$299 iPad on the way?

Filed under: iPhone iPad iOS | Tags: |

Apple Store

With the iPad 3 expected  to arrive in 2012 (fingers crossed), Apple will have three iPads in the market. So, the question becomes, what will Apple do with the original iPad 1?

Apple could, of course, simply drop the iPad 1. As a single core machine, it will be lag even further behind the iPad 2 and the iPad 3. However, Apple has historically liked to have three price points in the marketplace: a high, middle, and low.

I would not be surprised to see Apple offer the iPad 1 in 2012 for $299. Of course, Apple might simply come out with a low-end iPad 2 at the same similar price point.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gonzo iMovie editing tips

Filed under: iPhone iPad iOS, Mac Tips | Tags: , , , |

I was doing interviews at MILOfest (Macs in Law Offices) conference. I had FinalCut X installed on my late 2010 Macbook Air and, over the course of the afternoon sessions, I got to watch the progress meter slowly churn on an 8 minute clip and still not finish. Previewing and editing lower thirds was positively painful. Everything might have been ok if I had not tried to re-render the clip (even using the proxy media setting).

I know, I know, I’m trying to use a heavy-duty app on an underpowered machine. So, despite the much greater editing, titles, audio, controls, I found myself going back to my iPhone for some rapid-fire, gonzo, video editing.

Here are tips for splitting clips, tricks with titles, and making video editing on the iPhone with iMovie doable.

Pinch and Zoom the timeline

Touch interfaces have a lot of gee whizz! However, fine editing on a small screen isn’t ideal; especially when you are dealing with small clips. Well, don’t sweat it! If you need finer control, use the two finger expand gesture to expand the clip.

IMovie iOS p z 3

Now, it is easier to find the right spot for edits, sound cues, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

iPhone Add-on Lens Roundup Review: Owle vs Olloclip vs 3-in-1

Filed under: iPhone iPad iOS | Tags: , , , , , , |

All lenses sizes small

Getting ready for the Macs in Law Office annual conference (MILOfest), I have been checking out 3 add-on lens for the iPhone:

  1. Olwe Bubo – “The Heavy Weight” in all criteria: size, weight and price ($169) offering wide angle and macro lenses (no fish-eye). $169 USD
  2. Olloclip – “The Challenger” A small fish-eye, wide angle & macro combo lens. $59 USD
  3. 3 in 1 Camera Lens Kit – “The Kid.” The 3-in-1 camera lens kit has the features of the Olloclip (fish-eye, wide angle and macro combo lens) at a bargain price. The 3-in-1 also comes with stick on rings which the 2 lenses magnetically attach to. $30 USD
Let’s take a look at each of them: Read the rest of this entry »

Predicting Future Tablets

Filed under: Editorials | Tags: , , |


This is one of those, “crystal ball gazing posts.” The kind that, due to the effects of obviousness, are only useful if it is wrong. If I happen to be correct (at some unspecified time in the future) then it was meant to be, so who cares. If I am wrong (which I am up until the very point that I am right), the outcome is also obvious by virtue of the prediction having not come to pass. Also, it isn’t useful in any kind of making-a-difference-in-your-life way, but more in a “ha-ha, you’re wrong!” kind of way.

In either case, predicting anything is a fairly useless exercise. So here goes nothing. Also, if you suspect I am padding out this post with this preface, you can give yourself a pay on the back.

Prediction: tablet screens need to become the size of a sheet of paper (approx 8 1/2 by 11 inches)

The iPad is too big already! I can’t fit it into any pockets! Who needs a bigger one?

I agree that it is too large – to be easily pocketed; save in tactical pants tricked out for uber geeks. However, for handwritten notes or sketches, it is too small. The number of apps that permit you to zoom in and out because using a stylus is too imprecise, attests to that. True, that is primarily the fault of the digitizer which will no doubt improve in each generation. However, a page sized note page still beats out a 7.5 x 9.5 inch screen.

I already have a problem with taking an iPad anywhere. It doesn’t fit in a pocket. I don’t want to just carry it, for fear of dropping it. And, getting a murse for it, is going down the path of buying accessories for my accessories. So, here it is: the iPad is just too damn BIG.

So, make it bigger?

Yes. Make the screen the size of a sheet of paper and let it finally be a notepad replacement. Up the digitizer sensitivity and let me use it to sketch, take notes without all the current workarounds. Then, I can carry it in a folio, and feel that I have actually carrying something useful in exchange for the inconvenience of having to carry another item (that doesn’t fit into a pocket).

Creative Commons License photo credit: Rego – d4u.hu

MILOfest 2010 Ron Elkins on Using iPad in Trial

Filed under: Conferences | Tags: , |

Ron Elkins gave a terrific presentation at MILOfest (Macs in Law Offices) 2010 on how he uses iPads to create a slam dunk trial presentation and cut costs for his office.

Planet10tech caught up with Ron after the presentation for quick run down.

MILOfest 2010: Ben Stevens on Taking Notebooks to Go

Filed under: Conferences, Mac Tips, Software | Tags: , , , |


Circus Ponies Notebook is a terrific way of keeping track of your cases. I create a “notebook” using the Circus Ponies application for each case in my disability practice.

The only downside of the Notebook is that it is not a cloud application and you have to have a computer (a Mac, actually) to use it. You cannot read Notebook files on on portable devices likes iPads or iPhones.

Ben Stevens (The Mac Lawyer) has a great tip about taking your Notebooks on the go on the iPhone or iPad.

Step 1: export your Notebook. Click File –> Export as Website –> To Disk

Step 2: move the html file to your iPhone or iPad using Airsharing.

Step 3: there is no step 3.

Now you can view your Notebook file on your iPhone or iPad including all of your attachments! That means all of the PDFs, the audio files, the video files (!) you put into a Notebook are THERE in your portable Notebook file!

IMPORTANT: make sure to have “copy the file into the Notebook” selected for the attachments to be included with the exported html file.

Here are some considerations:

  • Manual process. You have to manually export each notebook.
  • Read only. The exported html can only be viewed. You cannot add, change or remove things from the exported notebook file.
  • Notebooks are not updated. One of the gems of the Notebook, is that it is so easy to update what is going on with your case. It may be obvious that once you export the file as an HTML is that the exported file is a snapshot of the Notebook file at a particular time. The exported notebook file will not update with any additional information you may put into the Notebook file on the computer.

MILOfest is an annual conference for Mac based law firms.

Image credit (top image): CC photo credit: Simon Blackley

Pitfalls Of A Virtual Practice

Filed under: Cloud, Editorials | Tags: , |

Mobile phone

For a time, when I was contemplating moving my law office, I considered going completely virtual. I gave considerable consideration to working from home and becoming a “Starbucks Lawyer.” I also gave quite a bit of thought to how to work completely from an iPad. I strongly considered online case management systems. The problem was I could not figure out how I would generate documents and get them to clients. I did not want to do work “in the field” only to get back to my home office with a stack of todos.

The best solution I could come up with was to use a VNC (or similar) solution and use the iPad to connect to full desktop and work remotely from the iPad. I have done this on occasion, but not as a primary means of running my office. The trouble is that the iPad becomes a window to a larger desktop which you are constantly moving around to see different parts of; or zooming in and out between an overview of the desktop and a closer view to make the text legible. I realize you can reduce the resolution of the desktop. However, then your screen real estate drops causing another set of problems.

I could have used a laptop with an internet connection. However, I like the long battery life in an iPad as well as the $30 per month unlimited internet connectivity.

I also focused on using an iPad as a security measure. The iPad is primarily a viewer. I could access my data without storing it on the device. I could safely work and if the iPad was stolen, I would not be worried that all my information and files would be stolen with it. Additionally, with the ability to remote lock and wipe the device, I could feel relatively secure that a loss of the device would not result in loss of sensitive information.

Ultimately, I decided to simply move the office rather than abandon the idea of a public office altogether (or, at least for this year). Beyond the the technical issues, there was the matter of matter of a substantial reduction in personal contact with my clients.

Face time matters. In a disability practice, being able spend time with a client plays a large part in improving the outcome of the case.

  • You can read people better in person.
  • It takes time for a client to warm up. A  person will say things after 45 minutes that they would never say in the first 10.

I have found that this does not work over the telephone, or even on a video conference. You just cannot keep people on the phone long enough. It is not the same as talking with friends of family. You are regularly cross referencing your client’s statements against your notes to check the status of todos and to gain greater understanding of their case. This results in pauses while you go through your notes – even if everything is at your fingertips with electronic notes.

Here’s the rub: people hate pauses over electronic communication. What is perfectly acceptable when meeting with a lawyer: watching them check files or the screen, becomes intolerable when not meeting with the attorney. I have found that people will either fill the empty space with conversation or they want to end the meeting. For the attorney, you are forced to try to split your attention and risk missing what the client is saying or do a poor job cross-referencing. In the end, the electronic communication ends up being shorter and less productive.

If you have not noticed this in your practice, compare the time spent and what you learn when you meet with your client in person versus over the phone. Where are you more productive?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Milica Sekulic

Streaming Video On iPad 3G

Filed under: iPhone iPad iOS | Tags: , , , |

During a slow moment at the 2010 Ask-a-Lawyer at the Colorado Springs Citadel Mall (part of the annual Law Day activities), I fired up NetFlix to check the video quality for videos streamed over 3G. Here is a quick screenshot of “Star Trek: First Contact.”

Some artifacts, but considering this is screen grab of a video, it is quite good!

iPad Wifi+3g VS iPad Wifi And A Sprint Or Verizon Mifi

Filed under: iPhone iPad iOS | Tags: , , , |

After using the iPad for two weeks, I decided to return the wifi model and order the 3g. I currently have a Verizon Mifi, and I strongly considered keeping the iPad wifi for a wifi + Mifi one-two punch. However, I ultimately decided the ipad 3g was a better fit for my needs. Here is a break down of the pro and cons of a Mifi + wifi iPad versus a 3g iPad:

Mifi plus iPad wifi:

  • Network diversity. Having internet access on a non-AT&T network gives me access at times when AT&T is congested, or when I am in areas with poor AT&T connectivity.
  • Connectivity for 5 devices. A Mifi lets 5 devices connect to the internet at the same time. One of the less known features of a Mifi is that it also works as a router. A Mifi can create a network between computers and even printers. You can share files, even print files, via a Mifi network.
  • Battery life. At best, a Mifi gives me a little over 3 hours of battery life. Considering the iPad’s all day battery. I do not want my internet connection to conk out before my connection device.
  • Two devices to carry and charge. Each day I use the Mifi, I have to remember to take it out of my case and charge it. If I do not, the next time I need to access the internet while away from the office, I risk facing an empty battery.
  • Expensive monthly charges. At $60 per month for 5gb, the Mifi is pricey (although comparably priced to other wireless modems). However, if I can connect to every service I need to via a 3g iPad (at present, only an aspirational goal), cutting my mobile internet charge to $15 to $25 per month would be a substantial savings.

3g iPad

  • Longer battery life. The Wifi iPad gave me all day battery life. I will test the battery life of the 3g iPad when it arrives. Currently, I expect at least 6 hours of connectivity.
  • Cheaper monthly charges. Since I have wifi both at the office and at home, I am going test out the lower tier internet service: $15 per month for 250mb. Apple states that you will get three warnings as you approach the bandwith cap. If 250mb is not enough, I may upgrade to the $30 unlimited connectivity plan.
  • Stuck with AT&T. Having one network for both my phone and iPad increases the chance of being without any network access as I travel around Colorado. When going to mountain towns, having a second carrier (whether Verizon or Sprint) can make the difference between getting online and having no connectivity.
  • No tethering. At present (and for the foreseeable future) there is no way to tether the iPad to other devices. This will likely change with jailbreaking and unauthorized applications. However, that adds an additional layer of complexity, the risk of service termination, and the risk of incompatibility with software.

Which iPad are you choosing and why? Tell me in the comments!

iPad Free For 2 Weeks

Filed under: iPhone iPad iOS | Tags: |

free fall

cc photo credit: AlicePopkorn

The 30 day difference between the release of the wifi-only iPad and its 3G sibling gave me a chance for an interesting experiment. After two weeks, I packed up and returned the wifi iPad, pending the release of the 3g model. So, two weeks with an iPad; two weeks without. Would I find in iPad shaped hole in my life; or, would the reality distortion field surrounding Apple products wear off?

April 29th, is the two week point and here are my observations:

I feel disconnected. Even with a laptop and smartphone, the iPad is a better solution for keeping up to date with social networks. My twittering (which is a major marketing vector) has dropped, because it is easier to find and distribute articles via the iPad.

I am limited by battery life. I write and brainstorm from various locations: the kitchen table, sofa and easy chair — all places I do not have chargers to plug in. I hate seeing my battery meter go into the red in the middle of a writing session.

There’s portable, and then there’s portable. If the only places I worked were at a desk or table, the iPad would not be a big deal. These are the environments laptops and netbooks were made for. However, the unexpected interruptions of life tear me away from these ideal work areas. Using an iPad, I can keep working in more places.

To be sure, this is a matter of degree. Computers have been portable for more than 20 years. However, no one thinks the 10 pound behemoths of yesteryear are desirable computing experiences. While there are other portable choices available today, at 1.5 pounds with an all day battery, the iPad is more portable. And that makes it a more enjoyable device to use from the sofa. Plus the iPad is the first computer that I can reasonably prop on the magazine rack of an elliptical.

So, I will be picking up an iPad 3g tomorrow and testing how the 3g compares with the wifi version.