On November 17, 2008, I took a picture of my iPhone for the banner of this website and started iPhone J.D. with the post "Why I use an iPhone." That makes this website four years old now. It seems hard to believe that I've now spent more time on iPhone J.D. than I did in college.
Popular posts. It's a tradition on iPhone J.D.'s anniversary to identify the most popular posts over the prior 12 months because it often reveals something about the topics that iPhone and iPad owners have been thinking about lately. I think that is certainly true this year.
1. Reviews of Notes Plus and GoodNotes. Many lawyers have explored taking handwritten notes on the iPad. There are many great apps that let you do that. Notes Plus includes lots of great features, including the ability to select something that you wrote and then translate it into text. GoodNotes remains my favorite app for taking handwritten notes, and I use it every week when I attend meetings.
2. Reviews of Wacom Bamboo Stylus Duo, Wacom Bamboo Stylus Solo and the BoxWave EverTouch Capacitive Stylus. If you are going to use your iPad to take handwritten notes, in addition to an app you need a good stylus. There have been lots of pageviews of these three reviews. The Wacom Bamboo Stylus Duo has been my favorite stylus for most of the past year, but I'm currently in the process of trying out a new version of the Adonit Jot Pro that I reviewed this year, and it is very impressive. My full review of the new Jot Pro will be posted here soon.
3. Missing apps in the "Open in..." menu. I mentioned in January of 2012 how frustrated I was that I would sometimes hold my finger down on an email attachment to try to open a document in an app only to have that app not show up in the list. Given the large number of pageviews of this post, I wasn't the only one frustrated. But fortunately, Apple solved this problem when it released iOS 6 in September of 2012. The new "Open in..." screen has a much better layout, and now always shows the apps that I want. Finally!
4. Review of Office². There is little question in my mind why this post got so many pageviews. Office² was the first app to let you both see and create redline (track changes) edits in a Microsoft Word document. As of October of 2012, Quickoffice Pro now has the feature as well. Unfortunately, Quickoffice Pro does not show footnotes, which for my practice as a litigator is a huge omission.
5. 60 Apps in 60 Minutes. The 60 Apps in 60 Minutes session that I co-present at ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago every spring is always a packed room, and the post that lists those apps is always a popular post on iPhone J.D.
6. Review of PDFpen for iPad. For most attorneys using an iPad, I suspect that the most valuable use (besides handling emails) is handling PDF files. PDFpen for iPhone and iPad is a great app, so I wasn't surprised to see so many people reading this post. My review of GoodReader was posted in mid-2011 so that post isn't eligible for this year's list of most popular posts, but that review also continues to get a huge number of page views this year. Fortunately there are lots of great options for attorneys looking to read and annotate PDF files on the iPad (or iPhone), and PDFpen and Goodreader are some of the very best apps.
7. Review of TranscriptPad. Of all of the legal-specific apps that I reviewed over the past 12 months, my review of TranscriptPad received the most pageviews. If you read and annotate transcripts in your law practice, this is a fantastic app.
This time last year, I noted that some of the older posts on iPhone J.D. continue to see a lot of traffic. These same five "old favorites" once again saw a ton of traffic again this year:
1. iPhone "No SIM card installed" message. When I first had this problem with my iPhone 4, it didn't seem like many other people were talking about it. This post from July of 2010 has now been viewed well over 100,000 times. Clearly, I was not the only person to have the problem, and it must continue to be an issue for some if people are still reading that post today. As I noted in a follow up, the only real solution was to have the Apple Store replace my iPhone 4, leading me to believe that this is a hardware flaw affecting a small number of iPhone 4 devices.
2. My favorite iPhone shortcuts. iPhone J.D. was only a week old when I wrote this post in November of 2008, and it continues to see a lot of traffic. The tips are as useful today as they were four years ago.
3. A look at the iPhone passcode lock feature. This post from September of 2009 continues to be popular, and I hope that means that lots of people — especially attorneys — are using the passcode lock feature on the iPhone. You never know when someone else might pick up your iPhone.
4. iPhone Tip: create an Apple folder. I wrote this tip in June of 2010, and I continue to use an "Apple folder" on both my iPhone, my iPad and now my iPad mini.
5. Why the "i" in iPhone? If you were ever curious about the origin of the name of the iPhone, this is the post for you.
Visitors to iPhone J.D. My favorite part of publishing iPhone J.D. is hearing from readers, and once again I'd like to use this as an opportunity to talk about what I know about those of you who read this website.
About 43% of iPhone J.D. readers during the past year accessed this site using Windows, about 19% used a Mac, and over a third of visitors accessed the site from an iPhone or iPad. There were also about 1,000 visits from a BlackBerry device over the last 12 months. My guess is that those were mostly people looking to upgrade from a BlackBerry to an iPhone, something that I continue to see all the time.
Most iPhone J.D. visitors are in the U.S., but there continues to be viewers from cities around the world. For the fourth year in a row, there were more visitors from New York than any other city. London continues to be the top non-U.S. city, and I frequently get emails from barristers and solicitors in the U.K. who love their iPhones and iPads. Nine of the top 10 cities were on the list last year too. Last year, Singapore was #10 on the list. This year, Singapore just barely missed the top 10 (it was #11) and Sydney (which was #14 last year) moved up to the #8 spot. G'day, mates!
One of these days I suppose I should update the banner picture on iPhone J.D. Many of the apps that were important enough to me four years ago to be on my first homescreen have been replaced. Instead of TwitterFon, my favorite Twitter client is now TweetBot ($2.99): . I rarely play 2 Across or Wurdle any more. My current word game obsession is Letterpress (free, but you'll want to spend $0.99 for the in-app upgrade to add features): Feel free to send me a GameCenter friend request if you want to play a game of Letterpress with me; I'm firstname.lastname@example.org. And instead of the built-in weather app, my home screen now features a folder with many of the weather apps I mentioned this past August, plus a new weather app that has quickly become one of my favorites: Check the Weather ($1.99):
On the other hand, I appreciate the nostalgia when I look at that banner picture and think of the state of the iPhone four years ago. The iPhone 3G was the hot new model and it would have seemed foolish back in 2008 to think about a Retina display. There were no folders on the iPhone, no copy and paste, no push notifications, no tethering, no landscape keyboard on the iPhone's screen and no support for external Bluetooth keyboards, no Find my iPhone, no multitasking, no ability to open email attachments in another app, no FaceTime, and no Siri. Back in 2008, only 5% of AmLaw 200 law firms had attorneys using the iPhone. Now, there are lawyers using iPhones at almost every law firm.
Publishing iPhone J.D. for the last four years and discussing all of these improvements has been great fun. This website has given me a good excuse for learning how to make the most of my iPhone and iPad, it has given me the opportunity to meet some fascinating attorneys from around the world, and it has been so gratifying when people tell me that they learned something interesting and new from this website. Over the last four years, iPhone J.D. has served well over two million pageviews to well over a million different people. As the number of lawyers and others using the iPhone and iPad grows, I'm sure that I'll continue to see many new visitors, but I especially appreciate those of you who continue to read iPhone J.D. every week, either in your browser, in your RSS reader or by subscribing to the email version of this website. Please continue to share with me your ideas for topics and apps worth considering on iPhone J.D. during the next year.