Earlier this year at ABA TECHSHOW, California attorney David Sparks showed me an impressive spreadsheet that he uses on his iPad during settlement negotiations, such as during a mediation. Yesterday he wrote about his spreadsheet on his MacSparky website and even generously made his spreadsheet free to download at the end of his post. (To use it on your iPad, you need to have Apple's fantastic $9.99 Numbers app, which you can get here: ) I plan to start using his spreadsheet. I always find that there is a lot of down time in a mediation or settlement negotiation while you wait for the other side to decide what to do next, and this spreadsheet is a valuable tool to help you and your client evaluate your next move and be productive during your down time. Additionally, I find it interesting that Sparks talks about how he used to do this on his laptop but now prefers an iPad because "the client was always a bit detached from the spreadsheet sitting over on the attorney’s" laptop. I agree that the iPad is much better than a laptop for sharing. Another advantage of an iPad in a meeting or in Court is that when people across from you see the back of your laptop screen, it gives the impression that you are hiding something, as if you are playing a game of Battleship. However, the iPad instead creates the appearance that you are more engaged with the other people and not trying to hide anything, even though they can't really see your screen unless they are very close to you. Check out his post, download the spreadsheet, and hopefully you can find a way to incorporate strategies like this into your next settlement negotiation. And now, the rest of the news of note from this week:
- Most of us just use Safari on the iPad to access websites, but there are other browser options. I use Safari 95% of the time, but when I want advanced features I use Atomic Web Browser. Dallas attorney Tom Mighel reviewed five alternatives to Safari — Atomic, Dolphin, iCab, Opera and Chrome — and concludes that iCab is his favorite. You can read his full report in these three posts: 1, 2 and 3.
- Attrorney Edward Tan discusses the WestlawNext app on the FindLaw blog. It's a fantastic app, and my review is here.
- I consider Dropbox an essential service if you are using an iPad because it makes it so easy to share documents between the iPad, iPhone and computer. For many people, the free 2 GB plan will be enough, but you can pay for more storage. $10 a month used to get you 50 GB, but as Joel Mathis writes at Macworld, Dropbox improved its plans this week so that you now get 100 GB a month for $10 a month.
- Harry McCracken wrote an article for Time magazine about creating documents and other content on an iPad. He notes that while some things are easier to do on a laptop, the iPad has many other advantages such as weight and long battery life. Whenever I travel or work out of the office, I virtually always rely on just my iPad (and iPhone). There are certainly some compromises to be made when you do so, but like McCracken, I find that the advantages far outweigh those shortcomings.
- Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun-Times reviews the TouchFire keyboard, a thin rubber overlay for your iPad's onscreen keyboard that costs $49. He likes it, but I'm not convinced yet. Ihnatko posted some photos of the TouchFire on Flickr.
- Briam Beam of Macworld reviews iOS scanner apps.
- Josh Ong of AppleInsider writes that the App Store has a new category: Food & Drink. The new category includes thousands of free and paid apps for the iPhone and iPad.
- And finally, I've always been a fan of the iconic Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York. I was there when the store first opened on May 19, 2006. (Apple had a camera taking pictures every few seconds and you can see me wearing the red shirt in this picture, and here is a panoramic picture I took of the crowd after I entered the store.) Thus, I was tickled to see the detailed Lego version of Apple's Fifth Avenue store that was created by artist H.K. Leung. Click here to view photos of his creation on Flickr, and click here for an interview with Leung by Giles Turnbull of Cult of Mac.