The iPhone 5 gets all the hype, but the guts—the new mobile Apple operating system—should take some of the glory.
If you are running an iPhone with iOS 6, here are three ways it can help you run your practice with your smartphone.
Siri is your secretary
Siri is the virtual voice application that you see in Apple ads with celebrities. With the previous iOS, Siri was helpful. Now, Siri is downright awesome.
With Siri, you can dictate e-mails. For example, when you are in your car and should be paying attention to the road. Instead of fumbling around and sending two word e-mails, you can dictate while you drive. The process is smooth, easy, and only requires the initial button push (you can actually have Siri turn on when you put your phone to your ear as well).
I’ve also used Siri in the car to set reminders to do things that I’m bound to forget by the time I get to the office/court/networking place. When it gets to the point where Siri can cancel appointments and tell my wife I’m running late again, then she’s perfect.
In the meantime, Siri is like a really poor person’s secretary. Except she’s free. Which is pretty awesome, especially if you’re running a solo practice.
Find your phone and get it back (or erase it)
One of my favorite iOS features/apps has always been “find my phone.” Now you can remotely lock your phone, while also displaying a message with a number to call you at. That way, if someone nefarious finds your phone, it is locked. If someone helpful finds your phone, they can instantly see how to contact you to return your missing phone.
Greatest thing since sliced bread? Not quite. But pretty cool nonetheless. For people who don’t take data security seriously, the remote lock and erase feature could be a lifesaver. It’s also a nice intermediate step in the event you left it somewhere “friendly.” Instead of having to instantly erase your phone, you can lock it and see if Ned Flanders gives you a ring about your lost phone.
Facetime from anywhere
For the uninitiated, Facetime is a video chat application that runs on iOS and Mac OS X. It’s easy to use and can be a great way to remotely talk face to face. Admittedly, it doesn’t have the highest video quality I’ve seen for video chat, but for mobile devices it’s great.
Previously, Facetime was only available if you were using a Wi-Fi connection. That restraint has been removed and you can now video chat over your wireless provider’s internet signal.
That means you could send a lowly associate to review evidence in the boonies, but now you can see it live over the interwebs. Or if you’re a lowly associate that needs direction, you can Facetime your boss from the boonies. Heck, even if you just want/need to video chat from a remote location, you can do it without having a Wi-Fi signal.
Not a gamechanger by any means, but it adds yet another tool to your practice. And most importantly, it’s free.