In fact, the user interface of this new app will now drive development of the UI for Rocket Matter’s web version and its iPhone and Android apps. “This UI will drive the other products,” Port said. “Its look and feel will be interpreted for our other platforms, starting with the Web and moving to other devices.”
I was able to test a pre-release version of the app and I was impressed by its responsiveness, simplicity and features. With this app, an attorney can do almost everything on an iPad that he or she could using Rocket Matter’s Web version. The biggest feature missing in this app from the Web version is access to document storage. That will be added at some point, Port told me.
What is here is the full ability to access and edit all matters, contacts, calendars, tasks and notes. Users can also view billing and trust account information and add billable time and expenses.
All of this information is available whether you are online or offline. If you add or change any information while you are offline, you can synchronize it with Rocket Matter once you are back online.
Simple, Responsive Design
As you can see from the screenshots, the design is simple. Tap “Matters” and a list appears of all your open matters. You can also view completed and closed matters. To add a matter, simply tap the “+ Matter” button at the top of the screen.
Other functions operate in the same way. View your calendar by day, week or month and tap a button to add an appointment. View pending and completed tasks or filter tasks according to who created them or who is responsible for them. View, edit and add contacts. In the billing view, a quick tap lets you select the month to view invoice and a tap elsewhere on the screen lets you change the view of your billing from day to week to month.
Everything is searchable from a search box at the top of the page. As you begin to type a search term, a drop-down suggests matching results.
After using the app, one aspect that stood out to me is its zippiness. Tap a command and the information appears instantly. The only time I saw any lag was in switching among calendar views from day to week to month, and that was no more than a second or two.
As I mentioned, the app lacks document storage. Other features in the Web version that are lacking here are the ability to create invoices or to run reports such as accounts receivable, user activity and the like. Port said that these “back office” type features may never be added to the app, because he does not think attorneys use them away from the office.
Users can customize the app by choosing from six theme colors and by adding either an avatar or an image of their own.
Although the iPad edition is being announced today, its availability for download in the iTunes Store was delayed by Apple’s release today of iOS 8. The app will be available for download by early October, Port said.