I don’t know where I first bumped into the Mobile Transcript (free) application by Mobile Transcript, LLC, but I recently downloaded the app to play around with.
At first, it seemed like a novel idea, an app to read and annotate deposition transcripts, blah. However, as I delved more deeply into the application, I became enamored with its useful possibilities for attorneys. iPhoneJD did a review of the application for the iOS, and my fundamental review doesn’t differ significantly from his analysis. In fact, it seems all of the positives (time tracking, ease of use, etc.) and all of the negatives (small screen, accessibility, etc.) are my chief complaints. So, rather than rehash Jeff’s comments, I’ll add some short ones I feel are most important.
First, and most significantly, I love that the app lets you create a “deposition summary” quickly and easily from inside the app, and enables you to deliver your notes/highlights to an assistant or other lawyer. One wasteful thing about the depo summary is that usually it’s created by someone else, with little or no experience in analyzing a case.
Second, I love the time capture. Although I can easily time myself while I’m reading, sometimes I forget and it’s difficult to remember whether I started at 6:30 or 7:30.
Third, “offline” mode sucks. Depositions are available for reviewing only when you have an internet connection. Seems kind of pointless to me, especially if I plan on reviewing a depo while I’m in the air or on a drive somewhere.
Finally, and the biggest turnoff for me, I dislike the small screen. Since 95% of the work I do now is on my Viewsonic gTablet, I rarely use my smartphone device for anything more than a WiFi hotspot, GPS, and cell phone. Not having a tablet mode certainly minimizes the usefulness of the application for me. I thoroughly dislike viewing transcripts on a 4 inch screen, as opposed to my 10 inch capacity.
Overall, the concept is great. However, for me the few (and they’re big) flaws, minimize the usefulness and appeal of this application. I don’t say I wouldn’t use the application in a pinch, but I would think twice before choosing this mobile app over a traditional PDF file.