Law & Technology Blog

Mon, October 13th, 2014 by Graves and Allen

APPLE iPhone 6Plus

iphone-compare-bbh-201409I got my 6 Plus iPhone about 10 days ago. It seems gigantic next to my iPhone 5S; but is only a bit larger than my Galaxy S5. I had some problems moving my information from the 5s to the 6Plus and ultimately had to do it manually (set the phone up as new and then install everything rather than just move the stored information on the 5S backup to the 6 Plus). In the long run, I am OK with that for two reasons: (1) it gave me the opportunity to clear some junk out of the phone that I have not used in a very long time or that has ceased to be useful to me (always a good thing); and (2) it gave me the opportunity to learn how much faster that chore has become with the 6 Plus by comparison to the last time I had to do it (iPhone 5 about 1.5 years ago).

Getting used to the 6 Plus is interesting. I have fewer pockets in which it fits and I read that others had problems with the phone bending if put in a back pocket and sitting down. As I would NEVER put my phone in a back pocket and sit on it, I did not find that issue significant; but I have seen a lot of people (especially those born in the last 20 years or so) doing just that. I keep mine in a vest pocket or a jacket pocket about 85% or the time I do not have it in my hand. Most of the other 15% it stays in my brief case. I will probably look around for decent leather holster that will mount the phone horizontally on my belt to allow me to carry it that way on occasion as well. As yet, I have not found one but Colonel Littleton (one of my favorite leather case makers) is reported to be working on one.

I love the larger display. Everything is easier to read; and the virtual keyboard is much easier to use than on the 5S (I have large fingertips and it makes it easier to get the right key when I use my fingers instead of a stylus). The phone is noticeably faster when doing various chores for me (opening programs, storing data, etc. I did not notice any substantial differences in wireless access or in cellular access between the 6 Plus and the 5S, although the 6 Plus is supposed to show some improvement. Where I REALLY see a difference is in the battery life per charge. That is significant to me as it was one of the main reasons I chose to go with the 6 Plus over the 6. While the larger battery in the 6 should show improvement over the 5S, the 6 Plus has an even larger battery, only some of which extra power goes to the improved and expanded display. Just to give you some idea of the difference, I charge the 6Plus once a day and generally have juice left over at the end of the day. I had to charge the 5S at least twice a day. Yes, I read the projected usage on the Apple website. I attribute the lower usage statistics I am observing to two facts (1) those numbers represent optimal circumstances, with little or no other activity to draw on the phone’s resources; and (2) my heavy usage of certain programs that draw power. If I leave the two phones overnight starting with 100% charge. I will have somewhere in the mid 90 percent range left on the 6 Plus and somewhere in the mid 50 percent range on the 5S the next morning (about 7 hours later).

In terms of form, I like the style of the 6 Plus better than the 5S; it is thinner and more svelte, despite the larger display (which makes it longer and wider).

FYI, I do like iOS 8, but remain frustrated that Apple released it, announcing a number of features that were not yet available. I think that Apple should have held it back until it was ready to release it with all of the promised features working. That’s just me, however.

One word of warning, The combination of iOS 8.0.2 and the 6 Plus resulted in a breaking of the connection to the built-in hands free system in my car (I drive a 2013 Acura). The folks at Acura knew of the problem, as they had complaints from others. They said they were waiting for a fix from Apple. I talked to the people at Apple and, sure enough, they had a work-around to address the issue. I am told that iOS 8.1 will fix the problem once it is released. No ETA on the release date. Interestingly, I also have 8.0.2 on my iPhone 5S and it continues to work flawlessly with the car’s handsfree system.

Bottom line, would I get the 6 Plus again? Yes. Would I recommend it to family and friends? I would say get the 6 or the 6 Plus depending on your need for the stronger battery and the helpfulness of the larger screen. There are no other significant differences between the 6 and 6 Plus other than that the 6 Plus uses optical processes to steady the camera during video recording, while the 6 continues to use digital processes. Additionally, the screen resolution on the 6 Plus is a tad higher than on the 6, but the net effect to the eye is that they look virtually the same. except for the size.

I have posted a picture (courtesy of Apple, Inc.) of the four current iPhone models to give you a rough comparison as to size. The 5c and 5S are the same size (4″ display); the 6 is larger (4.7″ display) and the 6 Plus (5.5″ display), the largest.

Tue, September 16th, 2014 by Graves and Allen

New Portable ScanSnap Scanner iX100

Fujitsu has announced the release of a new scanner to its well respected ScanSnap line, the iX100. The smallest and most portable scanner in the line, the iX100 offers some real advantages to the mobile lawyer. It scans rapidly and uses wireless technology to send quality scans (up to 600 dpi) to computers, iOS and Android devices. The iX100 scans at a rate of 5.2 seconds in normal mode; weighs in at under a pound,and measures 10.75 x 1.87 x 1.42 inches. It can scan color and grayscale.

You do not need access to a wireless network to use the wireless capabilities of the iX100 as it comes with a built-in WiFi transmitter allowing you to connect your computer, Android or iOS device to the iX100 using its own Wi-Fi signal. You can also use USB to scan to a computer. The iX100 works with both the Mac OS and Windows. It comes with ABBY FineReader, ScanSnap Organizer and CardMinder for both the Mac OS and Windows.

Scanning to a mobile device requires installation of a free app, available for iOS and Android. Once the app is installed, it lets you scan a document directly to your mobile device.

When scanning to a computer, the software lets you choose between sending the scanned image to the computer or to a cloud storage service.

Fujitstu designed the scanner for mobility and built it compactly. One of the tradeoffs is the lack of a document feeder,such as you would likely have on a larger scanner. The absence of the feeder is a common tradeoff for small portable compact scanners. It is designed for scanning a few documents at a time, not mass quantities of documents.

The iX100 lists for $229. It has just come out and I do not know if it will be available at discounted prices in the near future. You can always check on line to see. If you have a regular need to scan documents outside of your office and need better quality than you can get from your smartphone, the iX100 is a solid choice.
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Sun, September 14th, 2014 by Graves and Allen

Samsung Galaxy S5

I recently bit the bullet and upgraded my Galaxy S4 to the newer S5. I have my Galaxy phones on a Verizon service plan and got the phone through Verizon. I have had the phone for about a week and it has impressed me positively. I like it better than the S4 and appreciate the faster speed and longer battery life between charges. While I like the S5 better than the S4, in reality they offer largely similar features and capabilities. I chose to upgrade as Verizon made me a very good deal on the upgrade package and because I wanted to compare the two phones. If it had not been for the special pricing, I would likely not have done it. In terms of recommendations, I have no hesitation in recommending the S5 as an outstanding piece of hardware. I would recommend it without hesitation to anyone wanting a new Android phone. If you already have a Galaxy S4, however, unless you get a very special deal on the upgrade pricing, it may not be worth the cost of upgrading to you.

I got a 16 GB S5 and immediately added a 128 GB Micro SD card to it. Although larger configurations of built-in memory are supposedly available, Verizon does not have them and, when I checked other providers, could not find any of the major providers offering a larger memory configuration. While the SD card memory works fine for media, it does not work for all Apps (you can move some Apps to the SD card and use that memory for them, but not all Apps work from the SD card).

The size and weight of the two devices is very similar, with the S5 being a trifle larger and a bit heavier. The S4 weighs in at 130 g and measures 70 x 137 x 7.9 mm, while the S5 weighs 145 g and measures of 73 x 142 x 8.1. The S5 sports a battery-saving 5.1” super AMOLED touch screen. The display is bright, clear, and sharp.

The Galaxy S5 has a 16-megapixel primary UHD camera that will take full HD video at 30 frames per second) and a 2-megapixel secondary camera for video conferencing.

The S5 comes with very fast quad-core processors. The larger size of the S5 also allows it to pack a larger battery. That, in combination with the low power demands of the Super AMOLED display allows the S5 a longer time between charges.

The Galaxy S5 comes in your choice of white, black or gold. I got the gold and like its looks very much. The overall appearance of the phone is excellent and it appears to be well and solidly made. I consider the hardware package superior to Apples iPhone 5s, although I still prefer the iOS to the Android OS, as I consider it easier to work with and more flexible. While the Google Play Store has shown substantial improvements recently, it still does not match up to the Apple iTunes Store, especially in the category of Apps (I consider the two very comparable when it comes to other media). On the hardware front, the real question will be the comparison of the Galaxy S5 to the iPhone 6/6 Plus.
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