I've raved in the past about Fastcase, a must-have app for any lawyer using an iPhone. The app allows you to search and access caselaw and statutes on your iPhone, for free. Up until now, you could use the app on an iPad in expanded screen mode, but today Fastcase is releasing a new version of the app that runs natively on the iPad to take full advantage of the large screen and which also runs even better on the iPhone. [UPDATE 7/17/10: The app is finally in the App Store.]
I don't own an iPad yet, but apps like this push me closer towards getting one. Ed Walters, the CEO of Fastcase, sent me some images so that I could see what the app looks like on an iPad and gave me permission to share them here. It looks like this app really shines on the iPad, with a large screen making it easy to read cases and statutes. Click on any of these pictures for full size views:
I see that there is a slider that allows you to increase the font size to make it even easier to read cases. It is unclear to me whether you can also change font sizes in the iPhone app; the app still isn't live in the App Store as I type this, so I'll have to see for myself later today. I also love that in landscape mode on the iPad, you can see both the list of cases on the left and the case itself on the right:
Obviously, the app preserves the "Save" feature, and that is one of my favorite parts of the Fastcase app. There are several cases that I find myself referring to frequently, and it is great to be able to essentially carry the cases around with me at all times just by saving the case to the Saved Documents area of Fastcase.
Ed tells me that if you use Fastcase on an iPhone, the changes in the new version are more subtle, things like different page navigation. It is not yet clear to me whether this version of Fastcase is optimized for iOS 4 to provide, for example, fast app switching; again, I'll find out later today when the app is out.
As I mentioned last Friday, the American Association of Law Libraries recently named the Fastcase app the best new product of 2009-2010 — high honors considering the other great legal research products to come out recently such as the new version of Westlaw. The honor is well deserved. I love having an iPhone with me in court because I know that I can always use Fastcase to pull up any case that I need. For those with an iPad, you now have that same ability, although with a larger screen that ability is far more compelling.
Click here for Fastcase (free):