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Legal Loop: My latest iPhone app discoveries

By: Nicole Black//June 12, 2015

Legal Loop: My latest iPhone app discoveries

By: Nicole Black//June 12, 2015

I readily admit it: I’m a tech geek. And one of my favorite things to do is to discover and try out new iPhone apps. Not all of them are keepers, but I often find a few worth holding onto.

Nicole Black
Nicole Black


It’s been a while since I shared my favorite apps, so I figured it was high time I wrote about some of my latest discoveries. So, without further ado, here are a few of my new favorite and often-used iPhone apps.

First, if you travel often, make sure to download FlightBoard. This free app provides instant access to all flights and their assigned gates at any given airport. So as you are waiting to deplane, you can access your connecting flight’s gate information. Then open the GateGuru app to view a map of the airport, so you can locate your next flight’s gate and any restaurants you’ll encounter as you make your way to your next flight.

Another travel app I’ve mentioned in the past that I can’t live without is TripIt. I use this app to store all of my travel itineraries in one place. Another benefit is that the app also automatically adds my flight and hotel information to my calendar.

Next, my favorite news app. For a while now I’ve been searching for a news app that provides quick access to the headlines I want to see and recently discovered SmartNews. This is a free app that offers news stories from a variety of sources and allows you to tailor the topics and sources that appear in your news feeds. It’s a very good news app and I highly recommend it.

Next up, two media apps. First, there’s Amazon Music. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, then you have to download this free app, which provides you free access to the Amazon music library as part of your Prime membership. You can play music by certain artists or albums or access Prime Music Custom stations or Playlists. You can also create your own playlists using content from the Amazon music library.

Another media app that I really like is Google Photos. This app was just released and automatically backs up and provides free online storage for all photos taken using your iPhone and other devices. The photos are automatically organized by people and location and you can search the photos by typing in the subject of the photo you’re seeking. So for example you can enter “dog” to locate all photos taken of dogs.

Two contact management apps I use often are CircleBack and Brewster. CircleBack is a free app that collects all of your contacts and then searches through its data in the cloud to provide you with the most current information for your contacts. The data is obtained from other users address books, which are then synced in the cloud with current records and anonymized. You receive notifications whenever one of your contact’s information includes updates, which you can then download to your iPhone. Of course, the tradeoff to be aware of is that you’re providing your contacts’ information to this service in exchange for the benefit of receiving updated information about your contacts.

Another free contact management app is Brewster. This free app syncs with your contacts on your iPhone and also collects all of your social media contacts into a fully searchable database, so you can easily search for contacts living in a certain area. Brewster also automatically categorizes your contacts and allows you to create custom categories as well. So, for example, categories automatically created by that app that appear on my iPhone include “law practice,” companies for which I’ve worked, and schools that I’ve attended. This is a great app that makes it even easier than ever to stay on top of your ever-growing list of contacts.

So those are a few of my favorite apps. Download a few of them and give them a try. Hopefully you’ll find a few of them to be as useful as I do!

Nicole Black is a director at, a cloud-based law practice management platform. She is also of counsel to Fiandach & Fiandach in Rochester and is a GigaOM Pro analyst. She is the author of the ABA book “Cloud Computing for Lawyers,” coauthors the ABA book “Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier,” and co-authors “Criminal Law in New York,” a West-Thomson treatise. She speaks regularly at conferences regarding the intersection of law and technology. She publishes three legal blogs and can be reached at [email protected].

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