With over 1 million apps in Google Play, and more added every day, Android is easily becoming a contender for improving productivity. Of course, there are a number of apps I use on a daily basis, but here are five that really change the way I practice law.
Google Drive (or Dropbox)
Cloud computing is the future of the practice of law. In order to become efficient, lawyers need to take advantage of cloud resources for storing documents and sharing information. Drive gives users storage space and the ability to produce documents, spreadsheets, presentations, or forms, and is a great tool for collaborating. I love using Google Docs to collaborate with colleagues to create and edit documents.
Google Drive is included with every Google Apps for Business account (it’s available to all Google users), which means you’ll have email, calendaring, word processing, and storage all tied together. Plus, if you add in Hangouts, you’ll have video conferencing capabilities without the added costs.
Cloud computing opens up a number of options for creating a remote workforce, especially when you combine cloud storage with practice management software. I love being able to access all of my information and work from anywhere I choose. The cloud gives lawyers the power.
Google Camera (or camera app)
Recently, opposing counsel and I took a trip to my client’s home where an injury occurred. Counsel lugged out a high-end DSLR camera and explained how their firm planned to merge the image to create a panoramic photo of the area.
Of course, since I own a Nexus 5 with an 8MP camera, and I’m using Google Camera with panoramic capabilities, I could take a cool panoramic picture like this:
Or, if I needed to, I could take a 360-degree photosphere to give a true life view of the scene.
Note, you have to share the photosphere to Google Maps (from the Gallery) to make the picture viewable.
Photospheres can help bring context to a scene or location.
And don’t forget, you can also easily capture high-quality video of scenes, people, or other events to help bring perspective to a case.
Google Earth blows my mind. I remember being 10 years old and craving an ability to grab an overhead shot of “the battle scene” to consult the troops. That wasn’t feasible 30 years ago, but today I can sit at my desktop and view every inch of the planet.
Google Earth gives me the ability to preliminarily investigate where a car accident occurred. This can save my client time and money at the start of the case.
Using Google Earth also opens some opportunities to take advantage of technology available. For instance, you should try to recreate a scene during a deposition?
Google Earth bring unprecedented views of our tiny world.
RepliGo Reader (PDF readers)
I’m writing this post as I
shirk my responsibility procrastinate skimming through over 900 pages of medical records and another 300 pages of deposition testimony for an upcoming trial. The boredom remains, but my ability to save space hasn’t. I combined all of the medical records into one gigantic file and saved them to my Android device. The fact is, Android has at least three really good PDF viewers.
RepliGo Reader turned into my favorite PDF viewer app for Android. I really love the app’s ability to integrate seemlessly with cloud storage, including Drive. The cloud integration lets me collaborate on PDFs with other attorneys, keep the documents organized, and save valuable space. Good cloud options plus PDF documents really convinces me that the “brick and mortar” office could vanish and you wouldn’t hurt one bit.
Arguably, lawyers who aren’t using encryption to share sensitive documents in the cloud violate states ethics rules. Period. Viivo is one of the ways I securely save documents in the cloud.
Viivo allows me to encrypt a document on my desktop, upload the encrypted document to Drive, and then decrypt the document on my phone or tablet for viewing. For now, Viivo gives me confidence my information is secure and safe.
I’m sure we’ll see more
Each day we see the addition of new apps and innovations. I’m sure, as time goes on, more developers will bring us applications that really change how we’ll do business. Is there one or two apps that changed how you practice law?