On November 17, 2008, I started iPhone J.D. and published my first post, explaining why I found the iPhone a valuable tool in my law practice. That makes iPhone J.D. seven years old today. It's hard to believe that I've now been publishing this website for as long as I was in both college and law school, and yet that comparison works well because I have learned so much over that time. To be sure, the world of iOS has changed a lot over those years. The iPhone itself has improved dramatically — the device is much faster and more powerful, and has gone from just a few third party apps to an incredibly deep catalog. The iPad was first introduced during those seven years, and now comes in three varieties from the iPad mini to the iPad Pro. And we now have a large number of fantastic iPhone and iPad accessories, from Apple's own Apple Watch and Apple TV to countless products made by third parties. As a result of all of this new hardware and software over the past seven years, iPhones and iPads are even more useful for attorneys. It's no wonder that, according to the ABA, almost half of all attorneys own an iPad, and over half of all attorneys own an iPhone.
Over the past seven years, I've written over 1,300 posts on iPhone J.D., including reviews of over 300 apps, reviews of every major iOS device released by Apple (from the iPhone 3GS to the new iPhone 6s and all models of the iPad) and reviews of over 100 accessories. I've also tried to provide lots of tips and tricks for getting the most out of your iPhone and iPad, and discussed all of the tech news that I think that you might want to know about if you use an iPhone or iPad. If you haven't checked out the iPhone J.D. Index recently — now new and improved with a hyperlinked Table of Contents — click the "Index to Prior Posts" link at the top of any page to get there. The index will direct you to lots of posts that are as useful today as they were when they were written, although there are others with only historical significance.
Through the years, I've received tons of great feedback from iPhone J.D. readers — via email, when I see readers at conferences or even in court, or in the form of the over 3,000 comments on the site. I've learned so much from talking with you, and many of those conversations result in posts. Please keep the feedback coming! I've also been honored to share guests posts by attorneys from around the world who use iPhones and iPads in their law practice. (Please get in touch with me if you are interested in writing a guest post on how you use these devices in your own practice.)
As more and more attorneys use iPhones and iPads, site traffic has grown every year. As a result, iPhone J.D. has now had well over 6 million page views in seven years.
Popular posts this year. Every year on the birthday of iPhone J.D. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), I find it interesting to look back and see which posts over the prior 12 months were the most popular. The fact that these posts were so popular might reveal something about the topics that iPhone and iPad owners have been thinking about lately. Here, in order, are the top ten most viewed posts published in the last 12 months:
- Apple Watch tip: solve disconnect from iPhone by resetting Bluetooth. The Apple Watch is a brand new product, so unsurprisingly it was far from perfect at launch. The first problem that I encountered with my own Apple Watch was when it mysteriously disconnected from my iPhone. On April 30, 2015 I provided some tips for solving this problem, and considering that around 50,000 people have viewed that post, it's clear that I was not the only to encounter that problem.
- Review: Microsoft Word for iPhone and iPad -- view and edit Word documents on any iOS device. Technically this post was published on November 7, 2014, so just before iPhone J.D. had its sixth birthday. Nevertheless, I'm including it on this year's list because it was published close to November 17, 2014 and the post was just as popular during this last year. And that should come as no surprise. For years, Microsoft Word was the #1 requested iOS app for attorneys, so it was big news that Microsoft finally updated its Word app to run on the iPad. It is definitely one of the most useful apps on my own iPad; I use at work virtually every single day. And now that we have the iPad Pro, giving attorneys the ability to run Word on a device with a screen just as large as a laptop screen, it is easier than ever to get work done on an iPad when you are out of the office, and it makes the iPad even more useful as an accessory to your computer when you are in your office. If you are an attorney and you are not running Microsoft Word on your iPad and iPhone, then you are missing out on something really useful.
- iPad tip -- turn off Messages if you share your iPad. This was one of those posts that I wrote after hearing from an iPhone J.D. reader. And it covers an important issue for anyone to consider, but especially if you are an attorney and your text messages sometimes contains confidential information. If you have multiple Apple devices, and one of them is out of your possession and used by others — such as an iPad at home used by your kids — you need to manage your Messages app so that your kids or others don't see your private messages.
- Review: Bamboo Stylus fineline -- active stylus with Bluetooth features. This is another post that was technically published just before last year's sixth anniversary post, but it was far more popular during the last twelve months. Wacom's Bamboo Stylus fineline is an excellent active stylus for the iPad, but I suspect that the popularity of this post had less to do with this specific model and more to do with the fact that so many of us have been on the lookout for the best iPad stylus. That's why I myself cannot wait to start using the Apple Pencil with my iPad Pro. Unfortunately, it is still essentially impossible to get, but I did get a chance to try one in an Apple Store and it works very well.
- Review: Microsoft Outlook -- email client for iPhone and iPad. I suspect that for many attorneys, the only program that they use on their computer more than Microsoft Word is Microsoft Outlook. Thus, I was not surprised to see so many folks read my review of the new Outlook for iOS. Having said that, I'm not using this app myself because I don't like the way that Microsoft takes messages from my law firm's mail server and stores a copy on Microsoft's own server before sending the message to me. If you already use a cloud email service in your law practice such as Gmail, then you have already decided that you are comfortable with your emails containing confidential and attorney-client information being in the possession of a third party that hasn't signed a confidentiality agreement with you. I don't mean to judge; that's a decision that each attorney must make for himself or herself. But for me, I prefer to keep my messages only on the mail server that my law firm controls, and that's why I don't use the Outlook app. It's a shame, too, because the app has lots of great features that don't exist in the built-in Mail app, such great tools for working with attachments.
- Review: Adonit Jot Pro -- fine point stylus for iPad. Once again, a lot of folks were interested in reading about another new stylus. Having said that, the 2015 model of the Adonit Jot Pro is currently my all-time favorite stylus. (I suspect that designation will change when I start using the Apple Pencil.) If you don't have an iPad Pro and you want a great stylus, I strongly encourage you to consider this one.
- Markup in iOS 9 -- useful feature for lawyers and their clients. iOS 9 came out just a few months ago and it includes a lot of powerful new features, including Markup.
- 60 Apps in 60 Minutes 2015. ABA TECHSHOW, held in Chicago very Spring, is always my favorite conference for meeting up with iPhone J.D. readers. Most years, there is a 60 Apps in 60 Minutes session on the last day, a fast-paced session in which three or four presenters quickly discuss apps that attorneys should be aware of. After the 2015 session, I posted the list of the 60 apps discussed. It's a shame that, looking at the 2016 schedule which was just posted, I don't see a 60 Apps in 60 Minutes session at the next Techshow, and instead they have a session called Android and iOS Apps: Common Grounds. I'm sure that will be an interesting session too, but I'd rather have both.
- Ghost emails and missing emails. I posted this after I found a solution to a strange problem on my iPhone — three emails on my iPhone that I could not delete, with the ghosts of those emails living on. I guess I wan't the only one with this problem.
- Review: Adonit Jot Script 2 -- major update for the original active stylus. Yep, there were three stylus reviews in the top 10 this past year. I was particularly interested in checking out the Jot Script 2 by Adonit because the original Jot Script was a groundbreaking device, the first active stylus for the iPad.
Visitors to iPhone J.D. Ever year, I use this post to share some information on iPhone J.D. visitors, to the extent that I can figure it out using the tools at my disposal. I'll start by saying that all of you are interesting and intelligent, but I didn't even need to look at the statistics to know that.
During the past 12 months, a record 59% of readers visited iPhone J.D from an iOS device, which includes about 19% from an iPad and about 40% from an iPhone. About 22% used Windows, which is what I use in my own office. About 13% used a Mac, which is what I use at home. Almost all of the other visitors (about 4%) used Android, which is higher than you might have expected given the nature of this website, but remember that (1) every year lots of folks switch from Android to iOS, and (2) some of the third party accessories that I have reviewed can also be used with an Android device, and even some iOS apps have a version available for Android.
Almost 60% of iPhone J.D. visitors are in the U.S., but the site also gets a huge number of visitors from the U.K., Canada and Australia. In every prior year that I have done a post like this, the #1 city for visitors has been New York. That changed this year, but just barely: there were a few hundred more visitors from London over the last 12 months than from New York. This is also the first time since 2012 that Washington, D.C. has made the list; last year's #10 city Singapore dropped down to #15, and Dallas just missed the top 10 by a few hundred visitors.
New Orleans, where I live and practice law, hasn't been in the top ten since this website's second birthday, but proudly sits at the #26 spot, right above Dublin and right below Vancouver.
Most importantly as I start the eighth year of iPhone J.D., thanks to all of you for reading and offering comments and encouragement along the way. I look forward to another year of writing about the world of iOS hardware and software that is of interest to attorneys.