iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 23:17

This week, Apple and privacy were in the news.  First, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an article in Time magazine arguing that individuals have a right to privacy online and promoting legislation to protect privacy.  Although not mentioning them by name, the article seems directed toward companies like Facebook and Google.  (For example, Tony Romm and Elizabeth Dwoskin of the Washington Post reported this week that the Federal Trade Commission is considering a record-setting fine against Facebook for privacy violations.)  Second, the online search engine Duck Duck Go, which has long presented itself as a place that you could go to search for websites while knowing that your privacy is being protected, announced this week that it will use Apple Maps for local searches on the web, as reported by Dieter Bohn of The Verge.  Google Maps has long been the king of online maps, and it is interesting to see Apple Maps being used as an alternative — not to mention seeing Apple Maps being used outside of an iPhone / iPad / Mac.  And now, the rest of the news of note from the past week:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Using NFC stickers with Launch Center Pro

iPhone J.D. - Tue, 01/15/2019 - 00:03

Near-field communication, commonly called NFC, is a communications protocol that allows two devices to communicate when they are very close to each other, within about an inch or so.  You might already use NFC every day in an access card for your office, parking garage, etc.  The iPhone has had NFC support since the iPhone 7, but to use NFC on an iPhone 7, iPhone 8, or iPhone X, you first need to launch an app which is made to work with NFC.  That's not convenient.  The newest iPhones — the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR — can support NFC without first launching any special app.  Your iPhone just needs to have the screen turned on and be unlocked.  The idea is that you can tap your iPhone to an NFC tag (or hold it really close) and you can trigger some action.  You still need to have an app to handle the action, but with the newest iPhones that app does not need to be open.  One such app is Launch Center Pro.

Launch Center Pro is an app that you can use to launch shortcuts.  It has been around for a very long time (I reviewed the app back in 2012) and it has improved over the years.  You might, for example, configure the app so that every time you press a button in the app, the app sends a text to one or more people with a specific message. Launch Center Pro is no longer the best automation app on the iPhone now that we also have the Shortcuts app, but the two apps are not identical, and each can do some things that the other cannot do, or cannot do as well.  One example is that Launch Center Pro can support NFC stickers, but Shortcuts cannot.

Here's how it works.  You buy some NFC stickers in the app.   Then you place the sticker someplace, such as on an item on your desk.  Then you tell Launch Center Pro what to do whenever you tap that NFC sticker.  It's not unlike using the "Hey, Siri" function along with Shortcuts, HomeKit, etc. so that something happens (like turn on the dining room lights) when you tell Siri to do that task.  But with NFC, you don't have to say anything out loud, which can be more appropriate in a location like your office, where you might not want other people to hear you talking to Siri.

You buy the Launch Center Pro NFC stickers in the app.  I bought a set of five clear ones for $5, or you can buy a set of five with the app's logo for $8.  Note that for the clear ones, the sticker portion is clear, but you can still see the silver NFC components.  Each sticker is round and about an inch in diameter.

Currently, the stickers sold in the app don't work if affixed to metal objects, such as the back of a MacBook Pro or an iPad.  The developer suggests that this could change in the future if there are enough requests for it.

Place the sticker in the desired location, and then use the Launch Center Pro app to add the sticker to its list of recognized NFC tags.  Now you can create any shortcut in the Launch Center Pro app — which can include, for example, a command to launch a shortcut that you created in the Shortcuts app — and then tell Launch Center Pro to associate a specific NFC tag with that action.

Now, when you tap your iPhone to the NFC tag, you will see an alert at the top of the screen.  Tap that alert and the Launch Center Pro app will launch and the action will occur.

You can have more than one action associated with a single NFC sticker.  When you do this, tapping the NFC sticker with your iPhone will cause the app to ask you to pick one of the actions from a list.

Part of me wishes that I could skip the step of tapping that alert.  It would be faster if I could just tap the NFC sticker and have the automation action run right away.  But as the Help documentation in Launch Center Pro explains, "for security and usability reasons, iOS requires user interaction in order to complete an action. ... If any app could take actions without user intervention, it would allow shady apps to do things like send your phone to malicious websites, pre-fill messages to paid text messaging accounts, or even use malicious NFC stickers to directly compromise your device and steal your persona data."

It's fun to trigger actions that I configure just using a tap on an NFC sticker.  But is it useful?  The answer to that question depends upon your own creativity, and I'll admit that for now, I haven't yet settled upon anything groundbreaking.  I've got one that sends a text to my wife to let her know that I'm about to leave work so I'll be home soon.  I've got one that sends a silly text to my son, just because he and I were playing with the NFC function and configured it that way.  But I know that I'll come up with more useful NFC actions in the future, and I like the idea of having an additional way to trigger actions.  For some folks, it might be useful to tap an NFC sticker to start a timer, making it easier to track time for your timesheets.  Others might find it useful to have a certain song or playlist start playing when you tap the NFC sticker.  Some folks might put a sticker in a kitchen to launch a grocery app.

Note that while the Launch Center Pro app is very powerful, it is also a little complicated to use, especially at first.  There are great help guides to walk you through it, but you are going to have to put a little time into this app the first time that you use it.  And while the app itself is free, you need to pay $4.95 to unlock the NFC feature, or you can choose one of several other payment options.  (I pay a $9.99 yearly subscription which unlocks all of the features, mainly because I love that this developer has long been figuring out ways to push the envelope on iPhone automation so I want to subscribe to encourage future efforts.) 

If you think that triggering actions using an NFC sticker instead of Siri sounds like it could be useful for you, or even if it just sounds like something you would have playing with, then you should check out Launch Center Pro.

Click here to get Launch Center Pro (free): 

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 01/11/2019 - 02:01

This week, the huge CES conference took place in Las Vegas.  Many electronics companies showed off technology that may be coming out later this year.  Although Apple was not an exhibitor, one of the big themes was the number of TV manufacturers who will release new TVs with greatly improved compatibility with iOS, such as adding support for AirPlay and HomeKit.  Samsung TVs will even have an iTunes app, and attorney Nilay Patel of The Verge discusses some of the questions that this raises.  MacStories provided a good overview of many of the CES announcements, with an initial article by attorney John Voorhees and a second article by Ryan Christoffel.  Also, Kentucky attorney Stephen Embry offers some thoughts on how some of the new technology announced at CES may affect lawyers by providing more evidence.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • Joseph Cox of Motherboard wrote a series of articles explaining how cellphone companies are selling the location of mobile phones to unsavory third parties.  The carriers have responded by saying that they are ending this practice.  Hopefully that is true.
  • Drew Coffman of The Sweet Setup believes that the best two apps for taking notes on an iPad are Notability and GoodNotes.  Coffman prefers Notability, which is an excellent app, but I enjoy using GoodNotes.
  • Chance Miller of 9to5Mac reviews HomePass, an app that lets you keep all of your HomeKit setup codes in one place.
  • If you use the Shortcuts app on your iPhone and you use Apple Music, you might be interested in this sophisticated and impressive shortcut by Federico Viticci of MacStories which allows you to see the songs added to your library each year which you listened to the most.
  • Jon Fingas of Engadget reviews the upcoming Mophie Juice Pack access, an iPhone case with a battery for your iPhone which also lets you access the Lightning port.
  • Nick Guy of Wirecutter recommends the best iPad Pro cases.
  • Joe Rossignol of MacRumors interviews Reddit user Cedric M. who used sandpaper, dyes, and paint to make his Apple Pencil look like a real pencil.  Fascinating, but don't try this at home.
  • And finally, this fun video shows off some truly amazing and impressive iPad magic performed by Shinya Uchida:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Review: ADIRSports Acrylic Universal Treadmill Bookholder -- watch video on your iPad while you use a treadmill

iPhone J.D. - Sun, 01/06/2019 - 22:33

Starting a new year often means getting more serious about exercise, so its time to remove the hangers and dust from your treadmill and returning to a regular walking or running routine.  Some people like to listen to music on a treadmill.  I usually listen to podcasts.  But another nice way to pass the time on a treadmill is to watch video on a screen.  The iPad is perfect for watching videos, and some treadmills have a built-in ledge for holding an iPad, but many models don't.  Since last month, I've been testing out a simple device that I purchased on Amazon for $22, the ADIRSports Acrylic Universal Treadmill Bookholder.  As you can tell from the title, this device can be used to hold books while you are on a treadmill, but it is also advertised as a way to hold an iPad, and that's how I have been using it.

This product comes in multiple sizes, and I purchased the largest one for my 12.9" iPad Pro — the model advertised as 11" x 11" x 2.5".  In retrospect, I see that I could have also purchased the smaller version with a 9" height because the 2018 version of the 12.9" iPad Pro is 8.5" high when it is in landscape orientation, and I never plan to use my iPad in portrait orientation on my treadmill.  Having said that, I'm perfectly happy with the way that the iPad sits a little bit lower on my treadmill with this larger size, and perhaps the extra surface area adds to stability.  There is also a 3.5" version, but you don't need that for a thin iPad; that version would only make sense if you want to fit a thick book underneath the lip.

The back lip of the device is about 1.75" which turns out to be perfect for fitting over the back of my treadmill.  (I own a PaceMaster ProSelect treadmill, but the PaceMaster company went out of business in 2012.)  If the top surface of your treadmill is thicker, you could certainly flip the device and put your iPad in the 1.75" side and put the 2.5" side over your treadmill.

My main concern about a product like this was sturdiness. First, I don't want the Bookholder to slide off of my treadmill while I am walking or running.  I was especially concerned because the top of my treadmill is actually curved.  However, the plastic of my treadmill and the acrylic of this product do a fine job of staying stable when they make contact with one another, and I haven't seen the Bookholder slide left or right at all.

Second, I don't want my iPad to slip off of the device.  Fortunately, that has not been a problem.  Even when my iPad Pro is not in a case, it stays in place while I walk or run on the treadmill.  There are no lips on the sides, so if I physically push my iPad I can make it slide, but even with the vibrations of my treadmill it does not slide on its own.  Better yet, I have been keeping my iPad in the Apple Smart Folio case for the third generation 12.9" iPad Pro, and the silicone provides incredible friction between the back of my iPad Pro and the acrylic of the Bookholder, making everything very stable.

Because of the size of this product (and the iPad it holds), when you use this product you are covering up much of the front panel of your treadmill.  I don't have trouble temporarily moving my iPad to the side to start and stop a workout, but I don't recommend using this product if you need to press lots of buttons on your treadmill during your workout, especially if your hands get sweaty.  But if you start a program on your treadmill that changes pace automatically, or if you decide to just go a long distance at the same pace, so that there is no need to fiddle with buttons during a workout, then this works great.

And that is how I have been using this product.  Much of the time that I use my treadmill, I like to walk at a fast pace for a long distance.  Thus, I choose my settings on the treadmill, then I start a workout on my Apple Watch, and then I press start on the treadmill and put the Bookholder with my iPad in place and press play on my iPad.  Binge watching TV shows from a service like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, using my AirPods connected wirelessly to my iPad Pro, is a fantastic way to make the time go by on a treadmill.  Indeed, I often go longer than I might have otherwise just because I want to get to the end of an episode before I stop.

This is a very simple product, but it works well, and it gives me a new way to make the time seem to go by more quickly while I am using my treadmill.  If you like the idea of watching video while you are on your treadmill, I can recommend this product.

Click here to get the ADIRSports Acrylic Universal Treadmill Bookholder from Amazon ($21.95)

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Sat, 01/05/2019 - 01:01

Hello, 2019!  Last year was a particularly good year in the world of iOS hardware for attorneys.  The iPad Pro 12.9" is one of my favorite Apple devices in many years, the Apple Watch Series 4 is far better than prior models while at the same time seeming like a preview of better things to come, and Apple followed up on the amazing iPhone X in 2017 with three new models with different sizes and capabilities.  What will 2019 bring us?  One thing that I hope to see is improvements to iOS on the iPad so that the software is just as good as the hardware.  But I'm sure that much more is coming, and I agree with most of Jason Snell's 2009 iOS wishlist.  And now, the recent news of note:

  • In a recent decision from the federal Fifth Circuit, Meador v. Apple, Inc., No. 17-40968 (Dec. 18, 2018) (PDF link), the Fifth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit against Apple arising out of a fatal automobile accident caused by a driver who looked down at her iPhone 5 to read a text message instead of paying attention to the road.  The plaintiffs argued that receipt of a text message triggered an unconscious and automatic neurobiological compulsion to read the text message, and that Apple should have made it impossible to receive a text while driving.  The Fifth Circuit held that, under Texas law, the iPhone 5 was not a substantial factor in the driver's tortious acts.  It is an interesting decision on causation.  Of course, Apple did implement Do Not Disturb While Driving in iOS 11 in 2017.
  • Jason Cross of Macworld recommends some of the best Apple Watch apps.
  • Nick Guy of Wirecutter updated his article on recommended iPhone cases.
  • Zac Hall of 9to5Mac reviews Nanoleaf Light Panels and Canvas, tiles for your wall which light up and can be controlled using HomeKit.
  • If you want a sturdy keyboard for your iPad Pro that basically turns it into a laptop, Jason Snell previews the Brydge 12.9 Pro keyboard for the 12.9" iPad Pro.  I don't use a keyboard with my iPad Pro nearly enough to justify a device like this, but if you often use an external iPad keyboard, this does look like a nice option.
  • If you use the powerful Shortcuts app on your iPad, Matthew Cassinelli of The Sweet Setup notes that you can drag-and-drop items into the Shortcuts app.
  • And finally, David Pogue discusses JOMO — the Joy of Missing Out — in a segment on CBS This Morning, explaining how your iPhone can help you to use your iPhone even less:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Discount on Lit Software apps (TrialPad, TranscriptPad, DocReviewPad)

iPhone J.D. - Thu, 12/27/2018 - 00:10

Lit Software makes some of the very best apps for any attorney using an iPad:  TrialPad (my review), TranscriptPad (my review), and DocReviewApp (my review). If do not yet own all of these apps, you can buy them before December 31, 2018, in the Ultimate Litigation Bundle and save some money.  The discounted price is $249.99, which is $50 off.  And if you already own some but not all of those apps, you can use the App Store option to complete the bundle at a discounted price.  (Note that Lit Software is not a sponsor of iPhone J.D. this month, but the company has been a sponsor in the past.)

For more details, you’ll want to read this post on the Lit Software blog.  As the company explains in that post, at some point in 2019, Lit Software plans to remove the option to individually purchase its apps and instead offer the Lit Suite, a yearly subscription which will give you access to all of Lit Software’s apps, including the three apps noted above as well as new apps that the company releases.  What will these new apps be?  Here is one guess:  I mentioned last year that at ABA TECHSHOW 2018, Lit Software was showing off a very early preview of an app that the company was working on called TimelinePad.

I personally prefer a subscription model for software that I use all the time because I want to provide constant support and encouragement so that the developer has a financial incentive to add new features.  I currently subscribe to lots of iOS apps such as 1Password, Carrot Weather, Launch Center Pro, Overcast, Microsoft Office, etc.  But if you prefer to own your apps, you can still buy the Lit Software apps and they are still supported, and you might as well buy them over the next few days to save some money.  

Click here for the Ultimate Litigation Package ($249.99): 

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 12/21/2018 - 01:38

This decision came out in late October but I just heard about it.  In G.A.Q.L v. Florida, No. 4D18-1811 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2018), a Florida trial court had ruled that the police could force a minor involved in a car accident to disclose his iPhone passcode, but the appellate court reversed, finding that this would violate the Fifth Amendment.  It gets more complicated than that so you need to read the opinion to get the full details, but this is a fascinating issue.  I often joke that my iPhone is like my second brain — a place for me to store the information that folks with a better memory might just remember.  I'd rather not waste my brain space remembering passwords, dates, numbers, information about friends and family that can be stored in a contact entry, etc.  I feel that when I offload this data from my brain to my iPhone, I can instead use my brain for more complicated tasks like figuring out creative solutions to problems.  I don't know if there is true scientific merit to that way of thinking about it, but it is one of the reasons that my iPhone is so valuable to me — and also a reason that I wouldn't want anyone else looking around in there without my permission.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • California attorney David Sparks discusses the 3.0 update to Launch Center Pro, an app that you can use to launch automated actions.  One of the new features is the ability to support NFC stickers.  Place the sticker (you can purchase five for $5) someplace in your house, office, etc., and when you put your iPhone near the sticker, it causes a notification to appear on your iPhone screen, which you can tap to start a series of actions.  If you want an alternative to using Siri and your voice to trigger actions, NFC stickers might be just what you need.  There are lots of other new features too, including a black mode which looks fantastic on an iPhone X or iPhone XS.
  • Virginia attorney Sharon Nelson of Ride the Lightning discusses the worst passwords of 2018.
  • Attorney Jeremy Horwitz discusses the best and worst Apple moments of 2018 in an article for VentureBeat.
  • Federico Viticci of MacStories posted the 2018 edition of his must-have iOS apps.
  • If you are looking to become a cord-cutter, DirecTV Now is one of a few top optics for streaming TV.  Chance Miller of 9to5Mac reports that the DirecTV Now iOS app was updated to support the new 2018 iPad Pro models, plus it improves cloud DVR support.
  • Zac Hall of 9to5Mac reports that you can now play Apple Music on your Amazon Echo speakers and use Alexa to select and play songs.
  • Ellen Lee of Wirecutter recommends apps for managing your child's phone.
  • You can now buy an iPhone cookie from Eleni's as part of its Travel Essentials Set.
  • And finally, in this short video, Apple shows how you can use your Apple Watch to locate your iPhone.  Hopefully you already know this tip, but if not, it is darn useful and worth knowing:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Merry Christmas

iPhone J.D. - Thu, 12/20/2018 - 23:16

From all of us here at iPhone J.D. — that would be me, my iPhone, my iPad, and my Apple Watch — Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  I hope that you have the opportunity this holiday season to enjoy some time with your family and friends.  Many of them may be getting new Apple products, which could also mean some additional tech support responsibilities for many of you.

Speaking of sharing your talents with others, if you haven't yet had an opportunity to see Apple's 2018 holiday video called Share Your Gifts, here it is:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites


iPhone J.D. - Tue, 12/18/2018 - 22:36

As you are finishing up your CLE requirements for 2018, if you want to start thinking about 2019, you should consider attending ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago.  There are some events on Wednesday, February 27, but the main conference is Thursday, February 28 to Saturday, March 2, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Upper Wacker Drive.  I will present a session on Friday, March 1, at 10:30 a.m. with Brett Burney (of Apps in Law fame).  The title of our session, which we did not select, is Get Your Mobile Ninja On: Top iOS Tips, Apps, and Gear. The content of our session, which we did select, is going to be great.  It will be jam-packed and fast-paced, and Brett and I will reveal every fantastic tip that we can squeeze into one hour to help you to get more out of your iPhone and iPad.  I love presenting with Brett because he really knows his stuff, and my only misgiving about this session is that I wish that the ABA had given us two hours.

Although there are many session tracks at TECHSHOW, there is no dedicated mobile track.  Nevertheless, the entire schedule was posted this week, and here are the sessions that jump out at me as being useful for attorneys who use an iPhone and/or iPad:

Thursday, February 28

8:45am — MDM (Mobile Device Management):  Not just another TLA by Craig Bayer and Stanley Louissant

10:45am — Collecting and Preserving Discovery from Mobile Devices by Brett Burney and John Simek

4:00pm — Showtime in the Courtroom by Judge Herbert Dixon, Jr., Michael Ko, and David Sparks

Friday, March 1

10:30am — Get Your Mobile Ninja On: Top iOS Tips, Apps, and Gear by Jeff Richardson and Brett Burney

3:00pm — Mac and iOS Security:  What You Need to Know by Craig Bayer and David Sparks

Of course, there are many, many other sessions to choose from, on topics such as data breaches, e-discovery, Microsoft Office, collaboration, document automation, privacy, Internet of Things, going paperless, client relationship management, and using a Mac.  The other session that I am teaching is (bright and early) Friday morning at 8:30, when Sharon Nelson (of Ride the Lightning fame) and I will talk about Vetting Technology:  Avoid Indecision Paralysis.  I'm the chair of the Technology Committee at my law firm Adams and Reese, and Sharon and I both have lots of experience selecting and vetting law firm technology.  We'll share our tips on making smart buying decisions.  No, it won't be as sexy as me and Brett Burney talking about cool apps, but hopefully it will be just as useful.

There is also the ABA TECHSHOW EXPO where you can see lots of vendors showing off the latest and greatest improvements to their hardware and software for law firms.  I always learn about lots of new things every time that I walk the Expo floor.  And if your schedule is open on Thursday night, you can join me and David Sparks (of MacSparky and Mac Power Users fame) when we host a Taste of Techshow Dinner.

If any of this seems interesting to you, register for ABA TECHSHOW by January 14 so that you can take advantage of early bird pricing and save $200.

When the conference ends on March 2, feel free to head straight south down to New Orleans and you can take advantage of the weekend before Mardi Gras leading up to Mardi Gras day on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.  I'm (mostly) joking, of course, but I will note that I've previously taken the historic City of New Orleans train — as made famous by the song — to travel between Chicago and New Orleans for TECHSHOW and it is a nice and relaxing way to travel.

I hope to see you in Chicago in a few months!

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Review: Anker PowerLine+ C to C 2.0 cable (6ft) -- long cable for 2018 iPad Pro; great customer service

iPhone J.D. - Sun, 12/16/2018 - 18:32

The 2018 versions of the iPad Pro have a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port, so when I bought my new third-generation 12.9" iPad Pro last month, it was time to get some USB-C cables.  I've been very happy with the Anker Lightning cables which I have purchased in the past (my reviews:  1, 2), so when I was looking to get a long USB-C to USB-C cable for charging purposes, I purchased the Anker PowerLine+ C to C 2.0 cable (6ft) from Amazon for $15.97.  The first version I purchased had a problem, but Anker's customer service was fantastic, and the replacement cable Anker sent me is exactly what I was looking for and I highly recommend it.


The 2018 iPad Pro ships with Apple's 18W power adapter.  If you want to charge an iPad Pro (or a newer iPhone) as fast as possible, you want to use a power adapter that supports USB-PD (USB Power Delivery), which can transfer up to 29W of power to an iPad Pro, and thus can charge an iPad Pro from 0% to 50% in about 60 minutes.  (USB-PD can charge a newer iPhone from 0% to 50% in about 3o minutes.)  Note that while you can use a USB-PD power adapter that supports more than 29W of power, such as Apple's 87W power adapter designed for the MacBook Pro, it doesn't charge any faster than a 29W USB-C adapter when used with the 2018 iPad Pro.  Apple used to sell a USB-C 29W power adapter, and you can still find it in some stores; I bought mine in 2016 (my review).  Apple has since replaced it with the Apple's USB-C 30W power adapter ($49.97 on Amazon).  From the standpoint of an iPad Pro, there is no difference between using a 29W or a 30W power adapter, but Apple's 30W adapter does support some additional voltages so it works better with certain other devices like an iPhone 8.

In my office, I have a power strip on the floor next to my desk.  My Apple USB-C 29W power adapter is plugged in to it, and I previously used an Apple 2m USB-C to Lightning cord so that I had something long enough to reach up to my desk, where I could fast charge either my iPad or my iPhone.  (Currently, only Apple sells a USB-C to Lightning cord, but there are reports that Apple will allow other companies to sell them in 2019.)  That was the cord that I wanted to replace with a USB-C to USB-C cord so that I could charge my third-generation iPad Pro 12.9" at maximum speed. 

There are three reasons that this Anker cord was perfect for my needs:  length, durability, and cost.


First, it is a long cord.  Six feet is long enough to reach from the floor next to my desk to the devices on my desk with room to spare.  Also, when I travel, it is nice to have a longer cord, whether I am in a hotel room or a conference room.  Six feet is about six inches shorter than Apple's 2m USB-C to USB-C cord (two meters is about 6.56 feet) but I haven't really noticed that small difference in length.


Second, I like the PowerLine+ cords from Anker because they are very durable.  As I just noted, I will take this cord around with me a lot, whether I am traveling out of town or just going to work someplace else in my own office, so I prefer a power cord that will stand up to abuse.  The PowerLine+ line from Anker features a double-braided nylon exterior, which protects the cord and makes it almost impossible for the cord to get tangled up.  The PowerLine+ cords also have a tough fiber cord and strong connectors at both ends.  After using both Apple and Anker cords, I find that the Anker ones hold up better.


Third, Anker cords are inexpensive for the quality that you get.  Apple sells its 2m USB-C to USB-C charge cable for $19.  This Anker cable is $15.97 on Amazon.  I wouldn't mind spending $3 more than the Apple cable just to get the additional durability of the Anker Powerline+ cable.  Getting all of that for $3 less than the Apple cable is a great deal.

Sync speed

Note that this cable uses USB 2.0 speed, so if you are using this cable for syncing, you only get normal syncing speeds of 480 Mbps.  A USB 3.0 cord can give you faster sync speeds of 5Gbps, and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 cord can give you sync speeds of 10Gbps — assuming that you are connecting to another device that supports the higher speed.  For example, at my home I use an older iMac which only supports USB 3.0, so when I sync my new iPad Pro to that computer I use the Anker USB Type C Cable, Powerline USB C to USB 3.0 Cable (3ft).  You might think, why not just get a long six-foot cable which also supports USB 3.1 Gen 2 so that you get a long length plus the fastest sync?  Good idea, but such a cable doesn't exist right now.  Here is what Sarah Witman of Wirecutter said about such a cable after talking to a representative from Anker:  "It’s not impossible to make such a cable—according to [the USB Implementers Forum], a USB-C cable of any length can be certified as long as it passes all performance tests.  But it might be bulkier than most people would want.  A rep at Anker told us that the company’s engineers have found that a 6-foot cable with full USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds would just be too thick."  If you are like me and you want a longer cord just to charge your 2018 iPad Pro, then sync speed doesn't matter.

Customer support

For all of these reasons, the Anker PowerLine+ C to C 2.0 cable seemed perfect to me.  Unfortunately, I encountered some bad news when I purchased this cord from Amazon, but it quickly turned into good news.  When I received my cord, I plugged it in and started using it right away.  And almost right away, I noticed that something wasn't right.  When I plugged it into my iPad Pro, the iPad beeped to indicate that it was starting to charge, then it would beep again and stop charging, then it beeped again, then again, and it went back and forth a few times before finally starting to charge.  At the same time, the battery icon would flash green and then black and then back again.  Clearly, there was a problem.  It wasn't a consistent problem — over the course of a few days, it worked great maybe 50% of the time — but for it to happen at all told me that something was amiss, and I had the same problem when I used the cord with different power adapters.

Anker advertises having good customer service, so I decided to contact Anker and take advantage of it.  Anker was incredibly responsive.  They quickly asked me for the serial number for the cable, which was located on a sticker wrapped around one end of the cable — which I had removed and discarded immediately when I unpacked the cable — and was also located on the box, which I still had.  Anker said that if I couldn't find the serial number, I could simply take a picture of the cable with my iPhone so that they could make sure that they understood the model that I had.  I provided this information and explained the problem, and Anker immediately shipped me a replacement cable.  That replacement cable has worked perfectly, every single time.  Obviously, it would have been better to never have a problem in the first place, but the fact that Anker customer support was so fast and responsive actually resulted in me being even more impressed with Anker.


This Anker USB-C to USB-C cable has been perfect for my needs.  When I'm working at my desk, my iPad often sits in a Thought Out Simplex Tablet iPad Stand (my review) and with the Anker cord plugged in the side, I can keep my iPad fully charged while I use my iPad, so it always has a full charge when I pick up my iPad Pro to walk away from my desk.  When I travel, I use this cord with an older Anker product called the PowerPort+ (my review), which has since been replaced by the PowerPort Speed PD 5.  That device includes a USB-C port which supports USB-PD for up to 30W charging, plus it has four traditional USB ports which support 2.4A charging.  If you have a new iPad Pro with a USB-C connector, the six foot version of the Anker PowerLine+ C to C 2.0 cable is a great cord for your charging needs.  If all you need is three feet, you can save a few bucks on the shorter version of this same cord. Both lengths come in gray or red.

Click here to get Anker PowerLine+ C to C 2.0 cable (6ft) from Amazon ($15.97)

Click here to get Anker PowerLine+ C to C 2.0 cable (3ft) from Amazon ($13.99)

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 23:23

There is an interesting article in the New York Times this week by Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, Natasha Singer, Michael H. Keller and Aaron Krolik about how an iPhone can track, and unfortunately sometimes share, your current location.  The article is interesting, but the way that it is presented on the page is also very interesting with lots of graphics that change as you scroll through the article.  Virginia attorney Sharon Nelson discusses the article on her Ride The Lightning blog, noting that while the companies collecting location data claim to keep the data anonymous, she has her doubts.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • Illinois attorney John Voorhees of MacStories reports on the latest update to the fantastic CARROT Weather app (my review). In the new version, you can select your weather source — Dark Sky, The Weather Channel, AccuWeather and Aeris Weather — plus there are no Apple Watch complications, support for certain personal weather station data, and more.
  • I use my Apple Pencil with my iPad Pro pretty much every day that I am at work, but I realize that some folks have not yet realized for themselves how useful this device is.  In an article for Macworld, Jason Snell explains how the second generation version has finally turned him into a believer in the Apple Pencil.
  • Amie Tsang and Adam Satariano of the New York Times report that Apple is going to build a $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas.
  • Christina Farr of CNBC reports that Apple has hired dozens of doctors — sometimes secretly — to work with Apple to improve the Apple Watch and other health technology.
  • If you use Philips Hue lights, you already know that if you lose power in your home, the lights come back on at full brightness with power is restored — which can be rather alarming.  Ben Lovejoy of 9to5Mac reports that the latest version of the Philips Hue app fixes this so that lights can be configured to return to their previous states when the power comes back.
  • If you use HomeKit-compatible smarthome devices, HomeRun is a great Apple Watch app for controlling your devices.  Ryan Christoffel of MacStories reports that the app can now create custom complications.
  • If you want a HomeKit-compatible outdoor outlet, I'm still enjoying the iHome iSP100 which I reviewed earlier this year.  Christopher Null of TechHive reviews a more expensive competitor, the iDevices Outdoor Switch.
  • The Apple Watch Series 4 now support the ECG/EKG function.  But it also can do a better job checking your heart rate.  Apple recently updated a support page to explain:  "To use the electrical heart sensor to measure your heart rate, open the Heart Rate app and place your finger on the Digital Crown. You will get a faster reading with higher fidelity — getting a measurement every second instead of every 5 seconds."
  • Andrew Orr of The Mac Observer lists all of the shortcuts you can do with a keyboard connected to an iPad using Apple's apps.
  • Starting next week, you will be able to use an Amazon Echo with Apple Music, as reported by Federico Viticci of MacStories.
  • David Griner of AdWeek runs down the 25 best ads of 2018.  Three of them are Apple ads, including #2 on the list.
  • And finally, here is a video Apple released a few weeks ago to show off many of the features of the iPad Pro called Five Reasons iPad Pro Can Be Your Next Computer:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

2018 ABA Tech Survey shows over two-thirds of attorneys use iPhone, over one-quarter use Android

iPhone J.D. - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 02:19

The iPhone remains, by far, the most popular smartphone for attorneys.  Nevertheless, in 2018 an all-time high of one-quarter of all attorneys reported using an Android phone, and that increase is mostly attributable to sole practitioners, where iPhone-to-Android use is a 2-to-1 ratio.

Every year, the ABA's Legal Technology Resource Center conducts a survey to gauge the use of legal technology by attorneys in private practice in the United States.  The 2018 report (edited by Gabriella Mihm) was recently released, and as always, I was particularly interested in Volume VI, titled Mobile Lawyers.  No survey is perfect, but the ABA tries hard to ensure that its survey has statistical significance, and every year this is one of the best sources of information on how attorneys use technology.  Note that the survey was conducted from June to October, 2018, so these numbers don't reflect any changes in what attorneys started using when Apple introduced the 2018 versions of the iPhone or iPad Pro. This is the ninth year that I have reported on this survey, and with multiple years of data we can see some interesting trends.  (My reports on prior ABA surveys are located here: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010.)

Over two-thirds of all U.S. attorneys use an iPhone, and Android use hits all-time high

The 2o18 survey revealed that around 95% of all attorneys use a smartphone to get work done out of the office.  For attorneys using a smartphone, over two-thirds use an iPhone, and for the first time ever more than 25% report using an Android, with the highest Android use among solo attorneys.

The survey asks each attorney "Do you use a smartphone (e.g. iPhone, Android) for law-related tasks while away from your primary workplace?"  Back in 2010, the number of attorneys answering "no" was around 12%. That number decreased over the years to 2017 when it hit an all-time low of only 4.4%.  This year, the number increased only slightly to 4.9%.  We can still say that over 95% of all attorneys use a smartphone to get work done.

In 2013, the big news was that, for the first time, over half of all attorneys were using an iPhone.  In 2014 and 2015 the percentage was around 60%.  In 2016, there was a big increase up to 68.4%.  In 2017, the number was up to 74.9%.  In 2018, the number is down slightly to 72%.  Taking into account that 4.9% of all attorneys are not using a smartphone, we can say that 68.4% of all attorneys in private practice in the U.S. are using an iPhone in their law practice, which is the same percentage as 2016.  According to the ABA 2018 National Lawyer Population Survey, there are 1,338,678 attorneys in the U.S., which suggests that there could be over 916,000 attorneys in the U.S. using an iPhone.

If 68.4% of all attorneys are using an iPhone, and 4.9% of attorneys are not using any smartphone, what are the others using?  Most of them are using an Android smartphone, around 25.4%.  That is an all-time high for Android, so 2018 marks the first year in which more than one-quarter of all attorneys are using an Android phone.

Back in 2011, 40% of all attorneys used a BlackBerry, and there was a time when it was incredibly common to see another lawyer with a BlackBerry.  However, BlackBerry use by attorneys has dropped sharply since 2011.  In 2018, the number reached a new low of only 1.5%.  According to the survey, the most significant use of BlackBerry devices this year is in law firms with 50-99 lawyers; in those firms, 100% of the attorneys are using a smartphone, and while iPhone use is a little higher than the national average at 72.7%, Android use is down to 18.2% and BlackBerry use is at 9.1%.  If you are looking for an attorney who is still using a BlackBerry phone, your best bet is to look at a law firm with 50-100 attorneys.

If you are looking for an attorney who is using an Android phone, your best bet is to look for a sole practitioner.  Only 91.4% of solo attorneys use a smartphone, fewer than the statistic associated with any other firm size.  60.1% of solo attorneys use an iPhone, and 30.4% of solo attorneys use Android.  So for solo attorneys, almost 1/10 are not even using a smartphone, and for those who do, Android is half as popular as iPhone.  That's still a large number of solo attorneys using an iPhone, but it is interesting that Android phones are more popular with solo attorneys than with attorneys who work with other attorneys at a law firm.  I just did a quick search and couldn't find recent numbers, but historically I know that almost half of all attorneys are sole practitioners, so that is a big market.

Finally, there are almost 1% of attorneys using some sort of Microsoft Windows operating system on their smartphone in 2018, and another almost 0.7% say that they don't know what kind of smartphone they are using. 

If you add the numbers, you'll notice that they add up to over 100%.  But it makes sense for the number to be slightly over 100% because I know that a small number of attorneys use multiple smartphones.

The following pie chart is somewhat imprecise because, as I just noted, the actual numbers add up to just over 100%, but it gives you a general, graphical sense of the relative use:

To place these numbers in historical context, the following chart shows lawyer smartphone use over recent years.  The two dramatic changes in this chart are of course the plunge in BlackBerry use and the surge in iPhone use.  There has been a more gradual, but noticeable, decrease in the number of attorneys not using a smartphone at all.  As for Android use, there was a slight increase from 2011 to 2015, then a slight decrease for two years, and then the all-time high this year.  The "Other" category in this chart includes Windows, something else, and those who don't know what smartphone they are using.

Almost 40% of U.S attorneys use an iPad

Apple introduced the original iPad in 2010, and for the first few years it resulted in a surge in lawyer tablet use.  In 2011, only 15% of all attorneys responded that they use a tablet.  That number more than doubled to 33% in 2012, and rose to 48% in 2013.  Since 2013, the number has stayed between 48% and 50%; in 2018, it was 48.5%.  Suffice it to say that about half of all U.S. attorneys in private practice currently use a tablet, and that has remained true for the last five years.

It used to be that around 90% of attorneys using a tablet were using an iPad.  It was 89% in 2011, 91% in 2012, and 91% in 2013.  From 2014 to 2016, that number stayed around 84%.  In 2017, that number dropped to 81.3%, and in 2018 it is at 78.1%. 

It looks like the very slight drop in attorneys using iPads is mostly attributable to slightly fewer overall attorneys using tablet devices.  Android and Windows tablet use by attorneys has really changed very much.  That surprises me on the Windows side because I do seem to hear more attorneys talking about using a Windows Surface device.

Here is a historical chart of attorney tablet use:

Popular apps

The survey also asked attorneys to identify apps that they use.  I want to start by making the same objection that I have been making for many years now:  I don't like how the ABA asks the question.  The ABA first asks "Have you ever downloaded a legal-specific app for your smartphone?"  In 2018, 49.4% said yes.  When I see the word "smartphone" in this question, I think of my iPhone, not my iPad.  Then the next question asks:  "What legal specific app(s) did you download?"  When I read the questions in that order, I'm thinking of the apps that I downloaded on my iPhone, not my iPad.  But others must be reading the question differently because I see TrialPad and TranscriptPad in the answers, and those apps exist only on the iPad, not on the iPhone.  I would have never mentioned those apps when answering the question, even though I use them on my iPad, and TranscriptPad is one of my favorite legal specific apps.

So while I question how much value you can put in these answers, for what it is worth, the top 13 apps listed are, in order of the percentage of attorneys mentioning them:

  1. Fastcase
  2. Westlaw
  3. Lexis Advance
  4. A legal dictionary app
  5. TrialPad
  6. TranscriptPad
  7. Clio
  8. LexisNexis Get Cases & Shepardize
  9. LexisNexis Legal News
  10. Courtlink
  11. Casemaker
  12. Westlaw News
  13. HeinOnline

Congrats to Ed Walters and the team at Fastcase for moving up to the #1 spot this year. 

The ABA then asked about general business apps, and the questions have the same ambiguity:  the ABA first asked if the attorney ever downloaded a general business app to a smartphone (50.2% said yes in 2018), and then the ABA asked which apps were downloaded, without making it clear whether the question was asking about the iPhone and iPad.  The answers provided were, in this order:

  1. Dropbox
  2. LinkedIn
  3. Evernote
  4. LogMeIn
  5. Documents to Go
  6. GoodReader
  7. Box
  8. QuickOffice
  9. MS Office/Word
  10. Notability
  11. QuickBooks

It amazes me that Microsoft Word is so low on this list (only 4.5% report using it).  I consider Word an essential app for attorneys using an iPhone or an iPad.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 00:55

If you are using a Series 4 Apple Watch in the U.S., Apple has now turned on the ability to use your Apple Watch to do an EKG/ECG.  Just update to the latest version of watchOS, 5.1.2, to start using the feature.  When you first configure the ECG app, you are also given the option to turn on having the Apple Watch do additional periodic checks on your heart.  Apple points out that this feature can only do so much, and it is certainly no substitute for talking to your doctor if you are not feeling good.  Nevertheless, it is fascinating to see how far Apple has extended the health capabilities of the Apple Watch in the short amount of time that the product has been available.  I'm sure that Apple has much more planned in this area, and Alex Fitzpatrick of TIME magazine interviewed Apple CEO Tim Cook and others to discuss this brave new world.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • Michael Payne of Legaltech news discusses the end of paper as attorneys move from a legal pad to an iPad.
  • Nazia Parveen of The Guardian reports on the trial of a pharmacist in the UK who was convicted of murdering his wife, in part due to evidence obtained from his iPhone and his wife's iPhone providing evidence of heart rates and moving around at specific times.
  • Zac Hall of 9to5Mac has some good suggestions for using HomeKit to automate your holiday lights.  My advice:  if you do nothing more than this, adding a smart plug to a Christmas Tree is a huge improvement.  It is much less awkward than reaching behind a tree to plug it in, may give you the ability to dim your tree, allows you to have the tree turn off automatically at a certain time, etc.  And the ability to tell Siri to turn on your tree lights is really useful.
  • Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal recommends the best mesh Wi-Fi systems.  And as usual, her article has a great video to accompany it.
  • Jonny Evans of Computerworld has 12 Siri tips that you might not know about.
  • Dave Mark of The Loop notes a few new iPad Pro hardware tricks (such as the ability to spin your Apple Pencil -- I figured out that one too) based on a video from DailyTekk.
  • Active military personnel and veterans can now get a 10% discount on Apple products, as noted by Michael Potuck of 9to5Mac.
  • iOS 12.1.1 was released this week.  It improves RTT/TTY support, which is a form of texting used by individuals who have difficulty making audio phone calls.  As each letter is typed on one screen, it appears on the other person's screen.  Chance Miller of 9to5Mac explains this feature and how RTT/TTY is improved in iOS 12.1.1.
  • And finally, in this video, which Apple calls Real Stories, four people share stories of how an Apple Watch helped to save their life.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Gen Why Lawyer #169 -- Putting Your iPhones, iPads and Tech Tools to Good Use in Your Law Firm with iPhone J.D. Jeff Richardson

iPhone J.D. - Tue, 12/04/2018 - 00:10

This week, I was the guest on the Gen Why Lawyer podcast, a podcast hosted by California patent attorney, and millennial, Karima Gulick.  I talked about why I started iPhone J.D., and I also provided some general tips for attorneys, especially younger millennial attorneys, about using an iPhone and iPad in a law practice.  Karima does a great job with this podcast, and as enjoyable as it was to be a guest, I have also enjoyed listening to — and learning a lot from — the other episodes of this podcast.

Click here for the page on the Gen Why Lawyer webpage for this podcast.  Or you can use these links to listen in your podcast player of choice:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Using Microsoft Word to email a document now takes six steps

iPhone J.D. - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 02:59

Microsoft Word is unquestionably one of the most valuable apps on my iPhone and iPad.  I often use the app on my iPhone to review a document and make quick edits.  On my iPad, I can get more substantive work done on a document, especially if I am using an external Bluetooth keyboard.  When I am done working with a document, most of the time I want to email that document to someone — sometimes myself.  You can do this with Word, but it takes a few steps.  And due to a recent update, it now takes more steps than ever.  Here is what you need to do to email a document using Microsoft Word on an iPhone or iPad.

1 + 2:  Share and invite people.

The first step is to tap the share button at the top right of the iPhone or iPad screen — a box with an arrow coming out of it.  In the past, there was an icon with an outline of a person and a + button, and that has been replaced by a share button. 

What you see after you press the button has changed as well.  In the past, the second step was to select an option to email the file as an attachment.  Instead, you now need to select Invite People.  That change seems strange to me because you are not really inviting anyone to do anything if you are just emailing a document. 


3 + 4: Send a copy with another app.

After you tap the button to Invite People, the app next presumes that you want to share using a cloud service.  However, at the very bottom, you will see an option to Send a Copy.  Tap that.

The fourth step is to make selections on the Send a Copy screen, and this step is similar to before.  Decide whether you want to send in Word format or PDF format, and then decide if you want to use Microsoft's own Outlook app for iPhone/iPad or Send with Another App.  I don't use Outlook on my iPhone or iPad — and I'm sure that most of you don't do so either — so you will want to tap Send with Another App.


5 + 6:  Select the Mail app and send your email.

The fifth step is to select what you want to use to send the Word file.  If you are just sending to another one of your own devices, or the device of someone else in the same room, you can skip email completely and use AirDrop.  But most of the time, this will be the step when you tap the Mail app.  If your Mail app is not currently your first option, you may need to scroll to the right to find it.  Once you do find it, you can drag it left to make it the first option in the future.

The sixth step is to create your email and then send it.


Depending upon your particular situation, there may be other, faster ways to email your file.  For example, if your Microsoft Word document is stored on a cloud service that works with iOS, such as Dropbox or iCloud, or in certain other apps that work with the Files app, you can add an attachment from directly within an email.  To do this on the iPhone, tap the flashing cursor in the body of an email message to bring up the editing menu.  Then tap the right arrow until you see Add Attachment.  To do this on the iPad, you don't have to tap the cursor at all; instead tap the paperclip icon just above the keyboard on the right side.

This brings you into a version of the Files app.  If the Browse tab is selected at the bottom, you can select a service such as Dropbox and then tap your file.  If the Recents tap is selected at the bottom, you can quickly see some of the files that you recently used and tap the one that you want.


Click here for more information from Apple on using the editing menu to attach files to an email.

I hope that in the future, Microsoft Word for iOS adds full support for the Files app.  If this happens, you should be able to skip many of the six steps I mentioned above when a file is stored locally on your iPhone or iPad.  For now, however, you just need to do a whole lot of tapping to get that Microsoft Word file from your device to an email attachment.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Thu, 11/29/2018 - 23:59

We are now in prime holiday season.  If you are shopping online and having packages delivered, I'm a big fan of the Deliveries app (my most recent review) to track your passages.  Ryan Christoffel of MacStories discusses an update to the Deliveries app to support Siri Shortcuts.  If you are heading out to the mall or flying to bring gifts to your loved ones, here is a list of airports and malls in which Apple's Maps app has indoor maps.  And now, the recent news of note:

  • California attorney David Sparks discusses his attempts to customize the Infograph watch face on the Apple Watch Series 4.  I've spent a little time with this one myself, but couldn't find a configuration that I wanted to keep, although for me that was mostly because I prefer the digital time over analog time and the other features of the face weren't compelling enough.
  • This week, ABA Journal released its list of the 2018 Web 100, with lots of recommendations for legal blogs, podcasts, Twitter accounts, and more.
  • In an article for LegalNews.com, Matt Chaney discusses an update to the DoNotPay app which allows users to file a lawsuit without the use of an attorney.  One of my law partners, Lucian Pera, provides some thoughts on the app in that article.
  • Apple was before the Supreme Court this week for oral arguments in an antitrust dispute.  Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog offers this analysis.
  • Ben Thommpson of Stratechery is not a lawyer, but he does offer an interesting analysis of that antitrust lawsuit against Apple.
  • Dan Moren reports on an interview of Apple's CEO Tim Cook by Axios.
  • Zac Hall of 9to5Mac offers advice for making an Apple Watch Series 4 last for a long run.
  • Zac Hall also discusses using the Nomad USB-A to Lightning Key cable, plus a small adapter, so that you can charge your iPhone from your new iPad Pro.
  • And finally, the iPhone now supports Group FaceTime, and Apple teamed up with Elvis, and Elvis, and Elvis, to show it off in a video called A Little Company:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Review: Take Control of Photos by Jason Snell

iPhone J.D. - Wed, 11/28/2018 - 23:56

For many iPhone users, it would be far more accurate to call the device an iCamera because the camera function is used much, much more often than the phone function.  On the popular photo sharing site Flickr, the top five camera models used for uploaded pictures are all different models of the iPhone.  And while iPad users may use that device far less often to take photos, it is a fantastic device for reviewing and editing photos thanks to the large, beautiful screen.  Suffice it to say that the Photos app on the iPhone and iPad is a pretty important app.

Apple tries to make the Photos app easy to use, but it has a lot of power in it that you may not see unless you know what to look for.  Friends and family who know that I am an iPhone nerd will often ask me to show them something interesting on their iPhone, and there are tons of features that I can show off in Photos that impress people such as Memories, looking at the Places album to see lots of photos taken in an interesting location over the years, and the ability in Photos on iOS to combine search terms (such as searching for a person's name, then adding the search term "snow" to see just photos of that person in the snow).

How do you discover all of these great features?  You need a good guide.  And one of the best is Jason Snell.  Snell has been covering Apple technology as a reporter since the 1990s, and he possesses a skill that many great lawyers use to their advantage:  the ability to explain complex subjects in simple, friendly terms.  That's why I love reading articles that Snell writes on his Six Colors website and I love listening to him on his numerous podcasts, which range in subject matter from technology to TV shows to even space.

A few days ago, Snell released a new ebook called Take Control of Photos.  Take Control ebooks have been around since 2003 and they cover dozens of different topics, all produced with the aim of being "highly practical ebooks that cover much more detail than a magazine article but that are shorter, more focused, and more timely than a typical printed book."  I was provided a free copy of this $14.99 book for review purposes, and I read it cover-to-cover last night.  I loved this book, and even as someone who considers himself pretty knowledgeable when it comes to the ins-and-outs of the Photos app, I learned quite a few tips that I started to use right away.

When you purchase the book, you can download it in multiple formats.  I found it easiest to just download the PDF version, which I read using Readdle's PDF Expert app.  (They gray outlines that you see in the pictures in this review are from me taking a screen shot in PDF Expert, not from the book itself.)  You can also download in epub or mobi format if you prefer to use a book reader to read the book.  The PDF file doesn't have a password or DRM or anything like that, so once you buy it you can read it on pretty much any device that you want.

This book covers Photos on both iOS and the Mac, and you will definitely get the most out of this book if you use both platforms.  (I use a PC at work, but I have a Mac at home, which is where I keep my 47,000 photos.)  For example, Snell explains that on iOS (but not the Mac) you can use the rich search feature and can see Memory Videos, whereas on the Mac (but not iOS) you can create Smart Albums (although Snell gives advice for creating a Smart Album on a Mac and then transferring it to your iPhone or iPad).  But even if you don't use a Mac, you will still get a lot of out of this book because the book covers both and the apps are similar on both platforms.

This book is over 150 pages and it covers all of the important topics, including importing photos, managing your photo library, navigating the Photos interface, finding and naming people in your photos, using the search feature, using the Memories feature and editing Memory Videos, creating albums, syncing with iCloud, editing photos to make them look much better, and sharing your photos.  Each chapter is full of pictures so you can see exactly what Snell is describing — and because he is using his own personal photos to show off the Photos app, you will see enough picture of his (attractive) family members that by the end of the book, you may feel like you are part of the Snell family too, or at least a distant cousin.

In addition to walking you through all of the different topics, there are lots of small side articles on narrow topics, much like you see in a magazine.  For example, here is a small article on looking at photos on the Apple Watch:

If you want to get a sense of how valuable this book is, I have two recommendations.  First, Snell recently took a chapter of this book discussing how to make books and calendars using Photos on a Mac and turned it into an article for his Six Colors website.  Now that you can no longer order photo books from Apple, Snell has some good recommendations for what other services to use, so that article is both useful and a good way to get a sense of the book.  Second, if you go to the page on the Take Control website page for this book, look at the picture of the cover of the book on the left and you will see the words "Free Sample" on what appears to be a post-it note.  Click that to download a generous 46-page sample of the book, with the full index and selections from many different chapters.

One nice feature in all Take Control books is that the author has the ability to update the book after it is published — a nice advantage of ebooks over printed books.  There is a link you can tap on the cover of the book that will take you to a website letting you know if there are any updates available.  For example, the last time that Jason published a book on Photos in early 2015, it was originally called Photos for Mac - A Take Control Crash Course.  Here was my review.  Then he updated the book in the Fall when Apple updated the Mac operating system.  Then he updated the book again in September, 2016, changing the title to Photos: A Take Control Crash Course and including both iOS and Mac.  So after spending $10 in early 2015, I received two major updates for the next year and a half.

This is a brand new book on Photos — part of the full Take Control series, not just a crash course.  It is twice as long as Snell's previous book, and this new book covers all of the latest changes to Photos on both the Mac and iOS.  Thus, if you purchased the prior book in early 2015, this is a new book to purchase, but considering all that you get, it is pretty cheap at $15.  And perhaps this book will also get updates like Snell's last book on Photos did.

I can pretty much guarantee that if you purchase this book, you will learn much more about using the Photos app on your iPhone and iPad, and on your Mac if you have one of those.  Thus, unless you are the rare iPhone user who doesn't take pictures, I think that most everyone would enjoy reading this book and find it very helpful.

Click here to get Take Control of Photos by Jason Snell ($14.99)

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Move the cursor around your screen and other iPhone and iPad tips

iPhone J.D. - Tue, 11/27/2018 - 00:43

For the last week or so on Twitter, I've suddenly seen a lot of folks talking about how cool it is that you can easily move the cursor around the screen on an iPhone when you want to go back and change some text.  I've even had several folks email me to make sure that I know about the tip.  (Thanks!)  To use this feature, just hold down on the space bar for a second, and then the keyboard changes to a trackpad.  Or, if you have an iPhone which supports 3D Touch, you can instead push down a little on the keyboard to switch to the trackpad.  It's a very useful tip and I use it all the time, but I'm still not sure what made the tip go viral last week.

One good part about that tip going viral is that it prompted lots of other folks to suggest some other iPhone and iPad tips that might not be so obvious but are quite useful.  Here are two of the best that I recommend to you.  Perhaps you already know about some of the tips, but you probably don't know all of them.  First, if you want to read some tips, check out 9 Hidden iPhone Features That Make Your Life Easier by Jason Snell on Tom's Guide.  Great stuff.  Second, if you prefer to just sit back and watch to learn some tips, check out this very useful video by Rene Ritchie, part of his Vector video podcast:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

What to do if your iPhone won't turn on

iPhone J.D. - Wed, 11/21/2018 - 01:40

I charge my iPhone every night on the nightstand next to my bed using the Material Dock by Studio Neat using an Apple cable and an Apple charger.  Recently, I woke up and reached for my iPhone XS only to discover that the screen was completely black and would not come on when I touched the screen or pressed any of the side buttons.  At first, I thought that perhaps the battery was completely dead — which would be odd because it had been on a charger all night — but even after I plugged the iPhone in to a different charger, it did not come back to life.

That led me to believe that that iPhone had crashed and needed to be restarted.  It has been many years since this last happened to me, and at the time I was using an iPhone with a home button.  To restart an iPhone 6s or earlier, you hold down the Home button and the sleep/wake button for a long time until the iPhone restarts.  But what do you do on an iPhone, an iPhone XS, or a new iPad Pro which doesn't have a home button?

Apple provides the answer on this support page, and it is nothing that I would have guessed.  If you are using an iPhone 8 or later, you press and quickly release the Volume Up button, then you press and quickly release the Volume Down button, and then you press and hold the Side button on the iPhone (or the Power button on the iPad Pro) until the device restarts.  The first time I tried this with my iPhone XS, nothing happened.  But the second time I tried this strange combination, it worked and my iPhone restarted.  And sure enough, upon restart I saw that it was fully charged – so this was some sort of a crash, not a dead battery.

As that support page also notes, if you are using an iPhone 7 or an iPhone 7 Plus, the solution is to press and hold both the Volume Down button and the Side button until you see the Apple logo indicating that the device is restarting.

When you use this method to restart your iPhone, you shouldn't lose any data.  You are just forcing the iPhone to shut down and then start up again.

Hopefully it will be a long time before I need to do something like this again, but at least I now know what to do.  And so do you.


Categories: iPhone Web Sites

A decade of iPhone J.D.

iPhone J.D. - Sun, 11/18/2018 - 23:33

Ten years ago, I had lunch with two New Orleans attorneys who had successful blogs — Ernie Svenson of Ernie the Attorney and Robert Peyton, who used to publish Appetites and who now writes about New Orleans food at Haute Plates — and they encouraged me to start my own blog.  They both knew that I love technology, and I suppose they also knew that I like to talk and write.  I agreed that I was interested, but at the time did not have a topic worth writing about.  Around that same time, I bought my first iPhone.  After using it for a few months, I realized that the iPhone was something that really interested me and seemed like a perfect topic for a blog.  On November 17, 2008, I started iPhone J.D. with my first post, explaining why I found the iPhone a valuable tool in my law practice.  Here we are 10 years later, and I still love using my iPhone in my law practice.

At the time, I had no idea if this blog had a future.  Back in 2008, only a tiny percentage of lawyers were using an iPhone.  If a lawyer was using a smartphone in 2008, it was most likely to be Blackberry.  But it was clear that there was incredible potential.  The Blackberry and Palm Treo taught us that having a handheld computer which could be used for emails, text messages, and apps was a great idea.  On July 10, 2008, Apple debuted the App Store, which made it easier than ever for developers to create and publish new apps for people to buy them.  A few months after the App Store opened — and only a few weeks after I started iPhone J.D. — Apple published an ad in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to announce that there were over 10,000 apps available in the App Store.

Out of those 10,000 apps, Apple selected 16 to feature in the ad, and it is interesting to look back at what Apple considered noteworthy ten years ago.  There are two news apps (the New York Times and Bloomberg), three social media apps (Facebook, AIM, and Loopt), three games (Sodoku, Asphalt4, and Spore), and two music apps (Shazam and Remote).  There was also a travel app (Flight Status), a translator app (Mandarin), a dining app (Urbanspoon), a banking app (Bank of America), a voice recorder app (QuickVoice), and a shopping app (eBay).  Many of those apps no longer exist, and one of the apps — Shazam — is now owned by Apple itself.  But the categories selected by Apple ten years ago continue to be very popular categories today.

What was missing?  There are many categories of apps useful for attorneys which are popular today but barely existed ten years ago.  Most importantly for attorneys are apps that help you to get your work done on an iPhone (or iPad) when you are working with documents.  Indeed, the debut of Microsoft Word for iPad in 2014 (it debuted on the iPad in March 2014, and then came to the iPhone in November 2014) was arguably the most important app release for attorneys in the past ten years.  Whether you are a litigator like I am or a transactional attorney, I suspect that you work with Microsoft Word files every day.  While there had previously been third-party apps which could work with Word documents with various degrees of success, having the real Microsoft Word on iOS was a huge development, giving you the ability to review, revise, and send Word documents using your mobile device no matter where you are.  Another significant change over the past 10 years was the introduction of apps designed specifically for lawyers.  There were a few of those apps back in 2008 thanks to developers like Cliff Maier, but not nearly as many as today.

At the same time that those iPhone apps improved, the iPhone itself has vastly improved.  The iPhone X introduced last year was such an incredible leap forward in technology with its beautiful OLED edge-to-edge screen and incredible speed.  This year, the iPhone XS and iPhone XR improve upon that concept. 

When Apple first started working on the iPhone, the goal was actually to create a tablet computer, but along the way, Apple figured out that an iPhone would be a better first device to introduce.  When Apple did release the first iPad in 2010, the ability to get work done with an iOS device increased substantially.  The iPhone will always be my first love when it comes to Apple mobile technology, but my iPad is probably a more important part of my getting work done every day.  And with the new third-generation iPad Pro 12.9", we now have the tablet that the iPad always wanted to be.

Add to that some amazing accessories in the iOS universe — the second-generation Apple Pencil, the Series 4 Apple Watch, AirPods — and there has never been a better time for an attorney to use iOS devices.  Apple has provided us with incredible hardware running amazing software, all of which can be used in countless ways to increase productivity, not to mention improve our lives outside of the office.

Popular posts this year.  Every year on the birthday of iPhone J.D. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9), I find it interesting to look back and see which posts over the prior 12 months were the most popular.  The fact that these posts were so popular often sheds some light into what has been on the minds of folks using an iPhone or iPad.  Here, in order, are the top ten most viewed posts published in the last 12 months:

  1. Review: Apple iPhone X Leather Case - slim case to protect your iPhone.  I was surprised to learn that this was #1 most read post from the past year.  With the radical new design of the iPhone X, I suppose that folks wanted to find the best case to keep the device safe.  I like the slim design of the leather case sold by Apple, and that's also what I use with my iPhone XS.
  2. Review: Anker PowerLine+ II versus PowerLine+ -- high quality nylon USB to Lightning cords.  Every iPhone owner can use some good Lightning cords, and these cords from Anker are great.  They are less expensive than the cords sold by Apple and yet they are of excellent quality, in many ways better than what Apple sells.
  3. Apple previews new emoji coming in iOS 12.  Attorneys may use their iPhones and iPads to get work done, but when you need to send a quick message to a friend or family member, there is nothing wrong with using some fun or silly emoji character to get your point across.  Apple previewed the new emoji in July of 2018, and they were finally available when iOS 12.1 was released on October 30, 2018.
  4. iOS update error -- press home button to attempt data recovery.  I encountered this bizarre error when backing up my daughter's iPad in January 2018.  I guess I wasn't the only one to run into this problem because over 10,000 people have read this post so far this year.
  5. The latest on GoodReader version 5.  I have been using GoodReader to manage and annotate work-related PDF files on my iPad for just about as long as I have had an iPad.  But the app has not been updated in years, and while the developer has been claiming that a big update is coming soon (as noted in that post), my frustration with the lack of an update caused me to start using Readdle's PDF Expert.  If the incredibly overdue update to GoodReader ever does show up, perhaps I'll consider going back, but for now, I'm enjoying using PDF Expert.  The popularity of this post tells me that I'm not the only one who has been wondering if GoodReader will ever be updated again.
  6. Tips for using 3D Touch,  3D Touch has been a part of the iPhone for many years, but I suspect that many folks still don't use it to its full potential.
  7. Review: CARROT Weather -- excellent weather app, with attitude.  It was the snarky attitude which first brought this app to my attention, but I remained a user because it is a fantastic weather app with lots of great features.
  8. Why lawyers will love iOS 12.  iOS 12 was a big update for the iPhone, and I especially love the new Shortcuts feature.  iOS 12 was a less significant update for the iPad, and I hope to see more attention paid to the iPad in iOS 13.
  9. Hey Siri, read me the news.  Near the beginning of 2018, Apple introduced iOS 11.2.5, which added the ability to ask Siri to read you the news.  I use this feature often with CarPlay in my car, and it causes Siri to play the latest episode of the NPR News Now podcast, which is updated every hour (so it is always fresh news) and only lasts 3-5 minutes (so you quickly get the highlights).
  10. Presidential Alert coming tomorrow, October 3.  I was in my office when the first Presidential Alert was issued.  It was only a test, but you could hear lots of iPhones ringing throughout the halls of my office.

The iPhone J.D. Hall of Fame.  On the fifth anniversary of iPhone J.D., I listed the most popular posts during the first five years.  Here are the top ten most-read posts of the ten years of iPhone J.D., the posts that have stood the test of time — or in some cases, were just so incredibly popular when they were first published that they still have the most pageviews:

  1. The iPhone's Do Not Disturb Feature.  The iPhone is great when you want to use it, but sometimes you just want it to be quiet — especially if you are in court or in a meeting.  In this post from 2013, I talked about how the Do Not Disturb feature worked in iOS 6.  That post was incredibly popular at the time and has now been viewed over 600,000 times.  Clearly, this is a topic that a lot of folks are interested in.  Apple must know this too because Apple has improved the Do Not Disturb feature many times since 2013.
  2. iPhone tip: content of e-mail not displayed.  When I encounter problems with my iPhone or iPad, and then I find a solution, I often write about it on iPhone J.D. so that others folks who have the same problem can do a Google search and can learn from my experiences.  Back in 2011, I talked about what to do when you tap on an email but there is no content displayed.  I still encounter this problem from time-to-time, and the solution remains the same:  restart the Mail app.
  3. iPad tip -- turn off Messages if you share your iPad.  If you use multiple iOS devices, you can get your messages on all of your devices, which is very handy.  It can also be a problem if you leave one of your devices, such as your iPad, at home and it is used by someone else, such as your child.  Confidential and personal messages intended for your eyes only can suddenly be viewed by third parties.  This post from 2015 offered some good advice which remains good advice today.
  4. A look at the iPhone passcode lock feature.  When I discussed the passcode lock feature of iOS 3.1 in this 2009 post, the passcode lock was something that you had to manually enable.  Passcodes are so important to security that Apple now has passcodes enabled by default.  Thanks to Face ID and Touch ID, you don't have to go through the trouble of entering a passcode every time you try to use your iPhone, but this remains a critical step for maintaining the confidentiality of information on your iPhone.
  5. iPhone "No SIM card installed" message.  I encountered this error message shortly after I started using an iPhone 4 in 2010.  As I noted in a follow-up post, the solution that ended up working for me was bringing my original iPhone 4 back to Apple so that I could get a new one.  This post was the all-time most popular post during the first five years of iPhone J.D., so much so that it still appears on this list for the first ten years even though substantially fewer folks are now using an iPhone 4.
  6. Apple Watch tip: solve disconnect from iPhone by resetting Bluetooth.  I loved my first-generation Apple Watch, but it was clearly a 1.0 product with issues that would need to be addressed in future updates.  This post from 2015 discusses the first problem I ever had with an Apple Watch and a solution. 
  7. My favorite iPhone shortcuts.  Phone J.D. was only a week old when I wrote this post in November 2008.  During the first five years of iPhone J.D., it was read well over 100,000 times.  And even though the post is now ten years old, it continues to get some pageviews.  Many of the tips remain just as useful today as they were when iPhone J.D. was in its infancy
  8. How to view unread emails on an iPhone or iPad.  If you get as many emails as I do, it sometimes feels like simply reading and managing your emails is its own full-time job.  In this tip from 2013, I showed how to see a list of all of your unread emails in iOS 7.  To do the same thing in iOS 12, tap the filter button at the bottom left of the screen.
  9. Review: Apple Lightning to 30-pin adapters -- use older accessories with your new device.  In 2012, Apple replaced the large 30-pin connector on the iPhone with the much better Lightning port.  While that was a fantastic improvement, it meant that you needed an adapter to make older accessories work with the new Lightning connector.  In this post, I discussed options for doing so.  Six years later, Apple has now replaced the Lightning connector in the iPad Pro with USB-C.  I don't know if Apple will ever make that change on the iPhone, but USB-C has incredible potential on the iPad Pro.  But once again, there will be some growing pains during the transition.
  10. Why the "i" in iPhone?  When I wrote this post almost ten years ago, I had to go back another ten years to May 7, 1998, when Steve Jobs first introduced the iMac — the first Apple product to begin with a lowercase "i" in its name.  It was fun to research and write that post, and I love that the post continues to get pageviews today as folks wonder, like I did, about how the iPhone got its name.

Visitors to iPhone J.D.  Every year, I use this post to share some statistical information on iPhone J.D. visitors, to the extent that I can figure it out using the tools at my disposal — specifically, the Google Analytics service.

During the past 12 months, about 60% of iPhone J.D. readers have used an iOS device.  Back in 2010, only 15% of readers were using an iOS device.  By 2012, that was up to 40%.  It rose to 60% in 2015, which has remained consistent for the past few years.  Most of those folks used an iPhone, but last year almost 20% used an iPad.  About a third of iPhone J.D. readers use a computer, with Windows being twice as popular as Mac.  Around 5% of iPhone J.D. readers use an Android device.

In the past 12 months, about 62% of iPhone J.D. visitors were in the U.S.  The main other countries were the U.K. (8%), Canada (5%), and Australia (4%).  Looking at the past ten years, those results are virtually the same.  And while those are by far the top four countries, 42 countries have had over 10,000 residents visit iPhone J.D. at least once over the past ten years.  Making better use of an iPhone or iPad is something that we can all agree on.

Looking at the cities of iPhone J.D. readers, New York was #1 for the past twelve months, as it has been every other year except for 2015, when there were a few hundred more visitors from London:

  1. New York
  2. London
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Chicago
  5. Houston
  6. Dallas
  7. Atlanta
  8. Sydney
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. San Francisco

Last year was the first year ever that San Francisco wasn't in the Top 10, and it regained its status this year, knocking Melbourne down to #11. 

Looking at all of the visitors for the last ten years, the results are very similar.  The top four spots remain New York, London, Los Angeles, and Chicago.  Sydney was the #5 city over the past ten years, followed by San Francisco at #6 and Houston at #7.  Although Melbourne didn't make the Top 10 list this year, Melbourne is #8 on the all-time Top 10 list.  Washington, D.C. and Dallas round out the all-time Top 10.  The only city on this year's Top 10 list which doesn't appear in the all-time Top 10 list is Atlanta, which is #13 on the all-time list.  I went to college at Emory so I have many fond memories of Atlanta and I love to see Atlanta readers here on iPhone J.D. 

My hometown of New Orleans is #37 on the all-time list, just below Dublin and Nashville and just above Columbus and Orlando.

At the bottom of the list is Center Moriches, NY, where only 14 of the 7,580 citizens of this hamlet in Long Island, New York have visited iPhone J.D. in the past ten years.  To be honest, I'm not quite sure why this shows up at the bottom of the over 17,000 cities identified by Google Analytics; surely there is at least one city in the world where fewer than 14 people have ever visited iPhone J.D.?  Maybe Google just stops counting at 14?  Regardless, even if Center Moriches doesn't truly deserve to be at the bottom of this list, I think it is fair to say that not many people know about iPhone J.D. in this part of Long Island.  If you are reading this and you practice law in Center Moriches, NY, let me know and I'll send you some MobileCloths with the iPhone J.D. logo to help you to spread the word far and wide!

On a more serious note, I cannot thank all of you enough for reading iPhone J.D. for some (or all!) of the past ten years.  So many of you have reached out to me, either in person such as at a conference or via email or a comment on a post.  By hearing from you about how you have been using an iPhone or iPad in your own law practice, I have learned so much, and I have been able to share lots of that advice on this website.  This helps all of us to do a lot more with our devices, making us better attorneys and also enriching our personal lives. 

Ten years from now, will we still be using an iPhone and an iPad?  And if we are, what advanced features will they have that we couldn't even imagine today?  I cannot wait to find out.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites


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