TrialPad 2.0 for the iPad is so good, this isn't even a review. It is an unabashed fan letter. Even non-litigators can benefit from this great app, especially if you have an iPad 1 that you won't be trading in for a while. First of all, I have been referred to as thrifty (well, OK, maybe even a tightwad.) A few searches will find my byline attached to features like High-Tech Penny Pinching for the GPSolo magazine. So when I first blogged about TrialPad right after ABA TECHSHOW 2011, I noted that I was initially a bit put off by the $89.99 price tag. Apps are supposed to cost 99 cents, right? Or at the very most $4.99! After seeing TrialPad 1 demonstrated, however, I could see that it could be worth that price.
Recently released TrialPad 2.0 for the iPad, however, renders the value proposition a moot question. TrialPad 2.0 for the iPad is not competing with 99 cent apps. It is a legitimate competitor to trial presentation software costing tens of thousands of dollars in purchase and training costs. Best of all, you don't have to go through days of training. Anyone who managed to complete law school can figure out the basics of TrialPad in an hour or so. TrialPad.com has FAQ's and some short videos to help.
The more expensive trial presentation software packages certainly have more features, but they also have more complexity. TrialPad 2.0 can be used in ways you would never use the traditional presentation products. If you are going to a wired courtroom with a projector, it just takes a few minutes to load seven or eight documents into TrialPad, making it useful for a short evidentiary hearing or an argument on a motion. Carrying your own projector and screen obviously takes a little more time for setup. For a jury trial, it probably makes sense for another lawyer or assistant to run TrialPad when lead counsel does the trial. But at least it is possible to do both with a single lawyer.
Any lawyer who might want to display images from an iPad on a screen and projector can benefit from this tool. I see this being used for mediations, settlement discussions, planning, training and most any time you want several people to see a display using a screen and projector.
What's new in TrialPad 2? You can see the new features here. The most-awaited was the ability to do call-outs so that a paragraph can expand out of a dcoument for easier viewing by a jury. There's a new white board feature that could be useful in all sorts of settings. Now it can import all sorts of file formats besides PDF, including JPG, PowerPoint, Word and multi-page TIF's. (I haven't tried this yet, but I note that Oklahoma State Courts Network site displays filed pleadings in multi-page TIF's.) It can play videos and create short clips from longer videos!
TrialPad 2.0 can even partially make up for the display limitations of your iPad 1. As manof you know, external display is greatly improved with the iPad 2, although depending on the app, it is far from perfect. But if you want to use TrialPad to display the image from your iPad 1 through a projector, it is now this easy: Click the Power button on the top right corner of your iPad, and while holding it down, click the iPad Button on the front of the iPad. You will see the screen flash white and hear the camera shutter sound. Now open the Photos app on your iPad. A JPG of that screen shot will be your most recent photo, click on it to open it and use the arrow key to send it to TrialPad. Then you can use TrialPad 2.0 to display that with the projector. After you have done this a few times, it takes far less time to do than reading these instructions. And it is easy because TrialPad 2.0 now accepts JPG images.
If you missed the earlier discussion about using an iPad and Google Maps during depositions, you can review that here.
For a detailed review of TrialPad 2.0, Finis Price has a nice one here at TechnoEsq. There are more reviews here at TrialPad's website. TrialPad has a blog and Twitter feed as well. I have done several presentations on using iPads in the Courtroom in the last few months, two with my friend Tom Mighell (http://ipad4lawyers.squarespace.com/), and most recently to the Oklahoma Association of Defense Counsel. I always save TrialPad until near the end so I can end with a big finish. The trial lawyers have always been very impressed — and that was just TrialPad 1.5 ! For many lawyers, this will be $89.99 very well spent and it will make you love your iPad even more.