Android App Review: MyCase

With ABA TECHSHOW finished, it’s time to get back to my regular reviews of apps, gadgets and all things Android. For starters, I wanted to showcase what’s going to be one of the best looking case management apps for lawyers: MyCase.

mycase

If there’s one thing that TECHSHOW taught me, it’s that cloud practice management software is all the rage. Dozens and dozens of vendors are trying to tackle the niche market. I’m not sure how that’s going to benefit users, except to say that “competition is good.”

The problem with many practice management solutions is either expense or features. MyCase tackles and improves both, offering one of the most robust cloud practice management solutions I saw at ABA TECHSHOW. More importantly, at least for my readers, MyCase is releasing — the app isn’t technically available in Google Play, but they MyCase folks will “turn it on” sometime this next week — its beefed up, feature packed Android app that might change my opinion about the benefit of apps over mobile optimized sites for some functions.

The app versus site dilemma

Generally, if you ask me whether you should have a mobile optimized site — which I think is different from a “mobile site”; email me to discuss — or develop a “feature packed” mobile app, I’ll choose site every time. Thus, shortly after MyCase announced its app last week, someone questioned the benefits over the system’s already decent web interface.

Except, sometimes I’ll break my own rule to allow the app, and one of those times is to enable an easier interface for certain programs. Such is the case with MyCase and other practice management programs. Because sometimes accessing information via a mobile app is a lot easier than grabbing the same tidbits via a website; though I’d certainly be happy to sit down and discuss all of the various aspects over dinner.

MyCase offers easy interaction

One of the best features of MyCase’s new Android app was the easy-to-use interface with the “home office.” Although I had to take screenshots from my phone (check out more screenshots on the MyCase blog), Matt Spiegel, one of MyCase’s co-founders — one of the great perks of being a legal blogger is that the important guys/gals swoon over you — walked me through all of the intricate details of a beautifully designed app.

MyCase Android App

Gee whiz, I sound like a tween girl who just met her rock star idol, but MyCase just works.

Regardless of the task, the MyCase app gives you a great ability perform the function quickly and easily, which is ultimately what you want in a case management system.

MyCase Android App

And the quick and easy factor is one reason why an app is sometime a great bonus to an already good website.

MyCase Android App

MyCase Android App

Still some missing features

Despite all of its current beauty, there are some features that still need improving.

First, this initial release won’t give you access to documents or other files associated with the system. Matt tells me that MyCase is upgrading their document management system — it’s awesome, I got a sneak peek — so they’re delaying release of the documents tab for the time being.

Second, there’s no way to perform time keeping or tracking inside the app. MyCase believes this is irrelevant because most attorneys want to use the app for information access, not necessarily as a tracking mechanism. I can accept that, but I’m sure enough attorneys will request the feature we’ll see that added in the future.

And finally, I couldn’t (and I forgot to ask confirmed) see a way to search the oodles of information available, especially for clients (if you have a lot). I don’t know how much this feature would get used, but even if it’s useless search is easy to add to an application.

Time to give MyCase a glance?

Yes. I’m leaving ABA TECHSHOW ready to take a look at what I think are the 3 best cloud case management programs available right now: MyCase, Firm Central, and Firm Manager. MyCase, with its Android app and soon-to-be released document system, looks to become a powerful program and leader in law practice management systems. Overall, and until I put the whole program “through the ringer,” MyCase gets a 4 of 5 stars.

MyCase’s Android app wasn’t “turned on” at the time of this publication. I will update my review with a Google Play link when the app’s available.

Get this app on Google Play

9 Responses to Android App Review: MyCase

  1. MyCase app looks really good. This is a customized app. Though this is not available on store at the moment but I would still love to know about it’s price and the path so that I can get to my device.

  2. Thanks for the review. I was looking forward to the android MyCase app, and just found it in Google Play tonight. The app doesn’t appear to handle money issues (e.g. receiving payments/updating invoices) or note-taking (e.g. correspondence w/ clients) at all, which unfortunately means it doesn’t help me much. This first version appears to be little more than a window into existing data, with little ability to edit anything.

    Any idea if more editing/updating functionality is coming in a future version, based on your conversations w/ the people at MyCase? You mentioned time keeping, but I’m curious if they gave you a more general sense of the direction of the app in the area of actual data management. For my practice, which uses technology in every way possible — including a heavy reliance on MyCase — doesn’t appear particularly useful.

    • Yes. My sense is that the MyCase folks will slowly roll out additional features, including time keeping, document management, and possibly payments/invoices. The app allows you to send messages to other users and to clients.

  3. “Second, there’s no way to perform time keeping or tracking inside the app. MyCase believes this is irrelevant because most attorneys want to use the app for information access, not necessarily as a tracking mechanism.”

    MyCase would be very wrong. Time tracking is huge for lawyers.

  4. Our small firm uses MyCase (1.5 yr). I was excited about seeing the app as I use it at home on my Ipad. I tried to download it on my Samsung Galaxy Blaze (Basically a smaller version of the Galaxy 3 running on Gingerbread) but it gives me an incompatible device error message. I have a call in to their customer service/tech support, but had to leave a message.

    Tracking time and allowing for the input of time slips into the main system like you can do at work is key, for us is actually the most important function it could have on a cell phone as that is where billable time is not captured typically and we find ourselves outside the office a significant amount of the time. Hope they can get me up and running without a phone change. ALso, hope they get to where we can input time sooner than later as accessing info is pretty good, but tracking time is the gold standard.

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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+.