Nexus 6 – IT IS Bigger than Big


Nexus 6

Apple last month released the iPhone 6 Plus with the slogan, “Bigger than Big”, which seemed to take aim at Samsung’s “the Next Big Thing” campaign. Well it looks like Google wanted to show that it is actually the biggest kid on the playground. Today, with the help of manufacturer Motorola, Google introduced the Nexus 6, which is even Bigger than Bigger than Big.

The Nexus 6 will be bigger than the iPhone 6 Plus in everything except available internal storage (the Nexus 6 tops out at 64GB, while an iPhone 6 Plus is available with internal storage up to 128GB). Unlike the iPhone 6, Google is actually using the name Nexus 6 to denote the size of the screen as opposed to the version of the phone. The Nexus 6 includes a whopping 5.96″ screen with a resolution of 1440×2560 pixels (much greater pixel density than the iPhone 6 Plus’ 1080×1920 pixel density). Memory on the Nexus 6 is at 3GB, and with a 3220 mAh batter, Motorola is promising mixed usage of the phone for up to 24 hours. If your batter is running low, Motorola has thrown in Turbo Charge that lets you add 6 hours of usage with a measly 15 minute charge.

When the actual size of the Nexus 6 is considered, it is just a hair bigger than the iPhone 6 Plus in every way. It is 6.27″ tall, 3.15″ wide and has a depth from .15″ to .39″. This compares to the iPhone 6 Plus which measures 6.22″ tall, 3.06″ wide and a depth of .28″. Overall these two phones will look very close in actual size. Motorola has also thrown in a 13MP camera with Optical Image Stabilization and dual LED flash. If the camera is tuned well, the performance should come close to or exceed that of the iPhone 6.

The Motorola Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order at the end of the month and is expected to ship in early November. Unlike prior Nexus 6 models, this one is expected to be available on contract from all the major US carriers. Additionally, unlocked Nexus 6 models will be available directly from Google through the Play store.

See Motorola’s site for more information about the Nexus 6:

Google Announces Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Android 5.0 – Lollipop

Android Lollipop

On the official Android Blog today, Google announced “the most ambitious release” of Android yet, Android 5.0 Lollipop. Android Lollipop was first made available as the Android L beta at Google I/O, but it will be shipping with the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 devices when they are released early next month. In addition to adding programming instructions to allow developers to offer more advanced apps, Android Lollipop will make sharing your device and experience much easier.

Google promises that devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop, will have consistent experiences across all devices thanks to material design, and that you will be able to pick up where you left off when listening to music, viewing photos, working with apps, or simply searching your device. To enable better sharing of your specific device, there are better privacy features to determine when notifications are allowed to be shown, and multiple user accounts and passwords will be available even in Android Lollipop phones.

In addition to the major milestone of Android L coming out of beta, Google announced new members of the Nexus family designed by Motorola and HTC. The Motorola Nexus 6 is a 6″ Quad HD display device with an aluminum frame and 13 megapixel camera. There are dual front-facing speakers on the Nexus 6, and it features a turbo charger that allows 6 hours of usage on a 15 minute charge. The Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order in late October and will be shipped in November. It will be available from US carriers as well as unlocked in the Google Play Store.


HTC is manufacturing the new Nexus 9 tablet. It features an 8.9″ screen, with brushed metal sides. For the first time, Google is also selling an optional magnetic keyboard folio for a Nexus tablet. The keyboard folio folds into two different angles and rests securely when using on your lap. The Nexus 9 will be available for pre-order on October 17th, and will be available in retail locations beginning November 3rd.

In addition to Android Lollipop shipping on the new Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 devices, Google has promised that Android L will be out of beta and available on the Nexus 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks.

Expect reviews of the new devices to start trickling out of the major tech blogs in the coming days. See Google’s Android Blog for more:

What’s Still Missing from iPhone/iPad after iOS 8

Apple announced a slew of new features for the iPhone and iPad on September 9th, 2014, as well as new devices to take advantage of these new features, but that leads to the question of what is still missing? I have compiled a list of the features that I would most like to see in iOS.

  • I am most disappointed that Apple has still not provided us with a new user interface. The way we launch items on an iOS device has not changed since the first iPhone was launched in June 2007.
Original iphone
Original iPhone Home Screen from 2007

In the more than 7 years since the original iPhone launched, items and apps are still arranged on a grid home screen starting from the top left, going to the right, and then down to the next row. There is no way to change the size of App Icons, hide App Icons, or even duplicate the App Icons if we want to use them in more than one folder. Yes you can limit the number of icons on a page by moving some icons over to the next page, but this is just not enough control.

Android, on the other hand, offers complete customization of the way that you interact with your device. There are completely different launchers that you can install that allow you to even make your device work like a Windows Phone, an iPhone, a Desktop computer, or even to filter your entire experience through Facebook. More importantly, there is a menu system by default.

Android Home ScreenInstead of your apps just being placed hap-hazardly on your screen in the order that they are installed, Android has a menu button that keeps all your apps in alphabetical order (or depending on your launcher will let you arrange in the order installed, add folders, or show your apps in the order of the most-used). If you want icons on your desktop, you are provided an option to automatically add them as an app is installed, or you can create them at any time on your own. App Icon’s can be placed on any empty space on a home screen, and it is no problem if you want to leave gaps so that you can see your background through your App icons.

Along with the change in how my app icons are displayed on screen, I also would like Apple to allow me to duplicate app icons. When giving a presentation, I arrange all my icons on my desktop in the order that I plan to use the Apps for the presentation. But to do this now, I must take them out of the arrangement that I previously created and move them back when I am done (anyone that has seen one of my presentations knows that I have over 200 apps installed on my iPad, but I have all of them within folders using only one home screen). On my Android tablet, I am able to copy the icons to another screen just for my presentation, and then delete them when I am done, without removing them from any of my previously created folders.

iPad Home ScreenI am not suggesting that Apple copy the default structure of Google’s Android, but I am suggesting that a company known for design, do something so that we can get rid of all the clutter on the desktop, and have more control of the contents of the device. In other words bring that innovate design to the home screen!

  • I like that iOS 8 allows widgets in the notification center now, but why limit the widgets to just the pull-down menu?

iOS WidgetsApple has finally added widgets to iOS in the iOS 8 release, but iPhone and iPad widgets can only be installed in the Notification Center. This means that whenever you want to access a widget, you need to pull down the notification center and look at a crowded screen of your notifications, calendar and any widgets that you decide are important to you. The notification center was supposed to be a simple way to see things quickly, but is becoming crowded with too much stuff in a limited display area. (Not to mention that I know users that have been using an iPhone for several years and don’t even know what the notification center is or how to access it.)

Why not allow widgets to be installed on the actual home screens?

For me widgets are not a big deal, but it is nice on my Android phone that I can have a page that has controls for my favorite podcast app, have a widget to tell me how many steps I have on my Fitbit, and also have 1/2 the screen show my calendar. When I want to access that information, I simply swipe to the next home screen and my widgets are available in the order I want and customized to a size I am comfortable with. They do not interfere with my other notifications in any way.

Android WidgetsEven though with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, we now have much more screen space, we cannot do anything new with that space. If Apple simply re-thought the user interface, and stopped trying to cram everything in the notification center or the control center (another place that few users even know is there), the iPhone would be so much more enjoyable to use.

  • Apple, please give us a simple way for multiple users to use the device!

Anyone that has a child, knows that it is nearly impossible to not have your child use your iPhone or iPad. Yes Apple has given us Restrictions and Guided Access, but those services both make the device harder to use for the primary user, and are hard to find even if you know they exist. If you use restrictions, it limits how you can use your device, and requires a password for just about everything you do. With Guided Access, you can only give another person access to one app at a time, and if they want to use a different app, it takes your interaction to switch apps and lock the device in guided access mode again.

iPhone iOS RestrictionsWith Android, Google has provided user profiles for certain tablets, but not in Android smartphones (some manufacturers have modified Android to include user profiles on phones, but the implementation is still not ideal). Even with Google’s user profiles, some apps cannot be provided to other users, and the main user still has to login separately to change settings and manage the profiles. Google has promised refinements to user profiles in the next version of the Android Operating System, but it is still unknown exactly how that will work.

My suggestion is that Apple allow password access to be set for each folder you create and each app that you install. If provided granular control of which apps are password-protected, I can feel safe letting a third-person use my iPhone or iPad if I know that any app with confidential materials is behind a separate password. Most importantly, this would also allow me to put a second layer of protection over the most important asset on my phone, which is my email account. There is no reason that Apple (and Google) shouldn’t find a solution to allow me to use a different password to view my email account, even when my device is already unlocked. (And this would allow me to continue to use a simple passcode to unlock the iPhone, but a more secure password for confidential information).

Separate user profiles is one step that would make the device more secure, but it is also an idea that goes back to the desktop computer. Since a smartphone is used differently than a desktop or laptop computer, it should be thought of differently when thinking about access control. The main difference with my smartphone, is that even when I am letting another person use it, I want to be able to immediately take it out of their hands and have access to all my information. With TouchID, Apple could even give us a new settings panel that would allow you to set which apps can be used based on the individual’s finger print using the device at that moment.

No matter what, this is an area that just cannot continue to be ignored. With data security being such a huge concern, users need to feel safe allowing a third-person to touch their device, and this safety must be done in a simple way.

  • I am happy that Apple is allowing more customization of keyboards, but allow third-party text messaging apps.
Example of a Swipe Keyboard in iOS 8
Example of a Swipe Keyboard in iOS 8

The two most important changes for me in iOS 8 are the ability to add a custom keyboard to your iPad and iPhone and the ability to respond inline to text messages. In the past, I have Jail-Broke my iPhone simply so I could install a different text-messaging application. It has never made sense to me that you have to leave the app that you are in so that you can respond to a text message. Luckily, in iOS 8, Apple has fixed that (if you hit reply, you can now respond within the pop-up notification).

But just because messages has improved, that doesn’t mean that someone else hasn’t thought of a better way to send and receive text messages. BiteSMS, for example, is an app that can only be installed on a Jail-Broke iPhone. Once this text messaging client is installed, you no longer have to use Apple’s built-in messaging app. BiteSMS lets you customize colors based on different contacts, include an image of a person when you receive a text notification, and use a gesture to launch BiteSMS to create a new text message from any screen.

If you have an Android phone, you have the option of installing any of dozens of different text-messaging apps that allow you to customize text messages to a way that makes the most sense for you. Since so many people rely on text messages more than cell phone calls now, the text messaging app and functionality is the most important thing to many people, but this is an area that has changed little for Apple in 7 years of producing phones. (Sure Apple introduced iMessage which changed how messages are sent and received, but the user interface has had no real changes to it).

Android SMS OptionsBy opening up text-messaging to third-party developers, Apple could allow others to truly innovate in this area.

  • While on the subject of text messaging, Apple, please allow me to send and receive text messages through my Windows desktop!

When Apple introduced iMessage, it allowed users with Macintosh computers to send and receive text messages through their desktop computer as well as their iPad. With the introduction of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, Apple now allows Macintosh users to go even further and send and receive any text message from their desktop or laptop computer. Although these features where made available for Mac users, no mention has been made of the huge market of business users that are stuck on Windows machines.

Mac MessagesWith my Android phone, I have the option of installing one of many different apps that allow me to send and receive my text messages on any desktop, laptop or tablet as long as my phone has a data connection and the device that I want to send the message from has a data connection. My phone does not even have to be in the same location for this functionality to work. The current solution that I use is MightyText.

MightyText TabThe reason that the ability text from my computer is important to me is that I feel unprofessional when I am pulling my cell phone out of my pocket to check text messages, but I do not feel the same way when accessing text messaging on my desktop computer. Even though some of the time I am sending or receiving text messages for personal reasons, my cell phone is primarily a business tool, and texting has become an important part of my job. Sure I could use something like Google Voice to accomplish what I want, but since Android can do this with third-party apps, and Apple can do this on Macintosh, there is no good reason to not do this for an iPhone user stuck with a Windows machine at work or home.

I understand that Apple wants everyone to use an Apple product, but some business users will simply never have an option to switch from Windows. With PC sales declining each year, Macintosh is not even a huge business for Apple anymore. Since we have iTunes and iCloud on Windows computers, why not release an iMessage client too? This simply feels like Apple punishing users that are spending a lot of money on their products simply because they are unable to use only Apple products.

If Apple truly put users first, they would stop developing features for the iPhone and iPad that only work well if you are using a Macintosh. Even if Apple doesn’t want to spend additional money developing for Windows, at least add this functionality to iCloud through a web interface.

  • Finally, in the continuing theme of customization, I would love Apple to finally let us set default apps to use within iOS. 

Apple creates decent apps, but its apps are not always the best. However, you are sometimes stuck having Apple’s built-in apps launch instead of your own as you attempt to do certain things. Most annoying for me is that Safari launches whenever I click a link in email, text messages, or most applications. Although Safari can usually get the job done, I am a Chrome user on all my desktop computers and mobile devices. I hate how difficult Apple makes it for me to continue to use Chrome as my primary web-browser on my iPhone and iPad.

Chrome on iOSIn Android, when you first click on any file or link that must launch a new application, you are provided with a list of applications that can handle the task you are attempting to complete. You can click on a box to set your favorite app as the default application, or you can have that list pop-up every time you launch this type of app. This is similar to how things are handled on your desktop computer. Unfortunately, this is not how things work in iOS.

Android App LauncherApple, please allow users to change the defaults. If you are concerned that using third-party apps will degrade the experience, give clear warnings when another app is selected as the default. Include these options within a settings panel, and provide an option to restore to defaults, but don’t limit usability for power users to protect less sophisticated users.

  • I agree Apple has made vast improvements to allow iOS to become more open with the latest release, but this doesn’t mean that things can’t be much better.

Apple, I beg you, it has been seven years now that I have had to stare at the same boring screen (see for an interesting infographic that shows just how much things have stayed the same on iOS since its original release), liven things up a little and give users something exciting to look at again. Don’t wait a whole year to add a new user interface, do it in a mid-year release. Give users who love your hardware a reason to not even consider switching to an Android device.

Apple has come a long way by introducing the option of customized keyboards, app extensions, and widgets in the Notification Center, now it needs to go that extra step and give us a fully-customizable home-screen, third-party text messaging apps, the option to set default apps for launching file types, and more control of text-messaging. If these features are made available in a Winter or Spring release, they would go a long way to making the iPhone a true competitor to Android for power users.

Steven Butler EsquireThis post was written by Steven Butler. Steven is a full-time Delaware attorney that limits his practice to Social Security Disability. Along with being a contributor for and, he is a partner at Linarducci & Butler, PA.

The New iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are Big Phones

On September 9, 2014, Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the new line of Apple Smartphones that will be available for purchase beginning September 19, 2014. Rather than one flagship model, Apple introduced an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 will have a screen size of 4.7″ and the iPhone 6 Plus will have a screen size of 5.5″. However, due to the large bezel on the top and bottom of these new phones, they are quite large in comparison to current Android flagship models.

First let’s take a look at the current phones with screen sizes of 4.5″ to 5.2″.

iPhone 6 Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy Alpha HTC One M8 Motorola X (2013) Nexus 5
  iPhone 6
Screen Size 4.7″ 5.1″ 4.7″ 5.0″ 4.7″ 4.95″
Screen Resolution 750×1334 (326 ppi) 1080×1920
(432 ppi)
(312 ppi)
(440 ppi)
(316 ppi)
(445 ppi)
5.44″ 5.59″ 5.21″ 5.76″ 5.09″ 5.42″
2.64″ 2.85″ 2.58″ 2.78″ 2.57″ 2.72″
.27″ .32″ .26″ .37″ .22″ .33″
4.55 oz 4.93 oz 4.06 oz 5.64 oz 4.59 oz 4.59 oz
Storage 16, 64, 128 GB 16 GB
(micorSD expansion up to 128 GB)
32 GB 32 GB
(microSD expansion up to 128 GB)
16 GB 16 or 32 GB
Camera 8 MP (1.2 MP Front-Facing) 16 MP (2 MP Front-Facing) 12 MP (2.1 MP Front-Facing) 4 MP (5 MP Front-Facing) 10 MP (2 MP Front-Facing) 8 MP (1.3 MP Front-Facing)

Although the iPhone 6 is smaller than the Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8, these phones have a 5.1 inch and 5.0 inch screen respectfully, and they are only a fraction of an inch larger than the new iPhone 6. Meanwhile, the similarly sized Motorola X (2013 edition) and Samsung Galaxy Alpha are both smaller despite the same 4.7 inch screen size. The 4.95 inch screen Google Nexus 5 is almost the identical size as the iPhone 6 despite the larger screen. Interestingly, the Nexus 5 also is able to pack a much higher resolution of 1080 by 1920 pixels in the same form factor. In fact, both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 also include the higher resolution of 1080 by 1920 pixels.

It is interesting that Apple, the company that is known for design and innovation, has basically done nothing to change how the front of the phone looks since the original iPhone was released in June 2007. In those 7 years, competitors in the field have made several form factor changes, and several have now done away with the large bezels of the last decade. Although Apple can create a thin phone, why is star designer Jony Ive unable to do anything to reduce the wasted space on the front of the phone?

When you turn to the larger 5.5″ screen size competition, things get even worse for Apple.

iPhone 6 Plus Samsung Galaxy Note 4 LG G3 OnePlus One
Screen Size (inches) 5.5″ 5.7″ 5.5″ 5.5″
Resolution (pixels) 1080×1920
(401 ppi)
(515 ppi)
(534 ppi)
(401 ppi)
6.22″ 6.04″ 5.76″ 6.02″
3.06″ 3.09″ 2.94″ 2.99″
.28″ .33″ .35″ .35″
6.07 oz 6.21 oz 5.26 oz 5.71 oz
Storage 16, 64, 128 GB 32 GB
(microSD expansion up to 128 GB)
16 or 32 GB
(microSD expansion up to 128 GB)
16 or 64 GB
Camera (megapixels) 8 MP (1.2 MP Front-Facing) 16 MP (3.7 MP Front-Facing) 13 MP (2.1 MP Front-Facing) 13 MP (5 MP Front-Facing)

The iPhone 6 Plus is the largest of the major large screen phones. The iPhone 6 Plus is even larger than the larger screened Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (which has a 5.7 inch screen). The LG G3 is actually closer in size to the iPhone 6 than the iPhone 6 Plus despite having .8 inches of extra screen real estate. Each of the competitors, with the exception of the OnePlus One, also have much higher resolution and pixel density with 1440 by 2560 screen resolution. Although Apple wins in the thinness category, you have to wonder if this thinness will actually make the iPhone 6 plus feel more delicate or breakable?

Again the major problem is not the side bezels, but Apple’s design decision to make the new iPhone 6 Plus simply look like an expanded iPhone. There appears to be the same percentage of wasted space on the top and bottom of the iPhone 6 Plus that exists in every other version of the iPhone that has ever been created. Although the case has now been rounded again (like it was for the iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS), if you looked at the front of the newest iPhone and the front of the oldest iPhone, you would simply think that the iPhone has been stretched out.

Apple creates great durable products, but I am concerned that it is too stuck in old ideas. Thinness is no longer the most important factor in the size of the cell phone, and really hasn’t been since the Motorola Razr. When I hear people talk about the size of phones, I rarely hear discussion of the thinness of the device, but instead frequently hear questions of whether the width and height will fit into a pant pocket comfortably. If you look at the newer Android phones that have nearly no bezel around the screen, they truly look innovative.

If LG can find a way to fit all the highest end components within a small form factor like the G3 and Nexus 5, why can’t Apple do the same? Apple has more market power than any competitor (except maybe Samsung that makes many of its own components). Apple forces suppliers to make modifications to components just so they can be included in its devices. I would have loved to have seen a re-thought front of the iPhone as opposed to just a new iteration of the same old. I love TouchID for unlocking the iPhone, but maybe even that button could be squared off so that nearly three-quarters of an inch isn’t wasted just so there can be one button below the screen. (Instead of wasted space to the left and right of the home button, maybe add some other buttons that would serve some use?)

I am sure that Apple will probably dominate the market in both the 5″ and 5.5″ category of smartphones as soon as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus goes on sale on September 19th, 2014, but I am disappointed that Apple no longer cares about leading the market in design and is letting Samsung and LG become the innovators in this space. I am hopeful that now that Apple has finally decided to follow market demand and release larger screen phones, that consumers will also put additional pressure on the iPhone by considering some of the smaller Android competitors when comparing these products side-by-side.

Steven Butler EsquireThis post was written by Steven Butler. Steven is a full-time Delaware attorney that limits his practice to Social Security Disability. Along with being a contributor for and, he is a partner at Linarducci & Butler, PA.

Google Play Officially Extends Refund Limit to 2 Hours for Apps

App Refund ScreenGood news if you are an attorney using an Android based smartphone or Tablet as your primary device. Google has officially changed its return policy for Apps and Games to allow a user a 2 hour window to request a refund. This is up from the prior 15 minute window that was available. After you purchase an app using the Google Play store, you will have a Refund button on the App description within the Google Play store on your device for the first two hours. After two hours, your only option will be to uninstall.

To request a refund on your Android smartphone or tablet, open the Google Play Store app (where you go to purchase or download apps on your device), and touch the Play Store Icon (the one that looks like a shopping bag) in the top left of your screen to bring up the menu. Within the menu, select My Apps (see picture below). Select the App you would like to return, and select “Refund”. It is that simple, if you are within your two hour period for a refund, you will receive a confirmation that you want a refund for the purchase and a warning that the app will be uninstalled.

Google Play Store My AppsGoogle Play Refund Request

It is important to note that if you request a refund, the app you downloaded will also be uninstalled. This is especially useful if you need a specific type of app, but there are several different options available in the Google Play Store. This gives you an opportunity to purchase an app, download it and try it out, and if it doesn’t do what it is supposed to, you can request a refund within 2 hours and try a different app. You can only receive a refund for an app one time. If you download it again, the Refund option is not provided.

Of course the risk in this change in policy is that a user may take advantage of the additional 1 hour and 45 minutes available for a refund and complete whatever tasks need to be done while cheating a developer out of any hard-earned money. The positive is that now when you have buyer’s remorse for the hefty $1.99 purchase you make, you can quickly reverse course. Notably, this option does not cover in-app purchases (sorry Candy-Crush addicts).

A refund can also be requested on a desktop computer, but the process is not quite as intuitive. While on the Google Play website, click the gear icon (settings style icon), and choose “My Orders”. Within “My Orders” point to the app you’d like to return and click the menu button that appears. Within that menu you select “Report a problem” and select the refund option (see picture below).


Google Request Refund

Definitely useful for those situations when you start using an app and determine that it does not do exactly what was promised in the description, or does not work on your specific device. Hope this helps.

Why Attorneys Should Care about Alleged Celebrity iCloud Breach

Data BreachOver the weekend, images of several celebrities were released to the internet that are claimed to be the result of a cloud storage breach. In the aftermath of the story, it appears that many, if not all, of these images were obtained from unauthorized access to these individuals’ iCloud storage accounts.

iCloud is a service offered by Apple for iPhones, iPads, and desktop computers, that among other things has a feature called Photo Stream that can automatically back-up your most recent 1000 photos. Although this attack was specifically used to try to extort money from celebrities, and to sell the photos to the highest bidder, the breach of these confidential materials should send a clear warning sign to any attorney using cloud services for client materials.

It appears that the affected accounts were accessed using a brute-force attack that repeatedly tried passwords after discovering email addresses of the celebrities. This specific attack used known dictionary words repeatedly until an account was successfully accessed. Once the account was hacked, the malicious users saved copies of the stored images. Unfortunately, it does not appear that Apple had a system in place to lock the account after successive invalid password attempts.

Due to the nature of the crime, the FBI is now investigating. But the important question, is why is this important to you as an attorney? Before you can answer that, it is important that you take a hard look at the type of data that you are storing in cloud accounts. Think about whether you have any confidential client data that is in your email, your address book, your calendar, or stored within your Apps that are backed up to iCloud. If you do, this same attack could have resulted in an ethical violation if your jurisdiction has adopted the revised Rule 1.6 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

Model Rule 1.6(c) requires that an attorney “make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.” Comment [18] to the Model Rule helps explain that an attorney must “act competently to safeguard information” but that unauthorized access itself does not demonstrate violation of the rule, if the attorney has “made reasonable efforts to prevent the access or disclosure”. In determining the reasonableness of efforts, factors to consider include: “sensitivity of the information, the likelihood of disclosure if additional safeguards are not employed, the cost of employing additional safeguards, the difficulty of implementing the safeguards, and the extent to which the safeguards adversely affect the lawyer’s ability to represent clients.”

The good news is that most of us attorneys are not high profile enough that we would be a huge target for the type of breach described, and that Apple has updated iCloud to prevent this same type of breach in the future. But it still is something that should make any attorney stop and take notice.

First the easiest thing that any attorney can do to make the information secure is to use a strong password. The password should not contain common dictionary terms, it should be 8 digits or longer, and should include a combination of numbers, letters and symbols. The same password should not be used on every site, and your password should be routinely changed.

The next thing that is important for the legal community to understand, is what is stored in your cloud accounts? It is important that you are aware if any of your client data is being backed up by third-party services.

For iCloud, start by looking at the General iCloud settings in your iPad and/or iPhone (open the settings app, and select iCloud in the left hand column). The initial iCloud Settings will show you what information is being backed up from your device.

iCloud Settings


Within the iCloud settings, you can further see what information your apps are storing, by selecting “Documents and Data”. From there you might be surprised to find that apps are saving information to the cloud, that you were never aware of. You can turn off backing-up of this data by simply using the selector next to the app.

iCloud Document Backup


After tackling strong passwords, and selecting data to be backed-up, you next must be familiar with the security provided by your back-up service.

In the example of the iCloud breach, an attorney would want to know how many times a password can be attempted before an account is locked, whether you will be notified by email or text message of suspicious account behavior (like a password change or request for password change), whether information is stored encrypted and whether two-factor authentication is available. It would also be nice to know if a log is accessible of when your account is accessed.

Under Model Rule 1.6, I would be highly concerned if I was an attorney and my account was accessed using the iCloud exploit described above. The most concerning thing to me would have been the strength of the password. If the password was a simple dictionary word that could have been accessed in this manner, it is possible that your local disciplinary office may determine that you did not take reasonable steps to preserve confidentiality of client data. Since there is no cost to creating a more secure password, it is simple to do, it is unlikely data would have been accessed if the password was stronger, and a strong password would not adversely affected an attorney’s ability to represent clients, it is hard to see how this would not be a punishable infraction.

The good thing about any breach like this is that it makes everyone consider the implications of poor security measures. As an attorney, I would recommend that whenever there is a major data breach, you take a few minutes to determine how that same breach would adversely impact you and your clients. Although this specific attacks seems to have only affected iCloud users, even attorneys using Android, Blackberry or Microsoft devices should consider how their data is backed-up and accessed.

Big News in the Storage Wars, Dropbox Matches Google and Microsoft 1 TB Storage

DropboxEver since Microsoft and Google made affordable plans available for 1 TB of online storage, I have been wondering when DropBox would become competitive again. Well today that wait is over. DropBox announced today on its blog that it has increased the storage limit on its DropBox Pro plan from 100 GB to 1 TB, while keeping the same monthly cost of $9.99. This is in line with what Google charges and still more expensive than the Microsoft offering of $2.50 per month for OneDrive for Business. For the comparable $9.99 per month, Microsoft offers Office 365 which includes 5 copies of Microsoft Office to be installed on your desktop computers, copies of Microsoft Office on the iPad, and 1 TB of storage (with the free option to create 4 additional accounts for family members with their own 1 TB of storage space).

In addition to the increased storage DropBox is adding better sharing controls. When files are shared, you can now create passwords for the shared links, expirations of the links, and you can chose whether to share folders as view-only, or view and edit. More importantly, DropBox is also adding the option to Remote Wipe your files on a lost device.

The updated space will be complete for existing users within the next few days. I had previously planned to cancel my DropBox subscription and just rely on Microsoft OneDrive, but based on the increased storage option, DropBox may have been able to keep me as a customer for another year.

Securing Your Smartphone Before it is Lost or Stolen

Secure Your SmartphoneGizmodo has a great article that explains simple steps that every attorney can take to secure data on their smartphone before it is lost or stolen. The article mentions locking the screen when the device is not in use, activating remote tracking and wiping features, backing up your data and settings, using 2 factor authentication, and encrypting your data. Basic instructions are provided for enabling all of these features. Other than enabling 2 factor authentication, the rest of these features are pain-free and result in very little loss of productivity.

For more information, see How to Protect Your Data Before Your Phone Gets Stolen.

Traveling Attorneys Should Check Out Hotel WiFi Test

WiFi Test on MobileIf you are an attorney that has to travel often for your job, should be your first stop before booking your next hotel. has compiled rating of the WiFi at popular hotels by actual users. This website helps attorneys (or for that matter any travelers) that must rely on Mobile Devices like smartphones, tablets or laptops find hotels that provide the best WiFi. compiles it speed index by using actual tests from users when visiting an hotel. There is a speed test that you can run when you are logged into WiFi at a hotel, and the results become part of the index. You can search results based on city or hotel. Larger cities have the most results right now, but as more people become aware of the site, and add results from small cities, the site will become even more useful. For example, New York already has 156 hotels with actual test results.

Next time you are booking a hotel, check this site out if you know that you will be stuck in your room doing a lot of work on WiFi and you do not want to rely on cellular data. If you cannot locate a hotel with actual results, remember to login and do a speed test on HotelWiFiTest after you get there.

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