2013’s Best Android Apps for Lawyers

 

Once again, we find ourselves confronted with the task of narrowing down the ever-growing number of Android apps. With over 1 million apps in Google Play, there’s no doubt that we’ll find some of the most powerful ways of boosting an Android device’s mobile capabilities.

This year, I asked for your assistance in nominating apps for the list, and thanks to you, we’re here.

I approached the 2012 list with the fundamental ideology that each year’s list of the top Android apps for lawyers should encompass the gamut of apps from productivity to gaming to communication. I’m carrying this ideology forward for 2013, and categorizing the apps based on their use. Also, I capped the 2012 list at 50 (or close to) apps, which now I believe does a disservice to you. However, while I’m not going to limit the number to a “top X apps” type of list, I’m still very selective on the app’s inclusion — some categories might not seem that way.

For instance, apps like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn aren’t listed. Though they might be useful and have universal appeal, quite frankly, they’re not unique enough to deserve long-term mention. However, I do mention apps like Hootsuite or Plume, which are Twitter clients, because they have features that I believe promote more efficient use of the social media platform.

If I’ve reviewed an app, then you’ll see that app’s name linked like this. If I haven’t reviewed the app on this site, then you’ll see the price linked like this, ($1,000).

Now, here are my picks for 2013’s Best Android Apps for Lawyers:

Lawyers

I’ve selected a limited number of “lawyer-specific” apps for this category that I think have universal appeal. You can see the ever-growing list of “lawyer apps” here.

  1. CaseManager ($20.00) — a fully functional case management system to use for handling your law firm’s client matters from your Windows PC or tablet.
  2. Depose ($7.99) — a great app for lawyers who want to manage deposition questions from their Android tablet; the app allows you to import exhibits, arrange questions, and add notes to questions based on a witness’s response.
  3. dLaw (free+) — this app provides an offline repository of state and federal statutory laws and regulations, much like the bundles of law books sitting on your bookcase. Basic content, like the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, is included with the app. State-specific or practice-specific content (called add-ons) will cost extra.
  4. Fastcase (free) — use this app to perform legal research from your mobile device, this app will help get it done, for free.
  5. iJuror ($15.00) — if you’re selecting a jury, then you might consider using this app. One drawback is the difficulty in making this app work in the fast-paced jury selection scenario.
  6. The Law Guide/Dictionary (free) — legal terms dictionary

Productivity

  1. Adobe CreatePDF ($19.99) — convert documents to PDF on your Android device
  2. Able2Doc (free) — convert PDF documents to MS Word documents for mobile use
  3. Air Display ($9.99) — enables you to use your tablet or smartphone as another monitor
  4. AirDroid (free) — transfer files to your Android device over a WiFi connection
  5. Bitcasa (free+) — similar to Dropbox with unlimited storage space.
  6. CamCard – Business Card Reader (free+) — scan business cards and add them to your Android contacts; tablet version here
  7. CamScanner (free+) – “scan” documents with your phone and convert the picture to PDF
  8. Cloud Print (free) — print documents directly from your Android device to a printer connected with your Google account.
  9. de Mobo (free) — control presentations in your Chrome browser from your Android tablet or phone; utilizes a Chrome app
  10. Dictadroid ($2.99) — digital voice recorder for dictation
  11. DocuSign (free+) — electronically sign documents from your tablet or smartphone; send documents to others for signature
  12. Drive (free) — this service offers document creation — Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Surveys, Forms, Diagrams — and file storage for those documents and pictures.
  13. Dropbox (free+) — online (cloud) file storing for syncing files between multiple devices or computers.
  14. Evernote (free+) — a robust note-taking system for journal-like storage of anything you can think of.
  15. ezPDF Reader ($3.99) — read, edit, annotate PDF documents on your Android tablet or smartphone.
  16. Gmail (free) — easily manage email messages.
  17. Google Calendar (free) — easily replaces the default Android calender and syncs across devices
  18. Google Earth (free) — view pictures of the Earth, street views, and other elements
  19. Google Keep (free) — similar to Evernote, but without many of the “bells”; great app for keeping simple lists, adding reminders, and clipping webpages for later.
  20. Google Translate (free) — translate phrases from one language to another
  21. LogMeIn ($29.99) — remotely access your desktop computer from your tablet or smartphone
  22. Microsoft Remote Desktop (free) — easy to use/manage remote desktop manager; great for in-office (same network) remote desktop protocol (RDP), not so easy for outside network use
  23. MightyText ($3.99) — link your tablet or desktop to your phone to make sending and reading text messages easy
  24. Mint Personal Finance (free) — great for managing personal finances; similar to Quicken or Quickbooks mobile accounting
  25. OfficeSuite Pro 7 ($14.99) — one of the best apps to replace Microsoft Office on an Android device.
  26. QuickOffice (free) — the second best MS Office replacement, which integrates with Google Drive.
  27. Papyrus (free) — take handwritten notes on your tablet or smartphone.
  28. PushBullet (free) — share links, pictures, files, notes, and other items between your tablet or smartphone and your Chrome browser.
  29. Quill ($1.00) — another handwriting app that’s slightly better than Papyrus.
  30. RealCalc ($3.49) — scientific calculator with more advanced features than the default calculator
  31. RepliGo Reader ($2.99) — a PDF reader and editor
  32. Simple Date Calculator (free) — calculate the number of days between two dates and a number of other functions
  33. Tasks ($0.99) — tasks manager that syncs with Google Calendar

Security

  1. Android Device Manager (free) — built-in security suite that allows you to remotely lock, ring, locate, or wipe your Android device
  2. BitDefender (free+) — virus and malware protection with the ability to lock, ring, locate, or wipe your Android device
  3. Boxcryptor (free+) — encrypt files from your smartphone or tablet for storage in the cloud
  4. Google Device Policy (free) — additional security features for your Android device that connects to Google Apps accounts
  5. Lookout Mobile Security (free+) — virus and malware protection with the ability to lock, ring, locate, or wipe your Android device

Media

  1. Amazon Kindle (free) — read books on your Android device
  2. Amazon MP3 (free) — listen to music on your Android device
  3. Ambling BookPlayer Pro ($8.99) — play audio books on your Android device
  4. Autodesk Sketchbook ($4.99) — picture editing and drawing program; this is more of a sketchbook
  5. Feedly (free) — view and read blog posts via RSS feeds
  6. Google Play Movies (free+) — rent or purchase and stream movies and television shows (cost of each varies)
  7. Google Play Music (free+) — stream or purchase music
  8. Hulu Plus ($7.99/month) — stream television shows from your Android device
  9. iHeart Radio (free) — listen to Clear Channel stations across the United States
  10. Netflix ($7.99/month) — stream unlimited television shows and movies over the internet to your Android device
  11. Pandora (free+) — commercial free (with subscription) music
  12. Pocket Casts ($3.99) — listen to a variety of podcasts
  13. PS Touch ($9.99) — Adobe Photoshop for tablets; edit pictures
  14. Snapseed (free) — simple photo editing software
  15. TuneIn Radio (free+) — listen to radio stations from all over the world

Social Media

  1. Google+ (free) — a more professional social media experience
    1. Note: this app/social media platform makes the list because of its professional nature and the several enhancements to its photo-sharing/storage system
  2. Hootsuite (free) — Twitter client that allows you to post from multiple social media accounts
  3. Instagram (free) — take pictures, crop them, add some “flair”, and then publish them on the internet
  4. Pinterest (free) — “pin” interesting and unique facts, pictures, or stories, and share them with your followers
  5. Plume (free+) — a robust Twitter client

Communications

  1. Feedly (free) – RSS reader for handling
  2. Hangouts (free) — chat and text messaging application; also allows video conferencing
  3. Zoom Cloud HD Video Meetings (free+) — video conferencing program; allows free, 40 minute video conferences for up to 25 people

Customization

  1. Aviate (free/invite only) — a launcher that “learns” what apps are important to you based on particular locations or situations
  2. Nova Launcher (free+) — a launcher that improves the look, feel, and functions of your Android device

System tools/miscellaneous

  1. ASTRO File Manager (free+) — file manager for accessing Android file system
  2. BitDefender Mobile Security (free+) — antivirus and malware protection for your Android device; includes remote wipe, tracking, and “find me”
  3. c:geo (free) — a Geocaching.com client for tracking and marking Geocaches
  4. CallTrack (free) — keep track of who you call and who calls you; records time and number and syncs with Google Calendar
  5. Clipbrd (free) — synchronize your Android and desktop clipboard information via Chrome extension; copy text on the PC and paste it on your phone, and vice versa.
  6. Chrome (free) — a simple to use internet browser that can sync across mobile device and desktop computers
  7. Chrome Beta (free) — the authorized pre-release version of the Chrome browser; includes “beta” features for testing and review
  8. exDialer ($3.99) — changes (and improves) the default Android dialer and contacts
  9. GasBuddy (free) — find the cheapest gas near your location
  10. Google Analytics (free) — track your website’s performance and visitors
  11. Google Keyboard (free) — excellent replacement for stock keyboard; features swipe typing and predictive text
  12. Google Maps (free) — navigate streets, landmarks, parks, and other outdoor locations all over the world
  13. Google Voice (free) — creates a second number for voice and text messages, you may also make phone calls to/from your device
  14. Human Anatomy Atlas ($24.99) — 3D representation of the human body and anatomy
  15. Kitchen Timer (free) — handy countdown timer
  16. Lookout Antivirus and Security (free+) — system security protection for your Android device; includes remote wipe, tracking, and “find me”
  17. MyTracks (free) — track speed, altitude, and distance, then map the route information
  18. OnGuard Weather Alerts (free) — keep yourself “weather aware” with this weather warning app
  19. OverDrive Media Console (free) — borrow EPUB eBooks and audiobooks in MP3 format, from a global network of more than 13,000 libraries
  20. PYKL3 Radar (free) — advance weather radar for tracking storm systems
  21. Smart Tools (free+) — an assortments of tools, such as a compass, level, flashlight, and tape measure
  22. Sound Search for Google Play (free) — hear a song and search for the song
  23. Speedtest (free) — test the speed of your WiFi or cellular internet connection
  24. Square Register (free) — accept credit card payments from your Android device (won’t comply with IOLTA requirements)
  25. SwiftKey ($3.99) — excellent replacement for stock keyboard; features swipe typing and predictive text; “learns” your typing habits
  26. TripIt Travel Organizer (free+) — organize travel plans in one place; forward email confirmations to automatically create a travel itinerary
  27. Voice Search (free) — issue commands to your device and Google will make them happen; installing Voice Search enables Google Now
  28. Waze (free) — GPS navigation app that “crowd sources” information about traffic, construction, speed traps, and accidents
  29. WiFi Analyzer (free) — if you wonder why you’re internet’s slow, this app helps you find the 20 other WiFi connections competing for your signal

9 Responses to 2013’s Best Android Apps for Lawyers

  1. Jeff- Thanks for putting this app list together. What an amazing group of tools that will help all of us be more efficient and productive lawyers. And the best thing about this technology is that if used properly, clients will be the real winners. Sharing, bookmarking and referring to again and again 🙂

  2. Jeff,

    You have Adobe Create and EZ PDF Reader. They seem to do the same thing? Do you really need both? For what it is worth, I use Adobe Pro XI at the office.

  3. Dropbox is Awesome! It’s really having a great file explorer. You can view files from your phone and easily add any pictures from your mobiles image gallery to your Dropbox to quickly transfer them to your computer or to clients, depending on the situation.

  4. This is actually a call for help, or at least ideas. Iowa uses an electronic filing system for all state cases. Pleadings from attorneys are filed as PDFs and orders from judges are also. You can download and view the PDFs on a regular Windows computer and apparently on the dreaded iwhatever; but you cannot using Android devices. All downloads from the site just keep going but eventually time out. Tech support stated: “As of this time the website is not compatible with mobile devices. I would advise you to do all of your transactions online as to avoid the issues of not being able to download PDF documents”

    Not much help or support or love.

    Is there any Android app that would allow a download from such a site? Not being able to view court documents in court is a disadvantage, but I will be damned if I am going to get an iwhatever.

  5. Why is it that tablet aps for email and word processing will not select text for copy-pasting 85% of the time? If clients knew they are billed for the hour trying to make tablets edit documents….

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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+.