Verdict - Summer 2011 - (Page 37)
Securing Justice for Victims of Negligence? There’s an App for That!
BY CHRISTOPHER T. NACE
he launch of Apple’s iPad in 2010 was one of the most anticipated technology releases since the color television. If nothing else, Apple has the market cornered on creating buzz and hype. Sure, there had been tablet-style computers released in the past, but those devices were often clumsy and inefﬁcient. Almost blindly, technophiles pontiﬁcated that the iPad would be the “game-changer.” Customers lined up around the block to get their hands on an iPad. And now, with the release of the iPad 2, there is at least some basis to say that, in fact, this is quite a product. Let’s leave aside the debate as to whether there are better tablets out there now (such as the recently released Blackberry Playbook or the Motorola Xoom). The question to address here is whether this shiny, slick leader of the pack is something trial lawyers can use in their practice.
The iPad (and iPad 2) is a lightweight device that users interact with exclusively through its touch screen. The device comes in several models, but the essential differences are the amount of memory (16, 32 or 64 GB) and whether you get a device that can connect to the Internet through a cellular network, either AT&T
or Verizon currently. Whatever model you opt for, the device has full Wi-Fi capability. (So the cellular connection comes in handy when Wi-Fi is not available.) It arrives with the usual suite of Apple products, including iTunes for music and video, Safari for browsing the Internet and iPhoto for storing pictures. If you are inclined to store music and movies on your iPad, I would suggest getting as much memory as you can ﬁnancially stand. I was surprised to see how quickly a few movies and a small music library can take up more than half the space on my 64 GB model. This article is focused on the “apps” available to iPad users, speciﬁcally those apps that can be helpful to trial lawyers. Apps are software programs that can be downloaded directly to the iPad through Apple’s App store (a link is conveniently included on the screen of the iPad). Many apps are free, and those that can be purchased range from ninety-nine cents and up. Most are less than $20. Hours could be spent just browsing the app store looking for games, business tools, sports tickers, travel tools, you name it. Here are some apps that I’ve found helpful to my practice. The list certainly isn’t exclusive, and there are probably apps better at doing the same things that I’ll describe below. But, if nothing else, this article should give iPad owners and those thinking about purchasing an iPad an idea of what this much-hyped device can offer you.
Email, Calendar and Contacts
One question often asked is whether an iPad replaces a laptop. That really depends on personal preference. Certainly the iPad can do all of the basic functions of a laptop, such as word processing, Web surﬁng and email. In fact, the iPad comes ready to sync virtually automatically with Microsoft Exchange servers, Gmail, Yahoo! or a host of other email clients. Syncing your ofﬁce email account with your iPad takes only a matter of minutes. Additionally, you’ll be able to sync calendar and contacts as well. There is no need to plug the iPad into your laptop — all of this synching takes place remotely and in real time. Given that the iPad is much smaller and lighter than most laptops (including netbooks), it is a convenient device to travel with because it offers access to these everyday necessities. The addition of a portable Bluetooth keyboard might make the decision to leave the laptop at home a little easier. But what else can it do other than function as a gloriﬁed smartphone?
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Verdict - Summer 2011
Let the Jurors Be Heard
A Rule Needing Limits: The “Right For Any Reason” Rule
Speaking Out of Turn: Ex Parte Interviews With Plaintiff’s Treating Physicians
GTLA 2011 President’s Gala: In Pictures
Legislative Relationships: The Key to Legislative Results
Welcome to the Federal Rules of Evidence: Georgia’s New Evidence Code
Judicial Spotlight: Reflections from the Bench
Book Review: The Fall of the House of Zeus
How I Obtained Justice for My Client: Cranford v. Ernest Homes
Technology Update: Securing Justice for Victims of Negligence? There’s an App for That!
Lessons from the Listserver: Is Defendant Driver History Permissible
Recent Updates in Workers’ Compensation
Welcome New GTLA Members!
Verdict - Summer 2011