iPhone J.D.

Subscribe to iPhone J.D. feed
A site for lawyers using the iPhone and iPad
Updated: 2 hours 18 min ago

Move ring on Apple Watch barely moving? Check your weight.

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 00:22

Here's a quick tip for all of you Apple Watch owners who keep track of your circles, just in case you make the same mistake that I did.  I noticed a few days ago that the red circle (the Move ring) on my Apple Watch was increasing far slower than normal.  Even after 30 minutes on a treadmill, it was logging less than half of the calories that I normally see, and my overall red circle activity at the end of the day was substantially lower than normal.  It took a long time for me to find the solution, but ultimately I discovered that I needed to check my weight in the Health app on my iPhone, which was far lower than it should have been.  Once I adjusted my weight up to the correct number, my Move ring started to count calories at the same rate that it usually does.

How did this happen in the first place?  The Health app on the iPhone has a place to store your weight.  if your weight doesn't change often, just manually enter the number once and then forget about it.  However, if you are manually tracking your weight as it changes over time, it can be a pain to manually enter it in the Health app every day.  For a long time now, my faster solution has been to use the Workflow app — which will soon be renamed the Shortcuts app in iOS 12.  I have a very short workflow that simply asks me to enter my weight and then puts that data into the Health app:

Because it is one of the first four workflows in my Workflow app, I can just 3D Touch on the Workflow app icon on my iPhone's home screen, select Log My Weight, type the number, and then I'm done.  The whole process takes maybe three seconds.  In iOS 12, I'll be able to assign a voice command to start this workflow, making it even faster to trigger.

Last week, however, I suppose I should have spent more than three seconds to avoid being careless.  It turns out that I had somehow tapped the wrong buttons and entered the wrong weight, and apparently my iPhone had no trouble accepting that I suddenly weighed half as much.  (Um, thanks?)  My Apple Watch also noticed, and as a result it decided that I must be burning far less calories for the same amount of activity.

Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix.  When you are looking at any health data source in the Health app, you can always tap Show All Data to see a list of every single entry.  If you see an entry that is wrong, you can delete that entry.  So to fix my problem, I just removed the incorrect weight, and the problem was solved.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Lawyer iPad stories: Paul Kiesel

Sun, 08/12/2018 - 21:48

I love to hear how other attorneys are using an iPhone or iPad in their law practice, so I always appreciate it when one of you is willing to share what you are using with the rest of the readers of iPhone J.D.  Today I am happy to share a submission from Paul Kiesel of Kiesel Law LLP, a plaintiff trial attorney in Beverly Hills, California.  Paul is a co-author of two legal treatises:  California Pretrial Civil Procedure and California Civil Discovery.

Paul loves to use technology in his law practice, and the ABA Journal even named him one of the Techiest Lawyers.  Paul has had a number of paperless jury trials over the last few years thanks to his iPad.  In just a few days on August 16, 2018, Paul will be teaching a CLE Webinar hosted by the Federal Bar Association called How the iPad Can Be a Litigator's Best Friend.  It is a two-hour CLE and starts at 2:00 Eastern. 

Here is what Paul told me about some of the ways that he uses his iPad Pro in his law practice::

- - - - -

Ten years ago, as files began to overwhelm our firm's working space and as our offsite archive service costs exceeded thousands of dollars each month, I thought there has to be a better way.  Necessity being the mother of invention, our firm began its journey to being paperless.  We started to scan each and every correspondence, pleading, medical record and other piece of paper entering our front door.

Five years ago, as our building office space became limited, a decision was made to eliminate our file "room" and actually remove the paper files.  I was able to recapture 20% of our building’s usable space by removing file cabinets.  At the same time, each attorney at the firm was provided an iPad in lieu of case files.

Now, five years later, the iPad is the single vehicle, with the exception of one partner who is partial to his Surface Pro, we use to review and annotate all materials.  For years I traveled with both a laptop and an iPad but with the advent of the iPad Pro 12.0" and the Apple Pencil, this is the single device I use and travel with.  Whether it be at my home reading the morning NY Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, or reviewing pleadings, the iPad is the single device.

In order to use the iPad for this purpose, I originally used PDF Expert to review and annotate documents.  Today, my go-to annotation program is Liquid Text.  Prior to using the iPad Pro 12.9", my go-to tablet was the original 9.7" version of the iPad, but for using Liquid Text the 12.9" size is a must.  Why?  Liquid Text splits the screen in two sections, one for the document and the other for notes.  Using the split screen really requires the additional real estate (screen size) the 12.9" iPad Pro provides.  I tested the 10.5" iPad Pro but still found it wasn’t a big enough screen to do the job.  So, my first recommendation is Liquid Text.

My second recommendation is to purchase a virtual private network (VPN) application.  A VPN provides a secure "pipe" for you to access the internet when on a public WiFi without fear that bad guys or gals are hacking into your communications.  The VPN app that I use is called Encrypt.Me, and it works magically.  [Jeff notes:  I reviewed this app back when it was called Cloak, and I agree that it is a fantastic app.]  The cost is minimal and the benefits, potentially massive.  The only caveat is that several public WiFi networks will not allow you to use a VPN when accessing.  An example is the GoGo WiFi network on commercial flights.  The GoGo network will not allow you to access their system if you have the VPN active.  It took me hours to figure out why I couldn’t log on to the network until I tried disabling the VPN and then I was able to get on.  So, you need to make a trade, at times, between access and security.

The next app I would recommend is TripIt.  This is a fantastic program that allows you to aggregate all of your travel plans in one spot.  [Jeff adds:  I reviewed the free version of TripIt in 2013 and I reviewed TripIt Pro in 2017.  I continue to pay for TripIt Pro because I find it so valuable when I travel.]

My final use of the iPad, although a bit unconventional and a wee bit pricey, is to send each of my settlement demand packages by way of an iPad.  My firm creates, for about 90 percent of my cases, a settlement "brochure" including a video depicting our liability analysis, the client’s injuries and damages, along with attached medical records and other documentary evidence.  I typically send between one and six iPads depending on the number of counsel, adjusters, and decision makers involved.  I have been doing that since the iPad was first introduced. 

There are dozens of other applications and uses that I don’t have time to share here, but feel free to view my webinar on "using your iPad" in trial.  Here’s the link.  Enjoy.

- - - - -

Thanks again, Paul, for taking the time to share with us some of the ways that you use your iPad.  Sending an iPad as a digital settlement brochure is a very interesting approach!

If any of you are willing to share your own experiences using an iPhone or iPad in your law practice with other iPhone J.D. readers, I'd love to hear from you.  In case you missed any of them, here are stories that I previously shared from other attorneys:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 23:55

If you will be in the New Orleans area two weeks from today, I will be presenting a one hour CLE at Noon on Friday, August 24 with tips for using an iPad in your law practice.  The CLE is free if you are a member of the New Orleans Bar Association.  Click here for more information.  We still have about a month to go before mid-September, when I expect Apple to announce the 2018 versions of the iPhone and iPad Pro, and considering that it is also the end of Summer, things are pretty slow in the land of iOS right now.  But there have been a few interesting developments, and here is the news of note from the past week:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Lawyer iPhone stories: Jay Brinker

Sun, 08/05/2018 - 19:42

I love to hear how other attorneys are using an iPhone or iPad in their law practice, so I always appreciate it when one of you is willing to share what you are using with the rest of the readers of iPhone J.D.  Today I am happy to share a submission from Jay Brinker, an estate planning attorney in Cincinnati, OH.  Jay also has a blog, which he uses to share interesting estate planning-related stories.  When I first started talking to Jay about the apps that he uses, he told me that he didn't use anything special, and said that because he is not a litigator, he doesn't use many of the well-known legal apps.  But I find that I always learn something no matter what kind of law practice someone has, and I am sure that most of you would agree.  So with no further ado, take it away, Jay:

- - - - -

When Jeff asked me if I could share my iPhone experiences with his readers, I was hesitant to do so because my use of iOS apps is limited compared to the litigators who use apps in trial and for trial prep.  Jeff persuaded me that my more non-power user approach could be useful nonetheless.  So here goes.


I am a solo estate planning attorney who just passed the five year anniversary of my first iPhone purchase.  I was slow to adopt because my prior cell phone provider offered a stupidly low rate ($100 or so for three lines) but did not sell iPhones nor support them, so I suffered through with a BlackBerry until the limitations became untenable.  Expectedly, that carrier is now out of business.

I view my iPhone as a life convenience device rather than a work tool, although it does assist with the large part of my life that is my law practice.

Some Apps for Work

SugarSync is my preferred file syncing and file sharing service because it plays well with my file organization.  It has a nice app for iOS which allows me to easily access any document on my office PC from my phone.  Twice in a six month period, I was out of the office (Marco Island and Prague) when I received an email requesting a client’s living will.  I was able to send the document to the requesting person almost immediately from my phone.

Square is my credit card processing app.  I appreciate its simplicity and relatively low cost.  The customer satisfaction of a client paying with a credit card and getting airline miles is worth the 2.75% or haircut I take.  A quote from a client:  “You take credit cards?  This gets better all of the time.”  That is worth $50 in reduced fees.

Office Lens from Microsoft is a free scanning app that I have been using recently to scan documents on the go.  I can scan and send the document to a myriad of cloud based services.

OneDrive by Microsoft is my cloud storage provider of choice for miscellaneous documents like travel itineraries, tickets, reservations, and other personal documents I want to access quickly.  The iOS app is easy to use.

Apple Pay Cash.  I love Apple Pay.  If Kroger accepted Apple Pay, my grocery shopping experience would be sublime.  Apple Pay Cash allows you to transfer funds to friends and others via text without the privacy concerns of Venmo nor transaction costs of other methods.  A younger out of town client wished to pay an invoice expeditiously last year, so I gave her my cell phone number and she paid via Apple Pay Cash.  I then transferred the funds to my office checking account.

Other Apps I Like

Overcast is my preferred podcast app thanks to Jeff.  I can build playlists and skip ahead or rewind in time allotments of my choice.  You can use the app for free.

Spotify is my music streaming app of choice.  The $240 annual family plan allows my children and me to access nearly any album ever released, build playlists of favorites, and listen to new CDs the day they are released.  I can download playlists onto my phone for offline playback in my car while also controlling music on my PC from the phone.  I am not sure how sustainable this business model is long term, but I love it.  There is also a free version if you do not mind commercials every fourth song.

Key Ring allows me to keep my loyalty cards on my phone and avoid having to carry a “Costanza wallet."  This app is free.

Banking app.  I love the convenience of mobile banking.  I have greatly reduced the number of bank trips for personal check deposits due to the app for my bank.  If my business bank had a larger monthly mobile deposit limit, life would be really sweet.

I also use the Zelle app to send money directly to a family member’s bank account which easily beats writing a check. 

Most Indispensable App

Starbucks Mobile App with its order ahead feature saves me between five and ten minutes every time I visit Starbucks.  I also accumulate rewards points for free drinks.  The app is free.

Deleted Apps

To save space, I recently deleted all of the free Microsoft Office apps.  I never use my phone to edit documents so there was no point in having them.

Apps Never On My Phone (or iPad)

Any social media app.  Pox on all of their houses.


I have a home iPad and an office iPad.  The home iPad is primarily for newspaper and blog reading.  I take the office iPad into meetings so I can quickly answer a question such as how a house is titled or the status of an estate.  I also use it to schedule the follow up meeting for clients to sign their estate planning documents.  I find it less intrusive than having a laptop for the same purposes.

Thanks for reading and thanks to Jeff for asking me to write.  I hope there was something helpful here.

- - - - -

Thanks again, Jay, for taking the time to share some of your favorite apps!  I had never heard of the Key Ring app, so I'll have to check that one out.

If any of you are willing to share your own experiences using an iPhone or iPad in your law practice with other iPhone J.D. readers, I'd love to hear from you.  And no, you don't have to be a litigator!  In case you missed any of them, here are stories that I previously shared from other attorneys:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 01:11

The market capitalization or "market cap" of a company is simply the share price multiplied by the number of shares outstanding, and is one method of indicating the public's opinion of the net worth of the company.  Yesterday, Apple became the first company to ever have a market cap of over a trillion dollars.  When the market closed, Apple's market cap was $1.002 trillion.  I thought that this comment from John Gruber of Daring Fireball was interesting:  "That '.002' looks insignificant but represents $2 billion — about what the entire company was worth in 1996."  It was obvious for a while now that this day was coming, so a number of news sites had articles ready to run when the milestone was crossed.  I'll recommend two of them that were particularly good:  an article by Jack Nicas in the New York Times, and an article by Brad Stone of Bloomberg.  There are lots of reasons that Apple achieved this success, but there is no question that the number one reason was the iPhone.  And now, the news of note from this past week:

  • Illinois attorney Warren Freiberg wrote an article for TechnoLawyer recommending apps that are useful for attorneys.  I myself use recommend almost all of the apps identified in that article.  Click here to download the article in PDF format.
  • I went back and forth about whether to link to this article because the premise is so shaky.  In an article for the ABA's GP Solo, legal consultant Seth Rowland asked his son Samuel Rowland, a college student, to try to figure out what mobile apps lawyers might want to use.  The older Rowland explained that he did this because he hasn't practiced law in two decades and his primary focus is PC software, not mobile apps.  Um, okay, but asking a journalism major to pick the best apps for lawyers seems about as valuable as asking me to pick out the best apps for dentists.  The only qualification offered for the younger Rowland was that he is "an avid cell phone user."  Of course, that also accurately describes most of the kids at my son's middle school.  As you might guess, the article fails to mention a ton of useful (and obvious) apps.  But I'm linking to it anyway because it also names some truly good apps, and any time you look at a list of apps there is always the chance that you will come across an app that speaks to you.  So if you dare, click here to read Legal Apps for the Lawyer on the Go.  (And while I disagree with the premise of this article, kudos to Sam for giving it the old college try and finding some of the good apps.)
  • Earlier this week, I reported on Apple's 2018 fiscal third quarter.  In an article for Macworld, Jason Snell offered four interesting takeaways from the results.  And in an article for Six Colors, Snell digs a little deeper into the results.
  • Bradley Chambers of 9to5Mac recommends some of the best iPhone weather apps.
  • Vanity Fair has an interesting excerpt from an upcoming memoir by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, daughter of Steve Jobs, call Small Fry.  They had an awkward relationship, to say the least, and I enjoyed this excerpt.
  • And finally, this short 15-second video advertising the iPad does a good job of showing why I love my almost-completely paperless law practice, which wouldn't be possible without my iPad.  It is called Paperless Paperwork:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

MacTrack / iTrack -- go to Disney World to learn more about using your iPhone and iPad in your law practice

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 23:56

One of the best ways to learn more about getting more out of an iPhone or iPad in your law practice is to hear directly from other attorneys with expertise in this area.  This is one of the reasons that I enjoy going to ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago every Spring.  Having said that, the last few TECHSHOW conferences have not focused on mobile technology as much as I would have liked.  For years, I have heard great things about the MacTrack Legal conference.  The conference has traditionally been focused on helping solo and small firm lawyers who use Macs, but this year — the 10th year of the conference — it will be called MacTrack / iTrack Legal, and most of the conference will focus on using iPhones and iPads.  If you are looking to attend a conference to learn more about using your iOS device, I cannot think of a better place to go.

The conference is September 27 to 29, 2018, at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.  It is easy to get flights to Orlando from most anywhere, and it may be easier to justify the trip if your family can join you and attend the parks while you are at the conference.  The conference occurs during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.  Attendees can take advantage of a discounted hotel rate not only during the conference, but also for three days before and after the conference.

While the venue alone makes this conference attractive, the real reasons for you to go are the speakers and the attendees.  In past years, the speaker list has been fantastic, and the folks who are already identified on the conference website this year are fantastic.  Not only do they know a ton about using an iOS device (and a Mac), but they are also friendly folks and great teachers.  Just to mention a few, I'm big fans of Florida attorney Katie Floyd (of MacPowerUsers), legal tech consultant Brett Burney, New Jersey estate planning attorney Victor Medina (who is planning the conference), Canadian attorney Bjorn "Barney" Christianson, and Pennsylvania attorney Evan Kline.  I've seen all of them teach sessions on using iOS devices, and in some cases I've even co-presented with them.  In addition to the speakers, numerous attorneys have told me that they attend this conference again and again because of the great folks who were attending, which makes sense because this is a smaller and more intimate conference — the opposite of a mega-conference like TECHSHOW.

I had hoped to be able to speak at this conference this year given the focus on iOS, but unfortunately my schedule doesn't permit it.  But if your schedule does, I encourage you to give this one a look.  I know that it will be an enjoyable and incredibly informative conference.

Here is a video in which Victor explains what makes this conference so special:

Here is a link to a PDF file with more information on the individual sessions.

Click here for more information on MacTrack / iTrack Legal.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Apple 2018 fiscal third quarter -- the iPhone and iPad angle

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 22:48

Yesterday, Apple released the results for its 2018 fiscal third quarter (which ran from April 1, 2018 to June 30, 2018) and held a call with analysts to discuss the results.  This is typically not a big fiscal quarter for Apple; the important quarter for Apple every year is the first fiscal quarter (containing the holiday sales season).  During the fiscal third quarter, most potential Apple customers — which for the most part means iPhone customers — are waiting to see what new products Apple will introduce in the Fall.  Even so, Apple had their best fiscal third quarter ever, with quarterly revenue of $53.3 billion.  Apple CEO Tim Cook attributed the impressive revenues to three factors:  iPhone sales, service revenue such as the App Store and Apple Music, and wearable product sales such as the Apple Watch and AirPods.  If you want to get all of the nitty gritty details, you can download the audio from the announcement conference call from iTunes, or you can read a transcript of the call prepared by Seeking Alpha, or a transcript prepared by Jason Snell of Six Colors.  Apple's official press release is here.  As always, I'm not as interested in the financial details as I am the statements of Apple executives during the call that are of interest to iPhone and iPad users.  Here are the items that stood out to me.


  • During the past quarter, Apple sold 41.3 million iPhones, just slightly more than the 41 million iPhones sold in 2017's third fiscal quarter. The all-time record for iPhone sales in a fiscal Q3 was in 2015, when Apple sold 47.5 million iPhones.
  • While the increase in the number of iPhones sold versus 2017 Q3 was modest, the increase in revenue from iPhone sales was more impressive thanks to sales of the more expensive iPhone X.  iPhone revenue was $24.8 million in 2017 Q3, but it rose to $29.9 million in 2018 Q3, a 20% increase.
  • By my count, Apple has sold 1.421 billion iPhones since they first went on sale in 2007.
  • What kinds of iPhones are people buying?  For the second quarter in a row, the top-of-the-line iPhone X was the best-seller.  The critics who predicted that few folks would want to pay more for a more powerful iPhone were clearly wrong.


  • Apple sold just over 11.5 million iPads in the fiscal third quarter, around 100,000 more iPads than Apple sold a year ago. 
  • I don't know if Apple will ever return to the larger iPad sales numbers that the company saw many years ago, including a high of 19.5 million iPads in 2013 Q2.  Nevertheless this is now the fifth quarter in a row that the average number of iPads sold has increased, if you look at a four quarter average.
  • By my count, Apple has sold over 415 million iPads since they first went on sale in 2010.
  • Apple CFO Luca Maestri said that almost half of iPad purchases in the past quarter were by customers new to iPad.


  • A relatively new area of revenue for Apple is app subscriptions, such as apps that are free to download but for which you pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee to access more advanced features.  Cook said that the App Store now includes almost 30,000 apps which offer subscriptions.
  • Because the App Store turned 10 years old last month, Cook spent some time noting its impressive numbers, and the App Store saw its largest ever quarterly revenue in 2018 Q3.  He did not disclose how much of that was spent on the game Fortnite.
  • Cook noted that this past quarter saw all-time highs for both the number of monthly active users of the Messages app and for the number of FaceTime calls made.  If my son is an accurate guidepost, then a lot of those text messages and FaceTime calls are the result of kids being on summer vacation.
  • In the first three quarters of fiscal 2018, there were over 100 billion Siri requests.
  • Here in New Orleans, the two major pharmacies are Walgreen's and CVS.  One of the reasons that I typically choose Walgreen's is that it works great with Apple Pay.  But Cook announced that this Fall, Apple Pay will start to be accepted at CVS (and 7-Eleven too).
  • Cook said that when iOS 12 comes out, the iPhone will be noticeably faster.  The camera on the iPhone will launch up to 70% faster, the keyboard will appear up to 50% faster, and apps will be able to launch up to twice as fast.
  • Cook discussed the impact of President Trump's recent trade war.  He said that tariffs are "a tax on the consumer and wind up resulting in lower economic growth."  Having said that, Cook said that none of Apple's products were directly affected by three recent tariffs, and that Apple was still evaluating another one.  Cook concluded by saying that he was "optimistic that the countries will get through this, and we are hoping that calm heads prevail."
  • Everyone knows that Apple is now developing TV shows and movies and that it will at some point have some service to announce.  Cook said that he wasn't yet ready to share the details, but that he "couldn't be more excited about what's going on there, and we've got great talent in the area that we've sourced from different places, and [we] feel really good about what we will eventually offer."
  • Over 50 million people are now using Apple Music, although an (undisclosed) number of those are in a free trial period.
Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 01:48

As noted by Juli Clover of MacRumors, Google's Street View app for iOS was updated this week to support the larger screen of the iPhone X.  I've had this app for a while, but this update caused me to try it out again this week, and it is amazing how powerful it is.  Enter any address, hold up your iPhone and tap the street view image and then tap the compass button at the top right, and you can move your iPhone around and "see" the area almost as if you were standing there at the address.  For an even more immersive experience, place your iPhone in an inexpensive Google Cardboard device.  Choose some interesting locations like in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris or in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC for some free virtual reality tourism.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

  • Chicago attorney John Voorhees is also an app developer and an editor at MacStories, and he was recently interviewed by Filip Brož of the Czechoslovakian website iPure.
  • A post on the GoodNotes blog provides tips for taking electronic notes at a conference.
  • William Gallagher of AppleInsider provides an overview of all of the ways to create text on an iPad:  text editors, note-taking apps, and word processors.
  • If you want an app to help you remember things which is a little more powerful than the built-in Reminders app, Federico Viticci of MacStories reviews the GoodTasks app.
  • Rosemary Orchard discusses some useful apps which run within the Messages app.  To be honest, the idea of running a mini-app within Messages still seems a little strange to me, so I haven't really explored this very much.
  • Chance Miller of 9to5Mac notes that Carrot Weather, my favorite weather app, was recently updated to add the ability to provide hurricane tracker notifications.  Like most folks who live in the Gulf South, I'd rather not be thinking about hurricanes, but we are definitely getting closer to the peak season.  (Hurricane Katrina made landfall` on August 29, 2005.)
  • Ian Fuchs of Cult of Mac reviews Documents by Readdle, a very useful app.
  • Drew Coffman of The Sweet Setup reviews the Lutron Caseta dimmer switch, a HomeKit-compatible light switch that I use throughout my house and which I really like.  (My review.)  I also see that the Lutron Smart Bridge, which I bought for over $100, is now $79.95 on Amazon.
  • And finally, Apple released a new video advertisement for the iPhone X which shows off its computing prowess at running powerful games.  The ad is called Unleash.  As John Gruber of Daring Fireball noted, it seems strange for Apple to release a new ad for the iPhone X when, presumably, the successor to the iPhone X will be unveiled in two months.  Regardless, it's a neat video:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

1Password secure notes, now with Markdown formatting

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 22:53

The main reason to use a password manager is to create, store, and automatically type usernames and passwords.  But one side benefit of the major password manager apps such as 1Password and LastPass is the ability to store secure notes.  This is a digital notepad where you can store some text, much like you would using the built-in Notes app.  The difference is that these notes are safely stored in the password manager app, which is secured with your complex password (or your fingerprint or your face if you have that enabled).  I like this feature because there are rare instances in which someone else has access to my iPhone or iPad.  I wouldn't let them use my device if I didn't trust the person, but even so, I don't want that person accessing my truly confidential information, even accidentally.  Someone else using my iPad could open the Notes app and see the numerous notes that I have stored there, things like grocery and packing lists, the members of my daughter's soccer team, etc.  But the person wouldn't be able to open my 1Password app, and thus couldn't see my truly private notes.

What type of information do I store in secure notes?  I have some medical information about me and family members in there.  I have birthday present ideas.  I have financial information such as a history of salaries for me and my staff members.  I have a list of all of my former addresses, going all the way back to high school.  And I have some confidential information related to my cases, which will sometimes include items like settlement authority.  Having all of this important, confidential information in one secure location is incredibly valuable.  If you use a password manager and don't currently take advantage of the secure notes feature, I encourage you to do so.

I've been thinking about secure notes for the past few days because 1Password, my preferred password manager, recently added the ability to use Markdown in secure notes.  This means that you can add some simple symbols to your text to format the text.  For example, if you want something in a note to be bold, you can just begin and end it with two asterisks or two underline symbols.  Thus, if you type something like this:

**The Title**

__Another Title__

It will be formatted in 1Password to look like this:

The Title

Another Title

You can also use one underline symbol before and after to do italics, three dashes to add a line, etc.  1Password lists some common Markdown commands on this page, and if you want a more comprehensive description of Markdown you can view this page created by John Gruber, who created Markdown many years ago.

For those of you who used WordPerfect way back when, you may remember how WordPerfect fans loved the reveal codes feature, making it easy to see the commands that told the computer to format your text.  Markdown is the same idea.  When you are in the edit mode, you see the symbols like ** but when you are in the normal view mode, you see the end result such as bold text.  What all of this means is that it takes virtually no time to make your notes look even nicer and easier to read in 1Password.

I'd love to show you some examples of how I am using Markdown in my secure notes, but obviously my secure notes are private so I am not going to post them on a public website.  Instead, I created two sample secure notes in 1Password.  One is the Preamble to the Constitution.  The other one is something I copied from my Notes app.  Over the last year or so, my kids and I have been working our way through the James Bond movies.  Not all of them — I selected what I think are the better ones.  (Feel free to disagree with my choices.)  I have a list to remind me of what we have already seen and what is next.  Here is what part of each note looks like when I am in the edit mode in 1Password:


And here is what the notes look like with the simple formatting applied (bold text, a numbered list, and a dividing line).  So this is what you would see when you normally view the note:


Looking at the James Bond list reminds me that the next movie up for us is Goldeneye, our first Pierce Brosnan movie.  I remember being excited when he (finally) took over the role because I used to watch the Remington Steele TV show in the 1980s.  Okay, enough about Bond, let's get back to 1Password now.

Markdown formatting looks great.  I wish that 1Password would add the ability to adjust the text size — the text is crisp and clear on my iPhone X and my iPad Pro, but I wish that the text could be larger — and perhaps that will be added in the future.  But my notes are much easier to read with formatting than they are without formatting.

If you use 1Password and you have been waiting for an excuse to create some secure notes, perhaps this can be the impetus for you to start using this feature.  And if you are not yet using a password manager, now you have yet another reason that you should be doing so.

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

In the news

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 19:04

I have been using handheld devices since the late 1980s, starting with a Sharp Wizard, then numerous Palm and BlackBerry devices, and finally a Palm Treo 650.  But 10 years ago on July 22, 2018, I started using an iPhone 3G, and it was vastly superior to anything I had used before.  (This post from three years ago shows the last important email I ever read on my Palm Treo 650.)  It was the second generation of the iPhone and the first iPhone that was truly useful for attorneys becuase we could use faster 3G data, the App Store, and Microsoft Exchange.  Stephen Hackett wrote a post for MacStories this week looking back at the iPhone 3G.  As much as I loved that iPhone 3G at the time, it is amazing to think of how far the iPhone has come in the past 10 years, and it is hard to even imagine what kind of handheld device I'll be using in another 10 years.  And now, the news of note from the past week:

Categories: iPhone Web Sites

Apple previews new emoji coming in iOS 12

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

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

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.


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

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

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

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.


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

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

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

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.


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

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