Mobile Phones / Smartphones - Legal Technology - Technologist
Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Recently in Mobile Phones / Smartphones Category

You're a tech-savvy attorney, as fluent in gigs and RAM and blockchain as you are in personal injury, summary judgement, or motions in limine. You know how to tell a worthwhile tech product from an unnecessary one, and you know how tech can improve your practice of law. Or, hey, maybe you can't tell a Mac from a PC -- but you want the best new tech out there anyway.

If either of these sound like you, here are five worthwhile gadgets you should check out.

Google, not content with controlling most of the world's search, email, and web browsing, released its own "iPhone killer" this month, the Google Pixel. Now, Google technically already controls the mobile phone market as well. Its Android operating software is used on almost 90 percent of all smartphones worldwide. But Pixel is Google's latest, most aggressive shot at conquering phones themselves, coming on the heels of its Nexus phones. And it has pretty great reviews so far.

Should lawyers give it a try?

Apple unveiled the new iPhone 7 last week and while the newest iteration of the smartphone isn't reinventing the wheel, it is making some small changes. Chief among them: Apple is dropping its headphone jack. That means that if you want to listen to music on your iPhone, you'll have to use Bluetooth headphones called AirPods that sit, cordlessly, in your ear, or get more traditional, cord-based headphones that hook up with the iPhone's Lightning charger, instead of a headphone jack.

But the change isn't just about aesthetics or performance or cords. It's also a shrewd legal move on Apple's part.

A few years ago, your "smoking gun" was likely to show up as a "smoking email," some sort of electronic document, probably found on a single computer, giving essential information in civil litigation, criminal inquiries, or internal investigations. Today, those electronic documents still remain essential, but they've expanded from the smoking email to the smoking text message, or even the smoking Snapchat.

But as information from mobile devices (cell phones, tablets, and the like) has become increasingly important, developments in cloud computing are making accessing that information ever more difficult. Here's why.

If you're tapping away on an iPhone, make sure you've got the latest updates. Otherwise, your calls, text messages, emails, and contacts could all be vulnerable to Israeli cyberspies -- or whoever buys their software.

The NSO Group, an Israeli software company that the New York Times describes as "one of the world's most evasive digital arms dealers," has released software exploiting security vulnerabilities in Apple products, allowing anyone who uses it to collect your information, steal your passwords, track your location, and even secretly record your conversations. All they have to do is send you one text.

Wearable Tech Is a Security Nightmare

As time goes on, technology has not only assumed a larger role in the layman's life, but in the lawyer's as well. Today, wearable tech is all the rage -- and whenever something is all the rage, that's when professionals should let cooler heads take the lead. Because any sane-minded professional should realize that wearable tech presents an enormous security risk.

You need to know what's going on in the world, but you've rarely got time to sit down for the nightly news, let alone read through a newspaper. Sure, you can scan through social media or quickly browse a website, but that's a pretty haphazard way to stay informed of major news events.

That's where the Reuters TV app comes in. (Disclosure: Reuters is FindLaw's sister company.) Reuters TV allows you to get high-quality, authentic journalism no matter how busy you are, by creating a customized news video stream that adapts depending on how much time you have to spare.

The Inevitable Finally Happens: U.S. Senate Ditches BlackBerry

We all knew it was only a matter of time before the once dominant BlackBerry would give way to Samsung and Apple devices on Capitol Hill, and it looks like that day is finally here. The U.S. Senate has stopped handing out BlackBerry devices to its staffers, according to Politico. Apparently the launch of the latest BlackBerry device couldn't staunch the winds of change.

No matter for the company's CEO John Chen, who made a promise that the BlackBerry devices would become profitable again.

You wake up and check your phone. Before you go to bed, you send a last-minute email from under the covers. Twenty years ago, doing so much work in your pajamas would have been unthinkable. Now, it's the norm.

And you've got your smartphone to blame. Mobile phones have changed how the law is practiced by your average lawyer perhaps more than any technology since the desktop computer.

Encryption: What Happened to the Government's Push for New Laws?

Do you remember the public furor and spittle that came out of the iPhone versus FBI battle just a scant few months ago? Do you also remember how momentum behind a national initiative to force phone makers into complying with law enforcement access to encrypted data reached a fever pitch? Whatever happened to that law?

It's dead, or at least effectively so, according to Fortune. And this demonstrates a very interesting point about politics, teeth gnashing and the collective memory. Our politicians don't seem to have the endurance to stick it through.