Stewart Boling, a student/Android App developer at Missouri University of Science & Technology, found an Android lawyer app niche, and picked on it. He’s hit, or hitting, a home run too.
Stewart’s app, quite simply, is called, Depose. Stewart “hypes” his app thusly (is that legalese, or what?):
Depose allows the user to plan and take depositions directly from their Android tablet. Questions can be rearranged and saved as templates for later. The user can attach an exhibit to a question and retrieve the exhibit with the push of a button while taking the deposition. I plan to add more features in the near future including color-coded flags and sharing depositions via email and NFC.
There are some slight kinks, as with any app. For instance, although Stewart tells me he tested the app on several Android tablets, it failed to load on my Asus Transformer Pad Infinity.
This is a big hindrance to my total support of this app. Obviously, there’s no point or advantage in taking a deposition on a phone. I’ve told Stewart about this problem, and even recreated the problem on my Motorola Droid Bionic, and he vows to fix it, so I’m expecting great things in the forthcoming app release. Note though, this worked on my Android smartphone.
That said, I think a lot of litigators will love this app (assuming it’ll run on your tablet). I know, sometimes I throw praise around too easily, but this time, along with the million other times, I’m serious.
First, I love that the user interface is really friendly, making the app easy-to-use. My copy came with sample depositions, which I believe are unnecessary. If I can figure out how to add a deposition (deponent), you can too.
One thing you’ll need to know is that the pencil icon is the “take depo” key. Use this to, amazingly enough, take the deposition.
In case you’re wondering, “take depo” means actually presenting the questions and providing you space to enter the answer, should you wish.
The app comes pre-loaded with some generic “template” questions, but you can easily save your own questions by simply long-pressing on the question.
I love that you can also rearrange the questions once they’re entered. That way you have control over the deposition, without worrying about missing one.
A blue line appears in “take depo” mode. Do not get mad like I did at the “design.”
The line is a separating line for questions, but you can also enter notes. Just remember to hit “enter” after you’re done typing or the note will disappear. You’ll also notice the paperclip icon in the picture. This is an attachment, in this case a PDF, that will open if necessary for your viewing. Although I tend to make my notes on the actual document I’ll have at the deposition (an old-school lawyer taught me that), I think I could easily be persuaded to save them in PDF.
One thing I don’t like, which I’m not sure is going to be changed, is the file storage method. Right now, the only place to store exhibits for the depositions is locally, not on Dropbox. The app uses a rudimentary file location and attachment process.
Unfortunately, this could take up a lot of precious device space, depending on the number of exhibits, size, and speed of the tablet. I don’t know that there’s any real good way to do this, especially in light of no internet access sometimes, so it’s more of a critique than a true criticism.
One other drawback is that there’s no way to upload or import notes. I’m not a designer, so I don’t know the feasibility or possibility of this, but I do know that typing on a desktop beats typing on a tablet (unless you have the keyboard dock to the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity), any day. Having the ability to convert a Word document to deposition questions would rock.
Finally, price. If you want Depose, you’re going to have to pay some money…like $7.99 if you grab it during its launch. Definitely well-priced in a sub-$20 market. Honesty, I think the app is a value at $14.99.
If you want to catch a glimpse of Stewart, he’ll be an exhibitor at the Missouri Bar’s Lex Port 2012 Tech Expo. Although I wasn’t invited (we can see which OS MoBar loves) and they are giving away an Android tablet (on Saturday – everyone will be river boating
or sloshed by then), you folks in Missouri should attend.
Since this is the pre-hype post, I’ll update and give you links to the app, once Stewart posts it on Google Play. I’m always interested to hear what you think, so leave a comment, or two.