Monthly Archives: October 2010

Mon, October 11th, 2010 by Graves and Allen

THE APPLE iPAD

Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.

The iPad comes with a high-resolution, 9.7-inch LED-backlit IPS (in-plane switching) display. Apple designed the iPad to display content in portrait or landscape orientation. The IPS display technology has a wide, 178-degree viewing angle. The iPad weighs in at about a pound and a half and measures 9.56” x 7.47” x 0.5”. Apple claims up to a ten-hour battery life for the iPad.  Apple has made the battery inaccessible, as has become its custom, so you cannot simply pop in a new battery and must rely on an external power supply for recharging or operating an iPad with a discharged battery.  Fortunately, my experience with the iPad to date supports the claim of long battery life.  I have not tried to push the ten hour limit, but I have used my iPad for several hours at a time without exhausting as much as 50% of its power.

Apple offers two basic versions of the iPad: WiFi only and WiFi plus 3G. Each version also gives you the choice of 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB of memory. I encourage you to opt for the higher memory units, as the iPad has no provision for additional memory.  I chose the 64GB WiFi+3G version for myself.  I have already maxed out the memory and find myself moving apps, books, movies and music on and off the unit far more often than I would like in order to accommodate different circumstances.

The iPad has the same docking connector as the iPhone and iPod. Like the iPhone, it has no other ports for data or charging.  Apple offers a number of accessories: The list includes a dock, a keyboard dock, a case that folds up to make a stand for you to use the iPad with its virtual keyboard, a VGA adapter that will let you connect the iPad to a projector or other VGA device, and a camera connection kit that will allow you to transfer pictures directly to your iPad. You can also use the Apple Wireless Keyboard and other Bluetooth accessories with the iPad.

The WiFi iPad requires a hotspot to give you Internet access. The WiFi plus 3G version works through accessible hotspots and also gives you the option of a 3G cellular connection. Apple set up an arrangement with AT&T, which changed the plan very shortly after the iPad came to market and started selling with amazing rapidity.  The revised plans do away with the “all you can eat” data module and offer you the choice of 250 MB of data per month for $14.99 or XXGB for $YY.  AT&T’s programs come with cancellable monthly renewable terms, allowing you to cancel the plan or reinstate it whenever you want or need to do so.

The iPad’s larger screen offers a much better Internet experience than the iPhone or the iPod Touch.  It also provides better viewing for movies and pictures.  The iPad has a wide viewing angle, which enhances your viewing experience, but also means that people sitting on your side on an airplane or next to you at a lunch counter can easily read your screen. Available third party privacy screens can restrict the ability of others to see your screen, protect your privacy your clients’ confidentiality.  Consider a privacy screen a necessary accoutrement to the iPad if you desire to use it in a public place and have any semblance of privacy for your content.

Among its many talents, the iPad also functions as an eReader.  I find the iPad’s backlit clarity, high resolution and color technology far more pleasing than e-ink technology employed by the more traditional eReaders, such as the Kindle or the Nook.  Apple’s iBook App lets you buy books from Apple’s iTunes Store, organize them on your iPad, synch them between your iPad and your computer with the assistance of iTunes and read them very comfortably.  The chameleon-like iPad, also does a pretty decent Kindle and Nook imitation as well.  Amazon has made a free Kindle App available and Barnes & Noble has made its own reader app available at no charge.  The installation of these Apps gives you the ability to access the entire Barnes & Noble and Amazon collections of electronic reading materials, acquire them, coordinate them, read them and use them with features substantially the same as the Kindle or the Nook.

Apple says that almost all the Apps in its store will run on the iPad.  While that has proven technically accurate, many Apps require modification to take advantage of the iPad’s screen size and features

If you use Apple’s Calendar and Address Book, your calendar and contacts will look better (and appear larger and easier to read) on the iPad than on the iPod or the iPhone.  Apple also tuned up its Mail program, creating a unified in-box that allows you to see all your unread mail at one time, without having to go back and forth between accounts.   The iOS 4 operating system Apple released with the iPhone 4 also includes a number of additional features that will come to the iPad when Apple makes the iOS4 available for the iPad.  Apple has announced that it will make the iOS4 available for the iPad sometime this fall.

You can find out more about the iPad at (www.apple.com/ipad). You can buy the iPad online at (http://store.apple.com/us) or arrange to pick one up at your local Apple Store.

What’s Missing?

The ability to expand the iPad’s memory through the addition of memory cards would make it much easier to use the iPad as a picture album, a movie viewer, a music player, an eReader, and a storage device for a variety of other information. It would, for example, allow you to get a media card to store books or movies that you don’t need on a daily basis but want to have with you when you travel.  As Apple has not allowed the use of memory cards in the iPod or the iPhone, the odds favor Apple’s not making this feature available in the iPad.  Perhaps, future iterations of the iPad will increase the offered memory to 128 or even 256 GB when the price of such memory comes down.

A built-in webcam for use in videoconferencing would also have made the iPad much more useful.  I anticipate seeing Apple add this to a future iteration of the iPad, much as it has now done with the newest generation of its iPod Touch.

Conclusion.

The iPad is useful as an e-mail device, or as an Internet appliance, or as an eReader, or as a . . . pick a function, any function. While not as useful as a laptop, the iPad will enable me to travel to many meetings without a laptop. Its weight and size make it an easy fit for a briefcase or a large purse. I will likely carry it with me most of the time as it will do for me most of what I expect my laptop and my Kindle to do.

As a tool in a law office, I consider the iPad helpful (but pricey).  Nevertheless, I could not call it as essential.  It does offer conveniences, largely due to its size, weight and flexibility.  As a personal Internet appliance, however, it excels and will change the way many of us interact with the Internet at home and particularly on the road.  I have found sufficient uses for the iPad at work that I can justify the acquisition and I am certainly glad that I have one.

Copyright, 2010 by Jeffrey Allen.  All rights reserved.

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Mon, October 11th, 2010 by Graves and Allen

October Technology eReport

The General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division of the ABA has released the September issue of its Technology eReport.  You can view the eReport on line or download it as a PDF file by visiting: http://www.abanet.org/genpractice/ereport/2010/vol9/num3/index.html.

The Table of Contents of this issue of the Technology eReport follows:

FEATURES

Doing Law on the Web: eLawyering for Competitive Advantage

Using web-enabled document preparation to generate business.

iPhone-ix Rising

The trials and tribulations of switching to an iPhone.

COLUMNS

MacNotes

What’s an iPhone 4? So Very Much.

Surviving Email

SPAM: It’s Not Just Lunch Meat!

TechNotes

Cloud-Based File Storage and Synchronization Services: Access Your Files From Anywhere.

Sites for Sore Eyes

Where to Go to Schedule Your Meeting.

ProductNotes

BlackBerry 9700 and 9800.

DivisionNotes

ABA Annual Meeting and Free Tech Training.

ABOUT GPSOLO

Learn the Benefits of GPSolo

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Mon, October 11th, 2010 by Graves and Allen

Check Out the Smart Soloing Center

The ABA and its General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division have created a new resource for solo practitioners and small firm attorneys as well as attorneys engaged in general practice. The Smart Soloing Center collects and publishes articles of interest, links that may prove useful, and other resources that can prove beneficial to its audience. We update the content frequently to ensure that it remains current and that it reflects the needs and interests of solo, small firm, and general practice attorneys. The content for the Smart Soloing Center will come from an assortment of resources including ABA publications, publications from other sources, and original articles created for the Center. To check out the Smart Soloing Center, go to  http://www.abanet.org/solos.

In the next several months the ABA will upgrade its entire website. In conjunction with that upgrade we anticipate adding product reviews and information about special officers from vendors and continue to expand and improve the Smart Soloing Center.

The Smart Soloing Center went live in conjunction with the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco last month. The GPSolo Division has appointed Jeff Allen to chair the Division’s Smart Soloing Center Content Committee. If you know of articles, links, or other information of use to solo, small firm, and general practice attorneys that we have not added to the site or if you have a product that you have used and found helpful and would like to review that product for the Center, please communicate that information to Jeff Allen at:  Jeffrey Allen, Graves & Allen, 436 14th Street, Suite 1400, Oakland, California 94612; Phone: 510-839-8777; Fax: 510-839-5192; email: jallenlawtek@aol.com.

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