Update on Apps in professional service firms

Posted on: January 27, 2013

Since June 2012 when I published the White Paper on “Apps by UK law, accountancy and property firms – Are we missing the mobile revolution?” (please email me if you would like a copy) I have continued to provide occasional updates on Apps in this blog. Here’s the latest news:

iClick – Residential Property Conveyancing (Barnetts Solicitors)

This App offers two options – Quote or Track.

Selecting Quote, I was asked to enter a property value and whether it was a sale, purchase or remortgage. But when I typed in 400000 it gave an error message and asked me to call them.

The only information I could obtain from the App about Barnetts was the detailed terms and conditions. There doesn’t appear to be any information about them or where they are based or their contact details.

Selecting Track instead I was asked to provide my username and password as I have neither I can’t comment on whether it is a helpful tool to track the progress of my property transaction.

Lawsauce – Legal e-resource locator

This App was developed by Natalie Wieland from Melbourne and Ruth Bird (Bodleian Law Library

University of Oxford).  It is a legal e-resource locator, which can be used to find law report series, journals, legislation, treaties, etc in over 100 jurisdictions. The app is called LawSauce, and is available for iPhones (£2.99) and android devices. More detail can be found at www.lawsauce.net.

Although I’m not a lawyer, I thought I’d give it a try. The App prompts you to select  a task – to find blogs, cases, gazettes, Hansard, journal title, legislation, LRC reports or treaties. I chose blogs. Then I was asked to select a title from a list of around 55. I choose Charon QC and then it prompted me for a resource – even though there is only Michael Semple. Then I just clicked on the link which opened the blog in Safari.

Then I tried find cases and it prompted for region – so I choose UK and Europe. Then I choose United Kingdom. Then I had a very long list of options and chose Family law reports. Then, on resources, I choose Jordans and was given the link which again took me to the site in Safari.

It looks to me as if it is an incredibly easy to use and valuable tool for lawyers.

Appergy

www.appergy.com is a fairly new London based company that specialises in mobile solutions (and websites) for professional organisations. It works with some big names in the accountancy and legal markets, but can also help small to medium sized firms to decide the best route to take as far as web development and mobile is concerned: an app, a separate mobile website (m.yourdomain.com), or a responsive website that displays optimally on all screen sizes. There are lots of developers around but I mention this one because Giles Brake was someone whose work I admired when he was at accountancy network MSI Global Alliance.

Commercial Property Database – White Label iPhone App for agents

CPD recently launched its Mobile App for the iPhone that allows Commercial Estate Agents to have their own branded iPhone App with a searchable property database skinned to the specification of each subscribing company, for clients and applicants to download. For more info visit www.cpd.co.uk/services/mobile-app The Apps cost from £400 + VAT to build plus annual maintenance fee of £350 + VAT to include updates.

CPD will shortly be launching its interactive QR code facility providing Commercial Estate Agents with a QR code that links, via an enquiry form, to their marketing particulars therefore providing notification of who has downloaded their marketing details following the scanning of a QR code that can be displayed within adverts of property marketing boards.

Davis Coffer Lyons is an example – although I was told that updates were imminent. For some inexplicable reason I could not find it on my iPad but did on my iPhone. It starts with a notice that after carrying out a search I will be required to register my name, email and telephone to obtain any further details of any properties.

I was presented with the ability to indicate the size, location, tenure and sector type of the property I was seeking. Units and size were OK but it seemed to want to use my current location via GPS (and I wanted to search in Reading so I entered a 10 mile radius instead). On sectors I was offered bar/nightclub, pub, restaurant/takeaway or food retail – nothing about offices or industrial.

So I choose Restaurant and was told I had to complete ALL the fields. So I added a size (to) value and tenure and it found five results and showed me a map of their location. As soon as I pressed one of the red dots to see more details of the property I was reminded that I needed to login or register. So I did and accepted the terms and conditions and registered and responded to the email confirmation but it seems there was an invalid token. But it let me through to summary particulars and allowed me to register my interest where appropriate.

Note: I wrote in the White Paper about an App by Estates Today and Metropolis which produced CityOffices that is available for £295 a year subscription. The demonstration video indicates that as well as providing a list of all the major players in the sector (developers, agents, contractors, architects) and their developments and news feeds this has a valuable database showing all the completed, under construction and pipeline developments in the City of London Square Mile.

 

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