Big changes have come to the iPad, so we thought it would be a good time to share what we’ve been up to, and what our plans are going forward…
In our December 2018 blog post (https://www.litsoftware.com/blog/2018/12/21/update-on-subscriptions) we shared some of our plans relating to our upcoming switch to subscriptions. Since then we’ve been working on the new subscription versions of our apps, the LIT SUITE, creating a strong foundation with the ability to add many new features and capabilities for years to come.
LIT SOFTWARE launched its first app at the end of 2010, just a few months after the introduction of the iPad. We’ve grown consistently over the years with 2018 being our best year yet, and 2019 is on track to be even better. This growth and success is due to users like you, thank you! We’ve always been passionate about designing, developing, and supporting software that allows our users to do great things. Providing unique solutions and a better user experience than exists on any platform is enormously gratifying. We believe our apps allow you to do more in less time, with less effort, and less expense, all while keeping you mobile and allowing for a work-life balance. We’ve enjoyed hearing from users so much that we’ve shared your experiences in our Featured Pro blog posts.
We’ve been working on the next generation of our apps, the LIT SUITE, and we’ve removed any self-imposed deadlines about what is going to be finished or released by when. The current versions of the apps are great, and we intend to keep them available on the App Store until the LIT SUITE is released. This will allow users to continue to get value from the apps even with our new apps on the horizon. We also intend to offer a special discounted subscription to our existing users so there’s no reason to put off buying the existing apps. We’re still working on pricing tiers, but it could be advantageous to be an existing owner of one of our apps when the subscription is announced 😉.
We were very happy with Apple’s decision to bifurcate the operating system into iOS for iPhone and a totally new iPadOS. This allows new features and capabilities that will be useful to legal professionals and exclusive to iPad users, such as the ability to transfer files to and from a USB drive. For this, and many other reasons, the LIT SUITE apps will only be available on iPad devices running iPadOS 13 or later. But all the new features and capabilities of iPadOS came with a cost. When it was announced by Apple this past June it meant that we had to revisit all of our plans. And the iPadOS beta cycle was particularly challenging, especially when we were adding our own new features and improvements, while moving to Apple’s document browser and iCloud at the same time.
Since we came out with the first version of TrialPad in 2010 we’ve always had our own custom Cases Screen, with intuitive folders representing each matter you may be working on. With the new LIT SUITE we’ll be adopting Apple’s standard document browser, the same one used by Apple’s own Pages, Numbers, and Keynote apps, so they should be familiar to users. With the Files app and iPadOS 13, our users will now be able to access their files using many of the cloud storage providers that they have been asking for, particularly Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, iManage, and the new Citrix Files (which replaces the deprecated ShareFile), and users will be able to copy files to and from USB drives. Soon you’ll be able to freely choose where you want to keep your documents and your Case File backups.
Many of you have reached out to us with suggestions for new features or improvements. The most popular request so far is better collaboration between users working on the same matter, a feature that iCloud and the syncing capabilities of iPad have made people aware of and hope for. We have big plans in this area, starting with easily sharing of Case Files using the Files app interface. That means you’ll be able to upload or download the whole Case File to or from any cloud storage provider that integrates with the Files app (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Citrix Files, iManage, Box, etc.). You’ll also be able to copy a Case File to or from a USB drive connected directly to your iPad. Imagine creating a Case File for Smith v. Jones, and easily sharing a copy using Dropbox with co-counsel across town, or even across the country. Or a legal assistant copying the Case File to a USB drive to share with all the attorneys in the office who are working on the matter. We want to take this even further, allowing multiple users to access one Case File, which will require more work on our part going forward.
Sign in with Apple
Another feature we’ll be implementing is Sign in with Apple, which is the fast, easy, and private way to purchase and sign into apps using the Apple ID that you already have. So instead of using a social media account, or filling out forms with an email address and creating a password, you’ll just tap the Sign in with Apple button, review your information, and sign in quickly and securely with Face ID, Touch ID, or your device passcode.
With iPadOS 13, Apple requires all new apps and updates to include the option for a dark system-wide appearance called Dark Mode. This seemingly simple task has been a huge undertaking, it is not as simple as reversing all the colors. A darker color palette has to be designed for all screens, views, menus, and controls, and it has to use more vibrancy to make foreground content stand out against the darker backgrounds. We don't think many of our users will want to use TrialPad or DocReviewPad in Dark Mode, especially since the original documents they’ll be working with are likely to be white pages, but the ability to use TranscriptPad to review a transcript file with white testimony on a dark background might be appealing to some.
We announced TimelinePad some time ago, but decided to take it back a few steps to make sure it would meet the expectations of our users, a very discriminating bunch! We don't want to say any more about it now other than when TimelinePad is finished it will be amazing, and will be exclusive to the new LIT SUITE. Stay tuned!
For any existing users who want to keep using the current versions of our apps (TrialPad 4.6.5, TranscriptPad 2.3.5, DocReviewPad 1.5.10) you can, you won’t be charged a subscription. However, once the LIT SUITE is released the legacy versions will be removed from the App Store and will not receive any more updates. All new features and improvements, and the aforementioned TimelinePad app, will only be available as part of the LIT SUITE.
The LIT SOFTWARE team has spent over a year focusing on improving our apps and getting them ready for the future. We’ve touched just about every line of code in our apps, which means our apps will be more robust going forward, and prepared for more powerful iPad devices. They may even work on the Mac sometime in the near future 😎!
If you have any feedback we’d love to hear from you! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. (We know that looks like a generic corporate email address, but rest assured, it is read and acted upon by real people.)