Article – ABA Journal “The Mobile Lawyer”

Joe Dysart recently wrote the article, “The Mobile Lawyer” that was featured in April edition of the ABA Journal.

The article covers the rising popularity of smart phones and tablets by lawyers. Most of the article focuses on lawyers’ use of smartphone apps and the mobile web for practicing law. Mr. Dysart devotes one portion of his article to law firms creating their own apps. That section of the article focuses on whether firms should develop web compatible sites (programmed in HTML5) or native smart phone apps. The article describes the CEO of Facebook who admitted that his company’s reliance on HTML5 was a mistake. On the other hand, software company SAP has committed to developing web-compatible apps in HTML5.

The article describes the drawbacks of HTML5, including its lack of responsiveness compared to native applications and some mobile sites not running as intended because different versions of mobile browsers run differently. The article indicates that creating native apps can be “unappealing”, especially due to the amount of money that could be involved in developing the app [Even so, as the Law Firm Mobile blog has reported, many firms, large and small, have published mobile apps].

This portion of the article then describes a third-option, where one can use a service to create an app via a website without programming. The company profiled is named ViziApps, which could create both smartphone and HTML5 apps with the same approach.

In a comment to the article, the developer of iTimeKeep provided some insight into his own company’s HTML5 app efforts. Even though his HTML5 web app was less expensive to develop, he “found a very substantial increase in usage and adoption with the native applications even though the HTML5 was well written and very usable.”