The iPhone is an amazing device, but it does have some annoying limitations.
- Dropbox. Problem: I work in a paperless office—all client files are stored online—and I have Dropbox on my iPhone. This means I have access to every single file (it will download a file if you click on it). One problem, my office uses OpenOffice.org, and Dropbox will not read those documents. Solution: every pleading and every judicial order are stored as PDF files, which Dropbox can read. In addition, if I know in advance I will need to the file, I can download it to my iPhone for easy access. Bottom line: Slightly annoying, but not really a big issue.
- Skype. Skype runs great on my iPhone. I can call clients from my cell phone, without using my cell minutes, and it looks like I am calling from the office. Problem: iPhone cannot switch between applications. If I am logged into Skype, the minute I flip over to Safari to check my email, Skype is turned off. Even worse, Skype only works on a wi-fi network, no calls over the 3G Network are allowed because of “contractual restrictions.” Solution: Other than “jailbreaking” my iPhone to allow multiple applications to run at the same time, there is no solution. Bottom line: Major annoyance.
- Drafting documents. A few weeks ago, my computer at the office was having issues. I decided to see if I could run my day using just my iPhone. Email? Check. Calling clients from Skype? Check. Meeting with clients using my iPhone to reference documents instead of a computer? Check. Doing legal research and drafting a memorandum of law? Good luck. I doubt it would be much easier drafting the same on a BlackBerry. Solution: you can certainly read full web pages on the iPhone, and take notes by hand. Bottom line: This limitation is not unique to the iPhone—if you are trying to draft documents on a smartphone, I think you have bigger problems.