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