I’ve had my Apple Watch for a little over a year now and while it hasn’t changed my life, it’s been a welcome addition to my technology arsenal. The best part about it—and something that will appeal to most lawyers—is that my Watch tames information overload in a way that effectively untethers me from my iPhone.
It does this through notifications. You can fine-tune the notifications sent to your watch from your iPhone, ensuring that you receive only the most pressing and relevant information in an unobtrusive fashion. The notifications allow you to focus on the proceedings at hand without giving the appearance that you’re distracted.
Of course there’s more to the Watch than notifications alone. As time goes by, more third party developers are releasing useful apps, and thus the Watch’s utility increases for lawyers. Here are a few innovative, off the beaten track apps that I’ve recently discovered. I like these apps because each one adds a unique functionality to the Watch and has the potential to streamline the day-to-day life of attorneys.
First, there’s Just Press Record ($2.99). With this app you can easily record any meeting, conversation, or voice reminder using your Watch. You can then share your recordings using any number of apps and services that integrate with the app including Notes, Dropbox, Mail or Messages. And, since it automatically syncs using iCloud Drive, you can also play back the recording on any iOS device, your Apple Watch, or your Mac.
Another useful app is MacID ($3.99). With this app you can unlock your Mac laptop or desktop by simply tapping your Watch’s screen. Security is incredibly important for lawyers and this app enables increased security by allowing you to choose a more complex password for your Mac while making it easy for you—and you alone—to start up your computer with just the touch of your Watch screen rather than having to enter in a lengthy password everytime.
Speaking of security, another app designed to increase security is 1Password, one of the leading password manager tools. Using the Pro version of this Watch app ($5/month), you can select the passwords you use most often and program them into your Watch app. That way you’ll have quick and easy access to those passwords without having to locate and unlock your iPhone each time.
The ETA app ($2.99) is another handy app to have on your Watch. With this app, you program in your most-traveled destinations, such as the courthouse or your office, and the app then provides walking or driving times for each location, taking into consideration current driving conditions. It also includes predicted travel times for public transit in the locations where this feature is available.
If you travel often for work, another app to consider is App in the Air. This free app is described as a “personal travel assistant” and provides a wealth of up-to-date information about your travel plans. With the Watch app you have easy access to real-time data that allows you to track your current flight. With the app you can view flight and gate information, predicted security wait times, and boarding times.
And last but not least, if you’re one of those people who tends to leave your iPhone behind, Lookout is a useful Watch app that you might want to check out. One of the best features of this app is that it notifies you when you are nearly out of range of your iPhone. This is a particularly handy feature for the times when you’ve left your phone behind at the office while rushing out the door for an appointment. You’ll receive a notification advising you that you’re phone is nearly out of range and also have the option to press the “scream” button, which will help you to locate your phone by causing it to emit a sound. The app is a bit buggy and I’ve found that it sometimes notifies me that my iPhone is out of range when it’s actually nearby, but hopefully they’ll iron out this issue and make it easier for users to fine tune the distance that triggers the notifications.
So there you have it! A few Apple Watch apps to consider looking into. While none are earth shattering, hopefully one or two of these apps will help to streamline your life and law practice.