI Document Support Services is trying to fill that niche with its iPad and iPhone app. It really is the mobile version of its pre-existing eSummary software. It is essentially an encrypted file-sharing tool with an insurance bent, in that it allows access to insurance claims files and attached documents, in Microsoft Word and Excel, Adobe PDF and other file types. It also permits cross document and folder searching of file names and key words. The security is decent, with AES, 256 key encryption on the device and SSL encryption during transmission off the device. Moving around in the app is slick with swiping and zooming within and between docs.

No pricing information available on their website, but there is definitely worth to purchasing good encrypted applications when performing functions with sensitive data. ABI Document Support Services clearly recognizes that professionals want to be able to use their familiar mobile devices to interact with their important data, so go check out the app and request a free demo to see if it would be worth it to you to manage your claims while on the move.

 

iOS 7 and What It Means For You

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Been away for a few weeks focusing on other tasks. What better way to jump back into the Studio than with the shiny new iOS 7 straight from day one at WWDC. Admittedly I missed the keynote, but I have all the goods you need to know right here. Enough with the rumors, which I have been studiously avoiding over the past few months, let’s get down to brass facts.

There are a lot of changes – Apple clearly is interested in keeping people interested in their devices, which is no surprise given the mounting consumer interest in Android software and hardware. The first thing you will notice when you get to load up the shiny new OS is the new look. It’s called flat design and it quite literally takes the 3D out of the icons, pages and apps.

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But pretty is as pretty does, right? What will iOS 7 do?

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 11.12.54 AMControl Center: Control Center is an overlay screen that offers quick access to your most used controls and apps. Swiping up from any screen, even the Lock screen, will get you into Airplane mode, Wi-Fi on or off, screen brightness, and even a flashlight. There goes my Flashlight app.

Notification Center: Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 11.17.28 AMBeefed up and more usable – Notification Center gives you alerts for  mail, missed calls, still to-dos, and more. “Today” is new and provides a summary of the days’ important features, such as weather, birthdays, traffic, etc., with a nod to tomorrow’s events. Looks a bit like Google Now in aspect. Swipe down from any screen, as usual.

Multitasking: Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 11.24.25 AMIt’s gotten smarter. App updates happen automatically now in a strong Wi-Fi signal without battery drain. It will learn when you like to use what app and update the app before your usual use. Access preview screens of open apps and flick them closed (Hello Android and WebOS). Imitation is the highest form of flattery after all, and these are undoubtedly nice adds to iPhone / iPad / Touch users.

Camera & Photos:Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 11.29.10 AM Some tweaks and nods to Instagram, with square format options and filters. Plus easy access to still shots, video and panorama shots. Fun. The Photo app also has some upgrades – Collections, Moments and Years. Photos will be automatically slotted into these categories to make for a bit better organization of those sometimes vast libraries.

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 11.32.46 AMAirDrop: This has been available on Macs but it has now made its even more useful entre onto iOS. AirDrop is a sharing tool – quickly and easily share photos, videos, contacts — and anything else from any app with a Share button. Tap Share,  select the person you want to share with and BAM – using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the media is transferred. Transfers are encrypted too, which is nice. iPhone 5 and later iPad and Touch versions only.

Safari:Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 11.36.52 AM Much better than before and finally catching up to some of the other decent mobile browsers. Unified search / address box. Nicely executed visual tabs – think overhead Coverflow view. Full screen so you can take full advantage of those tiny screens. Swiping allows you to quickly move forwards or backwards through pages. Improved interfaces with Reader and Twitter. And a password storage keychain for Safari via iCloud. Or have Safari generate passwords for you. Finally up to 21st Century standards.

iTunes Radio:Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 11.39.31 AM Seems strange that the pioneer of digital media retailing took this long to develop its own radio streaming app, but here it is. It’s not really radio reinvented as Apple proudly claims – its a lot like other streaming radio apps that allow you to build stations that get more personalized the more you listen. Nice that it’s free, though.

Siri: Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 11.42.56 AMStill a work in progress, but definitely progressing. Siri has a new flat look and can speak to you in either a male or female voice. It is faster, and checks more sources. Unfortunately, it will be defaulting to Bing for web search rather than Google, which I think is a step down. It will perform more tasks now, like  returning calls, playing voicemail, controlling iTunes Radio, and more.

App Store: Some minor tweaks with a new “Apps Near Me” category that offers suggestions on apps that are popular in and around your locale. A good add for parents is a new Kids section that offers suggestions based on age. And, as noted above, apps will now update in the background, which is a welcome change.

Find My Phone: It’s gotten a little better. Your Apple ID and Password need to be inputted to actually turn off Find My iPhone or erase the device. Good luck with that, phone thieves. Find My iPhone can also continue to display a custom message, even after the device is erased. Also, your Apple ID and password are required before anyone can reactivate it, so it becomes quite onerous to do nefarious things with someone else’s device.

What about iPhones for business users? Along with some of the obvious usability improvements (business users love those), AirDrop and stronger phone security, some other commenters have noted certain features on the SDK slides that might be interesting to the enterprise.

Enterprise Single Sign-on This allows users to authenticate once to the enterprise, and then get access to apps without having to repeatedly log in. Reduced log ins is a good thing.

Per-app VPN – Virtual Private Networks are necessary for mobile/remote users, possibly allowing better user experience and ease network burdens.

App Configuration Management presumably, mobile app management, perhaps offering the ability to push apps to or remove apps from managed devices. Maybe even prevent loading unauthorized apps.

App Store Volume Purchase possibly an improved volume purchasing program, which would benefit larger businesses and educational clients.

Smart Mailboxes likely similar to smart mailbox feature in OS X’s Mail app. They act as permanent email searches, which makes it easier to find emails matching certain characteristics. Better search means more efficient communication.

PDF Annotations I love this one! No more opening your PDFs in a particular app to annotate them? Sign me up!

Wi-Fi Hot Spot 2.0 Likely better mobile hotspot/tethering.

Phone, FaceTime, and Messages Blocking Believe this to be blocking of communication based on phone number, email, or other factors. Sort of like the next generation of Do Not Disturb.

Peer-to-peer Connectivity probably involves the new AirDrop feature.

Data Protection By Default better security for apps. Possibly part of the data encryption that is already in place. And probably involves that encryption that will accompany AirDrop sharing.

I haven’t identified all the changes with iOS 7 and there could be additional features added (or subtracted) before it all rolls out in the fall. Nonetheless, there is a lot here to sink your teeth (or your fingers) into so kudos to Apple for coming to the party with something to offer.

Status Board: The Perfect Second Screen App

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Do you use your iPad as a second screen? Switching between sources on that screen while you are working on your main screen might slow you down a bit. App developer Panic has you covered – the new Status Board app turns your iPad screen into a ever-changing dashboard of relevant information. With “set it and forget it in mind”, you select from a series of widgets (or create a couple of your own with a bit of skill) and drop them into the built-in panels. Move and resize the widgets to your liking. The result is a flow of categories of information within little gridded cubbies including a clock, weather, your calendar, your mail, Twitter feeds, news feeds, graphical and tabular display of information you provide via spreadsheet or a create your own block (using HTML). From the site:

Clock and Weather are exactly what you expect. Calendar will display the events from one or more of your local iPad calendars, even Exchange. Mail can show you mailbox counts, list incoming messages, or graph message volume. Twitter can show you tweets as a ticker, or chart Twitter volume. RSS will show you the latest articles in a feed, or graph article volume. Finally, Chart, Table, and Do-It-Yourself are described above.

The results are pretty slick:

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Once you hook your sources up, Status Board does all the updating for you.

Of course, this works fine in your desktop set up as a second screen showing some of your vital stats. But where Status Board really shines is when you purchase in-app the ability to send out the board to a big screen via HDMI, or AirPlay it to a nearby TV. Now you are talking about a great information-at-a-glance display for your larger office or waiting area.

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Not the cheapest iPad app out there – it will set you back $9.99 for the app and $9.99 for the purchase of the screen out capability, but when you look at it from the other direction, $20 for a “set it and forget it” information board to gussy up your professional space is pretty cheap. Very niche but very cool indeed.

Getting Productive in January, 2013. With Apps.

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New Year, new clean slate. New resolutions, new start, or restart, or reboot, as it were. With smart mobile devices, it is easier than ever to organize, prioritize and accomplish goals. Seems now is a good time to highlight some of my favorite mobile apps to help you on your way. Some of these have been mentioned here before, some are new. I am pretty sure you will find something in the list to meet a need or two.

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Prismatic

Free

First off, I can think of no more effective and efficient way to parse the content flowing through Twitter, Facebook and Google+ than with Prismatic. This great iOS app reorganizes your Twitter feed to promote the content that is of the greatest interest to you. Enough of the Foursquare checkins and cat pictures. Prismatic will send along content from your tried and true sources, as well as offer up new sources of material to pique your interest. The UI is beautifully designed and gesture-based controls make a lot of sense – I find it very easy to use and effective for slicing through a lot of material very quickly. For those who have resolved to wade through their news sources more effectively and efficiently, Prismatic is the tool of choice.

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CloudOn

Free

If you are on Android or iOS, and you want to get as close to that Microsoft Office experience as possible, look no farther than CloudOn. Another previous feature here in the Studio, CloudOn not only gives you a meaty Office experience, it links you to Box, DropBox, Google Drive and SkyDrive to keep your mobile device at a decent fighting weight. It also features built in Adobe Reader and File Viewer tools. With the mainstays of Word, Excel and Powerpoint, most of your Office needs can be met with CloudOn on the go. Create and share and track your changes easily with the FileSpace feature. For those who have resolved to get more document drafting and editing work done while mobile, CloudOn is your best bet.

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Sparrow

$2.99

Let’s face it, the iOS Mail app, even with iOS 6 tweaks, still leaves something to be desired. If you are left wanting more in your mobile email client, check out Sparrow. If you can live without Push notifications (and really, can’t we all?) there really is a lot in this package. Pull all your emails, IMAP and POP, into a unified inbox and directly attach photos & images when composing without having to move between apps. Easily navigate with up and down swiping in a threaded conversation, and swipe once to uncover your mailboxes, labels and folders or swipe again to get to your account list. Mail will show profile images, and swipe to star, add labels, archive or delete. Smart contacts keep your most frequent contacts on top of the list. Enable send and archive to quickly unload your inbox and use a built-in web browser to navigate the web within Sparrow. Tapping and swiping moves you quickly between mailboxes and you can single click to mark all as read. Pull to refresh and leverage Priority inbox support. You can also use email Aliases. Search gets you local mail as well as remote mail on the server. Very nice indeed. And there is more. For those who have resolved to get on top of taming their email inbox, Sparrow has got you covered.

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Paper

Free, with in-app purchase for more tools.

Are you embarrassed by your attempts to render a picture? Would you like to be able to sketch your ideas and show them to others without your audience looking at your art with sympathy? If you have an iPad and want to be able to present your visual ideas easily and smartly, check out this iPad drawing app. It truly makes anyone’s scribbles look compelling and polished. Paper doesn’t overwhelm with an overly complicated interface and too many tools. There are just enough variables and options to keep your work interesting, but not so many that you will struggle with what to toggle next. Paper also employs some smart algorithmic magic behind the scenes to help your work look its best, with its expressive ink engine. Easily share what you have done via email, or on Tumblr, Facebook or Twitter. For those who have resolved to get more in touch with their right brain, Paper may offer the edge you need.

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Pocket

Free

How many times you have been browsing the Web, stumbled on something pretty cool or interesting or on-point, but had insufficient time to fully digest it or use it for your intended purpose and later lost access to it? You may not have heard of Pocket, but you might be familiar with the by its previous name – ReadItLater. Pocket is a shinier version of the Web notebook/bookmarking tool for Android and iOS, with visually appealing thumbnails of your saved media, and the compelling ability to save and then access the content across devices, even without an internet connection. Save stuff to your Pocket when your online and then read or view to your heart’s content while flying or out of internet range. Saves from your browser as well as from some of the finest content curation tools and apps, like Twitter, Zite, Flipboard and Pulse. Share the stuff you really want to keep from Pocket into Evernote, another Studio favorite tool. For those that have resolved to more effectively save, read and organize their content even without an internet connection, Pocket is the way to go.

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Zite

Free

With all that news out there on the web, wouldn’t it be nice if someone or something could simply pick the best stuff for you, the stuff that is most interesting, and give it to you in an easy to read layout with simple sharing tools? Wouldn’t it be great if your news curation assistant got smarter every time the two of you interacted? This is possible with another Studio feature, Zite. Zite initially was iOS only, but is now available on Android and Windows Phone 7 too and I find myself turning to it first when I don’t have a great deal of time to read and really only want to get the most important highlights on my most favorite news topics. And, like Prismatic, Zite will throw your some curveballs with new sources or topics that may be of interest based on your interests, so it never gets stale. For those looking to get the best, on-point news quickly and effortlessly, Zite is the go-to source.

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Google Drive

Free

While I have absolutely nothing against Dropbox, when I think free, agile and generous online file storage, I think Google Drive. Introduced this year to great anticipation and fanfare, Drive offers mobile solutions to tap into the Google cloud, edit and share your content and easily free up space on your mobile for more important things, like family pictures. Drive is a no-brainer on Android, but even the iOS app shines with features. Offline access and easy uploads make the process of moving content around painless and fast. And now, with the interaction of Gmail and Drive, you can send 10GB files out of your Drive and that is impressive by anyone’s standards. For those looking to maximize content management and local space, Google Drive is my favorite solution.

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Brewster

Free

Struggling with social fatigue because your contacts are spread out across mobile and desktop address books and social media outlets? Feeling like it is nearly impossible to reach out and touch someone, especially someone whose contact information you can’t easily find because you can’t remember where its stored? Brewster for iOS is a contact management app that combines all of your address sources into a single “book” on your device, matches pictures to contact information and even organizes those contacts intelligently so you can quickly access your closest contacts and view interactions. Easily search contacts or create your own lists. Quickly view contacts using images and tiles rather than text heavy alphabetical entries. For those resolving to stay in better contact with their numerous contacts, Brewster hits it out of the park.

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Khan Academy

Free

Feeling your brain leaking out all that valuable information you crammed in back in high school and college? Missing Stats or wishing you had a better grasp on chemistry? If you need a refresher or would like to get a decent overview in a subject, then you might want to check out Khan Academy’s more than 3,500 free video tutorials. Get them on the go on your iOS device and download them for offline watching on the iPad. View subtitles, and track your viewing progress with “credits” in the Academy. Khan covers a massive number of different topics, and you can too when you have some time between obligations and happen to have your iDevice handy. For those resolving to exercise their brains and broaden their educational horizons, enroll in the Khan Academy with their mobile app.

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LogMeIn

Free and Pro Paid Subscription

If you are out and suddenly find a need to access your home or office computer, what do you do? You hope you have downloaded to your computer and device the able LogMeIn app that will allow you to remotely access and control your desktop computer. The free iOS app offers remote control of PCs and Macs over WiFi and 3G and can connect to as many computers as you like. Access your home and work computers on the go and get to files on your computer and edit them on your mobile device. Remotely run any application on your computer from your iPhone or iPad. Even fix computer problems remotely. If you pay the subscription for Pro features, get HD video and sound streaming from any device or Pro enabled computer, use their My Cloud Bank integration to link the LogMeIn app with various cloud services, transfer files and folders between computers and save them to your device with File Manager, remotely print to any AirPrint compatible printer and use the Photo App management feature to access and transfer photos from or to your iPad and iPhone photo libraries. All the benefits of your desktop in your pocket and without the bulk. For those resolving not to forget to run their important desktop tasks, LogMeIn is a great way to go.

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I could really go on and on with these great apps – I have found lots of them over the course of the past five years of using mobile devices. But this should be a pretty decent start on the road to a more productive 2013. Happy New Year!

 

Lots of Legal Apps For You

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Want to check out new legal apps for your mobile device? Thank the fine folks over at the UCLA School of Law / Hugh & Hazel Darling Law Library for a very nice list of interesting tools to boost your mobile, legal productivity. There are nearly 60 apps listed, some of which I have mentioned here in the Studio before, but plenty more that are new to me and maybe new to you. I won’t mention them all here – hit the jump above for the complete list. But I do have to mention a few that look particularly fun, such as the following (quoted from the site):

 

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The Wolfram Lawyer’s Professional Assistant is a legal reference tool that provides access to a dictionary of legal terms, statutes of limitations for each state in the U.S., a tool for calendar calculations, a variety of calculators, and crime rate and demographic data. The app is powered by the Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine and is compatible for use on all iOS devices. The app sells for $4.99 and may be downloaded from the iTunes App Store.

 

 

 

mobiletranMobile Transcript is an app that provides attorneys with the ability to read deposition transcripts formatted for their devices. Transcripts are uploaded by attorneys’ court reporters to the Mobile Transcript website, which in turn downloads the transcripts to the attorneys’ devices (court reporters must hold asubscription with Mobile Transcript to be able to upload transcripts). The app allows attorneys to highlight and flag text. The app is FREE and is available for use on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad devices, as well as Droid and Blackberry devices. For iPhone and iPod devices, the app may be downloaded from theiTunes App Store. Mobile Transcript has a separate app optimized for the iPad that may be downloaded from the iTunes App Store. The app for Blackberry smartphones may be downloaded from the Mobile Transcript website, and the Droid version may be downloaded from Google Play.

 

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The Legal News Reader app is a simple RSS feed aggregator that retrieves important news stories from a number of legal news sites, thereby allowing the user to keep up to date on developments in the news in one convenient place. The app allows users to comment on articles, to read comments left by others, and to share stories with others. The app is $0.99 and may be downladed from the iTunes App Store.

 

 

 

pocketThe PocketJustice FULL app provides you with abstracts of the U.S. Supreme Court’s constitutional decisions and access to audio files for its public sessions. The app includes voting alignments and biographical sketches for all 110 Justices, searchable transcripts, and information and audio for more than 600 constitutional law cases heard in the U.S. Supreme Court. The full version of the app is available for $4.99 and may be downloaded from the iTunes App Storefor use on the iPhone and iPod Touch (a FREE version may also be downloaded from the iTunes App Store, but it offers fewer features). The app may also be downloaded for use on Android devices from Google Play for $4.99.

 

 

And there are lots more to check out. Load them up and head out with your law office in your pocket.

Jift App Offers Combined Facebook, Google+ Experience

 

Is your time worth money? Do you dislike having to spend precious time attending to two social networks? Well, if your preferred soc-nets include Facebook and Google+ and you rock an iDevice, you might be interested in the Jift app. Jift is a unified iOS client for Facebook and Google+, allowing you to quickly shift between one or the other or use both simultaneously. The app’s stream combines content from Facebook’s and Google+’s home pages. Interact with comments, likes, +1’s and shares, and add content to the sites from the app as well. You can access a unified Notifications stream or shift left or right to get only Google+ or Facebook notifications. One check-in can reflect on both sites.

The coolest feature for me – the cross-posting / sharing ability – comes with the paid Pro version for $1.99, but also shows as a $.99 in app purchase in the free version. Haven’t quite figured that one out yet.

Personal information is stored locally and you log in within the app using OAuth.

If you want to streamline your browsing and sharing experience across these two social networks, then you might have to agree that Jift is brilliant. Nice way to condense that time wasting into one glance at the iDevice.

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Someone’s Finally Tamed Pacer! PacerPro To The Rescue

Have you ever used Pacer to retrieve federal docket information? Did you enjoy the experience? C’mon, now, be honest. It pretty much stinks, no two ways about it. There is little doubt that Pacer – the massive on-line nationwide database of U.S. Appellate, District, and Bankruptcy court records, with 214 separate databases and an estimated trillion documents  – is sorely in need of a modern make-over. But I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath while the federal government gets around to doing that.

In the meantime, two entrepreneurs have taken upon themselves the massive task and have come up with PacerPro – a much more pleasing web-based skin and set of tools for anyone wishing to interface with Pacer. John Sanders, previously of Apple and Autodesk, and Gavin McGrane, an attorney, have quietly spent the past couple of years combining their legal and technical expertise to develop PacerPro, which makes searching Pacer simpler and, dare I say it, even enjoyable. Gavin and John kindly offered me the opportunity last week to watch PacerPro in action and provided me with the overview of the product, which launches today as a preview release.

PacerPro definitely leverages the Pacer databases, but changes how researchers interact with them. Pacer users are familiar with the form-driven search interface that makes creative searching incredibly difficult – it is nearly impossible to hone in quickly on the exact document you may be looking for in the traditional Pacer interface. But with PacerPro’s streamlined look and feel – with intelligent search fields for the Pacer search tool and a Google-like natural language interface for the archive tool that accesses all Pacer docs that PacerPro’s users have retrieved, results are easier to find, sort and scan. There are tools to bookmark cases under the My Cases tool, and the ability to store documents in folders so that you can find them easily at a later time and “sync” the documents with other users, via their email. Imagine – you can directly share a Pacer document with someone else electronically! Space-age!

What makes it even more space-age is the companion mobile iOS app – you can access your collected resources stored in PacerPro on your iPad. Even offline. Even while on a plane or in a courtroom. Very cool indeed.


The key features of PacerPro at launch include the following (taken from their press release):

  • Searching PACER – PacerPRO’s robust search tools’ capabilities include: Search across multiple courts simultaneously to find a complete set of records. Filter these results to identify relevant cases quickly. Save past searches.
  • Document Management – Once the relevant information is retrieved, users can bookmark cases for easy access.  PacerPRO automatically indexes the docket for quick and easy searches.  Electronic files make it easy to create and save collections of documents, reflect changes in the docket, and organize document collections.
  • Mobile Access – Entirely web-based, PacerPRO provides attorneys access to important case information anywhere at anytime.  And, thanks to PacerPRO’s iPad application, attorneys can now take curated docket collections offline — great for places where internet access is not always available, such as the courtroom, on airplanes, and at depositions.  No more delays while you update paper files.  No more lugging boxes full of binders stuffed with pleadings.
  • PacerPRO Archive – PacerPRO is in the process of compiling our own archival database.  The PacerPRO Archive returns results with simple, one-word or boolean searches.  We are constantly adding to the PacerPRO Archive. Archive searches are free.

No doubt, Gavin and John have taken on a pretty big task. But it seems they have risen to it with a nicely designed product that will help litigators or anyone neading ready access to federal docket materials interact with Pacer more easily and with a lot less pain, from pretty much anywhere.

The service is not free – the PacerPro online subscription will cost $25 month, which represents a special introductory price. The iPad app is also subscription based, at $15 a month. Plus your usual Pacer charges when you request a document, although archive searches are free. Remember, the archive is all documents that PacerPro users have requested via Pacer – the archive is a secondary database automatically created and accessible via natural language search. So, while it won’t be cost effective for the infrequent user, the time savings alone may be worth the cost for heavy Pacer users, litigators and anyone else needing regular, quick access to the federal courts.

I wish Gavin and John all the best with their application – they clearly have seen a need and filled it nicely. Looking forward to playing with PacerPro myself. You can find more about it at their newly live website at pacerpro.com. Or follow them on Twitter at @pacerpro.

Colligo Briefcase Pro for Sharepoint On The Go

Our department was one the first in the company to switch from a traditional static intranet site to a far more full-featured Microsoft Sharepoint site. Needless to say, I was involved in the push. Sharepoint is a web-based tool designed for enterprise use that incorporates many features to promote collaboration between coworkers, including intranet portals, document & file management, collaboration, social networks, extranets, websites, enterprise search, and business intelligence.

Once I get my hands on a great tool, my first thought always is: how can I get this on my device so that I can carry it around with me? If you want a very capable mobile option for Sharepoint, I suggest you look no further than Colligo Briefcase Pro. There is a lite version as well, with more limited functionality, but Colligo kindly provided me with a code to access the $14.99 Pro version for my review. Colligo Briefcase Pro enterprise offers even more features around security and remote management.

Briefcase Pro works with SharePoint 2007, SharePoint 2010, or Office 365 sites. It allows you to store, sync, view, edit, and find SharePoint content on your iPad or iPhone. Access and share files, lists, images, documents and emails. Synchronize SharePoint content to your iPad or iPhone automatically, for instant access, even when offline. The user interface is beautifully simple – it’s no harder to use than any of the other cloud-based storage applications, once you get past setting up your app and connecting with your enterprise Sharepoint site. Set alerts to monitor file changes. Share files using links. Leverage search within the app.

First and foremost, though, as with any interface with the enterprise, security is the key. AES-256 bit hardware based encryption type security, remote wiping and password protection within the app. With the Colligo Administrator software, there are even more security features available to the enterprise. There are also plenty of settings to allow you to control what gets downloaded and stored, size and type limits and when such downloads should occur, which is great when storage space or connectivity are issues. This is a far safer, far more secure way for business users and employees to access enterprise content than some of the other mobile options they may be tempted to use (looking at you, Dropbox).

There are some new features in Briefcase Pro 2.0. Whereas previously you could only download files, now the process is two-way so you can upload as well. There is offline editing available, which will then sync once you are online again. The familiar “open in” dialog on your iDevice is now usable from Briefcase, so you can use your application of choice, like Documents to Go or Goodreader, to work with the content. Check in/check out indicators, as well as conflict detection and resolution features. And you can edit your custom and standard lists. There is day/week/month view support in the Calendar and you can create “Playlists” of your favorite files for quick access. There are column filters to hone in on what you are looking for. Plus rich-text viewing.

Not everyone is using Sharepoint, so Briefcase’s appeal is somewhat limited in that regard. However, if you are a Sharepoint user, I have yet to come across a more full-featured mobile application for the suite. Stay connected with your business, your colleagues and your important files via Briefcase Pro. Check out more about the options on the Colligo website here.

CloudOn 2.5 Getting Closer to the Full Office on the iPad

Back in January, Microsoft Office users rejoiced with the introduction of CloudOn, an iPad app that ran a virtualized Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel & PowerPoint) on the iconic tablet. Not content to sit on their laurels, CloudOn’s developers have added new features to the app that makes it more appealing and useful. CloudOn 2.5 adds the ability to annotate and track to its iOS app. But don’t worry,  Android support is coming. In addition to the previously available tools for managing, creating and editing files, you will be able to add shapes and lines in Word with your fingers, type a note and preserve those markups in the files themselves. You can save to Dropbox, Box, or  Google Drive accounts. The new CloudOn FileSpace feature reveals a real-time stream of data on changes to your documents so that you can effectively track changes across platforms. The ribbon toolbar is optimized for touch gestures for editing and spell checking. While it is running a version that is akin to 2010, rather than 2013, it is more than sufficient to give that virtualized Office experience. While it’s a bummer that it isn’t yet retina supported, it is a great tool for those longing for Office on their iPad or Android-powered device. It also bears noting that, through partnerships with both Microsoft and Adobe, CloudOn lets you open and view a variety of file types with the built-in Adobe Reader and File Viewer, including PDF, JPG, PNG, GIF, etc. And its all for free.


SlideShark Lets You Reliably View PowerPoint On Your iPhone

Speaking of presentations,  SlideShark, formerly an iPad only app  coming from online education purveyor BrainShark, hopes to make the experience of viewing, sharing and projecting PowerPoint files fit in your pocket. It has just released an iPhone app and, like its iPad counterpart, works some behind the scenes magic to make the presentation show as it should on your iDevice screen.  The iPhone app permits viewing and zooming of PowerPoint presentations, sharing and tracking of presentations, and connecting to projectors or TVs to blow those tiny presentations back up to audience size. With a SlideShark account, you can also store and access the presentations in the cloud at SlideShark’s site. You can also set auto-play functions to loop your presentation and can utilize a laser-pointer effect during presentations.

All in all, Slideshark is a handy tool if you are on the road and needing to work with presentations.