iPhone J.D.

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Updated: 16 min 42 sec ago

In the news

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 00:08

I reported earlier this week on new rules relating to confidential and privileged data on an iPhone when you pass through customs to re-enter the U.S.  Maureen Blando of Mobile Helix discusses one alternative to dealing with Customs:  keep your data on a cloud-based service (like Mobile Helix) so that you can just remove the app before you enter customs — at which point the privileged documents won't even be there anymore — and then re-install the app after you pass through.  1Password offers something similar called Travel Mode whereby all but a few passwords you select are removed from the device, and then you restore them after you enter customs.  If you use Microsoft Exchange with the Mail app on your iPhone, you could just turn off your email in the Settings app (Accounts & Passwords -> [select account] -> turn off Mail) until you get to a location where you feel secure again, and then turn it back on to re-download your messages.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • Samantha Cole of Motherboard reports on a murder trial in Germany in which some of the evidence of the defendant disposing of a body in the river consists of data from the defendant's iPhone.  After hiring a forensics company to bypass the passcode on his iPhone 6s, the investigators found data in the Health app showing that the defendant climbed stairs during the period of time that the prosecution alleges that the defendant climbed up the river embankment.
  • According to Katherine Faulders of ABC News, this week White House Chief of Staff John Kelly instituted a new ban on personal cellphones in the White House.  The ban extends to smartwatches, like the Apple Watch.  I suspect that there will still be one particular iPhone in the White House not subject to the ban.
  • Chance Miller of 9to5Mac reports on a recent interview by Rebecca Jarvis of ABC Radio with Angela Ahrendts, Apple VP of Retail.  The video discusses how Ahrendts got the job even though she doesn't consider herself a "techie."
  • Paula Parisi of Variety reports that Jimmy Iovine, one of the Apple executives behind Apple Music, has denied rumors that he is planning to leave Apple this year, and says that he looks forward to further developments in online streaming.
  • Apple released iOS 11.2.2 this week.  As Juli Clover of MacRumors explains, this update addresses the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities that have been in the news as of late.  I always recommend that you update your iPhone (and iPad) when there is a new iOS version to make sure that you have the latest security patches, although it does make sense to wait 24 hours before applying the update just in case Apple discovers some problem with the update, which happens occasionally.
  • If you want an alternative to using your iPhone, Apple Watch or Siri to turn off your HomeKit lights, you can soon buy a big red button — or one of another color.  Zac Hall of 9to5Mac reports that Fibaro's The Button will soon be HomeKit compatible.
  • Jesse Hollington of iLounge explains how you can handoff a call from your iPhone to your Apple Watch.  I didn't realize you could do that.
  • Bradley Chambers of The Sweet Setup reviews Workouts++ and says that it is the best stand-along workout app on the Apple Watch.
  • Thuy Ong of The Verge reports that the Qi wireless standard used by Apple in the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 is becoming even more of a standard now that Powermat is giving up on the rival PMA standard.
  • Chaim Gartenberg of The Verge discusses some of Belkin's upcoming Qi chargers for the iPhone.
  • Glenn Fleishman of Macworld discusses how the iPhone uses a captive page on the Apple website to determine whether a Wi-Fi hotspot has a sign-in page.
  • And finally, the always funny xkcd comic predicts what future iPhone security settings might look like (original link):


Categories: iPhone Web Sites

New Customs and Border Protection policy on searching attorney iPhones

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 22:51

In mid-2017, I discussed some of the risks associated with attorneys bringing an iPhone or iPad when traveling internationally because U.S. customs agents have been demanding to search mobile devices upon reentry into the country.  Yesterday, Sophia Cope and Aaron Mackey, staff attorneys with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), reported that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has released a new directive:  CBP Directive No. 3340-049A (Jan. 4, 2018) titled Border Search of Electronic Devices.  The full EFF report provides details on how this affects all U.S. citizens, but today I want to focus on one small part of the new directive, the part that deals with privileged information on an attorney's iPhone or iPad.

Under the new directive (which you can download here in PDF format), there are now new procedures that a border patrol agent must use when confronted with data protected by the attorney-client privilege or work product.  The good news is that once an attorney asserts the privilege, the CBP Associate/Assistant Chief Counsel office needs to get involved; the border patrol agent cannot decide on his own to ignore the assertion of privilege.  Having said that, it looks like the attorney needs to all but provide a full privilege log to CBP, and even then it is unclear how CBP will deal with the privileged information.  The policy says that it will be "handled appropriately while also ensuring that CBP accomplishes its critical border security mission."  Section  Here is the new policy:

5.2 Review and Handling of Privileged or Other Sensitive Material

5.2.1    Officers encountering information they identify as, or that is asserted to be, protected by the attorney-client privilege or attorney work product doctrine shall adhere to the following procedures.    The Officer shall seek clarification, if practicable in writing, from the individual asserting this privilege as to specific files, file types, folders, categories of files, attorney or client names, email addresses, phone numbers, or other particulars that may assist CBP in identifying privileged information.    Prior to any border search of files or other materials over which a privilege has been asserted, the Officer will contact the CBP Associate/Assistant Chief Counsel office.  In coordination with the CBP Associate/Assistant Chief Counsel office, which will coordinate with the U.S. Attorney's Office as needed, Officers will ensure the segregation of any privileged material from other information examined during a border search to ensure that any privileged material is handled appropriately while also ensuring that CBP accomplishes its critical border security mission. This segregation process will occur through the establishment of a Filter Team composed of legal and operational representatives, or through another appropriate measure with written concurrence of the CBP Associate/Assistant Chief Counsel office.    At the completion of the CBP review, unless any materials are identified that indicate an imminent threat to homeland security, copies of materials maintained by CBP and determined to be privileged will be destroyed, except for any copy maintained in coordination with the CBP Associate/Assistant Chief Counsel office solely for purposes of complying with a litigation hold or other requirement of law.

5.2.2    Other possibly sensitive information, such as medical records and work-related information carried by journalists, shall be handled in accordance with any applicable federal law  and CBP policy. Questions regarding the review of these materials shall be directed to the CBP Associate/Assistant Chief Counsel office, and this consultation shall be noted in appropriate CBP systems.

5.2.3    Officers encountering business or commercial information in electronic devices shall treat such information as business confidential information and shall protect that information from unauthorized disclosure. Depending on the nature of the information presented, the Trade Secrets Act, the Privacy Act, and other laws, as well as CBP policies, may govern or restrict the handling of the information. Any questions regarding the handling of business or commercial information may be directed to the CBP Associate/Assistant Chief Counsel office or the CBP Privacy Officer, as appropriate.

5.2.4    Information that is determined to be protected by law as privileged or sensitive will only be shared with agencies or entities that have mechanisms in place to protect appropriately such information, and such information will only be shared in accordance with this Directive.

I'm glad to see that CBP is acknowledging that there is a need to provide heightened protection for confidential information on an attorney's mobile device.  However, any attorney dealing with this new provision will need to do a lot of work, and if you have a short window before your connecting flight, I suspect that you are going to miss that connection.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 01:05

Happy New Year!  I hope that you and your family had a wonderful holiday season. and have managed to stay warm during this crazy cold weather.  I know that Apple and many app developers certainly enjoyed the season because Apple announced yesterday that the App Store had a record-breaking holiday season.  There were $300 million in purchases on New Year's Day, and $890 million in purchases during the week starting on Christmas Eve.  Apple VP Phil Schiller announced that "[i]n 2017 alone, iOS developers earned $26.5 billion — more than a 30 percent increase over 2016."  And since the App Store launched in July 2008, iOS developers have earned over $86 billion.  And now, the news items of note from the end of the year and early 2018:

  • California attorney David Sparks reviews Best Photos, an app that can help you to sort and prune throught he photos on your iPhone.
  • Sparks also discusses iCloud syncing.  Sparks mentioned on a recent Mac Power Users podcast that he is now relying almost exclusively on iCloud for his document management, with just rare use of Dropbox.
  • For a very long time (well over a year), my favorite iPhone weather app was Weather Line.  A few months ago I changed to Carrot Weather, which I really like (not only on the iPhone, but also on the Apple Watch where Carrot Weather is my favorite third party Apple Watch app).  However, Zac Hall of 9to5Mac reports that Weather Line was updated this week and now supports the iPhone X, so I'll have to check in again on that old favorite.
  • Jon Chase of Wirecutter has a round up of some of the best HomeKit-compatible smart-home devices.  There are quite a few good ones on that list, but my personal favorite is the Lutron Caséta line.
  • Cliff Kuang of Fast Company Design discusses the 12,000 chairs that Apple purchased for its new Apple Park campus.
  • John Gruber of Daring Fireball discusses ways that Apple can improve the feature where you press the side button on an iPhone X to confirm a purchase.
  • Gruber also has a good overview of what makes the iPhone X so amazing.
  • Here is iMore's roundup of the best devices, accessories and apps of 2017.
  • Jason Snell of Six Colors explains how to use Workflow (on an iPhone) and Hazel (on a Mac) to turn your iPhone into a remote control for your Mac.
  • If you are planning a trip to New Orleans this year, Brett Anderson, food critic for the Times-Picayune, posted his 10 favorite restaurants in New Orleans for 2018.  It's a fabulous list, and Commander's Palace is my #1 choice.  But picking just 10 means that he left off many other great ones — Galatoire's, Shaya, Dante's Kitchen, Emeril's, Meril, Restaurant August, and many more that I won't name because now I'm getting hungry.
  • And finally, it has been a long time since I have watched one of the drone videos of the new Apple Park campus, and Matthew Roberts made one just a few weeks ago that is of really high quality and shows off a lot of features that I hadn't seen yet:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Review: Anker PowerLine+ II versus PowerLine+ -- high quality nylon USB to Lightning cords

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 00:34

Last year, I reviewed the Anker PowerLine+ USB to Lightning cord, and I was incredibly impressed.  It costs less than the cord that Apple sells (or includes with an iPhone or iPad), and it is far more durable.  Indeed, shortly after I purchased that cord, two of the Apple Lightning cords that some of my family members had been using started to fray near the ends.  Rather than risk damage to their iPhones, those cords went right into the trash and I decided order some more Anker cords from Amazon.  We got different colors for different family members to avoid confusion, and this also gave me an opportunity to compare the difference between the original version of the Anker PowerLine+ and the Anker PowerLine+ II. 


The PowerLine+ I have been using for months seems incredibly durable.  The nylon surrounding the cord protects the cord and makes it virtually impossible to knot the cord.  And the plugs on the ends seem much more durable than the Apple Lightning cords — which always seem to be the spot where my Apple cords fray over time.

The PowerLine+ II cord also features nylon surrounding the cord, but it is just a hair thicker.  And the plugs on the ends of the PowerLine+ II are a little bit larger and are more tapered than the PowerLine+ cord.  In the following picture, the Lightning end of the PowerLine+ II is at the top, followed by the Lightning end of the PowerLine+, then the USB end of the PowerLine+ II, and at the bottom the USB end of the PowerLine+.

What difference does this make?  Anker advertises the PowerLine+ as lasting 6 times longer than other (unspecified) Lightning cables with a 6,000+ bend lifespan.  Anker advertises the PowerLine+ II as lasting 30 times longer than ordinary cables, able to withstand 30,000 bends.  So apparently Anker believes that the PowerLine+ II is about five times more durable than the PowerLine+ cord.  Anker says that both cords have a tensile strength that can support 175 pounds.

The PowerLine+ comes with an 18 month warranty, but the PowerLine+ II comes with a lifetime warranty.  Anker's website says:  "We're so confident in PowerLine+ II, we are offering a hassle-free replacement for all quality issues.  Not for half a year, not for 18 months, but for an entire lifetime.  It's the only cable you will ever need to buy."

I haven't tried to bend any of these cords 6,000 times, let alone 30,000 times.  I have tried to see what is different between the cords, and I see a few minor differences.  First, the nylon on the PowerLine+ II is thicker and feels a little softer than the PowerLine+.  Second, if I bend the PowerLine+, the cord tends to keep the shape of the bend, but if I bend the PowerLine+ II, the cord doesn't keep the shape as much.  I don't know if either of those two qualities has anything to do with durability.

I'm sure that the longer plugs on the PowerLine+ II are important for durability.  Since that is a common point of failure for the Apple Lightning cords, I can understand that Anker would want to make them as strong as possible.

Speaking of the plugs, keep in mind that — as I noted in my prior review — the Lightning end of the Anker plugs are slightly larger than the Lightning end of Apple's cord.  If you have an iPhone case with a tiny hole for the Lightning cord made precisely for the Apple cord, it is possible that the Anker plug will be too big.  Otherwise, I doubt you will notice the difference.


The PowerLine+ cords come in four colors:  gray, red, white and golden.  I bought my original PowerLine+ cord for my car, and the dark gray color is a great match for my car's interior.  My wife picked the red color for her cord, and the red does look really nice.  Here are the gray and red colors:

The PowerLine+ II cords come in four colors:  black, red, silver and golden.  Here are the black, silver and golden colors:

The gray of the PowerLine+ is dark enough that it is only a shade lighter than the black of the PowerLine+ II.  The following picture shows all five cords, with the gray PowerLine+ at the top and the black PowerLine+ II in the middle:


One big difference between the two products is that the PowerLine+ comes with a felt pouch that folds over, whereas the PowerLine+ II comes with a nicer zippered pouch.  Here is the felt pouch for the PowerLine+:

Here is the pouch of the PowerLine+ II, the 3 foot version on the left, and the slightly larger 6 foot version on the right:

With both cases, you can wind up the cord inside of the case to make the part of the cords that come out of each side just the length that you need.  This works with the leather pouch because both ends are open; this works with the zippered pouch because it has zippers at both ends. 

I think that most people would prefer the zippered pouch because it zips completely closed.  Both cases give you someplace to store the cord when you are not using it, but the PowerLine+ II version seems like a nicer case to toss into your purse, briefcase, luggage, etc.

Price difference

Typically, the PowerLine+ II cord costs $1 or $2 more than the same length PowerLine+ cord.  But this isn't always true.

You can buy these cords in 1 foot, 3 foot, 6 foot and 10 foot lengths.  The cost for the PowerLine+ versions are $12.99, $14.99, $16.99 and $17.99.  For the same length versions of the PowerLine+ II, the prices are $13.99, $15.99, $17.99 and $19.99.  But those prices can vary, both on Amazon and the Anker website.

Also, if you like the red color, the PowerLine+ can be even cheaper than the PowerLine+ II because Anker offers a two-pack:  two 3 foot cords for $19.99, or two 6 foot cords for $21.99.  And even if you just want a single red cord, as I type this, the 3 foot red cord is currently $13.99 ($1 cheaper) on Amazon and $11.99 on Anker's website.  I don't know if red is always cheaper or if there are other times in which another color is cheaper.

My recommendation

If you decide that you are ready to get a high-quality Lightning cable, these nylon-coated Anker cables get my very highest recommendation.  If you find that for the price and color that you want, the PowerLine+ II version is only $1 or $2 more, you might as well get the PowerLine+ II version.  Even to my eyes, the II version appears to be a little more durable, and Anker apparently thinks the difference is enough to offer the lifetime warranty with the II version.  Plus, the case is much nicer with the II version, which is something that you will notice right away.

But if you find that the price difference is more substantial, opting for the PowerLine+ version is still a fine choice.  When I purchased my new cords, I took advantage of the discount on the red PowerLine+ two-pack, which meant that I spent $11 on each red 6 foot cord versus $16 for a red PowerLine+ II version.  I'd make that same decision again.  For me, the nicer case and the increase in durability for a product that is already very durable isn't worth another $5 for each red cord. 

Here are links to the sizes and prices I'm seeing on Amazon right now:

PowerLine+ 1 foot ($12.99)

PowerLine+ II 1 foot ($13.99)

PowerLine+ 3 foot ($14.99); red PowerLine+ 3 foot ($13.99)

PowerLine+ 3 foot red two-pack ($19.99)

PowerLine+ II 3 foot ($15.99)

PowerLine+ 6 foot ($16.99)

PowerLine+ 6 foot red two-pack ($21.99)

PowerLine+ II 6 foot ($17.99)

PowerLine+ 10 foot ($17.99)

PowerLine+ II 10 foot ($19.99)

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Face ID tip for non-recognition

Mon, 01/01/2018 - 22:30

I'm a big fan of Face ID on the iPhone X.  It is a big improvement over the Touch ID fingerprint identification system on other iPhone models because, when it works, it provides security without any inconvenience at all.  You are looking at your iPhone anyway when you pick it up to use it, and then Face ID unlocks the phone, almost as if you didn't even have a passcode at all.  In an excellent recent article on the iPhone X, John Gruber of Daring Fireball described it this way:

Consider the aforementioned process of opening a notification from the lock screen. Touch ID adds an extra step, every time, even when it works perfectly. Face ID is not perfect — it’s true that I wind up either authenticating a second time or resorting to entering my PIN more often than with Touch ID — but it only adds these extra steps when it fails for some reason. When it works perfectly, which for me is the vast majority of the time, the effect is sublime. It really does feel like my iPhone has no passcode protecting it. That was never true for Touch ID. Touch ID feels like a better way to unlock your device. Face ID feels like your device isn’t even locked.

Unfortunately, as Gruber noted, the current generation of Face ID fails more often than Touch ID fails.  Here is a tip I recently figured out (just by dumb luck) for dealing with Face ID when it does fail.

If Face ID fails on the Lock screen, you are presented with a keypad to type in a number of password.  If you want to try Face ID again, I previously thought that the only way to to do was to press the cancel button and start all over again. 

Here is a better way.  If you turn your iPhone away from your face for just a second — so that the Face ID camera is looking at something else — and then you turn it back towards your face, I find that Face ID works the second time almost 100% of the time.  This saves you the trouble of pressing that cancel button and starting over again.  Just slightly rotate your wrist, turn it back, and you are done.

This also works with apps that use Face ID as an alternative to typing a username and password.  If Face ID fails, you will see a message like this one with the option to tap an on-screen button to Try Face ID Again:

But you can ignore that button.  Just turn the iPhone away from your face, then bring it back, and Face ID will see you without you having to touch the screen at all.  You'll see the green happy face, and then the app will unlock.

Since I started using this method, the relatively rare instances in which Face ID fails have become far less annoying for me.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 01:51

If you have enough interest in the iPhone to read iPhone J.D., then there is a good chance that your friends and family look to you when they have questions about their devices.  And I suspect that you will see lots of friends and family members over the next few days for the holidays.  A question you are likely to hear is "why is my [older] iPhone getting so slow?"  Of course, one reason is that as iOS gets more sophisticated, it takes more advantage of newer iPhones with faster processors.  An older iPhone that did well with iOS 9 will run slower with iOS 10 and iOS 11.   This week, Apple provided another part of the answer, as discussed by Niraj Chokshi and Brian X. Chen of the New York Times.  As iPhones get older, the lithium ion batteries inside start to run out of battery capacity.  Instead of having folks get stuck with iPhones that don't last very long, Apple scales back the processing power.  The result is that an older iPhone runs slower, but can keep going for longer.  Since you don't always need an iPhone to run at top speed, I think that Apple has its priorities in the right place.  But if you use an older iPhone and this is starting to bother you, you can pay Apple $79 to get a new battery installed, and then that older iPhone will run faster (and last longer).  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • Attorney Scott Killian told Zac Hall of 9to5Mac the story of how his Apple Watch saved his life when it woke him up to warn him that he was having a heart attack.  Killian used a third-party app, but Apple itself recently launched the Apple Heart Study to research how to do more of this.  You can sign up to participate in the study if you have an Apple Watch; I started doing so nine days ago.
  • Texas attorney Jnana Settle recommends 25 legal influencers to follow on Twitter in an article for Disrupter Daily.
  • Zac Hall of 9to5Mac reports that Twitter is now supporting two-factor authentication using third-party authentication apps.  (In this post, I described how you can do this with 1Password.)  This is more secure than using text messaging as the second factor of authentication because it is possible for a hacker to spoof your cellphone and get your text messages, but only you should have access to a device running an authentication app.  I configured this for my Twitter accounts yesterday, and it was easy and fast to set up.
  • If you are lucky enough to receive Apple AirPods for Christmas, they probably were not a last minute gift.  Chance Miller of 9to5Mac reported this past Monday that AirPods were sold out from Apple and other retailers until 2018.
  • Back in early 2015, I recommended a great ebook on the Photos app called Photos: A Take Control Crash Course by Jason Snell.  Snell recently updated the ebook to account for the new features in Photos on the Mac and iOS 11.  If you purchased the ebook in the past, the new content is a free upgrade.  Otherwise, the ebook is only $10 and it is full of fantastic information that will help you do so much more with the pictures on your iPhone, iPad and/or Mac.  Highly recommended.
  • Geoffery Fowler of the Washington Post recommends some favorite smart home gadgets.  The main devices I use in my house are Lutron in-wall switches (my review), but I also recently started using a Nest Protect smoke detector, and I like it so much that I'm planning to get a second one.
  • Federico Viticci of MacStories put together a good list of must-have iOS apps.
  • FYI, the new Star Wars movie — The Last Jedi — is really good.  I really enjoyed seeing it last weekend, and I my kids and I already have plans to see it again.
  • And finally, speaking of answering tech support questions from family members, Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal provides some great advice to common questions in this video, and does so with the aid of puppets:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

ILTA survey shows that virtually all law firms support the iPhone and iPad, and that MDM use is increasing

Thu, 12/21/2017 - 02:23

The International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) is a peer networking organization for people who work in the legal technology field, such as the people who work in law firm IT departments.  This week, ILTA released the results of ILTA's 2017 Technology Survey, which is based on survey responses fro 579 law firms (including mine).  

Unlike the ABA Tech Survey, which indicates the percentage of lawyers using an iPhone and iPad, ILTA's technology surveys have always just asked which operating system is supported at law firms.  For many years now, virtually every law firm has had at least some attorneys using an iPhone or iPad, so these survey responses have not been particularly exciting to me for a while now.  I started paying attention to this survey back in 2013, when 97% of all law firms had one or more iOS devices in use.  That number increased slightly to 98% in 2014, and in 2015, 2017 and 2017 the percentage has held steady at 99%.  Breaking down that number by firm size, the 2017 survey says that 98% of law firms with under 50 attorneys have iOS use, 99% of law firms with 50 to 149 attorneys have iOS use, and 100% of law firms with 150 or more attorneys have iOS use.  Suffice it to say that, for many years now, virtually all law firms have supported iPhones and iPads.

Most law firms also support other smartphone devices, but for the most part that means Android nowadays.  In 2017, 80% of law firms support Android devices, 25% support Blackberry OS devices, and 18% support Windows Mobile devices.

ILTA also asks law firms if they are using third-party systems for Mobile Device Management (MDM).  Since 2012, there has been a slow-but-steady increase in use, from 34% in 2012 to 58% this year.

For those firms who are using MDM to manage their iPhones and other mobile devices, the five most popular vendors (in order) are Airwatch, MobileIron, IBM Fiberlink MaaS 360, Blackberry Work (formerly Good Technology) and Citrix XenMobile.

They survey also reports that most law firms (81%) provide some type of financial support for attorneys and others using smartphones, but the amount varies widely among law firms, and 45% of law firms do not pay anything at all towards the cost of the smartphone itself.  A different question on the survey shows similar results:  56% of law firms do not buy smartphones for attorneys, 37% do, and 7% have some other response.  I would have guessed that the 56% number would be even higher because, just anecdotally, it seems that most attorneys I talk to tell me that their law firm has a Buy Your Own Device (BYOD) approach towards smartphones.

One of the last questions in the survey is the top three technology issues or annoyances within your firm.  At the top of the list are items like security compliance and user acceptance of change.  But mobile device maintenance is at the very bottom of the list, right next to print drivers and print-related issues.  There are a lot of technology challenges at law firms today, but apparently iPhones and iPads cause far less trouble for law firm IT professionals than other legal technology items.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Big sale on TranscriptPad, TrialPad and DocReviewPad

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 15:32

If you have been thinking of getting Lit Software's incredibly useful iPad apps for attorneys, this is a good time to do so if you act quickly.  The TranscriptPad, TrialPad and DocReviewPad apps are all available in a bundle called the Ultimate Litigation Bundle.  That bundle typically goes for $300, which is a $10 discount versus buying the apps individually.  But Lit Software is having a flash sale today and tomorrow only (December 18-19, 2017) where you can get the bundle for $50 off. 

I've written about these apps many times before.  And while Lit Software has been a sponsor of iPhone J.D. in the past, I started using these apps long before that sponsorship started.  I use TranscriptPad at least once a week to annotate and work with deposition transcripts (my review).  TrialPad is a great app that lets you present evidence on screen during a trial, arbitration, meeting, etc. (my review).  And DocReviewPad (my review) 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.

While nothing official has been announced, Lit Software has indicated that it is considering a switch to subscription pricing, which is what many other apps like Microsoft Office and 1Password have done.  If and when that takes place, I'm sure that Lit Software will come up with a way to make the transition to a subscription make sense and be appealing from both a technical and financial standpoint.  But if you like the idea of buying the three apps outright, you should take advantage of this limited sale because these sales do not happen very often and this is as good of a price as I would ever expect to see on this bundle.

Click here for the Ultimate Litigation Package (sale for $249.99, normally $299.99): 

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 01:38

Need some last-minute gift ideas for an iPhone user?  Florida attorney Katie Floyd recommends some tech-related gifts, most of which work with the iPhone.  And CarPlay Life recommends gifts for folks who use Apple CarPlay.  Here are my own recommendations for folks who use CarPlay:  (1) I really like the Anker PowerLine+ USB to Lightning cord that I reviewed last month; (2) To keep your CarPlay screen nice and clean, without the dust, keep a MobileCloth in your car.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • Attorney John Voorhees reports on MacStories that app developers can now make their new apps available for pre-order on the App Store.
  • Voorhees also notes that Apple purchased Shazam this week, the service that can identify a song that is playing.  Apple has incorporated Shazam technology into iOS for a while now and didn't need to acquire the company to do that, so I'm curious what bigger plans Apple has for Shazam its technology.
  • Speaking of Voorhees, in the latest episode of the Free Agents podcast of California attorney David Sparks and Jason Snell interviews John Voorhees.  He explains why he quit his job as a bankruptcy attorney at a large Chicago law firm to be an app developer and to cover Apple-related stories at MacStories.
  • LitSoftware, the maker of apps like TrialPad and TranscriptPad, explains why it is likely to shift to a subscription model for its apps.
  • Maps in iOS supports not only the great outdoors, but also some indoor areas including airports and shopping malls.  Chance Miller of 9to5Mac has a list of all of the locations currently supporting this feature. 
  • Rene Ritchie of iMore shows some examples of the Maps app working inside of New York LaGuardia Airport.
  • Mikey Campbell of AppleInsider discusses an interview with Lisa Jackson, Apple's VP for Environment, in which she discusses how Apple designed the iPhone 8 and iPhone X to be more environmentally friendly.
  • Dan Grabham of the UK website T3 interviewed Apple's VP of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, to discuss the iPhone X and other Apple topics.
  • Zac Hall of 9to5Mac discusses how he used his Apple Watch and Apple AirPods to run his first half marathon.
  • Jason Snell of Six Colors explains how you can use Homebridge to make HomeKit  support a device that is not HomeKit compatible. 
  • And finally, here is a short video featuring magician Simon Pierro, who incorporates an iPad into his act as a stand-in for a glove.  You can keep the audio muted (unless you speak German).  The slight-of-hand techniques are impressive:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Deliveries -- still the best way to track your packages on the iPhone and Apple Watch

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 01:38

As we approach the end of the holiday season, I suspect that many of you — like me — have lots of packages coming your way via FedEx, UPS, the U.S.P.S., etc.  Thus, you are likely to be wondering what you have coming and when you will get it.  I reviewed the Deliveries app back in 2015, and I continue to use that app all of the time, especially during time periods like right now when I have lots of packages coming.  It is so incredibly useful to have a single app that lists the shipping status of each of my packages.

All of the core features of the app are the same as when I reviewed it in 2015, so if you don't currently use Deliveries, I encourage you to check out that review.  In short, you just copy your tracking number from an email or website or wherever else you have the number.  When you launch the Deliveries app, it sees that there is a tracking number on your clipboard and it offers to create a new entry.  Just add a title for the item.  Then you can launch the app whenever you want to see a list of items, and you can tap any item for more details.

The app was recently updated to take advantage of the larger screen of the iPhone X:

Deliveries is a fantastically useful app for anyone who receives (or sends) packages.  If that sounds like you and you don't currently use the app, check out my prior review for more details, and get this app.  You'll be glad that you have it.

Click here to get Deliveries ($4.99): 

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 01:24

One of my favorite tips to share for using an iPhone and iPad is Apple's built-in text replacement system.  You access it by going to Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> Text Replacement.  You can create traditional shortcuts, such as as series of letters that your device will turn into something longer.  (For example, if I type jji my iPhone/iPad changes it to jeff@iphonejd.com; if I type jja it becomes jeff.richardson@arlaw.com; etc.)  You can add a phrase without a shortcut to add a word to the built-in dictionary.  (For example, I added the phrase "limine" and left the shortcut field blank so that my auto-correct doesn't annoy me whenever I type "motion in limine" on my iPhone or iPad.)  And you can even use the feature to access characters that cannot be directly typed on the keyboard.  (For example, I have ¶ as a Phrase which appears when I type #7, which is useful because there is no way to directly type the paragraph symbol on an iPhone.)  I mention all of this today because California attorney David Sparks reported this week that the built-in text replacement on the iPhone, iPad and Mac is much more reliable now that Apple improved the way that phrases and shortcuts are synced among multiple devices using iCloud.  It is nice to see a good feature get even better.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

iPhone charging tips -- Juli Clover runs tests for MacRumors

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 22:54

Juli Clover of MacRumors did some incredibly useful testing and wrote a helpful article on MacRumors to compare and contrast the different ways to charge an iPhone X.  I suspect that many of her conclusions carry over to other models of the iPhone as well, and her tests confirmed many of the things which I have seen more anecdotally.  If you are interested in great tips for iPhone charging — and pretty much every iPhone owner falls into this camp — I strongly recommend that you check out her article, which also includes some great graphs. 

Normally I would save a link like this for my Friday In the news post, but I wanted to take some extra space to highlight some of the most important take-aways from this article, most of which I can also confirm from my own experiences:

  • The charger that comes with the iPhone is slow.  The iPhone has long shipped with that small, almost cube-shaped 5W charger.  It charges the iPhone very slowly.  For the iPhone X, it gets you up to an 11% charge in 15 minutes and 39% in 60 minutes.
  • USB-C charging is 2x to 3x faster.  Back in early 2016, I reviewed the combination of Apple’s 29W USB-C Power Adapter and USB-C to Lightning Cable, which together cost around $75.  In that review, I pointed out that it is the fastest way to charge an iPad Pro.  But the iPhone X can also take advantage of USB-C charging, and it can get you almost three times the charge of a 5W charger after 15 minutes and about two times the charge of a 5W charger after 60 minutes.  If you need to get the maximum charge to your iPhone X in the shortest amount of time, this is the way to go.  And while this Apple combination will cost you $75, Clover notes that you can pay about half as much by using reputable third-party devices.  If you own an iPad Pro. I think it is well-worth the $75 investment to get the fastest charge on all of your iOS devices.
  • Higher-wattage USB-C doesn't make a difference.  Although I reviewed Apple's 29W USB-C Power Adapter, Apple also has a 87W USB-C Power Adapter that comes with the 12" MacBook, and third party USB-C adapters come in 18W.  For the iPhone X, the test results are the same for all of those.
  • The 12W charger is a nice sweet spot.  Apple's 12W charger, which is included in the box with an iPad, will charge your iPhone much faster than the 5W charger that comes with the iPhone.  It's not quite as fast as USB-C, but it is much less expensive.  It may even be free, if you own an iPad and thus already have one.  Even if you buy another one, it only costs $19, and you can use the same USB-to-Lightning cord that came with your iPhone.  So for either free or $19, you can charge almost as fast as USB-C without spending the $75 for the Apple USB-C products (or about half as much with third party products).  If you don't think it is worth spending the money for USB-C, this is the perfect alternative.
  • Wireless charging is slow, but the 7.5W version is a little faster.  The iPhone X and iPhone 8 support what Apple calls wireless charging, the ability to place the back of the iPhone down on a charging plate and let it charge without plugging in a cable.  Some consider it a major convenience, even though it isn't the fastest way to charge.  Most of these wireless chargers are 5W and charge at essentially the same speed as that slow 5W plug that is included in the box with an iPhone.  Some Apple-approved devices are 7.5W, and when Apple releases its AirPower wireless charger in 2018 it will also support 7.5W.  Those 7.5W chargers are a little faster than the 5W version — not a big difference, but enough that if you are going to buy a wireless charger, you might as well buy the 7.5W version to get more bang for your buck.
Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Apple Pay Cash -- send and receive money using the Messages app

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 01:33

A few days ago, Apple released iOS 11.2.  For those with iOS 11.2 installed, yesterday Apple turned on the Apple Pay Cash feature, which lets you send and receive money within the Messages app.  Need to pay someone to split the cost of lunch, or want to send someone a request to send you a specific amount?  You can now do so, and it is just as quick and easy as sending a text message.  Writing a check to someone seems prehistoric compared to Apple Pay Cash.

When you receive money, it goes into your Apple Pay Cash card on your iPhone.  You can keep the money in there so that you have it in the future to pay other folks using Apple Pay Cash, or use it to pay a merchant using traditional Apple Pay, or you can transfer it to your bank account.  If you need to make a payment and don't already have sufficient funds on your Apple Pay Cash card, the service will let you add money to your account from either a credit card or a debit card.  If you use a credit card, Apple charges you a 3% fee, so if you owe someone $20 and you use your credit card to add the funds to Apple Pay Cash, it will cost you 60¢.  But if you connect your bank's debit card to Apple Pay Cash, then you can add money without any service fee.

I received two bucks from someone last night and then sent $2 back just to see how the process works, and it was really easy to use.  Perhaps the most startling aspect of all was that for the first time, I saw a color in the Messages app other than blue or green.  Messages associated with sending or receiving Apple Pay Cash are in black.  When you send money, you need to confirm money using either Face ID (on an iPhone X) or Touch ID on older iPhones.


You can also send or receive money just using an Apple Watch.  Or you can ask Siri to "send 25 dollars to Martin" or even "ask Martin for $22 for lunch."

Other services like Venmo have offered something similar for a while, but because Apple Pay Cash is built-in to Messages and works with the Wallet app, and because Apple is a trusted company when it comes to preserving your privacy, Apple Pay Cash has the potential to become incredibly popular.  And as more people become comfortable with using the service, it will become even more useful.

The minimum amount that you can send or receive is $1, and the maximum limit on any specific transaction is $3,000.  There is also a $10,000 limit on transactions within each seven-day period, and $20,000 is the most that you can have on your Apple Pay Cash card at one time.  So you probably won't be using Apple Pay Cash for asking your clients to pay their invoices for legal services, unless it is just a small, one-off type of thing.  But for sending and receiving small amounts of money between friends and family, Apple Pay Cash should be perfect.

Following Apple's on-screen instructions for setting up Apple Pay Cash is pretty easy, but if you want some detailed step-by-step instructions for doing so, Joseph Keller of iMore wrote a helpful guide to Apple Pay Cash.  And for a good overview (including some animations) showing how Apple Pay Cash works, check out this page on Apple's website.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 00:18

Even though many analysts are reporting that Apple is selling huge numbers of iPhone X devices, it is finally getting to the point where you can get one without too much delay.  Mikey Campbell of AppleInsider reports that delivery times in the U.S. are now done to just one week.  And sure enough I am finally to starting to see other folks using an iPhone X, including several of my law partners.  If you are thinking about upgrading to an iPhone X, I really cannot recommend this product enough.  Apple's AirPods and Apple's iPhone X are two of my most favorite Apple products ever, and I really enjoy using both of them every day.  And now, here is the recent news of note:

  • Don't call it the ABA Journal Blawg 100 anymore; this week the ABA Journal released its new Web 100 which includes law blogs, law podcasts, and Twitter accounts.  As always, it is a great resource for learning about law-related sites — and now podcasts and tweeters as well.
  • More and more apps are getting updated for the new screen size of the iPhone X.  Yesterday, Michael Potuck reports that Google Maps for iOS is one of the latest such apps.  The map in that app looks so much better now that it fills the full screen, as do the Google Street View pictures.
  • Dan Provost of Studio Neat runs some tests and concludes that because the telephoto lens on the iPhone X is so much better, you can now take higher quality telephoto pictures even when there is less light available.
  • For a while now, CARROT Weather has been my favorite app for checking the weather on my iPhone.  Ryan Christoffel of MacStories reported yesterday that the Apple Watch app for CARROT Weather was substantially updated, and it is now one of the best weather apps on an Apple Watch — perhaps the very best.
  • Apple announced yesterday that it is starting the Apple Heart Study, a joint effort with Stanford Medicine to use the Apple Watch to identify irregular heart rhythms, to try to prevent serious heart complications including strokes.  If Apple accepts you into the study, you will receive a notification if an irregular heart rhythm is identified, plus a free consultation with a study doctor and an electrocardiogram patch for additional monitoring.  More details are available on Apple's website.
  • Stephen Hackett of 512 Pixels reviews the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE after using it for three months.  My Series 2 is doing me just fine for now, but I'm still jealous of the new features.
  • I'm a fan of home automation technology, but I haven't gotten as deep into it as many folks have.  I don't have cameras in my home, nor do I have smart locks on my door.  But Serenity Caldwell of iMore does, and she shares the amusing tale of how she got locked out of her smart home.
  • Josh Centers discusses the iPhone Upgrade Program in an article for TidBITS.
  • Tim Bajarin describes the role that Corning's Gorilla Glass had in the original iPhone, in an article for Fast Company.  Corning has a fantastic museum in Corning, New York called the Corning Museum of Glass.  It has a fascinating mix of Corning hsitory, the artistic sculptures that you might expect to see in a glass museum, plus high technology made possible by glass, such as fiber optics, and I really enjoyed visiting the museum with my family this past summer.  However, there was no mention of the iPhone anywhere in that extensive museum; I thought that they might have a Gorilla Glass exhibit or something like that.
  • And finally, Apple has a new commercial for the holidays, advertising the AirPods as a way to spark romance.  It's a cute ad, and it is called Sway:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Review: Apple iPhone X Leather Case - slim case to protect your iPhone

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 00:55

Although this intended to be a review of a specific iPhone X case, it is also a review of the idea of using a case with the iPhone X in the first place.  I love the feel of the iPhone X, and the perfectly black OLED screen blends in perfectly with the smooth black edges of the Space Gray model.  For my first week with the iPhone X, I didn't use a case at all, and I liked it.  But I was also very nervous about it.  The smooth round edges of the iPhone X — like the iPhone 7, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 before it — make the device just slippery enough that I was often afraid that I would drop it when I was out and about.  So after a week with no case, I decided to purchase the Apple iPhone X Leather case for $49.  For over a week I kept it on my iPhone all of the time, and then after that I would often take it off when I was working at my desk or in a safe place at home, but otherwise kept it on.  I like this case, and if you are looking for something slim that looks nice and makes your iPhone less slippery, this is a good choice.

Leather exterior

I've been using Apple's leather cases since 2014, when I purchased a model for my iPhone 6 (my review).  I used that case with both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s, and then I used a similar model with the iPhone 7.  Apple made a nice improvement between the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 7 version, replacing the leather bumps covering the buttons on the iPhone 6 version with actual aluminum buttons on the iPhone 7 version.  After a lot of use, the leather over the buttons would wear down to almost nothing, as you can see from this photo of the side of the iPhone 6 version (where the volume buttons are) after two years of use.  You can barely even see where the two buttons are:

Fortunately, the iPhone X version (like the iPhone 7 version) uses aluminum buttons, which are easy to find and press and which won't wear away over time.

Although I didn't like how the leather wore over time directly over the buttons, otherwise I really like the way that the leather case ages.  My old iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 leather cases feel very nice and soft in my hands. In this photo, the iPhone 6 version is on the left, and the iPhone 7 version is on the right:

My new iPhone X case also feels nice, but not quite as soft, and I look forward to it maturing over time.  Here is how Apple describes it on its website:  "They’re made from specially tanned and finished European leather, so the outside feels soft to the touch and develops a natural patina over time."

In addition to feeling nice in the hand, the leather also makes the iPhone considerably less slippery, dramatically reducing the risk of accidentally dropping your expensive iPhone.  A more rubbery case, such as the silicone case sold by Apple and many other companies, also makes it harder to drop the iPhone.  But for me, that style of case provides too much friction, making it harder to slip my iPhone in and out of the pocket on the front of a button-down shirt.


Apple made a lot of great decisions when it comes to the shape of this case.  First, this case is incredibly thin, so the size and weight that it adds to your iPhone X is almost negligible.  I haven't yet had an opportunity to try wireless charging with my iPhone X, but Apple confirms that you can charge through this thin case.

Second, I love the bottom.  Ever since the iPhone 6 leather case, Apple has kept the bottom of the case open.  For the iPhone 6, that made it easier to access the Lightning and headphone ports, and I continue to like that it makes it easy to access the Lightning port on the iPhone X.  But with the iPhone X, the open bottom is even more appreciated because swiping up from the bottom of the screen is a gesture performed countless time every day.  I've tried using other brands of cases on iPhone X devices used by some of my friends, and the bottom portion of those cases has always seemed to get in the way when I swipe up from the bottom of the screen, or when I swipe left to right to switch between open apps.

The open bottom of this case is one of its best features for the iPhone X.

Third, one advantage of using this case is that it makes your iPhone X lay perfectly flat on the table.  A naked iPhone X wobbles a bit due to the bump on the back for the cameras.


I purchased the simple Black version of this case, but if you want to add some pizzazz, Apple currently offers this case in nine colors:  Cosmos Blue, Pink Fuchsia, Dark Aubergine, Charcoal Gray, Taupe, Saddle Brown, Midnight Blue, Black and (PRODUCT)RED:


The primary reason I purchased this case was to protect my iPhone X, making it less slippery.  But the case also adds protection to the sides and back, in the event that something makes contact.  My older leather cases have tiny bumps and scratches on them, none of which I mind on a leather case, but each of them represents a time when my iPhone could have been damaged without a case.

The inside of the case is lined with a microfiber, protecting the iPhone from scratches, and making it easier to slide the case on or remove it.


Because I still like using an iPhone X without a case, I don't use this case all the time.  But I do have my iPhone X in this case most of the time, and as far as cases go, this one has a lot going for it.  The leather feels good and protects the phone, and the thin shape is perfect, especially because it does not cover the bottom.  If you are considering a case for your iPhone X, I can recommend the Apple iPhone X Leather case.  And while I bought mine for $49.00, I see that you can currently save a few bucks buying it on Amazon.

Click here to get Apple iPhone X Leather Case from Amazon ($44.99)

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

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

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 01:05

Thank you to Lit Software for sponsoring iPhone J.D. this month.  This company produces three of the very best iPad apps designed for attorneys:  TrialPad, TranscriptPad and DocReviewPad.  TrialPad (my review) was first released in 2010 — the same year that the iPad itself debuted — and has seen numerous major updates over the years.  If you want to present evidence to a jury, judge, or other audience, the app gives you powerful tools for displaying and annotating documents, including the Callout tool that most jurors expect to see nowadays.  There is a recent post on the Lit Software blog explaining how Ian Unsworth, a prosecutor in London (Queen's Counsel) uses TrialPad in complex criminal trials.

In my own litigation practice, I spend a lot of time working with deposition transcripts, such as preparing for a motion for summary judgment.  Thus, TranscriptPad (my review) is the Lit Software app that I use the most.  Whether I am drafting a motion, or I am in a subsequent deposition and I want to quickly see all of the relevant testimony on a subject during prior depositions, TranscriptPad does exactly what I need.  On several occasions, other attorneys have watched me use TranscriptPad and then remarked that they need to get an iPad.  When an app is so useful that it is a reason for attorneys to buy an iPad, you know it is a good app.

DocReviewApp (my review) is the newest app from Lit Software.  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.

Lit Software does more than any other company when it comes to designing fantastic iPad apps specifically for attorneys.  If you are a litigator and you want to make the most of your iPad, I encourage you to check out these apps.

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

Review: Anker PowerLine+ USB to Lightning cord -- more durable and cheaper

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 00:42

USB-to-Lightning cords are incredibly useful for users of Apple mobile products because they can be used to charge your iPhone, iPad, AirPods, and other devices such as Apple keyboards.  And even though Apple includes these cords with many devices, it is always annoying when you need one but cannot find one, so it is a good idea to keep extra cords at home, work, your briefcase or purse, etc.  For many years I have stuck with Lightning cords made by Apple because I had heard reports of folks having problems with cheaper Lightning cords made by fly-by-night companies.  But recently I have heard great reports about cables made by Anker, a company known for many other useful products.  I wanted a new cord to keep in my car (for use with Apple CarPlay) so I purchased an Anker PowerLine+ USB to Lightning cord from Amazon.  I've been very happy with the cable so far, and I can recommend the product, both for you to use yourself and to give as a great gift to anyone else who uses an iPhone or iPad.


It was important to me to have a good quality cord.  I certainly don't want my devices damaged by a short caused by a cheaply-made product.  Fortunately, Anker has a great reputation, and so it is a company that I trust to make a good product.  Earlier this year, Nick Statt of The Verge wrote an interesting profile of Anker, explaining how the company was founded by a former Google engineer.

A few years ago, I reviewed the Anker PowerPort 6, and I continue to use that fantastic device every single time I travel because it lets me use a single cord running to an outlet to charge six different devices.  If I was getting a new one today, I would get the USB Type-C model of the PowerPort, which includes one USB-C port for fast charging of an iPad or iPhone X plus four other ports that can be used for any device.

In light of all of this, I felt good about trusting Anker to make a reliable product, the same way that I trust Apple to make a reliable product.


Although Anker also makes "normal" Lightning cords, I was attracted to the PowerLine+ version, a cord featuring double-braided nylon to make the cord more durable.  The braided nylon also makes it virtually impossible to knot this cord, so I haven't had any problem with this cord getting tangled. 

The braided nylon also protects the cord if you bend it.  I have had numerous Apple cords split at a point where the cord was often bent.  I really don't think that type of damage would be possible with the PowerLine+ cord.

The plug ends of the PowerLine+ are also built to be far more durable then the ends of cords made by Apple and other companies.  You can easily feel in your hands how the Anker USB and Lightning plugs are far more sturdy than the ones on Apple's cords. 

I haven't used the PowerLine+ long enough to give you a definitive report on how it wears over time, but Anker says that PowerLine+ cords are six times more durable than other Lightning cables.


I would be willing to pay more for a high-quality, durable Lightning cord, but Anker's products are actually less expensive than Apple's.  I purchased the six-foot cord for my car because I wanted the flexibility of having something long enough for my kids to occasionally use my iPhone while they are in the backseat to select music while the iPhone is connected to CarPlay in the front of my car.  The 6' cord is roughly 1.8m, so close to the same size as Apple's 2m USB-to-Lightning cord.  But while Apple's cord costs $29, the Anker 6' cord is currently selling on Amazon for only $16.99

Anker also sells a three foot version, roughly similar in size to Apple's 1m Lightning cord.  While Apple's 1m cord costs $19.00, the Anker 3' cord costs only $14.99 on Amazon, or better yet you can pay only $19.99 for a two-pack of the Anker 3' cords.  If you want to have the freedom that comes with a really long cord, Anker also sells a ten foot version on Amazon for $17.99.


While I generally don't mind the iconic white color that Apple uses with its cords, I have to admit that a white cord looked a little out of place in my car with its dark interior.  The PowerLine+ cords come in various colors.  I got the gray version, which does a far better job matching the interior of my car.  The cords also come in gold, red, and white.

If you find that you often "lose" your Lightning cord because someone else borrows it or picks it up by mistake, you might want to consider getting the red or gold model.  It will stand out, and others are unlikely to confuse it for their own cord.

Plug size

The plug at the Lightning end of the PowerLine+ is only a tiny bit larger than the plug on the similar Apple Lightning cord.  Most folks will never notice the difference.  However, if you are using a case for your iPhone which has a very small hole, made only big enough to work with the Apple cord, it is possible that the Anker cord won't fit.  I've never used a case like this for an iPhone, but I've seen other folks use them, so if this applies to you it is something for you to consider.


The three foot and the six foot models of the PowerLine+ come with a felt pouch which you could use to hold the entire cord, or which you can use to adjust cable length.  Just wind up the cable and slide it through the strap in the middle of the pouch. Then close the pouch with the Lightning end coming out one side and the USB end coming out the other side.  Magnets in the pouch hold the cover closed.  This way, you can charge when you are very close to the charger without having lots of extra cord getting in the way.

I haven't decided how much I'll use this pouch in the future, but it was a nice touch for Anker to include it, and shows that Anker is trying to go above and beyond what you get from other companies.

Other models

While I really like the PowerLine+ model with the double-braided nylon cord, Anker makes other cables with more traditional cords, and they are even less expensive.  For example, if you want a three foot size, you can get the PowerLine for only $9.99 on Amazon, or the PowerLine II (with lifetime warranty if it ever breaks) for $11.99 on Amazon.  I haven't tried those models, but I presume that they are also good quality cords.


The Anker PowerLine+ Lightning cord works great.  It is cheaper than the Apple Lightning cord and yet it seems to be much more durable.  I like the color and feel of the double-braided nylon cord, and I like knowing that this cord should hold up fine even if it gets a lot of use.  And because I'm sure that many iPhone users have never used a cord like this, I think it is actually a great gift idea, now that the holidays are around the corner.

Click here for the Anker PowerLine+ USB to Lightning cord 6 foot on Amazon ($16.99)

Click here for the Anker PowerLine+ USB to Lightning cord 10 foot on Amazon ($17.99)

Click here for the Anker PowerLine+ USB to Lightning cord 3 foot on Amazon ($14.99)

Click here for the Anker PowerLine+ USB to Lightning cord 3 foot on Amazon (two pack) ($19.99)

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Nine years of iPhone J.D.

Sun, 11/19/2017 - 23:03

On November 17, 2008, I started iPhone J.D. and published my first post, explaining why I found the iPhone a valuable tool in my law practice.  That means that iPhone J.D. just celebrated its ninth birthday.  My second favorite iPhone of all time was the iPhone 3G I was using when I started the blog because it was my introduction to the world of the iPhone, and was such a major step up from the Treo and BlackBerry smartphones I had been using previously.  Nine years later, the iPhone X is unquestionably my favorite iPhone of all time, with its amazing screen, cameras, and Face ID.  And I am clearly not the only attorney to enjoy using an iPhone.  As I reported a few weeks ago, a record number of attorneys are now using an iPhone, over 7 out of every 10 attorneys in the United States. 

After nine years and over 1,600 posts on iPhone J.D., it has been thrilling to watch the iPhone mature and evolve from its first year to its tenth year.  And as the device has gotten more sophisticated, attorneys have been able to do so much more with the iPhone — and iPad, Apple Watch, etc.  I've enjoyed writing about great new apps and improvements to old favorites, tips and tricks, product reviews, and other items of interest to attorneys using iOS devices.  If you haven't checked out the iPhone J.D. Index recently, click the "Index to Prior Posts" link at the top of any page to get there.  The index will direct you to lots of posts that are as useful today as they were when they were written, although there are others with only historical significance.

By far the best part of publishing iPhone J.D. has been the great feedback from readers like you.  I've learned so much from talking to and reading notes from readers, and many of those interactions result in posts.  Please keep the feedback coming!  With well over 8 million page views in nine years, it has been great to "see" so many of you come back again and again.

Popular posts this year.  Every year on the birthday of iPhone J.D. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), I find it interesting to look back and see which posts over the prior 12 months were the most popular.  The fact that these posts were so popular might reveal something about the topics that iPhone and iPad owners have been thinking about lately.  Here, in order, are the top ten most viewed posts published in the last 12 months:

  1. "No videos" bug in TV app in iOS 10.2 -- the problem, and a work-around.  The law is founded on precedent, and my sense is that many lawyers are relatively change-adverse, especially when something new makes it harder to do something that you have always done.  When Apple released the new TV app in iOS 10.2 on December 12, 2016, it seemed that all video was moved to a different place, many of us found that we could no longer watch videos synced to an iPhone or iPad from a computer.  D'oh!  The problem was eventually fixed, but I have to admit that almost a year later, I still haven't completely warmed up to the TV app.
  2. Review: AT&T Call Protect -- block and warn of nuisance calls.  The number of unsolicited phone calls that I have received on my iPhone started to increase dramatically in 2017.  Thus, I was happy to start using the AT&T Call Protect app to warn me of calls I am unlikely to want to get (such as telemarketer calls) and block calls suspected to be fraudulent.  The app continues to work well for me.
  3. Why lawyers will love iOS 11 on the iPad.  While #3 on the list of most-viewed posts from the past year, this one is probably #1 in my heart.  iOS 11 introduced so many improvements for the iPad Pro, making that device much more useful for attorneys and other professionals trying to get work done.
  4. Review: Apple CarPlay -- view and control your iPhone from your car.  My parents just purchased a new car, and I spent some time over this past weekend showing them how to use CarPlay in their new vehicle.  They seemed to be excited to use it, and for good reason.  I use CarPlay virtually every day, and it has vastly improved the experience of using an iPhone in a car.  Whenever you are next in the market for a new car, I strongly encourage you to only consider vehicles with support for Apple CarPlay.
  5. Review: iPad Pro 12.9" (2nd generation 2017) -- an incredible tablet for lawyers.  The 2015 version of the 12.9" iPad Pro was an amazing device, and the improvements to the 2017 version, the second generation of the 12.9" iPad Pro, make the device even more useful.  (Especially with iOS 11, as noted above.)  When I am in my office, I typically use my PC more than I use my iPad, but I certainly enjoy using the iPad Pro much more.  And when I'm out of the office, I'm using the iPad Pro all of the time.
  6. How to convert an email into a PDF file on an iPhone or iPad.  This was an updated version of a tip that I had posted in 2016, and it is a handy tip to remember.
  7. New information on your iPhone being searched by Customs at the border.  Attorneys sometimes find themselves at the crossroads between attorney-client confidentiality and the government's desire to gather information.  This post contains some tips for navigating that minefield.
  8. Review: AT&T Unlimited Data -- data for your iPhone and other device without the worry of overage charges.  Some describe these as "so-called unlimited" plans because they do contain some limitations.  On the AT&T plan that I use, once I hit 22GB of data use in a month, AT&T reserves the right to throttle my speed.  I actually crossed over that threshold for the first time just a few days ago.  AT&T hasn't yet throttled my data speed, and with eight days left before my next billing cycle, my hope is that it won't happen this time.  I know why I exceeded that limit; I took a lot of 4K video of my kids this month, and I had turned off all of the limits on uploading that data using LTE (Settings -> Photos -> Cellular Data) because I had some specific needs to get those videos on my other devices before I was going to be back on a Wi-Fi network.  But that's not how I usually have my iPhone configured, and unless you plan to upload or download a ton of video on your iPhone, it is hard to go over 22GB of data use in a month.
  9. Review: TripIt Pro -- notification of travel delays and cancellations, and other travel assistance.  Attorneys often need to travel, and it is frustrating when plane delays and cancellations interfere with your plans.  TripIt Pro is a great app for managing your travel when everything is going as planned, and it is an incredibly app when things go awry.
  10. Why lawyers will love the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.  There is always great interest when Apple releases a new iPhone, but that interest seemed to peak this year with the iPhone X.  And as noted above, that interest was well-deserved; the iPhone X is an incredible device.

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

During the past 12 months, about 59% of readers visited iPhone J.D. from an iOS device, just shy of the record 60% in the previous year.  About 75% of those iOS visitors were using an iPhone, and the other 25% used an iPad.  About 22% of iPhone J.D. visitors are using Windows, and just over half of them are using the Chrome browser for Windows.  (I primarily use Firefox on Windows in my law office, but sometimes I use Chrome or Internet Explorer.)  About 12% used a Mac, which is what I use at home.  Almost all of the other visitors (about 4.5%) used Android, which is higher than you might have expected given the nature of this website, but remember that (1) every year lots of folks switch from Android to iOS, and (2) some of the third party accessories that I have reviewed can also be used with an Android device, and even some iOS apps have a version available for Android.

About 64% of iPhone J.D. visitors are in the U.S., but the site also gets a huge number of visitors from the U.K., Canada and Australia.  Looking at the cities of iPhone J.D. readers, New York is #1 this year, as it has been every other year except for two years ago (when there were a few hundred more visitors from London):

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

Atlanta is back on the Top Ten list for the first time in five years.  I went to college at Emory in Atlanta, and still have lots of friends in that city, so it is nice to see that return.  But I'm also a big fan of San Francisco, and this is the first time ever that San Francisco has failed to make the Top Ten list.  (This year it was #11, and only a few hundred visitors behind Melbourne.)  The top cities in Canada are Toronto (#12) and Calgary (#27).  New Orleans, where I live and practice law, hasn't been in the top ten since this website's second birthday, but this year is in the #18 spot, between #17 Philadelphia and #19 Brisbane.

Thank you to all of you who have been iPhone J.D. readers for any part of the last nine years.  And a VERY big thank you to all of you who have sent me software and hardware suggestions over the years or have otherwise touched based with me to share how you use your iPhone and/or iPad in your law practice.  I get so many fantastic ideas from all of you.  I also love when any of you stop me at a conference, in court, or elsewhere to say that you read iPhone J.D., because it always sparks a fascinating conversation — sometimes about using the iPhone or iPad, sometimes about more amorphous topics such as the future legal technology, and sometimes just about those great pictures of your kids that you would have missed if the iPhone wasn't close by.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 01:37

California attorney David Sparks discusses getting work done with an iPad instead of a computer, noting that Microsoft Word on the iPad is really just one feature short of giving attorneys all that they need to give up using the computer for word processing:  proper support for Styles.  I agree 100%, and every time Microsoft updates its iOS app, this is the first thing I look for in the list of what is new.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • On the latest edition of Brett Burney's Apps in Law podcast, Kentucky attorney Jeff Alford discusses using TextExpander on the iPhone and iPad.
  • Security expert Rich Mogull wrote a fascinating article in TidBITS explaining why Face ID on the iPhone X is a major step forward in mobile device security.
  • Tim Bradshaw of Financial Times discusses iPhone security, including how Face ID improves security.
  • If you ever find that Face ID doesn't work, Yoni Heisler of BGR explains that rather than try again, you should enter your passcode.  That way, the iPhone X will learn to adjust and will do a better job in the future recognizing your face.
  • Jared Newman of TechHive reivews the Apple TV 4K.
  • The iPhone 8 and iPhone X support fast charging, much like the iPad Pro.  I previously reviewed the combination of Apple’s 29W USB-C Power Adapter and USB-C to Lightning Cable, a great pair for getting the fastest possible charging.  But it costs $75.  Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal ran some tests and concluded that while Apple's USB-C combo is the fastest, using a $20 Apple 12W charger (which comes with the iPad) or using an $11 Anker 24W charger is almost as fast for the iPhone 8 / iPhone X.  I still like having Apple's USB-C combo because I have an iPad Pro which takes much better advantage of USB-C, but if you are only looking for fast charging on an iPad, it looks like Apple's USB-C combo is overkill.
  • According to Neil Hughes of AppleInsider, you can save a tremendous amount of battery life on the iPhone X by using mostly dark screens, because black on an OLED display uses substantially less power.  I recently switched to an all-black backgrounds for the home screen on my iPhone X, not to save power,  but instead because I love the contrast on that OLED screen between a true black and the icon colors.
  • I didn't expect to see an iPhone X review on Android Central, but the editor of that site, Daniel Bader, wrote an interesting review of the iPhone X from the perspective of an Android fan.
  • Mark Prigg of the Daily Mail reports that a kitesurfer off the coast of California found himself stranded in shark-infested waters and used the cellular function of his Apple Watch 3 to call for help.
  • CarPlay Life offers some good advice for using Siri with Apple CarPlay.  One tip I learned from that article is that asking Siri for directions to X will just show you the directions on the screen, but asking Siri to take me to X will not only find the directions but also start providing directions advice, saving you the step of tapping the "Go" button on the CarPlay screen.
  • Roger Fingas of AppleInsider reviews the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect bundle, a Home Kit-compatible smart lock.
  • And finally, here is the cute video released by Apple this week showing a teenager using an iPad Pro for so many things that she forgets what a computer is; this is the video referenced in David Spark's post that I linked to above:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 22:17

I've enjoyed my first week with the iPhone X more than I've enjoyed my first week with any other iPhone except perhaps for my first iPhone, the iPhone 3G back in 2008.  I've picked up my iPhone 7 several times this week, and it now seems so dated because they lack the huge screen.  The larger screen on the iPhone X quickly feels like this is the screen that was always supposed to be on an iPhone, and I'm sure that in a few years almost all iPhone users will feel the same way.  The screen in the standout feature, but Face ID runs a close second because it is so incredible to have the iPhone unlock without my having to do anything.  And thanks to the release of the new Clips app (discussed below), we are now starting to see new and interesting things that can be done with all of the front-facing cameras the sit in the notch at the top of the screen.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • California attorney David Sparks gave some of his initial thoughts about the iPhone X.
  • South Carolina attorney Justin Kahn explains what he likes about the iPhone X on his iPad Notebook website.
  • Jason Snell of Six Colors discusses the iPhone X after using it for a week.
  • Michael Gartenberg of iMore discusses what makes the iPhone X so special.
  • By default, you need to look at an iPhone X to unlock it.  With earlier iPhones, you can unlock with a fingerprint, even if someone else puts your finger on the device while you are asleep.  That led to some chaos this week when a woman on a Qatar Airways flight put her sleeping husband's finger on his iPhone to unlock it and discovered that he was having an affair.  The woman, who reportedly had been drinking, then became disruptive, and ultimately the flight had to be diverted to get her and her husband off the plane.  Saurabh Sinhai of The Times of India has additional details.
  • Nick Compton of Wallpaper interview's Apple's Jony Ive to discuss Apple's new Apple Park building, and other Apple design issues.  The photography in this article is impressive.
  • Now that we all know what the new iPhone looks like, what will the next iPad look like?  Mark Gurman and Alex Webb of Bloomberg have some ideas, and Jason Snell of Six Color notes that these predictions seem reasonable — stuff like Face ID on an iPad and a new Apple Pencil.
  • Peeking further into the future, Michael Simon of Macworld discusses a possible wearable device by Apple that could be targeted for a 2020 release.  Apple CEO Tim Cook does love to talk about Augmented Reality, and as cool as it is on an iPhone, it does seem like Apple has additional applications in mind for this technology.
  • Apple may be working on a second edition Apple Pencil, but what are the best styluses today?  The GoodNotes Blog selects some favorites, and I agree with this list.  The Apple Pencil is by far the best choice, but if you don't have an iPad Pro there are some other good ones to choose from.
  • John Gruber of Daring Fireball discusses the new Clips app by Apple, which is now at version 2.0.  As Griber notes, it is a major upgrade.  One of the fun new features is to use the iPhone X TrueDepth camera to place yourself on the Millennium Falcon.  I showed off a little by making this short video right after the app was updated, but then Rian Johnson (the director of the upcoming Star Wars movie The Last Jedi) posted this video and immediately put mine to shame.
  • Speaking of the front-facing cameras on the iPhone X, Jason Snell wrote a good article for Tom's Guide explaining how to use Face ID on the iPhone X.
  • The visitor center at Apple Park opens a week from today, November 17, according to Chance Miller of 9to5Mac.  It's nice that Apple will finally have a designated area for the general public to visit the Apple campus.  I've visited Apple's Infinite Loop campus in the past with an Apple employee escorting me, but having that friend on the inside was always critical.  That changes next week.
  • Jessica Smith of Business Insider reports that the attempted merger between T-Mobile and Spring is now called off.
  • Tomorrow, November 11, if you exercise for 11 minutes with your Apple Watch, you'll earn a Veteran's Day badge.  iMore has the details.
  • David Pogue of Yahoo compares the Apple TV, Roku and other streaming boxes.  He says that the Apple TV is the best, but the Roku is a great value because it is less expensive.  If you have lots of other Apple devices, however, I think that the Apple TV makes the most sense.
  • And finally, Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal discusses how to use the iPhone X, but does it by taking on the personality of the new Animoji in the Messages app.  The video is amusing and informative:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites