Client portals have been around for quite some time now, and they have absolutely thrived since the onset of the pandemic. But, of course, there are still those in legal practice that have yet to make use of this increasingly essential service in their law firms. Dennis and Tom chat about what portals can do for your legal business and offer tips on how to best implement them for your clients.
On Hot or Not?, Dennis and Tom offer their opinions on Google’s latest tech—the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro—and scrutinize whether these new offerings are worth your interest.
As always, stay tuned for the parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.
Have a technology question for Dennis and Tom? Call their Tech Question Hotline at 720-441-6820 for answers to your most burning tech questions.
Special thanks to our sponsors, Colonial Surety Company, ServeNow, and Nota.
Mentioned in This Episode
A Segment: Portals, Portals Everywhere
B Segment: Hot or Not
Intro: Web 2.0, Innovation, Trends, Collaboration, Software, Metadata, Software Service, Podcasts, Virtual Law. Got the world turning as fast as it can? Hear how technology can help legally speaking, with two of the top legal technology experts, authors and lawyers, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Welcome to the Kennedy-Mighell Report here on the Legal Talk Network.
Dennis Kennedy: And welcome to episode 299 of the Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Dennis Kennedy in Ann Arbor.
Tom Mighell: And I’m Tom Mighell in Dallas. Before we get started, we’d like to thank our sponsors.
Dennis Kennedy: First of all, we’d like to thank Nota, powered by M&T Bank. Nota is banking bill for lawyers and provides smart no-cost IOLTA account management. Visit trustnota.com/legal to learn more. That’s N-O-T-A, Nota. Terms and conditions may apply.
Tom Mighell: Next, we’d like to thank Colonial Surety Company Bonds and Insurance for bringing you this podcast. Whatever court bonds you need, get a quote and purchase online at colonialsurety.com/podcast.
Dennis Kennedy: And of course, we’d like to thank ServeNow, a nationwide network of trusted pre-screen process servers, work with the most professional process servers who have experience with high volume serves, embrace technology and understand the litigation process. Visit servenow.com to learn more.
Tom Mighell: And with so many new podcasts announcing their very first show these days as we are literally one show away from our 300th episode. We do occasionally like to mention that in 15 years and counting, this is the longest continuously running legal tech podcast out there. If you do have ideas for our 300th episode, please, please, please give us a call. Leave us a voicemail at (720) 441-6820. That’s (720) 441-6820. Please do not leave the idea for the 300th show to Dennis.
Dennis Kennedy: The time I have a lot of ideas, and I guess maybe that’s your concern. In the last episode, we discussed the current state of to-do apps and how you might evaluate your current app or choose a new one. In this episode, we open the door to client portals; what they are and how to make the best use of them. Tom, what’s all on our agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well, Dennis, in this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, we will indeed be discussing client portals and their role in modern law practice. In our second segment, we’re going to take our temperatures on new Google announcements and our quest to give equal time to all the FallTech announcements. And as usual, finish up with our parting shots that one tip website or observation that you can start to use a second that this podcast is over. But first up, client portals and why you should be getting better at using them or maybe using them in the first place. What surprises me most about this topic is how long it has taken us to discuss portals on the podcast. After all, I think the idea of the portal has been around for a long time now. We mentioned it in the 2018 version of our collaboration tools book, three years later, and we’re finally talking about it. Dennis, could that have something to do with the fact that we are soon to be wrapping up the draft of the next edition of our collaboration tools book?
Dennis Kennedy: Yes, it could. I think there’s that. And then also the portals really seem to be one of the tools most likely to thrive as a result of the pandemic. We are certainly seeing that anybody who’s worked, you know, with a healthcare provider recently seized how ubiquitous the portals are there. I think, Tom, that we covered a lot of topics over these years, and you’re right, we never got around to the portals. I sometimes think that it felt like our friend Jim Callaway has been kind of carrying the banner for portals forward in the legal profession. So, maybe we should give a nod to him. But I guess, Tom, we got to a point where I’ve actually kind of turned the tables on you and tricked you into coming up with the definition of portals.
Tom Mighell: Well, first, real quick, I think you’re right. We need to give a hat tip to Jim. Jim talks about this a lot. He talked about it at tech show this past year. He wrote an article or put a link to it from Attorney at Work. He did a CLE course on it, that if you’re interested, you can go and purchase from the Oklahoma State Bar. I think you can. I’m not sure if you can do it if you’re not an Oklahoma lawyer. Jim, tell us whether you can or not. So, here’s the definition, but thank you, Jim, for what you’ve done here. Here’s I think a basic definition. I went broad and I went simple. A portal is a web-based gateway where an organization shares information with customers, with clients, with patients or whoever they happen to be doing business with. The portal is often in a dashboard format with the capability of providing access to a ton of different information if you want to in one place; files, calendar, messaging and more.
So, to me, at its most basic, that’s what a portal is. It’s a gateway. It’s a way for people to communicate with those that they do business with and put a lot of information at their fingertips easily and quickly. Dennis, anything you want to add to that?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. I mean, to me, I’d just go back to the original notion of extranet say. This is like a private — your own private space as a client on a website. Or if you’re a firm, that it’s a private space you offer to your clients where you can go and find everything that’s meaningful to you about the representation. So, in the old days, I was at extranet. We tend to call more portals these days. I guess one of the super interesting developments to me is that in a lot of ways, the mobile apps are really either part of the portals or can take the place of portals because you can say, oh, my lawyer has this mobile app and I go on and I can see my documents and the status of everything. And really that app is kind of serving as the user interface for a portal. So, I think with portals, you tend to think I’m going on the web and kind of logging into my MySpace in the portal that gives me this information as opposed to saying I’m going on my phone and using — let’s call it the law firms app. I don’t know. Does that help our calls time or does that make it a little more confusing?
Tom Mighell: No, I mean, I think that it may blur the line between what a portal is versus what an app is. I mean it’s all access to whoever it is that you’re trying to get access to. And frankly, it’s a website. We’re calling it a portal because that’s just a term that’s been giving to it. So, I think that whatever works I think that in these days where more people are on mobile devices than not, having it as an app and saying “I have a portal but I’m calling it an app” is just as likely to get people to use it.
Dennis Kennedy: So, I mean, what I want to talk about is my recent experiences with the medical and dental world. Because it used to be there is no worst place than dealing with health information and your healthcare providers. That was the world of faxing things and filling out forms over and over again. It’s hard to get an appointment, hard to get information. Now, you go to a new doctor — and I went to a new dentist the other day and it’s like, here’s the login information for the patient portal. If you go in there and you fill out these forms once online electronically and you can do it at your leisure to do that and then your reminders, your schedule, the information, you can even communicate with your doctor, is all through that one space with your login and your password. It’s great.
So, in the doctors’ world, I can go like, hey, I have a question or I need, I want to see — somebody asked me about getting referral for a certain type of doctor, and my doctor will answer that usually the same day. So, this kind of world where you — I mean it’s super cumbersome, really backwards, kind of feels like a state of the art, and it’s just completely changed my relationship with healthcare providers. And, you know, once you get the set-up, it was cumbersome if you’re putting in like many years of health history. But once it’s in there, it’s in there and I think it’s become a really great experience. And that is usually my classic example of what a client portal or patient portal is.
Tom Mighell: So, I would argue that medical portals, I would actually — but I believe that doctors are probably using portals more often than lawyers are using portals, but I would also say that the way that doctors are using them are the same way that lawyers would use them, which means they’re all over the place. You are happy with your dentist portal. My dentist doesn’t have a portal. My dentist has — I get an email with a button to click to confirm our appointment, or can you still make this appointment. There’s no portal. I have no portal for my dentist’s office. My regular doctor has a portal but I would have to say it’s fairly disappointing. On the other hand, I have an aging father. I’m taking more control over his healthcare and his doctors’ office portal is amazing. I mean there’s messages. Just like you, I can easily communicate with the doctor and ask questions. He responds often within the same day. I can find there every drug he’s ever taken, ever condition he’s ever told him about or been diagnosed with. I can make appointments. I can see all the lab results.
I think it addresses the main requirement of a portal, and that’s where we’re going to talk probably about the jobs to be done here, which is it’s a place that I can access 24/7. I can visit it anytime without help on my own time and I don’t have to rely on anybody or call somebody and ask whom to call me back. I think that these are the examples by which lawyer should base their portals.
Dennis Kennedy: So I think you make a great point time that we’re sort of in this period of development. So, you know, I am in a much more mature patient portal period with my providers, but somebody else, as you said, you might find that you don’t have anything at all. You really are trying to figure out a way to fax something someday. So, let’s talk about my recent lawyer, what I would call non portal experience and it was a couple of dealings with lawyers. So, in one case, even though I had an ongoing string of emails with the lawyer I was communicating with on the topic and I was in fact replying to an important email that they had sent me. They didn’t get back to me because the email was caught in the spam filter. So, you’re subject to the whims of spam filter in email and all that.
The other one, which I actually find a lot more troubling is that I was trying to get in touch with the lawyer, who would be a possible referral. Actually, this has happened several times, but, you know, did the in-tech thing to say contact the lawyer. And in this particular case, somebody did call me back from the office and took my message and number and that lawyer never called me back. And I’m like, how is this going to work? So, there’s no portal. There’s no contact, even though you sort of have that human element to it because I called. Nobody seems to be paying attention to it. So, when you compare the lawyer experience to the medical experience now, I go, “Wow, there is a huge difference.”
Tom Mighell: But I also have got to believe that there are other lawyers out there who do — who will give you a better experience. So, I think we’re still in a phase where people aren’t using them the right way, but I’d also make the argument that regardless of the technology with your experience, some lawyers just aren’t going to get back to you. Lawyer without a portal you call and ask for them to call you back, some of them are not going to get back to you because they’re just bad lawyers or they’re just bad communicators. I know that the portal changes the nature of what a lawyer does. So, I mean, I would hope that it would. I would hope that as we’re saying here that it makes it easier for lawyers to communicate with people. But it’s clear that it’s not necessarily that way.
Dennis Kennedy: Well, what I would say is on the portal side, there’s this little thing in technology that we like to call automation, where you could actually program the stuff so you would respond to things. But I want to add one more thing because I think they’re portals had become really interesting as this sort of way to contact people, where there are a couple things that we really don’t like. So, a lot of people especially the students I deal with and young people don’t use email. A lot of people don’t talk on the phone anymore. And so, I think portals are actually helping us get to what I call the post email world as we kind of gradually drift toward that. And I think that the portals to me kind of interesting is kind of getting me out of that email overload, the spammy world of email into this clean place where I have exactly what I want. So, that’s sort of my last meta thought. I guess, Tom, we’ve kind of touched on this but I’m guessing you have a list of why people should consider using portals at this point.
Tom Mighell: So, let me come back real quick to your meta points because I’m just going to present the con approach to that. I mean I don’t disagree with your points that their post email world and it’s kind of a spam avoidance world. But here’s the only two things that bother me about that. One, students and young people don’t use email, but I’m not convinced that students and young people are going to like portals any better because how does the messaging take part? How do you know that there’s a message from your doctor? You get an email from them. Maybe they can text you and maybe some portals have that capability, but all the portals I use operate on an email function. So, I’m not convinced that students and young people are going to like portals any better. And then the only thing about, I think I agree with you, having a nice clean place where you can go see all of your messages from your doctor or your lawyer are great. But the other aspect of that is that by doing this, we are now setting up.
How many silos do you now have to go to for your different communication? I mean, I hate to be defending. I’m the last person who’d be defending email here, but at least email is one place where you go for all that communication. We’re now going in the opposite direction and setting up multiple silos and places. So, you know, I think that’s an ironic twist on the whole thing, and I’m not saying that we don’t use portals because of that, but that’s an interesting development in my opinion.
Dennis Kennedy: Well, I would say unfortunately that’s where email has forced us where we actually feel. Like in my case, I would feel it’s actually better to go to the different silos than to try to deal with what email has kind of turned in these days. But, let’s go back to portals. Why would we use them?
Tom Mighell: Why? I mean, to me, there’s really just three reasons to use them. I’m just going to make it short and sweet. One is to free yourself up from constantly answering emails and phone calls. If they’re calling you, if they’re emailing you, they want information. This is not useful time that you should be spending. Having it available for them to get to it is a useful thing to do. And because of that. The other reason to use them is to give your clients convenient access to the things that they already have a right to see, the things that you as part of the representation they have a right to see their case files. They have the right to see the calendar. They have a right to see maybe what their current bill is. They’ve got a right to see a lot of things.
And finally, I mean what really wraps it up for me is to make it easier for your clients to communicate with you. And if 90% of grievances and ethics complaints revolve around failure to communicate, having a better way to let people communicate with you not only makes that a reality, but it also tells your clients I want to communicate with you better. It is a good optic. I’m not saying to use it as an optic but it is good marketing to be able to say I am making it easier for you to talk to me and I think that should be the number one reason.
Dennis Kennedy: I agree completely on that. I think those really are the big three, and then it kind of comes to okay, so, if I’m having a portal, what should they contain? And I think that everything else in the world is pushing you towards the portal side, but I think you want to have the things that the patient portals have. And think about what, you know — I do want to know, like how much I need to pay. I do want to have access to my documents. I do want to be able to communicate, leave messages. I want to do stuff that’s seems like it’s very administrative. I don’t want to be charged for it. One thing that people hate is they don’t like to call lawyers to ask about status or to get a document because they know the lawyer will talk to them on the phone for half an hour about the weather and then I’ll bill them 0.5. And you’re going to like, I just needed a copy of what you filed. That’s all I wanted. You know, it’s not a 0.5. That should be a zero. So, I think you look at that and then you start to say well, those seem to be the main things, and then I can probably learn from my clients of as they’ll probably ask for other things. But I would take a look at all the other portals I’m using and say, here’s what I really like.
A lot of stuff is in — you know, like the intake stuff is great because then you could say I don’t have to worry about spelling errors and all this other stuff because my client is actually entering their information, and they’re not leaving out their kids, you know, one kid or getting some name wrong or something, or birthdays wrong or whatever. So, really, it’s an effective way to kind of outsource back to the client something that clients can actually provide better and that they’re not — they don’t really want to have to pay you to take that information down as they tell it to you and in the way that they used to. So, I think that — to me, that were sort of — We talked about jobs to be done in time. I think there are sort of two jobs to look at. And so, one is what job is the portal doing for you as a lawyer, and then to understand the job to be done from the client side. We’ve talked I think a fair amount about the job to be done from the client side of what the benefits are and what they’re trying to accomplish with it. But how about if we take a look at the lawyer side, what kind of jobs would a portal take care of for the lawyer?
Tom Mighell: Well, I sort of talked about that, but I want to add in the features because I want to get a little bit of my say into the features too, because I think you mentioned most of them but let me make sure that we cover everything, because I want in a job to be done. But let me think about it.
Let me answer your question in terms of this, because when the features are on there, it’s features that a client would want but it’s also features that are beneficial to a lawyer as well. Because instead of you having to call them up, you having to take a call on a status where you talk to them and all they wanted to know is what the filing is. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to talk to them anymore than the client wants to talk to you. So, that’s a job to be done right there. But let’s also think about calendaring and scheduling appointments. Let’s talk about bill pull up pay. My gosh. It would make it so easy if we put the bill pay right into the portal so you could look at my invoice and pay my bill right there. Again, that’s beneficial to the lawyer. That’s a good job to be done, making it able so that not only can they see files but that they can upload files.
So, if it’s a family lawyer, then they want to upload files that they’ve got that are useful to talk about what the spouse is doing and their income and all sorts of tax returns and things like that. The ability to get documents from the client in that way is much more convenient and efficient than getting them in other ways. Reference materials. Is it possible or useful to provide guides on a particular area of law, things that are generic to what they’re doing? This is probably more useful when you’re representing individual clients and not corporations. But is there some reference library, as Jim likes to put in some of his materials? Think of the portal as the lobby to your office. Well, what would you want to put in the lobby? Do you want some nice magazines on the table that tell people about what to expect? The other thing that I thought was kind of interesting and I’ve seen this batted around is, there are a lot of law firms out there that offer web-based tools for their clients. If you’re an HR department, you can go to your law firm’s website and it will give you an information on whether you’re breaking a particular employment law or not, or gives you some easy-to-get advice without contacting your lawyer personally to get that information. Why not make those tools available via a portal? For all I know they already maybe doing it that way, but to me, that would be another value add for the client is to have that all in one place. And I guess I’ll just come back.
I’ve been talking a lot here. So, I’m going to let you talk about the job to be done from the lawyer side. But I think all of this benefits the lawyer. I come right back to it saves you time, it gives the client the appreciation that you are looking out for them. They understand you have other clients, you have other things to do, they have access to this. That peace of mind I think is critical and to me that says it all for jobs to be done. What else I’m missing, Dennis?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I think you’re right. There is this sort of thing that you’re able to show that you care in a number of ways, and you touched on some of those. So, I don’t really necessarily think of this as the lobby though I guess in one sense it is. But I sort of think like if I’ve hired you say to do an employment termination. If I can go on to my portal and there are videos of like what to expect or talking about different things, or here’s how the process will go. Then as a client, I can go in my convenience and look at those things. If you have some kind of app, people could use that in there. I think we’re used to being advertised to, but I think that if I’m on a portal and it’s easy to click about like here’s another practice area we are highlighting, I’m happy to look at that, or at least I’m not disturbed that it’s there. So, I think it can do a number of things in a very, very light touch kind of opt-in way that’s really useful. And it kind of shows you care about more than just the old billable hour. So, let’s go to the practical things, Tom. I have a note here that says, is this something that you would buy or would you roll your own? I have an opinion on that, but let’s hear yours.
Tom Mighell: I would not roll your own. I mean, I think the easiest thing to do is to look at your practice management tool. If you have a practice management tool that you’re using, chances are they offer a portal. You may already have a portal. You may already be using one. Maybe just not in the way that we’ve been talking about it, but I would start with that. I think that there are other ways to develop portals, but I think that I personally would prefer to have something that would come out of the box with the ability to add modules to it. That’s what I would kind of like is, is something that allowed me to add a module when we talk about using something like SharePoint. If you have SharePoint, there’s nothing that stops you from creating a SharePoint page that people from the outside can access.
You can easily add modules to a SharePoint page. But to add modules that gets you to a booking system to a bill pay system to some other things, might be more complicated. Actually, Microsoft makes it really easy to do bookings if you want to do that, but I think that there’s more complexity in doing it that way. So, I’m thinking that most lawyers would want to go with tools that already have them and then those who have the skills or something more tailor-made or bespoke would look at a roll your own option.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I rarely have this strong of opinion, but oh my God. Do not create your own. Just go out there and buy something that’s already either is a portal that has portal functionality. But basically, I think you’re already going to have it and you have a case management tool like Rocket Man or Cleo, MyCase, Practice Panther, all those. You could have a document management tool that has a built-in — the whole Microsoft Suite keeps developing so you can have other things and you might be able to kind of easily mix and match like your billing system and other things into sites. In a small firm world, people been using a tool called Basecamp for what seems like 20 years now, which is effectively a client portal that will do most of the things. The one thing I will say, Tom, is that although it might be tempting to say I’m going to roll out every possible feature because it seems cool. You do have to kind of maintain that and be responsive. So, I would kind of pick the things that are most important and probably start small would be my best advice. But kind of the old 80/20 thing, just try to pick the things that have the biggest bang for the buck and maybe even survey your clients about what those might be. I don’t know what, or if you have some advice on starting up, Tom.
Tom Mighell: No, I agree and I want to cover actually mistakes to avoid because I think that’s really part of the starting out thing, is that when you’re starting, you want to make sure that there are things you aren’t doing. I think starting small is a good idea. See how you like it build on that success. But I think here are the things that you need to think about when you’re starting small. You are using that portal because you don’t — Part of the reason why you’re using that portal is because you don’t want to respond to email and phone communications. You want to have a better way for your clients to communicate with you. Now, you have no excuse. You need to respond if people communicate with you. So, you can’t use this and then use it as an excuse not to talk to people.
The other thing is that I’ve seen so many blogs. Hey, I’m going to start a blog and I’m going to start blogging and then three months later, the blog is dead and they posted five times. You can’t treat this like a blog. You have to keep it up. You have to respond. You have to maintain it. It’s like having a baby. You have to raise that baby and you have to keep it fed and nourished and you have to do all the right things with it. Because if you don’t, if that’s a portal where your clients feel like they’re not being served, you’re going to lose any goodwill that that portal built up for you in the first place. Any final tips and recommendations for you, Dennis, on things to avoid or other tips before we head into our next segment?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, sort of that automation part of it. Is that what you want to do and this is sort of, you know, like where you called blog rot, portal rot. I mean basically, you don’t want to start this thing especially with big fanfare and then not bother to update it. But I also think you need to look at the automation, because if I’m your client and there’s going to be something needs to be filed or there’s going to be a hearing, it would be my expectation at the end of the day. I could log on the portal and see what was filed or know what the results were. And if you just don’t get around to doing that, that’s going to be a bad client experience. No two ways about it. But if what you do is you say, hey, it’s part of the process of doing the e-filing with the court, copy automatically goes into the portal. Then the clients going to have like a really great experience. Oh, this document is supposed to be filed today and look, there it is. It shows it was filed.
So, I don’t have to worry about it and I don’t have to call anybody. So, I think there’s that. And then I would just say that what people need to do is just start to look around with every other service provider you have and it’s almost like every e-commerce site that you’re on and you’re going to see things that look a lot like portals and an experience that we’re starting to take for granted. And then if you, as we used to say in the old days, go to your own website, call your own receptionist, but you know, it’s kind of like have your — kind of take a look at your experience with your own firm as a client and say, wow, does a portal need to be part of what we’re doing?
We have a portal, are we not doing it well? So those would be my recommendations, Tom.
Tom Mighell: We would love to hear about your portal experience. Remember, we’ve got a voicemail that you can call at (720) 441-6820. I’m going to say that a lot today. But before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick break for a message from our sponsors.
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Dennis Kennedy: And I’m Dennis Kennedy, and it’s time for our segment we call, Hot or Not. We pick something people are talking about and argue whether we think it is a hot topic that you need to pay attention to or not. We might agree but odds are that we won’t. So, let’s get started. So, we’ve covered on recent episodes the Fall 2021 Apple and Microsoft product announcements. So, Tom, as many of you know, is our leading Google fanboy. So, he’s been insisting on equal time and there was a Google product event here recently. So, Tom, will you just be talking about your next smartphone or will you also be telling us about why the Google announcements are hot or not?
Tom Mighell: Well, maybe I’ll be showing you my new smartphone because I just got it today. But let me back up. There were two interesting things about Google’s event when you compare them to the Apple and Microsoft events that we talked about before first. They only announce one product, where the other companies announced a ton of stuff. So, kind of boring in that respect. They spent a whole hour talking about it, very proud of themselves. And second, there was a very little about the announcement that was surprising because literally everything about that product leaked prior to the event. For those of you who aren’t paying attention to the leaks, Google announced its new Pixel phone, the Pixel 6, the Pixel 6 Pro, one smaller, one larger. In many ways, this was just really another phone announcement. So, in that regard, in that sense, I would say not hot.
It wasn’t hot to me because it’s just another phone that people are doing. But if you’re in the market for a new phone and particularly if you’re an Android user, here’s what’s interesting about the new Pixel phones. One, they’re using a new custom-built processor called Tensor, which is great for artificial intelligence, which is what makes Google Assistant the best assistant out there. It’s going to help power the camera more on that later and it’s going to make the phone faster, better battery life. All that sort of stuff is really Google’s version of Apple’s M1 chips, sort of, kind of. The big camera bar across the back, it’s big, but when you put a case on it, you really don’t notice it. It offers a massive 50 megapixel camera, an ultra-wide lens, a telephoto lens. Probably the most interesting camera feature I think is something called real tone, which was designed to make Pixel the most, they would call it, the world’s most inclusive camera.
Historically, camera technology was designed around white skin tones, which resulted in less flattering images for people of color and Google has worked really hard with face detection, auto white balance, auto exposure, a bunch of other settings to more accurately highlight the nuances of diverse skin tones as they put it. It’s really interesting to me. They have really focused more on the camera where Apple focused more on video, Google focus more on the camera. They’ve got a new tool called Magic Eraser, which will simply erase anything you like on a photo. You can get rid of photo bombers instantly. I tried it on just a photo I did in my office. It was literally amazing. I could erase something from the picture with no problem. There’s a motion mode that makes that train behind you. Look like it’s speeding by. Some interesting tools, they’re using their computing technology to make photos better.
But frankly for me, what makes Pixel phones amazing is that Google wants to take away a lot of the work of using a phone. The way that they frame it is Pixel shows you what you need when you need it. The day your flight, your phone, the lock screen is going to display your boarding pass without even asking. Or as you start to run, it’s going to display the controls for the music service that you use so you can listen to music. Earlier, Google, and I probably mentioned this on the podcast, they offered call screening where you can screen and listen to a transcript of the people who are calling before you answer it. Now, they’ll actually hold for you when you call businesses. When you call somebody, they’ll offer to hold for you and then ping you when somebody answers. Now, they actually listen to the phone options and they display them on your screen. You don’t even have to listen to him anymore. You can just press 1 on your screen to be taken to a customer service representative for example.
What’s different is that this is the first time Google has really tried to make a flagship phone. And I think they’ve done a really good job. The early reviews are pretty positive. And frankly, what’s interesting about it is most flagship phones are thousand dollars and up. They’re extensive phones. And this phone starts at eight. The biggest phone they have starts at 899. So, I think it’s actually pretty inexpensive compared to Apple and Samsung. If you’re in the Apple world, you’re unlikely to be persuaded by any of this. I get that. But if you’ve owned an Android phone right now or in the past, this is easily the best Android phone ever made in my opinion. So, in that respect, the new phones are hot. Dennis, I went on for a while there. Do you have anything to add?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, just a couple small things. So, for gratuitous purposes, does that eraser tool? Would that like erase a few pounds off of me for my pictures?
Tom Mighell: I’m not sure it shaves off of a person. I think it removes objects. If those pounds were an object that could be erased, maybe.
Dennis Kennedy: And I like to sort of — to the extent that anybody uses a phone anymore, which is going to be one of my next comments. I like the idea that it will like do the whole thing for you. So, if you’re calling your lawyer who doesn’t have a portal, then this could be like a really useful tool while you’re waiting on them to have somebody answer your phone. So, I just had a couple things. So, one is something that we said before is like we get all these new phones announced and nobody talks anything about the phone aspect of it, you know, because I don’t know that anybody cares about the phone part of it anymore. So, the developments that I’m interested in are that they’ve gone to a custom processor like Apple has and optimizing it. So, I think that bodes well for both platforms.
I also liked that Android phones are conceived a part of an overall mobile platform, and you’re going to see especially the custom processors machine language, all these other things that are going to work together. And then I did notice as you said that Apple has really, really felt to me like they’ve moved more toward the video side of I’ll call photography and that the Pixel seems to be really focused on the camera piece. So, to the extent there’s that much of a difference of them. So, I have to rely on you on this time. I suspect it’s sort of hot, but in my running gag about the Android phones, it’s probably not as hot as my Samsung 4 watch, which used to burn me through my pants pocket. So, now it’s time for our parting shots at one tip website or observation. You can use the second this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: Keeping with the theme of our b-segment, I have to parting shots for you around Android 12, a new version of Android, even if you don’t get the Pixel, and you have a phone that’s new to take Android 12, I would recommend that you download it. It’s ready to be downloaded. I think you can, everybody can. I’d put a link in the show notes too, a dozen things to love an Android 12 from the Google Blog and then another 115 things you can do in Android 12 that you couldn’t do before. They’ve started with a new. They’ve updated their operating system to what they call Material You. It’s totally reimagined the shape of all the icons, lots of different animations. It’s really the user experience that’s changed a lot in this. One of the things that I particularly like is that you can set it so that all of the icons that you have on your phone will adjust to the colors in your wallpaper, because I have a different wallpaper every day. I use the Bing picture of the day as my wallpaper.
The icons on my phone’s lock screen change color every day, which to me is cool. I get a whole new desktop every or phone top every day, which is really interesting. That’s just one of the things on the list here. If you are an Android user, I recommend you go take a look at what you can do with Android 12. Dennis.
Dennis Kennedy: So, in response to the last episode, we’re talking about To Do apps, I had a couple people say to me that although they were interested in To Do apps that they really had a hard time giving up their paper notebooks and their writing implements and everything that they developed over time. This is especially true to people who’ve taken the bullet journal approach. And so, I want to recommend something. It’s from a company called JetPens. So, it’s jetpens.com. They have an email newsletter. It’s a great stationery store with the website that has a lot of Japanese stationery and just super cool, you know. Pens, pencils, notebooks, planners, all those sorts of things. And we talked about this a bit in a podcast, but I think sometimes on to-do list, planning, note-taking and stuff, it really is not an either/or with tech and paper. It’s a both/and, and if you really like interesting effective and just plain cool stationery items, JetPens is my go-to place these days.
Tom Mighell: And so that wraps it up for this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report. Thanks for joining us on the podcast. You can find show notes for this episode on the Legal Talk Network’s page for the show. If you like what you hear, please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or on the Legal Talk Network site, where you can find archives of all of our previous episodes along with transcripts. If you would like to get in touch with us, reach out to us on LinkedIn or Twitter, or remember, guess what? We’ve got a voicemail. That number is (720) 441-6820. Remember our next episode is our 300. So, until the next podcast, I’m Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I’m Dennis Kennedy, and you’ve been listening to the Kennedy-Mighell Report, a podcast on legal technology within internet focus. If you like what you heard today, please rate us in Apple podcast. We’ll see you next time for 300th episode of the Kennedy-Mighell Report on the Legal Talk Network. Tell your friends.
Outro: Thanks for listening to the Kennedy-Mighell Report. Check out Dennis and Tom’s book, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, from ABA: Books or Amazon, and join us every other week for another edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report only on the Legal Talk Network.
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Podcast transcription by Tech-Synergy.com