iPhone Web Sites

Apple previews new emoji coming in iOS 12

iPhone J.D. - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 01:11

After all of the news from yesterday, and indeed the past week, I think we all deserve an escape from reality.  Fortunately, Apple has some nice pictures for us to look at.  To celebrate World Emoji Day today, Apple is previewing some of the new emoji characters which will be a part of iOS 12 this Fall.  The ideas for new emoji are considered and approved by the Unicode Consortium, and the new emoji in iOS 12 come from the Consortium's Emoji Version 11.0, approved earlier this year.  The Consortium has general rules on what each emoji is supposed to look like, but each company has a lot of flexibility in the specific designs, which is why emoji can look different on iPhone, Android, your computer, etc.  As always, the designers at Apple have done a really nice job with these.

First, we have a male and female superhero, the infinity symbol, and a Nazar Amulet (which Emojipedia explains is an "eye-shaped amulet believed to protect against the 'evil eye'" and which is common in Turkey:

Next we have a parrot, lobster, kangaroo, and peacock, which are some of the new animals in iOS 12 (along with a racoon, llamo, hippotamus, badger, swan, and mosquito):

iOS 12 will include many more food items.  Here are leafy green, mango, moon cake (a Chinese pastry), and cupcake.  Other new food items will include a bagel and salt.

There are new faces in iOS 12.  Here are partying face, pleading face, cold face, and smiling face with three hearts.  The other new faces are hot face and woozy face.

The new emoji also contain more hair options for both sexes:  red hair, curly hair, bald, and white hair, each of which is presented in a generic format plus five different skin tones.  For example, here are larger versions of the six different versions of the new female with red hair:

Here are all of the new hairstyles and colors:

Of course, if you have a new iPhone such as an iPhone X, you will also be able to use Apple's new Memoji feature to create an emoji that looks like yourself.  To show this off, Apple has changed the page of the Apple website that shows the faces of Apple's executives, and today instead of photographs it includes Memoji.  Look at the page for all of the new faces, but here are some of them:

There are also new objects in iOS 12.  Here are yarn, softball, and test tube.  Other new objects include compass, brick, skateboard, luggage, firecracker, red gift envelope, flying disc, lacrosse, jigsaw, teddy bear, chess pawn, abacus, receipt, toolbox, magnet, petri dish, DNA, fire extinguisher, lotion bottle, thread, safety pin, broom, basket, roll of toilet paper, soap, sponge and pirate flag.


In all, Apple says that there are over 70 new emoji characters.  However, according to Emojipedia, the actual number is closer to 150 when gender and skin tone are taken into account.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 01:27

I know that I talk about password managers frequently, but that's because I think that in this day and age of new security concerns every week, having unique and complicated passwords is a critical primary defense between your confidential information and the bad guys.  There is a slight learning curve when you first start using a password manager, but trust me, you are smart enough to figure it out.  And if you use a service that offers a family plan, you can share some passwords with your spouse and other friends and family while keeping other passwords private to you.  Geoffrey Fowler of the Washington Post agrees with me and recommends that you use a password manager.  He prefers Dashlane, but also recommends 1Password (my favorite) and LastPass.  Password managers are going to be even easier to use on the iPhone and iPad when iOS 12 comes out in a few months because they will be more integrated, reducing the number of times that you need to open the password manager app to copy a password and then switch back to the previous app to paste it.  If you are not using a password manager yet, you could wait until iOS 12 comes out, but I recommend that you get one now and start to enter all of your current passwords and secure information (which takes time to do, but fortunately you only have to do it once) and that way you will be ready when iOS 12 comes out.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • I enjoyed listening to the latest episode of Brett Burney's Apps in Law podcast.  He talks with Pennsylvania attorney Evan Kline, and they discuss the DEVONthink app.  (Evan Kline was one of the folks who did the awesome Galactic Empire v. Han Solo CLE that I discussed a few years ago.)
  • Burney also posted a video in which he discusses version 4.5 of iAnnotate, a PDF annotation and file management app, which I reviewed back in 2013.  As Burney notes, one of the neatest features of iAnnotate is that you can customize the toolbar to just include the tools that make the most sense for your practice.
  • Yesterday, Thomson Reuters announced the next generation of Westlaw, which will be called Westlaw Edge.  Law librarian Jean O'Grady did a good job of describing all of the new features of Westlaw Edge in a post on her Dewey B Strategic blog.  She notes that there will be a new iOS app.  (Note that Westlaw is a current sponsor of iPhone J.D.)
  • If you use Quicken, the iPhone app should be getting new features soon.  Quicken CEO Eric Dunn announced yesterday that at the end of this month, Quicken will release "an all-new mobile app which works better, looks better, and does more than the existing app."
  • In light of the App Store celebrating its 10th anniversary this week, Alex Guyot of MacStories looks back at the last 10 years of apps.
  • Jonny Evans of Computerworld recommends some neat iCloud tips.
  • Trevor Daugherty of 9to5Toys recommends portable Apple Watch chargers for travel.  My travel solution is to just bring a USB charging cable with me (the one  that comes with the watch) along with an Anker PowerPort, which I use in my hotel room every night to charge my Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, etc.
  • When I was in college, I very much wanted a device like the iPhone, but that technology was far away.  Instead I used a Sharp YO-620 electronic organizer, and I followed with much interest a company called General Magic, which was rumored to be working on something very neat in this product category.  The company itself didn't make it, but the folks who worked there went on to create lots of technology that we use every day.  Thus, I was interested to see a report by Stephen Silver of AppleInsider about a documentary about General Magic that first debuted earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival.  His post includes the trailer.
  • And finally, Frederic van Strydonck created a really neat short film using an iPhone partially submerged underwater.  He calls it Spltch, and it is worth watching:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Review: AirFly by Twelve South -- use your AirPods with any headphone jack

iPhone J.D. - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 02:19

Wireless headphones in general are very useful, but Apple's AirPods in particular are one of my all-time favorite gadgets.  I barely feel them in my ears, and they let me listen to music, podcasts and videos without any annoying cords hanging down my face.  To use AirPods, you need an iPhone or other device with Bluetooth.  What do you do if you want to use your AirPods to listen to audio coming from a headphone jack but Bluetooth is unavailable, such as an in-flight entertainment system on an airplane or the audio in a health club?  The clever folks at Twelve South developed the AirFly for this very situation.  Plug the AirFly into the headphone jack of the audio source, and then the AirFly uses Bluetooth to send the audio to your AirPods.  Twelve South sent me a free sample unit for review purposes, and this device is great.  The AirFly is a simple solution that works very well.

The hardware

The AirFly is smaller than the case that holds your AirPods.  It is 1.8" high, 1.3" wide, and has a depth of .4 inches.  And it weighs about a half an ounce — virtually nothing.  It comes with two small cords, a USB-to-Micro-USB cord that you use to charge the AirFly, and a small headphone cable.

It take two hours to fully charge the AirFly, and when fully charged the AirFly lasts about eight hours. 

There is a single button on the front of the AirFly, used to turn the unit on and off and for pairing.  There are two ports on the bottom:  Micro-USB for charging, and a headphone jack.

To make it easier to carry around the AirFly and the two cords, it comes with a small carrying pouch.

Connecting to the AirFly

To pair the AirFly to your AirPods for the first time, you hold down the button on the front of the AirFly for 10 seconds, then you hold down the white button on the back of the AirPods case.  But you only have to do this pairing the first time that you connect.  In the future, you can just turn on the AirFly and your AirPods will automatically connect.

To switch from using the AirFly to using your iPhone again, just hold down the button on the front of the AirFly for five seconds to turn the unit off.  Then open up the Bluetooth settings on your iPhone and tap AirPods to connect them again.  It is even easier to switch from the iPhone back to the AirFly; just turn on the AirFly by pressing that front button for five seconds, and your AirPods will automatically disconnect from your iPhone and connect to the AirFly.

Although the AirFly works great with Apple's AirPods, it can work with any Bluetooth headphones.

The AirFly uses Bluetooth version 4.1, so your AirPods can be about 30 feet away from the AirFly and still work — pretty much the same range that I get when using my AirPods with my iPhone.

Connecting to an audio source

With a name like "AirFly" you can tell that Twelve South thinks that most folks will want to use this device on an airplane.  However, I didn't have any flights during the past few weeks so I wasn't able to test them which I was in flight.

Instead, I turned back the clock to the Fall of 2005.  Think back to a time before the iPhone when the iPod was still all the rage, and larger Apple Stores even featured an iPod Bar:

The Fifth Generation iPod was the hottest new model, large enough to hold 15,000 songs and also display 25,000 photos and 150 hours of video on its huge (for its time) 2" x 1.5" color screen.

Bluetooth headphones were just starting to hit the market at the time — Stephen Regenold reported in Popular Science on September 29, 2005 that Wireless Headphones are Finally Here, but I didn't know anyone using Bluetooth headphones back them, and certainly nothing as small and innovative as the AirPods.

I pulled my old iPod out of retirement so that it could act as an audio source.  I plugged one end of the headphone cord into the AirFly and plugged the other end in into the iPod.  Within a few seconds, I was listening to songs from my old iPod using my new AirPods, and the music sounded great. 

It was so incredibly freeing to be able to walk anywhere around the room and continue to listen to my iPod.  The 2005 version of myself would have loved using the AirFly and AirPods.  I listened to songs on my old iPod for a long time, and it was actually fun to use a device with a click wheel again.

I also tried the AirFly with other devices in my house with headphone jacks, and it worked great every time.  Look around your own house or office and I'm sure that you will see audio sources that have a headphone jack but don't support Bluetooth.  An iPod, a stereo system, a record player, a TV, a radio, a portable gaming system, an older computer, a portable DVD player ... if it has a headphone jack, the AirFly will make it work with your AirPods.

Conclusion

A few hours after I took the above photo of my old iPod with the AirFly attached, I went back to play with it some more, and it looks like the screen on the iPod finally died.  I tried all of the old tricks for restarting an iPod to no avail.  While it is sad to say goodbye to an iPod that I used almost every day for so many years,  I'm glad that I had one last chance to use it.  Thanks to the AirFly, I was able to give that old iPod a taste of the future.  Perhaps one day, airplane entertainment systems and other devices will all include native Bluetooth support.  But until that day comes, the AirFly is a perfect way to use a headphone jack with AirPods.

Click here to get AirFly from Amazon ($39.99)

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Apple releases iOS 11.4.1 with Exchange and security improvements

iPhone J.D. - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 01:03

Yesterday, Apple released an update to iOS, the operating system for the iPhone and iPad.  The version number change — 11.4 to 11.4.1 — seems pretty minor, but there are two features in here that I think will be of interest to many attorneys.

First, iOS 11.4.1 improves reliability of syncing mail, contacts and notes with Microsoft Exchange accounts.  I know that a large number of law firms use Exchange (and Outlook on the PC or Mac), and thus lots of attorneys use an iPhone and iPad with Exchange.  I certainly do.  Most of the time it works great, but I have had syncing issues in the past, and indeed I encountered one just last week.  There was a contact on my iPhone who did not appear in Outlook on my PC.  I don't know what caused it, and the only solution I came up with was to create a new entry in Outlook on my PC and let that sync automatically to my iPhone, and then delete the former entry on my iPhone so that I didn't have a duplicate.  Hopefully this update will fix these sorts of problems in the future.

Second, iOS 11.4.1 increases security.  This is true of every iOS update, and I'm sure that there are lots of ways that iOS 11.4.1 is more secure, but there is one that is notable.  I mentioned on June 15 that when iOS 12 comes out this Fall, it will include support for USB Restricted Mode.  See that post for more details, but in short, this mode greatly reduces the risk that someone can take your iPhone and plug it into a hardware device that is designed to crack your password by preventing such a device from working if it has been more than an hour since your iPhone was locked.  Who has these devices?  We know that some law enforcement agencies use a device called GrayKey, but if some of the "good guys" have it, then I'm sure that there are some "bad guys" who have similar devices that are used for hacking purposes which are contrary to the public good — and perhaps contrary to the interest of you and your client, because presumably you have confidential information on your iPhone or iPad protected by the attorney-client privilege or the attorney work product doctrine.  If one of these bad actors steal your iPhone or iPad and then connect it to one of these devices quickly enough, maybe they still have a chance of cracking your iPhone, but hopefully there will not be enough time.

It turns out that not only is this feature in iOS 12, it is also in iOS 11 thanks to iOS 11.4.1.  I installed this update on my iPhone and iPad last night and the feature seems to work well.  To test it, I unlocked my iPad using my thumb print, then I waited for an hour, and then I connected it via a USB cable to my home computer running iTunes.  In the past, the iPad just showed up in iTunes.  But after installing iOS 11.4.1, when I connected my iPad to my computer more than an hour after I last unlocked it, I saw an alert on the iPad's lock screen telling me that I had to unlock my iPad before I could use an accessory:

Although USB Restricted Mode is enabled by default in iOS 11.4.1, you can turn it off if you want.  In the Settings app, tap on Face ID & Passcode if you have an iOS X, or Touch ID & Passcode if you have an earlier device, and then enter your passcode.  On the next screen — the same place where you teach your iPhone your face or your fingerprint — scroll down to the very bottom.  The second to last setting is called USB Accessories.  Just below it is an explanation of what this new setting does.  When switched to the off position, which is the default, you have greater security.  If you switch it on, then you are saying that you are allowing your iPhone to be connected to USB devices even if it has been more than an hour since the iPhone was last unlocked.  It is a little counter-intuitive to have increased security when something is turned off, so that's why I wanted to mention this.

 

Apple released more information on how this new mode works in this post.  Note that you can still plug in a power adapter to charge your iPhone or iPad without needing to enter your passcode after an hour.  However, Apple warns that there may be some other devices which might not pass a charge unless you first enter your passcode. 

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Thu, 07/05/2018 - 23:33

On July 10, 2008, Apple opened the App Store, stocked with 500 apps.  There are now over two million apps in the App Store.  I wasn't planning on talking about the 10th anniversary of the App Store until next week, but yesterday Apple released an interesting "feature" story about the ten years of the App Store, and it is a great read.  This isn't just a boring press release; it is a detailed story featuring quotes from lots of individuals who have had something to do with the App Store's success.  And now, the other news of note from the past week:

  • Malcom Owen of AppleInsider explains why the 10.5" iPad Pro is a great iPad to use when getting work done.  For most attorneys, that probably is the best iPad to get, but I really like the 12.9" size and I can't imagine ever wanting to go back to a smaller size.
  • British defense secretary Gavin Williamson was speaking to the House of Commons when Siri started talking too — probably triggered when he mentioned Syria.  The resulting short video is amusing, posted by Malcolm Owen of AppleInsider.
  • Apple is rebuilding the maps in its Maps app.  Matthew Panzarino of Tech Crunch talked to a number of folks at Apple and has all of the details.
  • Bradley Chambers of 9to5Mac reviews some of the best password managers for iOS and macOS.
  • Andrew O'Hara of AppleInsider reviews the Olloclip for iPhone X, an external lens system.
  • If you access Twitter using a third party app like Twitterific or Tweetbot, you are going to start losing some features next month.  Peter Cao of 9to5Mac explains why.
  • My favorite weather app, CARROT Weather, was updated this week to add new map layers.  Ryan Christoffel of MacStories explains what is new.
  • Ed Hardy of Cult of Mac reports that the iPhone 8 is currently the best-selling smartphone in the world.
  • In iOS 12, third party apps will be able to work with CarPlay.  Sygic plans to offer offline maps, useful if you are traveling without a data signal, as reported by CarPlay Life.
  • And finally, is it worth it to get an unlimited data plan from your cellphone carrier?  I use the AT&T unlimited plan (which I described in this post), and I think that it makes sense for my family, but your situation may be different.  Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal teamed up with competitive eater Carmen Cincotti to show to talk about when the plans do and don't make sense (video link):

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Review: LA Wallet -- digital version of your Louisiana driver's license on your iPhone

iPhone J.D. - Wed, 07/04/2018 - 18:33

Has this ever happened to you — you grab your iPhone and keys and jump in your car to go somewhere, only to realize after you start driving that you forgot to pick up your wallet or purse, and thus you don't have your driver's license with you.  As a result, you spend the rest of your trip praying that you don't get pulled over for any reason.  You could just take a picture of your license and keep that on your iPhone, but that isn't going to be legally valid.  The only real solution is a digital version of your driver's license which is valid under state law.  Louisiana, where I live, was the first state to roll out a digital driver's license on July 3, 2018, and a few other states are working on similar initiatives.  The app that you use in Louisiana is called LA Wallet.

Announcing the app earlier this week, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said:  "Most people never leave home without their smartphone and with this App, they will never be without their driver’s license.  State Police requested a 'hands-off' and 'no-touch' procedure that would not require them to hold a driver’s phone.  Rep. Ted James who authored the legislation that led to the creation of this App is to be commended for his work as well as the team of Louisianans who designed it."

The law

Before discussing the app, let's briefly address the statute that makes this app possible.  In Louisiana, and I imagine in virtually every other jurisdiction in the world, you need a driver's license with you when you are driving a car.  In Louisiana, that law can be found in La. R.S. § 32:411.  Act No. 625 of 2016 amended that statute to add language saying that you can either have a license or a digital license when you are driving.  The current law provides, with the new language in bold and underlined:  "The licensee shall have his license, or a digitized driver's license as provided in this Section, in his immediate possession at all times when driving a motor vehicle and shall display it upon demand of any officer or agent of the department or any police officer of the state, parish, or municipality..."  La. R.S. § 32:411(F)(1).

The law then goes on to provide what constitutes a valid digital driver's license.  The law specifically provides that it is not enough to just have a picture of your driver's license.  See La. R.S. § 32:411(F)(3)(b) ("A digital copy, photograph, or image of a driver's license which is not downloaded through the application on a mobile device shall not be a valid digitized driver's license as provided by this Section.")  Instead, a legal digital driver's license in Louisiana must be displayed in an app that meets certain requirements, including the ability to connect to the La. Department of Public Safety via the Internet to confirm that the digital driver's license is currently valid. 

The law also provides that, for now, a digital driver's license is only valid during a traffic stop or a checkpoint.  If you need to provide your license for some other reason, such as proving your identity to TSA to board an airplane or to prove that you are of legal drinking age at a bar, for now at least the digital driver's license is not enough.  But there are efforts underway to expand the acceptance of a Louisiana digital driver's license.

If you show your iPhone to a police officer, does that mean that you have consented for the police officer to look at other apps on your iPhone?  The statute explicitly says no:  "The display of a digitized driver's license shall not serve as consent or authorization for a law enforcement officer, or any other person, to search, view, or access any other data or application on the mobile device."  La. R.S. § 32:411(F)(3)(e).  Moreover, once the officer looks at your digital driver's license, the officer is required by law to return your iPhone to you.  "If a person presents their mobile device to a law enforcement officer for purposes of displaying their digitized driver's license, the law enforcement officer shall promptly return the mobile device to the person once he has had an opportunity to verify the identity and license status of the person."  Id.

Here are all of the statutory requirements associated with a digital driver's license in Louisiana, contained in La. R.S. § 32:411(F)(3):

(a) For the purposes of this Subsection, a digitized driver's license shall mean a data file available on any mobile device which has connectivity to the internet through an application that allows the mobile device to download the data file from the department or an authorized representative of the department, contains all of the data elements visible on the face and back of the license, and also displays the current status of the license. For the purposes of this Subparagraph, "current status" shall include but is not limited to valid, expired, cancelled, suspended, disqualified, hardship, or interlock hardship status.

(b) A digital copy, photograph, or image of a driver's license which is not downloaded through the application on a mobile device shall not be a valid digitized driver's license as provided by this Section.

(c) A person shall not be issued a citation for driving a motor vehicle without a physical driver's license in his possession if he presents a digitized driver's license to a law enforcement officer in connection with a traffic stop or checkpoint in Louisiana. However, in connection with requests for identification not associated with traffic stops or checkpoints in Louisiana, a person may be required to produce a physical driver's license to a law enforcement officer, a representative of a state or federal department or agency, or a private entity when so requested and be subject to all the applicable laws and consequences for failure to produce such license.

(d) The department shall promulgate such rules as are necessary to implement a digitized driver's license. No digitized driver's license shall be valid until the department has adopted such rules.

(e) The display of a digitized driver's license shall not serve as consent or authorization for a law enforcement officer, or any other person, to search, view, or access any other data or application on the mobile device. If a person presents their mobile device to a law enforcement officer for purposes of displaying their digitized driver's license, the law enforcement officer shall promptly return the mobile device to the person once he has had an opportunity to verify the identity and license status of the person.

(f) The fee to install the application to display a digitized driver's license as defined in Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph shall not exceed six dollars.

As I noted above, digital driver's licenses are coming to other states too.  Just a few days ago, William Petroski reported in the Des Moines Register that Iowa is working out the details of its digital driver's license, which is expected to debut in 2019.  Iowa, Colorado, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Wyoming are working with a company called Gemalto, which received a $2 million grant from the federal NIST to design and test a digital driver's license.

The LA Wallet app

Currently, the only digital driver's license app in Louisiana is an app called LA Wallet, although I imagine that others could make similar apps as long as they meet the requirements of the statute.  When you start the app you are asked to provide an email address and create a password so that you have an account with Envoc, the Louisiana-based company that created the app. Next, you need to create a four-digit PIN, which you will have to enter every time you open the LA Wallet app.

Next, you add your driver's license to the app by supplying your full name, your driver's license number, and your audit code (a four-digit number on the front of every Louisiana driver's license).  Although the LA Wallet app is free, you need to pay $5.99 to download a digital license.  That $5.99 will cover you until you get a new driver's license.  (In Louisiana, a license is good for up to six years.)

That's it.  Now, when you open the app, you enter your PIN, and then the app shows you the main screen:

Tap on the small image of your license to bring up the full view:

A high-quality digital version of your full driver's license is displayed.  The app determines whether your license is valid and displays that clearly along the top — a large green bar if it is valid.  I'm not sure how often the app normally checks (it did it several times on its own during my testing) but you can always tap the Refresh button to force it to check.  You can tap the View button to switch between a graphical version of your license and just the key information in large, plain text.

I cannot say that I fully tested this app because I haven't yet used it when I was pulled over for a traffic stop or a random checkpoint.  And if I never get a chance to conduct that sort of "test" that would be fine with me.  But it certainly looks like this app does everything that it says.

Conclusion

Spending $6 for up to six years of never having to worry about forgetting my driver's license when I am driving seems like a pretty good deal to me.  And as noted above, the legal uses of this app may expand in the future, which might be helpful for folks younger than me who are frequently carded at a bar but may not always have a physical license.

I like the idea of moving away from physical cards.  I can already walk to many stores with nothing more than my iPhone or Apple Watch, using Apple Pay to pay for my purchases.  (I actually just did that yesterday morning to pick up a few groceries.)  Thanks to the LA Wallet app, now I can also drive to those stores, or anywhere else in Louisiana, without having to worry about having my wallet which contains my driver's license.

If you live in Louisiana, I encourage you to get the LA Wallet app.  If you live elsewhere, hopefully you will soon have a similar iPhone app that you can use.

Click here to get LA Wallet (free): 

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Thu, 06/28/2018 - 23:59

What products will Apple announce this Fall?  I presume that there will be a new iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, but it is difficult to know for sure what features will be included.  However, Michael Simon of Macworld has some predictions based on a pretty reliable source — Apple itself.  Now that the beta version of iOS 12 is out, Simon makes some informed guesses about upcoming hardware based upon what is contained in that beta software.  For example, ever since the iPad came out in 2010, the time has been displayed at the top center of the screen.  The same used to be true of the iPhone too, but Apple moved the time to the side when the iPhone X was released with its new camera — and thus a notch — at the top center.  In the beta version of iOS 12, the iPad similarly moves the time away from the center, and Simon predicts that this is to make way for a camera and a notch, just like the iPhone.  This would allow folks to use Animoji and Memoji on the iPad, so this strikes me as a reasonable guess.  For the rest of Simon's predictions based on what is in the beta version of iOS 12, click here.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • On the Lit Software blog, the company discusses how California family law attorney Cari Pines uses TrialPad, TranscriptPad and DocReviewPad in her law practice.
  • Massachusetts attorney Robert Ambrogi discusses the 25th anniversary of the PDF file format.  I started practicing law 24 years ago, so PDFs have always been a part of my law practice, although they were only a minor part at first.  Ever since I started using an iPad in 2010, PDFs have been an essential part of my law practice.
  • Jack Nicas of the New York Times reports that Apple and Samsung have settled their seven-year legal fight over smartphone patents.
  • Over the past two weeks, I've reviewed two products (Eve Motion, Eve Degree) made by Elgato as a part of its Eve line of smarthome products.  The company announced Wednesday that it has decided to go all-in on HomeKit-compatible smarthome products.  It is selling all of its non-Eve products (including its gaming business) to Corsair, and the company is changing its name to Eve Systems.  I look forward to this increased focus on HomeKit technology and I hope that it results in even more great products for iPhone owners.
  • Mike Matthews reviews the Honeywell Lyric Controller, a home security system which is compatible with Apple's HomeKit technology.
  • Rene Ritchie of iMore wrote a detailed preview of what is new in the upcoming iOS 12.
  • Federico Viticci of MacStories shares some of his favorite somewhat obscure features of the upcoming iOS 12.
  • If AT&T is your cellphone carrier, you are now paying an additional $1.33 every month.  Nick Statt of The Verge explains why.
  • And finally, this week Apple CEO Tim Cook was interviewed at Fortune's CEO Initiative by Fortune executive editor Adam Lashinsky.  Chance Miller of 9to5Mac has a good summary of the interview, or you can watch the full video on YouTube.  The interview includes lots of interesting information about Apple, and the positions that Apple has taken on issues ranging from education to privacy to social issues to the environment:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

[Sponsor] iTimeKeep -- time entry built for attorneys

iPhone J.D. - Tue, 06/26/2018 - 16:12

Thank you to Bellefield Systems, the creator of iTimeKeep, for sponsoring iPhone J.D. again this month.  I cannot think of a better time of year to use a product like iTimeKeep.  It is the start of Summer, and whether you are headed to the beach for a vacation, traveling with your family for a roadtrip, or just spending more time enjoy the sunshine, you are more likely to be out of your office for the next few months.  But being out of the office doesn't always mean being away from work.  Opposing counsel may email you a new motion, requiring you to send a note to your client with an update.  Or maybe you need to handle a quick phone call on one of your matters.  With iTimeKeep on your iPhone, time entry is fast, simple, and accessible.  When it is easy to enter your time immediately after you finish a task, you are far less likely to forget to record your time entries.

Forgetting to record a few 0.1 or 0.2 time entries may not seem like a big deal, but over three months of Summer it can really add up.  This time that would have otherwise been lost is what Bellefield refers to as invisible time.  With the iTimeKeep app on your iPhone — which is likely with you all the time — you can enter your time contemporaneously and before you forget about it.  As soon as you enter time, the app quickly talks to your firm's time management system so that the activity is officially recorded.  By using your iPhone to record your time entries at the time that you do the work, you don't have to worry about losing time that you forgot about as you try to reconstruct your activities at a later time.

Contemporaneous time entry is good for another reason.  It is much easier to keep track of what you are doing while you are doing it than it is to try to reconstruct your time entries at the end of the day (or on a subsequent day).  We've all been there before — you are doing your time entries at the end of the day, and you find yourself staring blankly as you try to remember what it was that you worked on in the morning.  Eventually it may come to you, but you are wasting your own (non-billable) time as you attempt to remember what you did.  If you instead enter your time as you are doing tasks, you save yourself the agony of reconstructing your day.  And because iTimeKeep makes it so easy to keep track of your time contemporaneously, over time you will find that you do it more and more.

I started using this app in my own law practice last year, and I posted a comprehensive review in August.  I have used this app on more occasions that I can remember to record my time when I am out of the office, time that I might have otherwise forgotten about.  Thus, the app has helped me to get paid for the work that I am actually doing, plus it ensures that my timesheets accurately reflect all of the work that I am doing for my clients.

 

iTimeKeep validates your time against client billing guidelines, so you don't have to worry about forgetting to add a needed issue or task code for a file, or entering time in 0.1 increments when the client requires 0.25 entries.  And you can use built-in timers to keep track of precisely how long you spend working on a task.

What surprised me about iTimeKeep is that it isn't just a tool for avoiding missed time entries.  It is also a fantastic tool to use every day for recording all of your time.  The iTimeKeep interface is so incredibly well-designed and fast to use that I often prefer using iTimeKeep over the interface for my law firm's time entry software.  And fortunately, it doesn't matter which one I use — time that I enter in iTimeKeep shows up on my firm system, and time that I enter in my firm's system shows up in iTimeKeep if I have to go back and edit an entry.

iTimeKeep is not just a product for your iPhone (and iPad and Apple Watch, and even Android).  You can also use iTimeKeep on your computer via a secure website interface.  When I am in my office on my PC and at home on my Mac, the fastest way for me to enter time is using iTimeKeep in a web browser.  With the web interface and the iPhone and iPad apps, it is very rare for a day to go by when I haven't used iTimeKeep at least once.

Speaking of the interface, iTimeKeep just rolled out several new changes to iTimeKeep desktop to further enhance the experience for attorneys.  iTimeKeep offers something called “One Experience Timekeeping,” which means that the way you enter time is the same whether you are on a mobile device or at your desk, entering time from your desktop.  This seamless approach to timekeeping is designed to allow you to conduct timekeeping on your terms, the way that you work.  I've been using the new desktop interface almost every day since it debuted, and I'm a big fan; it makes it even faster and easier to enter time.

No attorney enjoys time entry, but it is a necessary part of the practice of law for most of us.  With iTimeKeep, you significantly reduce the friction associated with entering your time, especially when you record it contemporaneous with performing the work for your client.  Thank you to Bellefield for sponsoring iPhone J.D. again this month, and thank you for creating this perfect example of an iPhone app that greatly improves the practice of law for attorneys.

Don't waste anymore time.  Try iTimeKeep today.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Review: Eve Motion -- HomeKit-compatible motion detector

iPhone J.D. - Sun, 06/24/2018 - 19:14

I'm a big fan of what Apple has done with HomeKit, allowing you to purchase lots of different products from different manufacturers which can all work together to make your home smarter.  Using an app on your iPhone or Apple Watch, or just by using your voice with Siri, you can easily turn lights and other devices on or off.  One of the most powerful uses of HomeKit is automation so that events can occur without you having to do anything.  For example, the lights on my front porch will automatically go on at sunset, so even if I come home after dark the front of my house isn't dark.  And those same lights automatically go off at sunrise.  Elgato recently sent me a free review unit of the Eve Motion, a HomeKit-compatible motion detector.  It is a powerful addition to any HomeKit environment, although depending upon the size and layout of your house, it does suffer from one shortcoming which I mentioned last week when I reviewed the Eve Degree; it relies on Bluetooth, not Wi-Fi.

Motion detection

The Eve Motion is a small white device.  It is not as small and sleek as the Eve Degree, so it is something that you and others will notice when it sits on a table.  It is 3.15" x 3.15" and and about 1.25" deep.  It is powered by a pair of (included) AA batteries.  It can work indoors or outdoors.

The front of the device has a small window which can detect motion.  Elgato suggests that you place the unit about 1-2 meters above the ground (about 3 to 6.5 feet).  At 6.5 feet, the Eve Motion can detect motion for up to 30 feet across a 120º field of view.  The back of the device has a hole that you can use to hang it on a nail on the wall.

You can adjust the sensitivity to low, medium or high, depending upon how much motion you want for the Eve Motion to be triggered. 

The front of the device has a small red LED light behind the white plastic.  You normally don't see it at all, but you can configure the Eve Motion so that the LED blinks every time motion is detected.  I just found that to be annoying and quickly turned it off, but it might be useful in some situations to confirm that motion is indeed being detected.

Automation when motion is detected

The most common way that you are likely to use an Eve Motion is to cause a certain action to occur when motion is detected.  For now, HomeKit automation is limited to other HomeKit devices; for example, I do not believe it is possible to send a text message to someone when motion is detected, which would allow the Eve Motion to work as a sort of a burglar detector when you are away from home.  A perfect use of the Eve Motion is to turn on a light when you enter a room.

For example, I placed the Eve Motion in my TV Room and created a rule that turns on the lights to 100% brightness when motion is detected.  That way, the lights come on automatically when anyone enters the room.  Fortunately, HomeKit is sophisticated enough that you can customize this rule based upon conditions.  For example, in a TV Room you wouldn't want the light to go up to 100% every time motion is detected, because you might have the lights turned down low as you are watching a movie and you wouldn't not want the lights to turn up just because you stretched your arms.

The solution is to add a condition to a rule.  Conditions can either be time-based (it must be after or before or between a certain time of day) or value based (other HomeKit devices must be in a certain state).  In this first example, I set the trigger to be any motion detected by the Eve Motion, and I set the condition to be that the lights in the TV room are set to off.  That way, if the lights are already on and dimmed, then this rule won't do anything.

 
What if you like to watch TV in the complete dark?  The above example won't work because the Eve Motion will sense motion in the dark and turn the lights on.  You can account for this in the settings for the Eve Motion where you can adjust the duration to last from as little as 5 seconds to as much as 15 hours.  Thus, if motion is detected and you have this set for three hours, the Eve Motion won't register motion again for another three hours.

By adjusting factors such as duration and conditions, you can create pretty sophisticated rules for automation.  For example, if motion is detected in a room, you can make the lights turn on, but then go off after no motion is detected for a specific period of time.  Or you can create a rule that says that when motion is detected, turn on a fan, but only during certain hours of the day, and only if the temperature is above a certain value.  Or you can turn off the lights in a room if no motion has been detected after a certain period of time.

Log of values

In addition to using the results from an Eve Motion to trigger other HomeKit devices, such as turning on lights, another feature of the Eve Motion is that it creates a log of whenever motion is detected.  You can view this on a graph, with bars indicating when motion was detected, or you can view a log of all values. 

For example, in the second picture below, I can see that motion was detected at 10:58 p.m., and then no additional motion was detected until the next day at 8:47 a.m.  Thus, if it useful to you to know when motion occurs place in an area — did a child leave a bedroom to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night; did a person make a late-night visit to the kitchen for a snack; is there any motion in your living room while you and your family are out of town — the Eve Motion can help to provide an answer.

 
Placement of the Eve Motion

The only real critique that I have of the Eve Motion is the same critique that I had last week when I reviewed the Eve Degree.  Because the Eve Motion uses Bluetooth 4.0 to communicate, the Eve Motion needs to be reasonably close to a HomeKit hub to work.  That hub has Wi-Fi and can communicate with other devices.  In my house, the only HomeKit hub that I have is an Apple TV.  When I originally tested the Eve Motion as a motion detector in my living room, I found that the room was too far away from my Apple TV and thus wouldn't cause lights to turn on and off.  On the other hand, when I put the Eve Motion in the same room as my Apple TV, it worked perfectly all of the time.

An Apple HomePod or an extra iPad that you are not using can also act as a HomeKit hub, so if you want to put an Eve Motion in the same room as a HomePod, that should work fine.  (I don't own a HomePod so I couldn't test this.)  Another solution that I noted last week was to use a Bluetooth range extender, such as the Eve Extend first announced by Elgato back in January 2017, but apparently Apple hasn't yet approved of the use of these extenders in HomeKit and thus the Eve Extend is not yet for sale.

In the interim, I see a post on the Elgato website saying that you can use a second Apple TV to extend range, as long as it is an Apple TV 4th generation or newer.  But those devices cost $149 new, and even a refurbished model is $129.

Depending upon the size and layout of your home, this might not be a problem at all for you.  But for me, the limitations of the range of Bluetooth 4.0 — about 200 feet with no interference, and less than that depending upon walls and other interference — prevented me from using the Eve Motion in many of the places in my house where I might want to use it.

Conclusion

If you want to use motion to trigger HomeKit events such as turning lights or other devices on or off, the Eve Motion works great and I can recommend it — but only if you will be using it someplace that is within the range of a HomeKit hub.

Click here to get Eve Motion on Amazon ($48.56)

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 00:28

It has been all over the news that as a part of the investigation of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, the FBI has obtained messages that were sent and received in apps such as WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram — apps normally thought to be fairly secure.  How is that?  Seth Hallem is the founder and CEO of Mobile Helix, a company that makes the LINK encrypted app for lawyers, and he explains in an interesting article on CSO the most likely scenarios for how the FBI has accessed those messages — and also explains how you can protect your own secure data.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • Attorney John Voorhees of MacStories explains how the Documents app by Readdle can transfer files using WiFi between a Mac and an iPhone or iPad.
  • Rene Ritchie of iMore wrote an interesting article explaining the original reason for the heart monitor on the Apple Watch, and how that has turned the Apple Watch into a healthcare device.
  • Andrew O'Hara of AppleInsider shows off 24 iPad-specific features in iOS 12.
  • A blog post on the TripIt website explains how the TripIt iPhone app can now give you safety scores for neighborhoods around the world.
  • Ed Baig of USA Today explains that when iOS comes out this fall, your iPhone will automatically share your location with first responders when you call 911.
  • AppleInsider shows off the new Walkie-Talkie feature that will be added to the Apple Watch this Fall.  I don't see using this feature very much when I'm in the office, but I can see this being very useful for quickly communicating with friends and family after hours and during the weekend.
  • If you have kids, then I presume that you know what Fortnite is.  Luke Dormehl of Cult of Mac reports that after three months on iOS, the company made $100 million on the Apple platform alone.  What makes this particularly amazing is that the app itself is free to play; my understanding (from my kids) is that the in-app purchases are mostly cosmetic, just ways to make your character look cooler and do things like dance around.  But unlike some other games, you can win without spending any money.  My daughter has certainly won a ton of games without paying anything, although she has to use my iPad because the hand-me-down iPhone 6s that she uses can't run the game.
  • If you are a fan of Westworld on HBO like I am, you might want to check out the free episode of Apple's Carpool Karaoke which will come out today.  According to Christian Zibreg of iDownloadBlog, it will feature Evan Rachel Wood and James Marsden — the actors who play Dolores and Teddy.  You can watch the episode in the TV app or the Apple Music app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • According to Juli Clover of MacRumors, in the future, your iPhone will be able to act as a digital key for your car.
  • And finally, if you have had a long and busy week like I have, then you deserve something silly and fun to end the week.  And what could be better than combining an iPad with magic and cute monkeys?  Take it away, Simon Pierro (video link):

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Review: Eve Degree -- HomeKit-compatible weather station

iPhone J.D. - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 01:25

There are lots of iPhone apps which will tell you the weather in your general area, but if you want to know the precise weather at a specific location — such as at your house — you need a thermometer.  According to the fine contributors to Wikipedia, the thermometer can be traced back to Hero of Alexandria, a mathematician and engineer who lived from 10 AD to 70 AD.  But Apple's HomeKit technology wasn't around back then, so the folks in Alexandria couldn't use an iPhone to check the weather at their house.  Back in 2015, I reviewed a device made by Elgato called the Eve Weather.  The Eve Degree is the second generation of that device; you can still find the Eve Weather on Amazon, but Elgato no longer has it listed as a product on its website.  Elgato sent me a free review unit of the Eve Degree, and I've been trying it out for the last few weeks.

The hardware

The Eve Degree is a small 2.1" x 2.1" square which is 0.6" deep, a much smaller size than the Eve Weather, which was 3.1" x 3.1" and 1.3" deep.  The body is made of anodized aluminum, and the front is acrylic glass.  It looks very nice.

Unlike the Eve Weather which just had a white plastic front, the front of the Eve Degree has an LCD display which displays the current weather.  This is a great addition, making it simple to see the current temperature without even having to use your iPhone.  The default setting of the Eve Degree is Celsius, but using the Eve app on an iPhone you can easily change that to Fahrenheit. 

The back of the device has a hole, so you can hang the Eve Degree on a nail to mount it on a wall.  There is also a reset button on the back, and a cover for a replaceable CR2450 battery.  Elgato says that the battery should last about a year, and replacement batteries cost around $1 to $3 on Amazon, depending upon the brand and the quantity that you buy.  (The Eve Weather used AA batteries which only lasted about three months.)

Etched into the bottom of the Eve Degree is a unique HomeKit code that you use when you first set up the device with your iPhone.  It's nice that it is down there so that if you ever need to perform a setup again and you no longer have the box or instructions, you will still have that code.  And having it etched looks much nicer than just putting a sticker down there.

The measurements

The Eve Degree measures three things: First, it monitors the weather, accurate to within 0.54° Fahrenheit.  Second, it monitors the humidity, accurate to within 3%.  Finally, it monitors the air pressure, accurate to within 1 mbar / 0.03 inHg.  In the following picture, you can see the data after I moved my Eve Degree from my back porch to my study so that I could take a picture of it for this review.  You can see that the humidity and temperature decreased noticeably after I brought the device inside.

The Eve Degree logs each of these measurements every 10 minutes, and can store up to two weeks of measurements on the device.  The main page on the Eve app shows you about the last 12 hours, but you can get more information for the past hour/day/week/month, and can even see each specific measurement in the log.

 

Every time you use the Eve app to check the current measurements, that log is downloaded to your iPhone.  Thus, as long as you use the Eve app to check in with the Eve Degree at least once every two weeks — or, to be safe, once a week — your iPhone will have an unlimited historical log of all of the measurements.  Using the Eve app, you can even export this data to a spreadsheet.

Where to place the Eve Degree

The Eve Degree can work either indoors or outdoors.  If you keep it outdoors, it is rated IPX3, so it is OK if it gets wet from rain, although it shouldn't go underwater or be sprayed with a jet of water.

Having said that, to get the most accurate readings, you should put it in a place that is always in the shade — which means that it probably won't be exposed to much rain either.  Official outdoor temperature measurements are always in the shade because when a thermometer is in direct sunlight, the sun rays can heat up the fluid that is used to measure the temperature, so you end up getting a reading of that fluid and not the air.  At my house, I put the Eve Degree on my back porch in a spot that was mostly shaded, but every morning there would be a short period of time when it was exposed to sunlight.  Thus, when I looked at my temperature logs on sunny days, I saw artificial peaks that lasted about 30 minutes.  For example, in the following picture, I got a recording of almost 110º the other day.  It certainly can feel pretty darn hot in New Orleans in the Summer, but not that hot.

If you don't want those false readings, move the Eve Degree to a place that will not get direct sunlight.

One other issue to think about for placement is keeping it near a HomeKit hub.  The Eve Degree uses Bluetooth 4.0 to send data.  So if your iPhone is reasonably close by, you can get data measurements.  But if your iPhone is far enough away from the Eve Degree — either on the same house or when you are away from home — the only way that you can see the current temperature is if your Eve Degree is in relatively close proximity to a HomeKit hub device.  You also need to use a hub if you want to use the Eve Degree to do automated tasks (more on that below).  If you have an Apple TV, that will work, so I place my Eve Degree on my back porch in a location that is just on the other side of the wall from where my Apple TV is located.  An iPad can also serve as a HomeKit hub, if you keep it at your house all of the time, and a HomePod can also serve as a hub.  See this page on the Apple's website for more details.

Unfortunately, if the place at your home that you have decided to keep Eve Degree to take measurements is not sufficiently close to a HomeKit hub, then you lose some of these more advanced functions.  As a workaround, you could use a Bluetooth range extender to act as a bridge between the Eve Degree and your HomeKit hub.  Except that these products don't exist yet.  Elgato announced one called the Eve Extend back in January 2017, but it still isn't available.  When someone recently asked Elgato about this on Twitter, the company said that it has "nothing to announce at this point" and Elgato seemed to point the finger at Apple:

We have nothing to announce at this point. What's more, please note that the range extender category currently isn't listed on the Apple Support page with upcoming and available Home accessories: https://t.co/PfOlZ7JNy3

— Elgato (@elgato) May 30, 2018

Siri and automation

Because the Eve Degree is a HomeKit device, you can use Siri with it.  Thus, instead of opening up the Eve app, you can just ask Siri the current temperature at your house or your backyard.

You can also set up HomeKit automations, such as turning a fan on or off depending upon the temperature, or turning on a lamp when it gets really hot outside.  With the new Shortcuts feature in iOS 12 coming this Fall, I suspect that you will be able to do even more sophisticated things with HomeKit automation.

Durability

Everything about the Eve Degree seems like a much better design than the Eve Weather.  However, one thing that I don't know about is long-term durability.  I used an Eve Weather on my back porch for about two years, and then it stopped working completely.  I haven't seen other people complaining on the Internet about similar problems with the Eve Weather, so maybe there was just a problem with my unit.  Perhaps it was exposed to too much water in a very strong rainstorm. 

Whatever it was that caused my Eve Weather to bite the dust after two years, hopefully this Eve Degree will work for even longer.

Conclusion

Only you can decide if you have an interest in measuring the precise weather at your house.  Perhaps you want the specific temperature right now.  Perhaps you want to see a historical log.  Or perhaps you want to trigger some HomeKit automation based upon the weather.  For the two years that I used an Eve Weather, it was interesting to have access to that data, and while I cannot say that it was life-changing, I liked the product.

If you do think that this sort of product is for you, the Eve Degree works very well.  I love that you can see the temperature right on the device itself, and I like the smaller size and the aluminum body.  And I like that you don't have to change the battery every few months.  It is also nice that HomeKit has improved over the years — triggers were not even possible when I first started using an Eve Weather — and with the increased automation coming in iOS 12 with Shortcuts, I expect that this will only improve.

It is a shame that you need to keep an Eve Degree reasonably close to a HomeKit hub to get the full value out of the product, but depending upon the layout of your house, this might not be a problem at all.  And perhaps even that will improve the in future if and when Elgato releases the Eve Extend.

Click here to get the Eve Degree on Amazon ($59.95).

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 00:40

This week, Apple announced that as a part of its ongoing efforts to make iPhones (and iPads) safer, the upcoming iOS 12 will include something called USB Restricted Mode.  This means that if you plug your iPhone in to a computer or other hardware using a USB to Lightning cable, you will not be able to transfer data to and from the iPhone unless your iPhone has been unlocked within the past hour.  This way, if a criminal steals your iPhone, even if he has a hardware hacking device that can try to crack your iPhone's password, he won't be able to do so unless he gets your iPhone to that hacking device within 60 minutes.  Many outlets reported this as Apple battling law enforcement because many law enforcement agencies use a device called the GrayKey sold by Grayshift to try to hack the password on an iPhone taken from someone accused of a crime.  For example, the New York Times headline is "Apple to Close iPhone Security Hole That Law Enforcement Uses to Crack Devices."  But the idea that only the good guys have access to these hacking devices seems incredibly optimistic, if not downright ridiculous.  As an attorney who keeps confidential attorney-client and work product information on my iPhone and iPad, I'm glad that Apple is always working to close any security loopholes, regardless of who is known to be using them today.  In the cat-and-mouse game of security, hackers will always be looking for new exploits, so Apple and others should always be working to improve security.  (Indeed, just yesterday, Joseph Cox and Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai of Motherboard reported that Grayshift already has found a way to defeat Apple's latest security improvements, although the reporters note that "it is unclear ... how much of this may be marketing bluff.")  And now, the news of note from the past week: 

  • On a recent episode of the Lawyerist podcast, Minnesota attorney Sam Glover interviews California attorney David Sparks to discuss ten ways that lawyers can get more out of their iPhones.  That interview starts just after the 10-minute mark if you want to jump directly there in the podcast.
  • In a post on his MacSparky website, David Sparks explains why he is excited about the new Shortcuts feature in the upcoming iOS 12.
  • If you want a full explanation of Shortcuts, the absolute best resource for learning about it is this article by Federico Viticci of MacStories.
  • In an article for Tom's Guide, Jason Snell explains why iOS 12 will be the biggest iPhone upgrade in years.  And as you might guess, the Shortcuts feature is one of the reasons.
  • David Rubenstein of Bloomberg interviewed Apple CEO Tim Cook.  The video is 24 minutes long, but it is sharply edited so that the pace of the interview is very fast, and this is one of the best interviews of Cook that I've seen in a while.
  • Stewart Rogers of VentureBeat discusses the ABBYY TextGrabber app, which you can use to capture text using the camera and then translate it into another language, even when you are offline.
  • If you don't have CarPlay in your car, you can instead mount an iPhone so that it can provide you with driving directions.  There are many ways to do so, and CarPlay Life discusses good options for mounting to the air vent in your car.
  • I posted a review of Anker's USB-to-Lightning cables earlier this year, and I still really like them.   They are very durable, and they are much less expensive than the cables sold by Apple.  As pointed out by Alexandria Haslam of PCWorld, you can now get a two-pack of red three-foot cables for only $15.99 on Amazon, which is a $4 discount and a very good deal.  As you can see from my review, the red color is very striking and makes your cables really stand out.  It is always nice to have some extra Lightning cables, so consider grabbing these before the sale ends.
  • Ben Lovejoy of 9to5Mac notes that Verizon now has three different plans called "Unlimited," all of which have limits.  But he also notes that other carriers do something similar.
  • The iPhone 3Gs, which I reviewed in 2009 and which Apple stopped selling in 2012, is on sale again.  Sort of.  Roger Fingas of AppleInsider reports that a South Korean company obtained a whole bunch of them from a warehouse, still shrink wrapped, and will soon be selling them for ₩44,000 — about $40.
  • In an article and associated video, David Pogue of Yahoo shows off the new stereo feature of the Apple HomePod.
  • If you are interested in meditation, Alex Arpaia of Wirecutter discusses the best meditation apps.
  • Do you hate losing your glasses?  Janet Cloninger of The Gadgeteer reviews the Orbit, a tiny tracker that attaches to the arms of your glasses, so that you can use an iPhone app to locate your glasses.
  • In its continuing series on essential iOS apps, Ian Fuchs of Cult of Mac discusses GoodNotes, a great app for taking handwritten notes.  I myself use that app almost every day at work.
  • And finally, if you have ever had the urge to throw your iPhone X off of a 1,000-foot high bridge, I implore you not to do so.  But if you cannot resist seeing what this would look like, I encourage you to watch this video instead.  If you want to skip to the "good" stuff, the iPhone is dropped at around the 45-second mark, and the video taken from the iPhone X while it is falling is shown at around the 2:35 mark.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

[Sponsor] Westlaw -- powerful legal research on your iPad or iPhone

iPhone J.D. - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 01:21

Thank you to Thomson Reuters Westlaw for sponsoring iPhone J.D. this month.  Westlaw is incredibly useful on a computer, but it also works really well on an iPhone or iPad with the fantastic Westlaw app.  With the Westlaw app, you can extend the power and collaboration capabilities of Westlaw so that research begun in one place can be continued on your mobile device and vice versa.

There have been countless times when I was in court and I suddenly needed to pull up a case or statute.  With the Westlaw app on my iPhone or iPad, I was able to do so quickly and easily.  And using KeyCite, I could quickly see if there were cases distinguishing the jurisprudence cited by opposing counsel.

Even when I have been in my office with my computer on my desk, and thus I didn't technically need to use Westlaw on a mobile device, I have often used Westlaw on my iPad so that my computer screen can be devoted to a brief that I am writing.  Also, it is nice to be able to lean back in my chair and review cases on my iPad, and then pull back up to my desk when I'm ready to type again on my computer. The Westlaw app lets you run searches and filter the results, review prior research in folders, and add notes and highlighting.

I'm not the only one who has had good experiences with the Westlaw app.  Earlier this year, the Westlaw app was named the Best Legal App in the seventh annual Best of The National Law Journal Readers Rankings.

If you haven't yet checked out the Westlaw app for iOS, or if it has been a while since you did so, use it the next time that you perform legal research.  It's a great tool for any attorney with an iPhone or iPad.

Click here to get Westlaw (free): 

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

What to look forward to in watchOS 5

iPhone J.D. - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 01:21

Last week I discussed the numerous reasons that I think that lawyers will love iOS 12, due out for the iPhone and iPad this Fall.  Apple will also update the operating system for the Apple Watch this Fall, and it looks like there will be some nice additions.  Here are the features that I am most looking forward to.

Notifications

When it comes to using my Apple Watch in my law practice, one of the things that I like best is using my Apple Watch to handle my notifications.  There are many ways to control which notifications are important enough to deserve a tap on your wrist, and it is quick and easy to glance at my wrist and see the notification without significantly disrupting whatever I am working on.

In iOS 12, notifications on the iPhone can be grouped, making them easier to manage.  The same is true for watchOS 5, which should make it faster and easier to deal with multiple notifications at the same time.

watchOS 5 will also add more advanced Do Not Disturb functions.  For example, you can tell your Apple Watch not to disturb you for a specific period of time, or until you leave the current location.

Additionally, apps will be able to create watch notifications that are interactive.  For example, Yelp can send you a notification that your table is ready, and right on the watch you can tap to extend the reservation for 20 minutes because you are running late.

Siri Shortcuts

Another feature that I mentioned when discussing iOS 12 is the new Shortcuts app.  It is an expanded version of the Workflow app already available for the iPhone, but the new version will allow you to create shortcuts that can be triggered by Siri using a voice command that you choose.  watchOS 5 will support this as well, which is convenient for those times when your iPhone is not in your pocket and you want to just talk to your watch.  And even when your iPhone is close by, just saying a command to your watch might be faster and easier.

For example, I can imagine creating a command triggered by me saying a phrase like "on my way" which will send a message to my wife which says something like "I'm leaving now, and I should be home in X minutes."  All I would need to do is tell my Apple Watch "on my way," and it will figure out where I am located, how many minutes it will take me to drive home, and then it will send the appropriate text message to my wife.

The ability to automate tasks, combined with the power to trigger those tasks using a phrase that you select, will be an incredibly powerful function on both the iPhone and the Apple Watch.

And by the way, speaking of Siri, there will be a new feature whereby you don't have to first say "Hey Siri" before giving a command and instead can just raise your wrist and speak.  I'm curious how this will work in practice, and a little concerned about false positives when you lift your arm for some other reason, but if this works well it could be very useful.

Walkie-Talkie

The new Walkie-Talkie app will allow you to press a button on your Apple Watch and say a short message, and then the message will automatically play on an Apple Watch of a friend or family member.  And they can do the same thing to quickly respond.  Press to talk, let go to listen.  It's a very simple way to communicate. 

Fitness Improvements

The Apple Watch does a great job of encouraging you to be more active and monitoring your workouts.  This will get even better in watchOS 5.  A new "Competition" feature will allow you to compete with another person in closing your rings every week.  The watch will be able to track new types of workouts, including yoga and hiking, and if you forget to press the buttons to start or stop a workout, the watch will detect when you have done so.  And if you have a target pace when you run or walk, the Workouts app will help you keep track with your desired pace.

Podcasts

You can currently use an Apple Watch to listen to music even without an iPhone nearby.  This Fall, you will also be able to listen to podcasts using only the Apple Watch.  Apple's own Podcasts app will work, and it looks like it might be possible for third party apps — such as my favorite podcast app, Overcast — to do the same.

Safari on the Apple Watch?

Using a web browser on a watch seems silly, and no, Apple isn't adding a Safari app.  However, in watchOS 5, when you get an email or text message with a website link, you will be able to tap the link on the watch to see a version of the web page optimized for the watch screen.  If you don't have your iPhone with you and are just using an Apple Watch with cellular, and if you are just trying to get a quick piece of information from a website such as an address or phone number, this could be very useful.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 01:21

In the latest episode of the Mac Power Users podcast, California attorney David Sparks and Florida attorney Katie Floyd discuss Apple's announcements earlier this week at WWDC.  I recommend this episode if you want to hear some insight on the announcements while you are driving in your car, doing some chores this weekend, or otherwise looking for something interesting to listen to.  Like me, they were impressed with many of the new features coming to iOS.  However, Katie was less impressed with the new improvements to Animoji in the Messages app, including Memoji, saying:  "I was stunned when we went to the ABA TECHSHOW this past year, and the lawyers, the professionals that we entrust to secure our liberty and to save us from tyranny, were going crazy over the [Animoji].  I shudder for what is going to happen with the Memoji."  I had not previously considered Memoji a threat to the foundation of this country, but I guess we'll find out in a few months.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • Kentucky attorney Stephen Embry shares his thoughts on Apple's WWDC announcements.
  • Virginia attorney Sharon Nelson discusses Formal Opinion 2017-5 from the New York City Bar, which was updated on May 9, 2018, and which discusses an attorney's duty to keep client information on a mobile phone confidential when crossing the U.S. border.
  • Ste Smith of Cult of Mac posted a video showing every new iOS 12 feature in action.
  • Jeff Banjamin of 9to5Mac posted an even longer video showing off 100 new iOS 12 features.
  • Jeff Benjamin also posted a video showing off 50 new watchOS 5 changes.
  • Dan Thorp-Lancaster of iMore notes that Microsoft's To-Do list sharing app now works on iOS, Windows. and Android, if you have a need to share lists with folks on other platforms.  Of course, if you just need to share with folks using an iPhone, you can easily share a note with a checklist or other list in Apple's Notes app.
  • One of the iOS 12 improvements that I am really looking forward to is the ability for password manager apps to integrate more directly with Safari, so that you can use them without having to leave Safari.  1Password (the password manager that I use) posted a short demo of how this could work, and it looks great.
  • Another interesting iOS 12 feature is called Live Listen.  Steven Aquino describes the feature for TechCrunch.  In short, if you are in a situation in which you will have trouble hearing, you can put your iPhone near the audio source and then step away while you are wearing your AirPods, and your AirPods will play the audio that your iPhone is hearing.  There are some hearing aids that work the same way. 
  • Graham Bower of Cult of Mac discusses an Apple Watch stat that I had never heard of before called Heart Rate Variability, which you can use to determine how hard you should work out and when you should slow down.
  • John Sculley has been talking about the 10 years that he was CEO of Apple ever since he left in 1993.  Even so, in this article by Catherine Clifford of CNBC, Sculley reveals some interesting details that I had not heard before.
  • Although this has nothing to do with the iPhone, if you find yourself getting hungry, I thought you'd want to know that TripAdvisor named New Orleans the best food city in the United States (and #5 in the world) and the best place in the United States for a foodie vacation.  Rankings were done using a "proprietary TripAdvisor algorithm which considers booking volume, traveler reviews, and traveler ratings based on all food tours and food-related experiences on our site."  You can't argue with science.  (And if you find yourself headed this way, feel free to ask me for restaurant recommendations.)
  • And finally, the upcoming iOS 12 will include features which let you limit the amount of time that you spend using your iPhone.  But what if you need to REALLY limit the time that you use your iPhone?  Conan O'Brien came up with a solution — the new addiction-proof iPhone, shown in this video:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Songs from The Americans

iPhone J.D. - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 21:27

Last week, FX aired the final episode of The Americans, one of my all-time favorite television shows.  (There are no spoilers in this post, so read on without worry.)  The concept of the show is intriguing (especially considering that it is based in part on a true story), the spy adventures are exciting, the dynamics between the main characters are interesting and sometimes heartbreaking, the acting and writing are first-rate, and I enjoyed watching a show set in the 1980s.  On top of all of that, the music in The Americans is amazing, with great songs from the 1980s and others that fit in perfectly with each scene in the show.

I put together an Apple Music playlist of some great songs from The Americans, and everyone can enjoy these songs, regardless of whether you ever watched the show.  This isn't every song that was ever used in the series; I just included my favorites, and I even left out a few which I like but which seemed out of character with the rest of the playlist.  At the end, I added a song by Sting that I was surprised to never hear on The Americans.  All of these are fantastic songs, and if you grew up in the 1980s like I did, you probably have specific memories of your own life associated with many of these songs.

If you want to listen to these songs on your iPhone, you can click here to get the Apple Music playlist.  In fact, even if you don't subscribe to Apple Music, I believe that you can click that link and hear previews of every song, and you can also sign up for a free Apple Music trial.

The songs on the playlist are as follows, and I included an indication of the season and episode in which each song was used.  Total running time is 2 hours and 51 minutes.

  1. Main Title from "The Americans" by Nathan Barr
  2. Tusk by Fleetwood Mac (S1, E1)
  3. Harden My Heart by Quarterflash (S1, E1)
  4. In the Air Tonight (S1, E1)
  5. Roller by April Wine (S1, E1)
  6. Queen of Hearts by Juice Newton (S1, E1)
  7. Love With Find a Way by Pablo Cruise (S1, E8)
  8. Slap and Tickle by Squeeze (S1, E11)
  9. Rough Boys by Pete Townshend (S1, E11)
  10. Mississippi Queen by Mountain (S1, E12)
  11. Games Without Frontiers by Peter Gabriel (S1, E13)
  12. Passion by Rod Stewart (S2, E1)
  13. Beer Bar Blues by Lloyd Conger (S2, E1)
  14. Here Comes the Flood by Peter Gabriel (S2, E3)
  15. I Melt With You by Modern English (S2, E4)
  16. The Gambler by Kenny Rogers (S2, E5)
  17. Rock This Town by Stray Cats (S2, E8)
  18. It Must Be Done (from "the Americans") by Pete Townshend & Nathan Barr (S2, E10)
  19. Twilight Zone by Golden Earring (S2, E13)
  20. Every Breath You Take by The Police (trailer for Season 3)
  21. All Out of Love by Air Supply (S3, E3)
  22. Don't Go by Yaz (S3, E4)
  23. Only You by Yaz (S3, E4)
  24. Goody Two Shoes by Adam Ant (S3, E4)
  25. I Ran (So Far Away) by A Flock of Seagulls (S3, E5)
  26. The Chain by Fleetwood Mac (S3, E7)
  27. Stand and Deliver by Adam & The Ants (S3, E10)
  28. Tainted Love by Soft Cell (S4, E2)
  29. Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie (S4, E5)
  30. Winter Kills by Yaz (S4, E9)
  31. Major Tom by Peter Schilling (S4, E9)
  32. Out of the Blue by Roxy Music (S4, E13)
  33. That's Good by Devo (S5, E1)
  34. Old Flame by Alabama (S5, E3)
  35. Slave by The Rolling stones (S5, E5)
  36. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John (S5, E13)
  37. So. Central Rain by R.E.M. (S5, E13)
  38. Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House (S6, E1)
  39. Louisiana Saturday Night by Mel McDaniel (S6, E1)
  40. Gold Dust Woman by Fleetwood Mac (S6, E1)
  41. Drivin' My Life Away by Eddie Rabbitt (S6, E4)
  42. With or Without You by U2 (S6, E10)
  43. Russians by Sting

Enjoy the playlist.  And if you created your own playlist which is worth sharing with iPhone J.D. readers, feel free to post a link in a comment to this post!

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Why lawyers will love iOS 12

iPhone J.D. - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 02:48

Yesterday at its WWDC conference for app developers, Apple provided the first sneak peak of iOS 12, due out this fall.  This free update will bring lots of great new features to the iPhone and iPad.  It does not look like iOS 12 will include a heavy focus on iPad productivity features like iOS 11 did (the dock, multitasking, etc.), but there is still a lot in iOS 12 that lawyers and other professional users of the iPhone and iPad will love using to get things done.  Here are the highlights.

Performance

A common worry regarding iOS upgrades is that the new features will work well on newer devices but will cause older devices to run slower.  But the first thing that Apple said yesterday about iOS 12 is that it will increase performance.  iOS 12 should make every device that can use iOS 11 run faster at many tasks — including older devices like the iPhone 5s and iPad Air, which were released in 2013.  Apple says that on some tasks, the performance increase will be an impressive 40%. 

Better notifications

If your iPhone is like mine, then you are always getting notifications.  New emails, new text messages, various apps that want your attention, etc.  iOS 12 improves just about everything that there is about notifications.

First, when you get multiple notifications from the same app, they are now grouped together like a stack of cards.  The top card may tell you that you have 8 new emails.  Tap on that to get more specific information if you are ready to work with emails, but if not you can move on to the next stack.  You can even manage all of the notifications from a single app at once, such as marking all new emails read.

Second, you can now adjust the notifications when you get notifications.  If an app sends you a notification and no no longer want to hear from that app, swipe on it and tap Manage to turn off notifications without having to open the Settings app and then going to Notifications and then finding the settings for that particular app. 

Third, you can set some types of alerts to be "critical" alerts so that they always come on top, even when Do Not Disturb is engaged.  (I don't yet know the details on this feature.)

Fourth, you can manage the notifications that you see during the night.  Apple has improved the Do Not Disturb features in iOS, and you can now turn on Bedtime Mode.  With this mode turned on, if you happen to look at your iPhone in the middle of the night (for example, to see what time it is) you won't see any notifications on the lock screen.  Thus, you won't be tempted to start looking at emails, only to realize that now you cannot go back to sleep.  In the morning, the first thing that you see is a friendly Good Morning message with the time and weather.  Once you are ready to move past that and start your day, then you see all of the notifications that came in during the night.

Fifth, you can use Do Not Disturb during the day, with new 3D Touch options.  For example, you can quickly turn on do not disturb for just the next hour or during the next even on your calendar to make sure that you are not bothered during an upcoming meeting, but then your notifications will return after the meeting is over.

Shortcuts

I am a big fan of the Workflow app, which I first discussed on iPhone J.D. back in 2015 after California attorney David Sparks crated a useful guide on using the app.  I've since expanded the number of automated tasks that I do with this app, but it always had inherent limitations because it wasn't built-in to iOS.

Fortunately, those limitations may be going away.  In early 2017, Apple purchased the Workflow app and (more importantly) hired the team which created the app.  This team has been working in the Siri division of Apple.  Now we know why:  yesterday, Apple revealed the new Shortcuts app with Siri.  Individual app developers can now enable their apps to expose certain functions to Siri, and the Shortcuts app can now trigger one or more actions after a voice prompt that you give Siri. 

As an example of multiple steps, you can create a set of actions which occur when you tell Siri you are leaving work.  For example, that can trigger Siri doing the following:  (1) send a message to your spouse to say that you are on your way home, (2) tell you how long it will take to get home with current traffic, (3) start playing a song playlist in your car using CarPlay, and (4) tell the HomeKit thermostat at your home to adjust the temperature to something that will be more comfortable when you arrive at home.  The Shortcuts app comes with hundreds of workflows, and you can adjust them to meet your specific desires.

As an example of a single step, you can now interact with a single third party app using Siri.  Apple yesterday gave the example of an app containing your travel itinerary giving Siri access to the next item.  You might decide that every time you say "travel plan" to Siri it tells you what is next, without you even needing to open up that travel app.  That way, when your plane lands, just say "travel plan" and Siri will tell you the info on the hotel where you will be checking in so you have that information as you approach the taxi stand.

Siri will even recommend shortcut actions to you based upon your frequent activities.  If you start every day by using an app to order a specific type of coffee from a coffeehouse on the way to work, Siri can help you do so more easily.

The new Shortcuts app already looks like a big improvement on the Workflows app, and if Apple gives this app enough tools, it has the potential to be something really special.  I cannot wait to try this one out myself, and I look forward to Apple developing this app further over the next few years.

Screen Time

The new Screen Time tools in iOS 12 allow you to limit the way that you use your iPhone or iPad.  Do you feel that you spend too much time in Facebook, Twitter, reading the News app, etc.?  Screen Time will show you how much time you are spending using different apps on your device, and then you have the option to limit yourself.  Maybe you don't want to use a certain app more than a certain amount of time every day.  Just set the limit, and your iPhone will alert you when you have hit that time limit.  You can choose to disregard the notification, but at least you'll know that you should start to wrap things up.  The settings sync across your iPhone and iPad, so you cannot cheat yourself by looking at Instagram on your iPad instead of your iPhone.

If you feel that you are spending too much time on your iPhone or iPad on non-productive apps, the Screen Time app looks like a nice way to help you modify your behavior.

Note that you can use the same features to impose hard limits — which cannot be bypassed without explicit parental permission — on devices used by your kids.  No text messages after 8pm, only a certain number of hours spent on YouTube each day, etc.  Your child can request additional time or privileges, but you have to approve it.  As a father of a 12 year old boy and a 10 year old girl, I'm already a big fan of the feature by which a child has to request a parent's permission before downloading an app from the App Store.  I look forward to having similar controls on many other aspects of a child's use of a mobile device.

FaceTime

Currently, I only use FaceTime for talking with family members.  If I have to talk with attorneys in other cities or clients, I typically use expensive videoconferencing solutions that sometimes don't even work very well.  With iOS 12, however, I will be tempted to start using FaceTime for my work-related videochat needs. 

Instead of being limited to you and one other person, iOS 12 lets you to have a FaceTime group videochat with up to 32 simultaneous participants.  Each person appears in a square tile which increases in size as a person is talking, and which moves the background or the bottom of the app when a person is quiet.  (But you can always tap on a specific square to bring that face to the forefront.)

I've used lots of multi-person videochat solutions in the the past, but after iOS 12 becomes mainstream and is used by a large number of folks, this free videochat solution might make it unnecessary to use other products, as long as you are talking with folks who have an iPhone or iPad.

Another nice feature — if you are in a Messages thread with multiple participants, you can initiate a FaceTime call for that entire group from within the Messages app.  Great idea.

New iPad gestures

In iOS 11, you need to remember different gestures for the iPhone X and the iPad.  A swipe up from the bottom of the iPhone X brings you to the home screen, but a swipe up from the bottom of the iPad brings you to the app switcher and control center.

In iOS 12, the gestures on the iPad will instead mimic the iPhone X.  For example, swipe down from the top right to see the control center.

There is nothing really inherently obvious about any of these gestures, so I think that it makes sense to have them unified as much as possible across the different devices.

CarPlay

If you have a CarPlay technology in your car, in iOS 12 you will be able to use third party navigation apps such as Google Maps or Waze.  It is nice to have more options when you are traveling to a deposition or a courthouse in a faraway town for the first time.

The fun stuff

Those are the primary new changes that will help you get more work done with your iPhone and iPad, but of course there are many other new features aimed at making the iPhone more enjoyable.  There are lots of improvements to the Photos app, including better search options.  For example, instead of just searching for pictures that include a dog, you can now search for pictures with a dog and a pig — or whatever other combinations are relevant to you.

There are new Animoji character, plus the ability to create "Memoji," a cartoon character that looks like you, opens your mouth when you do, etc.  And you can even wear Animoji or Memoji cartoons like a mask when you are in FaceTime.  This reminds me of this classic clip from The Jetsons cartoon.

Improvements to ARKit will allow for even more sophisticated augmented reality on the iPhone and iPad.  For now, this is mostly just an entertainment feature, but as Apple continues to develop this technology I can see it being more useful for business applications in the future.

Conclusion

iOS 12 surely has other tricks up its sleeve that we haven't heard about yet, but even based on just what we saw yesterday, I'm already eagerly looking forward to this software update in the next few months.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

iPhone J.D. - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 02:01

This week is the calm before the storm in the world of the iPhone, iPad and Mac.  On Monday, June 4, Apple begins its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, CA.  The conference kicks off with a Keynote address on Monday at 10 Pacific / 1 Eastern.  Apple always uses this as an opportunity to preview the next version of the operating system for the iPhone and iPad, which I presume will be called iOS 12.  (This time last year, Apple previewed iOS 11.)  This is also an opportunity for Apple to make new hardware announcements, so perhaps we will see a new iPad Pro or a new Apple Watch.  With WWDC around the corner, there wasn't much other iOS news this past week, but here is the news of note:

  • About six weeks ago, I posted a review of the iPhone Field Guide by California attorney David Sparks.  It is a fantastic e-book (including tons of videos) with tips for how to make the most of your iPhone.  This week, David announced that he updated his book to version 1.1, adding new content and fixing some small typos.  David also announced that he plans to update this book "for a few years," with the next update likely to come after iOS 12 is released.  If you think you might be interested and you haven't yet purchased this book yet, I encourage you to do so now because David also announced that he is about to increase the price.
  • Earlier this week, I discussed the new Messages in iCloud feature of iOS 11.4.  David Pogue of Yahoo provides much more information about how this feature works.  For example, he explains that photos, videos, and other large files in your Messages app are offloaded to iCloud, which means that turning this feature on can save lots of space on your iPhone or iPad, although it does use up your iCloud space.  But it is easy to increase your iCloud space by just paying a little bit more; you cannot increase your iPhone space without buying a new iPhone.  So if you are running low on iPhone space because of Messages, the new Messages in iCloud feature might be very useful for you.
  • John Gruber of Daring Fireball notes that the Things app (a task management app) was updated to version 3.6 and adds tons of support for using a keyboard with an iPad.
  • Gruber also encourages everyone to turn on the iOS feature that erases all data after 10 failed passcode attempts.  I have never enabled this feature on my iPhone because I was afraid that my kids might trigger it on accident.  John points out that it would take over three hours before there could be 10 unsuccessful attempts, which certainly does reduce the risk of it happening when you don't want it, but I'm still on the fence.
  • It's now June, so one of the next special occasions to look forward to is Father's Day on June 17.  Roger Fingas of Appleinsider recommends a dozen Apple-related gifts for dads.
  • Guigherme Rambo of 9to5Mac discovered that a new Apple Watch face will go live on Monday, June 4 during WWDC.  It features strings corresponding to the LGBT pride flag, and it looks pretty cool.
  • And finally, here is a short video from Apple with a few tips for using the on-screen keyboard on the iPad.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

[Sponsor] Lit Software -- TrialPad, TranscriptPad and DocReviewPad apps for the iPad

iPhone J.D. - Thu, 05/31/2018 - 00:21

Thank you to Lit Software for sponsoring iPhone J.D. again this month.  Lit Software was one of the first companies to recognize that the iPad is an amazingly useful tool for lawyers, and it has been creating great software for lawyers ever since 2010, the same year that the iPad itself was first released.  For many years, I have heard amazing stories of attorneys having great success using TrialPad to present evidence to a jury or judge (or other audience).  If you haven't yet thought about what TrialPad can bring to your own litigation practice, be sure to check out my review.

The second app for attorneys created by Lit Software was TranscriptPad (my review).  I know of no better way to manage, annotate, and work with transcripts in a law practice.  It easily beats working with paper or any other software solution out there.  The complex litigation and other cases that I work on don't go to trial very often, but I do work with depositions all the time, so TranscriptPad is the Lit Software app that gets the most use on my iPad.  I use this app every time I prepare a motion for summary judgment, and I cannot even count the number of times that this app has been essential when I am taking a deposition of one witness and I need to quickly look up what another witness said in a prior deposition.

More recently, Lit Software released DocReviewApp (my review).  This is an app that you can use to review and annotate documents on your iPad, so this app is especially useful during the request for production of documents process.

As I mentioned last month, Lit Software has already announced its next app for lawyers, an app called TimelinePad which will allow you to create timelines to explain to a jury and others how certain facts, documents, etc. work together chronologically.  And Lit Software frequently adds new and useful features to its existing apps.

Thanks to Lit Software for sponsoring iPhone J.D. this month, and a big thank you to Lit Software for giving attorneys these powerful apps which make the iPad so incredibly useful for litigators and others.

Click here to get TrialPad ($129.99): 

Click here to get TranscriptPad ($89.99): 

Click here for DocReviewPad ($89.99): 

Click here for the Ultimate Litigation Package (all three apps) ($299.99): 

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Apple releases iOS 11.4

iPhone J.D. - Wed, 05/30/2018 - 01:05

Yesterday, Apple updated the operating system for the iPhone and iPad to iOS version 11.4.  iOS 11.4 adds two more important features, plus it includes a few smaller features and bug fixes.

Messages in iCloud

We all know that you can check your email on your phone, your computer, or your iPad.  And deleting an email from one device will delete the email from all of your devices.  The system works because all of your devices talk to a single server to handle your email.  iOS 11.4 brings this same feature to your text messages.

Before iOS 11.4, if you deleted a message thread on one device it would still exist on other devices.  And while new text messages would normally show up on all devices, sometimes they would appear on one device but not another one.  And sometimes messages would display out of order on one device.  In iOS 11.4, once you turn on Messages in iCloud, iCloud acts as a central hub for all of your messages (both SMS text messages and iMessage messages) so that all of your devices can stay in sync.  And iMessage is encrypted end-to-end for your privacy.

To enable Messages in iCloud, open the Settings app, tap your name at the top, then tap iCloud and turn on Messages.

At least, that is how it is supposed to work.  Last night, the Messages app in iOS 11.4 worked great for me on my iPhone, but on my iPad the app seemed to get caught on the "Signing in..." screen, where it has been stuck for many hours.  I tried signing out of my iCloud account on my iPad and signing back in again, but that didn't fix the problem.  I haven't yet seen any other reports of something similar, so perhaps this was a hiccup unique to my iPad Pro.  I'll update this post when I figure out how to get this working.

Note that even though the messages are stored in iCloud, that doesn't mean that you can see them at the iCloud.com website.  That website does give you access to other items synced via iCloud such as mail, contact, photos, etc.  But for now, at least, there is no Messages app on the iCloud website.

Also note the keeping your messages one the iCloud server uses up some of your iCloud data space.  If you are not paying Apple for additional iCloud space and if you have lots of pictures and videos in your messages, you might not have enough space on iCloud.

AirPlay 2

If you own an Apple HomePod, iOS 11.4 is an important update for you.  Especially if you own multiple HomePods.  With AirPlay 2, you can put two HomePods in one room for richer, stereo sound.  Or you can place them in different rooms and the music will stay in sync as you travel from room to room.

If you own a smart speaker from another company, it may also support AirPlay 2.  Apple has a page on its website listing dozens of devices from manufacturers like Sonos, Marantz and Devon that will also work with AirPlay 2.

Fixes and Security

Virtually every iOS update fixes various bugs and improves security in various ways.  iOS 11.4 fixes issues with CarPlay in which audio can be distorted.  I don't yet know exactly what this means; I've noticed that CarPlay in iOS 11.3 would occasionally cause some popping noises for me, and perhaps this fixes this.  iOS 11.4 also fixes some issues that arose when accessing certain Google files in Safari including Google Drive, Good Docs, and Gmail.  Apple also fixed a bug that could cause Messages to crash if certain characters were sent in a text message.  And Apple will soon update this page with information on the security improvements in iOS 11.4.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

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