Category Archives: Apps

New Google Apps Help with Accessibility

Image of basset hound with its ears pulled out
Photo via Unsplash.

Google is working to make communicating easier for those with hearing difficulties, recently releasing two new apps, Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier.

Live Transcribe works as a “live” transcription tool. It uses cloud-based speech recognition to transcribe conversations in real time. This can help those with hearing difficulties to participate in conversations without a time lag or delay, since they can read the conversation as it’s happening, instead of struggling to hear and missing out on what’s being said.

If you have a Pixel 3 device, Live Transcribe is already installed. If not, Google Play is adding it as an option in beta- you can sign up here to be notified when it’s ready. 

Sound Amplifier is like a hearing aid in the form of an app- it functions kind of like noise-cancelling headphones. It can cut out background noise and raise the sound of what you’re trying to hear or listen to. It does require wired headphones to work, and also comes pre-installed on Pixel 3 devices. You can also download it from the Google Play app store here. You can play with the settings in order to tweak it to fit your personal needs.

Mobile Legal Dictionaries

Looking for a legal dictionary for your mobile device? Law Technology News has a good review of apps for both the legal professional and the non-lawyer. Apps are available in both iOS and Android and range from free to $55.
Here’s a sneak preview of the review

First, some words of advice on downloading law dictionary apps: don’t get snookered. Many law apps come from developers with no expertise in law or legalese, just a clever idea for exploiting free online archives of public domain law dictionaries…
Judge a dictionary app by its publisher. Some app developers appear better suited for cool action games, fashion runways and wildlife refuges… Stick with dictionary apps from reputable legal information publishers with names we know and trust like Barron, Black, Merriam-Webster and Wolters Kluwer.

Hat tip to Virtual Library Cat’s Eye View.

iPad and iPhone Apps for Productivity and Fun

I recently gave a presentation on iPad and iPhone apps at the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting in Seattle. I demonstrated a number of different work and life productivity apps.
I’m sharing the handout that I prepared because I thought that some of you may also be interested in these apps.
The list contains apps for creating and managing documents, travel apps, an on-the-fly language translator (great for international travelers), an app that eliminates hold times for customer service, and much more – even an app that tells you the best time to take a bathroom break at the movies. Most are free and others are available for a small cost.
For more mobile apps, see our UW Law Library guides:

TrialPad and Other Apps for Legal Professionals

Last month in San Diego, a local news station reported that the District Attorney’s office was beginning to use an IPad app in the courtroom. Called TrialPad, the app allows attorneys to view diagrams, pictures and other evidence from a variety of angles, giving juries a better look at their evidence. The app can also serve as a way to edit video clips, store important documents, view documents side-by-side and includes a whiteboard for note-taking. While the price is hefty for an app at $89.99, the useful aspects and real-world applications of TrialPad make it worth a look if you are wanting to add a new wrinkle to your case presentation.
The San Diego court recently banned poster boards from all cases except for murder cases, so the TrialPad app has helped fill the void of presenting exhibits that once would have been a typical poster board presentation. TrialPad is being used across the country by a variety of lawyers, including the US Attorney’s Office, and can be purchased in the Apple App Store.
If you are interested in other iPad apps that can be used by legal professionals, the vast majority of which are either free or less than 10 dollars, check out the Law Library’s guide to iPad legal apps. If you prefer Android tablets or smartphones, the Law Library also has an Android legal apps page. Both are updated frequently, so check back for new and useful apps.
Post by Kris Turner