CheckboxAccording to a flawed survey from the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center, the number of attorneys using iOS devices is rising. Of course, this isn’t any sort of surprise, since the ABA basically pushes iOS use (just look at the number of iOS sessions at ABA Techshow compared to other platforms), most legal tech websites are pro-iOS, and attorneys are like sheep: herded to others in the crowd.

Admittedly, when we talk mobile legal tech, iOS is where it’s at. It’s hard to dispute an appeal for great apps for lawyers, like TrialPad. Don’t forget though, Android still has it’s powerful prowess.

I still wonder though, what’s the appeal with iOS? My Android device already has the features iOS lacks, so why do lawyers keep flocking to Apple? Here’s a new poll to answer the question:

[gravityform id=”25″ name=”iPhone Dominates Because” description=”false”]

Jeff Taylor

I'm just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I'm also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.


Albin · July 30, 2013 at 10:42 am

Lawyers were almost uniformly on Blackberry for years. As its future turned dark, Apple was there and ready for prime time. Once a few partners settle on a make, the administrative apparatus of the whole firm goes there. Nobody wants to burden the firm’s IT to be a PITA in an Apple shop.

    Jeffrey Taylor · July 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    While I agree to some extent with the comment, I don’t think that’s the full scope. I know plenty of lawyers without a firm IT who are stuck on Apple products.

John · July 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm

I think, for the most part, it’s just easy. The UI is dead simple to operate, and operates the same whether you’re on an older iPhone, a newer iPhone, an iPad, or iPod touch. A lot of these folks probably have Macbooks/iMacs at home too, as well as Apple TVs, and it all works together out of the box. Add in the fact that their movies/music/etc. can be shared across devices without much thought or effort and I think it makes perfect sense, particularly for people who don’t necessarily have a lot of time on their hands to setup and/or troubleshoot.

That said, I still love using my Android phone and tablet, but my wife will probably never leave her iPhone/iPad/Macbook/iPod Nano ecosystem behind.

    Jeffrey Taylor · July 31, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I’m not sure that’s the reason though, but I see what you mean. Android offers many of the same media features, especially considering the new Chromecast.

      Paul McGuire · August 2, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      I think John is spot on here. To me iOS vs Android is a matter of how tech savvy someone is. I find that people who are used to a Windows environment are more likely to be fans of Android. If you are someone who enjoys a lot of control and customization then Android works great for you.

      I found it interesting how my brother was on Android for a long time. He has always been a Mac guy but because he couldn’t initially get an iphone without switching carriers he stuck with Android. He had a Galaxy S III for a while (maybe six months to a year) before he broke it. Then he decided to switch to an iPhone which he could now get on T-Mobile. He immediately said “This is so much better!” He wasn’t interested in spending time to tweak anything on Android. When I tried to show him some tweaks I do he thought they were mostly a hassle he didn’t want to bother with.

      On the other hand, my close friend who has been a Windows power user for years had an iPhone for a while and thought it was good, until he got a Galaxy S 4. He immediately said “This is so much better!” In part he enjoyed the level of control over his device and all the apps he could install to get his phone to support FLAC playback. He found the apps on Android to be more like what he is used to on Windows. He enjoyed the free apps that were created by the tech community to fill a need.

      Of course some people can’t even figure out iOS but that is a different story. I think most people benefit from a few in-depth exploration videos of the features of their smartphone’s system.

        Jeffrey Taylor · August 2, 2013 at 1:06 pm

        Paul, that’s a great point. I see a lot of people either deciding they want to “tinker” with their phones or not. If you’re a tinkerer, then you’ll probably like Android. If you want a out-of-the-box product, iOS is a great device. I have a colleague who wanted to get rid of his Android phone because he couldn’t figure out how to add a contact and make a call; “it’s always screwing up,” he said. I showed him how easy it is, and now he’s less inclined to change.

        Being taught how to use the device, or even what the device can do, is essential to loving a mobile device. I also know that very few people want to spend the time watching a lengthy demo video, only to get more confused.

RedGramLiving · August 1, 2013 at 10:53 am

I agree with John that it is probably because the ecosystem is much stronger than Android. I am seeing the same pattern with my legal clients as I did when I worked in Fortune 500 companies. Blackberry was the number one preference. When they didn’t offer any new options, Apple was there to bridge the gap. Most people also started buying other Apple devices and adopted iCloud. Now they are comfortable with their Cloud computing and technology environment and don’t have the incentive to switch.

    Jeffrey Taylor · August 2, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Everyone keeps talking about the cloud ecosystem, but I don’t think that’s a factor. I know very few iOS attorneys (unless they’re earlier adopters) who actually rely on their iCloud services. Most are satisfied and stable using Dropbox and other cloud programs. So, in reality, I don’t think that’s a major factor.

    I’m almost uniformly subscribed to the notion that the iOS preference is this:

    1. Branding (“I want an iPhone/iPad”)
    2. Follow the crowd (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing)
    3. “Necessity” of legal apps
    4. Comfort

    I’m really convinced that UI, tech, or “ecosystem” have little to no influence in an average attorney’s decision to use iOS. Honestly, it think a major draw is “everyone else has one, so I should too.”

    In fact, I heard that response (not stated in so simple words) at a couple of recent tech gatherings and conferences.

    Now, I also don’t recommend, unless you’re not fully invested, that most people switch to Android from iOS. The simple reason: cost.

      RedGramLiving · August 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      Jeffrey, I agree. Unfortunately branding and comfort do play a large role in sticking with Apple. Have you done any research on the break even point (in terms of cost) for switching from iOS to Android? You would of course have to take the typical learning curve of a lawyer into account. I would be interested in reading a post on that subject.

        Jeffrey Taylor · August 7, 2013 at 6:33 am

        I haven’t examined that, and my cursory search of Google didn’t reveal any other articles. That’s a good idea though.

        I’m not sure how you’d factor that data. I guess it’d be based on generic apps, uses, and such, not specialized. Also, since a lot of the main apps are free, I’m not even sure that’s a massive factor.

Rich Harris · August 2, 2013 at 11:40 am

Why do lawyers flock to BMW, Mercedes, etc etc.? Yes they are nice cars but did they even try Lexus, Acura, Infiniti..etc etc? I believe all devices and ecosystems should be test driven and then a selection made. I love my iPad 3 and my Galaxy S3…they are both awesome devices.

Jeffrey Taylor · August 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm

That’s my philosophy, too. Even though I’m very pro-Android, I can give countless examples of when I said that iOS was probably a better fit for someone.

Patrick Stiehm · August 2, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I use both. There are of course differences but my test is, can it get the given job done? If the answer is yes, I use the tool at hand at the moment.

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