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 »

Best App Review Ever!

Filed under: iPhone iPad iOS | Tags: , |

Best app review evah

You know how you download an app that just doesn’t work? It crashes or is missing features?And you would just like to let the developer know just how disappointed you are.

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 »

Cool iPhone Trick: Sliding Notification Launches App

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

Cool iOS trick. You can slide the notification to unlock your screen on iOS devices (iPhone or iPad) to unlock your screen and go directly to the app.

Got a Facebook notification? Slide left to right (just like the unlock bar) and your phone goes directly to the Facebook app. Same for other types of notifications. Of course, if your phone is locked, sliding the notification icon will take you to the unlock screen first, and then to the app.

Cool, huh?

Expand text on iPhone using Shortcuts

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

| apple-command | iOS 5 comes with text expansion. You can type “omy” and your iPhone and iPad will type out “On my way.”

Sure, you could use the widely available Text Expander app. However, one benefit of iOS “Shortcuts” – what Apple calls its expansion system is that it is system wide. This lets you use snippets, er shortcuts anywhere on your iOS 5 device.

Turn on Shortcuts in Settings > General > Keyboards. Click the “Add New Shortcut” button to add a snippet.


Type in the full phrase you want your iOS device to type, and the shortcut (the abbreviation).

Read the rest of this entry »

How to turn on Emoji in iOS5 for iPhones

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

Emoji, those Japanese pictograms, are built in with iOS 5. So, you no longer have to buy a separate app. However, they are not turned on by default and they are pretty well hidden in the iPhone or iPad settings.

Here is how to turn on Emojis on your iPhone:

1. In Settings, click the “General” button

Read the rest of this entry »

How to use Google for Voicemail on iPhone

Filed under: Mac Tips | Tags: , , |

Red Public Phone Boxes -  Covent Garden, London, England - Thursday September Thirteenth 2007Instructions on setting up the iPhone to use Google Voice’s voicemail for iPhone messages were all over the web a few years back. However, when I tried to find them so I could set up my iPhone 4S, a lot of the original sites were gone. So, let’s review how to make this happen.

I am using the instructions originally found on Lan Bui.

To forward missed calls, rejected calls, and calls when the phone is off or in airplane mode to Google Voice, dial the following into the phone application keypad: Read the rest of this entry »

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

How To Create And Read QR Codes!

Filed under: Software | Tags: , , |

Qr code flock
QR codes or “Quick Response” codes, these squiggly boxy bar codes with an inflated sense of self worth are a great way of storing information. They are also a great way of letting customers find out more about your business, find your website, and add your contact information directly to their smart phone.


I love business cards. There is a art to creating a beautiful card. Your cards can make people happy!

The only problem is that people lose them, or get so many that they can’t find your card! If your customer does not enter your contact information into their phone, blackberry, iphone or put your card into their day planner, it is likely that they won’t be able to find your information when they need it!

Quick Tip: I’ll let you in on a secret. Read the rest of this entry »

iPhone 3G for lawyers

Filed under: iPhone iPad iOS | Tags: , |

I got to say, I love my iPhone.  It is a great convergence device: phone, music player, calendar, web  browser, camera, map and GPS; all in one device. I previously had the first generation iPhone and after a trip to Denver on launch day (line was too long at the Park Meadows Apple), and a second trip the following day, my wife (another lawyer) and I got our 3g iPhones.

I won’t go in to the third trip to get the white one exchanged for business black model, except to say, it was worth it.  Oh, they only had the white one when you went?  You are right, in a case it looks just like a black one (almost).  It is fine.  Really.

If all of this seems rather obsessive and reminiscent of the “tullip craze,” you just stick with your Treo.

There are tons of 3G iPhone reviews so I will try to direct my mini-review to a lawyer’s use of the iPhone, or “How to Justify Your Techno-Lust to Your Office Manager Without Coming Off as a Total Fan-Boy Whose Income to Expenses Ratio *Really* Needs to be Reviewed.”

I primarily use the iPhone, (un?)surprisingly, as a phone.  Along with a virtual PBX service like RingCentral or GrandCentral, the iPhone is a great way to let my clients reach me anywhere I may be without having to rely on a receptionist not picking up a call in time or not being able to find me.  Client’s call one number and it always reaches me where ever I may be.

I also use the Aliph Jawbone 2 Bluetooth headset which lets me take calls on the go.  I have the iPhone mounted in my car which allows me to see who is calling via the very nice, large, clear display.

Which brings me to my second use of the iPhone: the camera.  I use the iPhone to photograph all of my clients and associate the picture with their contact.  So, whenever a client calls, their picture comes up.  It may seem like a little thing but a photograph is an excellent mnemonic for helping you remember who you are talking to and the status of their case.

After or even during a call, I can pull up the Notes application and notate the critical points of the call and then email them back to my office for future reference.  With the Evernote app, I am even toying with the idea of having Evernote folders for each client and just adding phone notes directly from the iPhone which will then sync directly to my desktop.

iPod.  I know what you are thinking, “The iPod is a *non-business* use!”  Au contraire mes amie.  I have used the iPod to listen to CLE courses and I use it daily to listen to podcasts during my commute to stay current on technological advances and marketing.  As you probably already know, the iPhone handles calls while listening to the iPod beautifully:  the sound of the podcast fades away (and the podcast is paused) and the phone rings.  After the call, the podcast fades back up.

I cannot even count the number of times I have used the Google maps function to search for businesses.  If I am looking for a doctor’s office, I just enter the name and I get a pin on the map.  I can further select the name and get a phone number, which, I can click and call that office.  Plus with the GPS in the 3G, I can not only get a route to that location, but also see exactly where I am on.  Now the GPS is not as good as a full featured GPS, but you could make that same complaint of the camera not being as good as a stand alone camera.  Both criticisms are correct.  However, both miss the point:   you now have a camera, gps, browser, iPod, datebook, etc in one device aka in one pocket.  Consider how many electronic gizmos you won’t have to cram into your Dockers?  Even Batman does not use a utility belt anymore.

And syncing of events and contacts over Mobile.Me.  Yes, there have been a lot of problems – or so I read.  For me, it has just worked.  If a client needs to change a phone number when I am out of the office, I just update their contact record and the office is updated automatically.  Same goes for adding or changing appointments.  No need to sync to make these changes, they just happen over the air.

But do you really need 3g when many of these functions are available in the 2.0 software.

You are still using a black and white printer, aren’t you?  And your secretary has a 15 inch monitor, doesn’t she?  Is it a CRT?  Dell.com – I’m just saying.

While you do get a lot of the functionality I have described in just by using the 2.0 software on a first generation iPhone, there are several advantages of upgrading to 3G:

  • It is significantly faster.  If you ever have to look up a case or address or anything using the iPhone, you will immediately appreciate the speed boost of 3G.
  • The sound quality is much improved.  The telephone audio quality is noticeably improved and the speakerphone is much louder, which makes it much more usable.
  • If you are on a 3G network during a call, you can still access the web during the call.  If you ever needed to look something up during a call, you will appreciate this function.

If you have read other reviews, you know there is also plenty to criticize Apple over:  no cut and paste (oh come on, it is a year later!), no voice dialing, not turn-by-turn GPS, no tethering, no improved camera, no video, no editing of documents (though I never understood this personally), and fewer devices will charge it.

That is the agony and the ecstasy of Apple:  offering just enough to make you want a product and withholding items so basic that you want to pull your hair out.

If any of these omissions is a deal breaker, then the iPhone is probably not for you.  Otherwise, the iPhone 3G offers solid performance in every feature it offers, with a great UI, great overall user experience, wrapped up in a very attractive package.