Tablet Alternatives Becoming More Available

Archos Multi-ViewArchos' 101 Tablet is now out on the market.

The Archos largest tablet offers a slim profile, camera, HD playback, Micro SD slot, and a number of other unique features not offered by the Ipad.

Archos has been around for a while and one can reasonably expect that their years of experience in the Tablet PC market should be helpful in providing a quality product which can compete with other tablets coming to market during the Christmas Season.  It is also noteworthy that they have been offering Internet tablets for quite some time. However, the Archos 9 Windows-based tablet was not warmly received by consumers and reviewers.  Nevertheless, it does look like the new Archos tablets have a better user interface, better screen response, and overall improved speeds as compared to the much slower Windows-based offering.

Surprisingly, many of the other companies’ new tablets, which were expected by late November, simply haven’t shown up on the scene (Acer, Notion Ink Atom, Toshiba, HP). As such, it does seem that Dell, Archos, and the Chinese knock off companies should do reasonably well this year.  While I would like to see more mainstream companies offering tablets (especially Android products), it looks like early to middle of next year will be a better gauge of what is actually available.

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Noterize: Mark Up Docs with this Basic App

Noterize is an app that I have used when I’m in a pinch to mark up a pdf exhibit and just need to make some basic notes as to the document along with any high-lighting.  I have mixed feelings about this app because I do not find the user interface to be all that particularly friendly.  What is likeable about the app is the fact that it is easy to import documents from Dropbox. Also, legal notes and comments can be placed directly onto the documents.  Adding an all encompassing toolbar for easy navigation would be a great improvement to an otherwise good app.

I would recommend this app to anyone looking for an adjunct to Noteshelf, which is very user friendly and intuitive.  With respect to both apps, having Adobe‘s Acrobat Pro 10 is an absolute must.  If you are inclined to use your Mac, PDFPenPro 5 is also a great user-friendly .pdf creation, editing, and sharing program for Mac.  I would give Noterize an 8 out of 10.  It could be a near perfect app with some work on the UI.  You can click on either image below for additional reviews on this app.  The pic below these is an actual screen shot showing the high lighting function, comments, and signature ability.

Time Master: Great For Billing Anywhere at Any Time !!!

Time Master Main Screen

The Time Master app is another of my most used apps, especially when I am out of town. This app costs about $10.00 and is incredibly useful for keeping track of your time and billing. On-Core, the developer, says, “The best, most powerful, comprehensive, easy to use time keeping app on the Apple Store is now even better. Time Master has the highest average rating of all the time management apps. And the other apps don’t come close to our new optional billing module. Our invoices are totally professional.”

“Our biggest fans are consultants, attorneys and contractors. Time Master is used by individuals working independently, to attorneys from some of the biggest law firms in the USA. If you need to keep track of time and expenses, you can’t find a better app than Time Master. We at On-Core are IT professionals, so we have firsthand experience with billing and keeping track of time. We know from personal experience what is needed and have made this app so flexible, it works for virtually anyone in any industry in which time needs to be kept.

Are you losing money due to poor record keeping? Did you forget to log the time you spent on a small task and not bill for it last month? On-Core Time Master simplifies the process by having an app handy on your iPhone or iPod Touch, ready at all times, for you to track your time. You can quickly start tracking time with a few taps on the screen. Those little minutes add up every month and this application will easily pay for itself in one month! We think that you will find Time Master the ultimate time tracking application, with its superior ease of use, for your iPhone or iPod Touch.”

Apple Store’s website, states that the app provides the following features:

  • Track time by start, stop and/or by duration
  • Sessions option can track “punch-in & out” for a single time entry
  • Single or multiple running timers
  • Timers keep running even if you are not running the app
  • Time Entries are by Client and can be sub-categorized by Project and Tasks
  • Powerful billing rates that can be defined in the following priority: Global, by Client, by Project, by Task or Custom per entry
  • Powerful Time Rounding: by hour, minutes and/or seconds
  • Multiple Filters to sort and view only what you need to see
  • Define the day of the week that your work week starts
  • Track Expenses – from Mileage to Meals to Burning CD’s and anything else you want to define
  • Display Reports right on your device that you can view and export via email in HTML and/or CSV format. By Client or Timesheet
  • Copy Client information from your Contacts list
  • Dual taxes for countries such as Canada
  • Import IIF files
  • Full Backup & Restore capabilities

I have personally used almost all of the features and have been pleased all the way around.  The app has been updated several times since I bought it and it does get better each time.   The app seems very well suited for use by any professional who is required to keep his or her time and is simple to use, especially once you have input most of your client information over time.  Probably the biggest task is setting up your database of clients, billable entries, and related project/matter information.

Noteworthy are the facts that the app is compatible with Quickbooks, it can be synchronized between two devices (Ipad and your Iphone), and it will allow you to import contacts information from Outlook, AOL, or other address books.  Lastly, Time Master provides you with the ability to invoice immediately via e-mail and to print invoices as a .pdf file.

I give this app the highest recommendation after having regularly used it for the last year plus.

Noteshelf: No More Yellow Legal Pads for Me !!!

Noteshelf is probably my most used app for taking notes at depositions, trial and client meetings. This app provides a variety of features, including writing, erasing, and the ability to create individual notebooks for each client or matter.

There are a number of formats available for your notes, including one that mimics a regular legal pad. Along with the different notebook formats, you have the choice of many colors of ink and there are symbols/images that you can use for marking up your notes.  In short, the app is incredibly simplistic and best used with a Pogo stylus for Ipad.

The only improvement that I can think of would be handwriting recognition.  However, my handwriting during trial and depositions is so bad that it probably wouldn’t work anyway.  Nevertheless, there are those who might appreciate an improvement such as this.

After writing your notes out, you can e-mail them, put them into a DropBox folder, send them to Evernote, or Itunes.  The app will convert your notes into .pdf files for easy access and viewing by others.   I have been using this app for several months now and give it a 10 out of 10 for what it does.  The simplicity of its function and the easy to understand interface make this app a standout.

Kno Tablet Could Prove to be Good for Lawyers Too …

Kno Tablet

While specifically designed for the educational community, this certainly looks like it could be a very good prospect for lawyers too.  The split screen could allow for the simultaneous viewing of an exhibit and notes, cases and outlines of arguments, codes, charts, timelines, mind mapping diagrams, and other documents which would otherwise have to be put side by side.

I certainly know that the single screen on the Ipad is limiting, especially while in trial or under the gun by some irritable judge who doesn’t have the patience for clicking or the old alt-tab function (even though flipping through pages would take longer and be louder anyway).  For right now I have been bringing both my laptop and my Ipad with me to evidentiary hearings.  As I have stated in prior posts, the convenience of a slate cannot be overstated.  The only improvement that I can think of is exactly what is proposed by the Kno tablet.  After looking at the specs, capabilities, and basic function, I think that this will prove to be a good addition to the tablet market — if those at Kno are able to grasp the foreseeably positive effect that this could have on the practice of law, which, for better or worse, is sometimes quite the academic venture.  I like what I see so far and hope that the folks at Kno will take a serious look at our industry and think of ways that it could improve efficiency in the courts and at our law schools.

Apple Announces New IOS 4.01 for Ipad

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/gaming.gadgets/11/09/ipad.update.software/index.html

In what is anticipated to be a great improvement to the Ipad, Apple has announced that it will be releasing its IOS 4.2 platform.  The new version is supposed to include multi-tasking, folders, and printing capabilities.  There also going to be business enterprise improvements.  According to Apple, “iOS 4 is the world’s most advanced mobile operating system and includes powerful benefits for business. In November, Apple will release an iOS 4.2 software update for iPad, providing business users with additional iPad security enhancements, device management capabilities and improved enterprise integration.”

I cannot say that I am all that excited about the folders option since the folders don’t make it all that easy to immediately view what is in them, unless you remember where you placed every single app. For those of us who are a bit absent-minded when it comes to details like this, having the old interface is probably the better route.  The internal ability to print is a welcome addition though.  As of today, one has to find another app that can assist in the printing process and any particular app may be buggy at best.  For those who spend lunch playing games, Apple is bringing a gaming element that will allow you to play games online with others.

IOS 4.2 sounds like it should be a good update altogether, even though I must say that I am already a very happy customer.  The Ipad has proven to be an excellent aide in trial, great for immediate calendaring, and has proven itself as a good tool for editing/reviewing .pdf documents, Word docs, and photos.