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    Innovative, Free, and Disruptive: Introducing Mobile Sync from Fastcase


      First things first: the whole team joins me in saying thanks to everyone who voted to name Fastcase for iPhone and iPad the 2011 Legal Productivity App of the Year. It’s really an honor, and we’re thrilled.

      We originally built our legal research app as a research and development experiment – we wanted to see what we could learn from mobile research, and we thought we might get 10,000 downloads, ever. We were wrong. The Fastcase app has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times, and has exceeded our wildest hopes.

      This week, we’re finally launching a service that we’ve wanted to include in the app for years: Mobile Sync. Fastcase mobile sync seamlessly integrates the research history and favorites of more than 500,000 Fastcase desktop subscribers with their mobile apps for iPhone and iPad.

      Until now, the systems have been separate, so favorites and search history on the phone stayed on the phone, and your desktop history stayed on the desktop.

      Today, with Fastcase Mobile Sync, you can connect the two accounts, bringing together favorites and usage history. That means that desktop searches and results are now available on the go, and mobile research can be accessed later on the desktop.

      If you’re in court, and opposing counsel cites a case you haven’t read, you can look it up on your iPhone on the fly. Now with Mobile Sync, you can return to the office that afternoon, log in from the desktop, and print the case.

      Or, if you’re preparing for trial, you can run a search for all the citations in a brief, which show up as search results. If you have an iPad with Fastcase, you’ve just made a trial notebook: you can look up the recent search and all the cases cited in the brief without printing them.

      Mobile Sync is free, just like the app, and there isn’t even an update to download. (We’re kind of sick of downloading updates every day, so we try to keep our app updates to an absolute minimum.)

      If you’ve got the iPhone or iPad app, synchronizing the accounts is simple. When logged into Fastcase on the desktop, go to the options menu and select Options | Mobile Sync. You’ll be prompted for the e-mail address for the mobile account, and for security, Fastcase will send an activation e-mail to that address.

      Click the activation e-mail, and Mobile Sync is activated – your search histories and favorites libraries will be unified in a single account, available from the mobile apps or from the desktop.

      If you subscribed to Fastcase on the desktop and in the app with the same e-mail address, there’s nothing more to do – the accounts are synchronized automatically with Fastcase Mobile Sync.

      At Fastcase, we’re not trying to be a cheaper version of traditional legal research. We’re passionate about building smarter tools, pioneering what’s next, being the best at what we do, and making our products better all the time. Mobile Sync is a good example of this – innovative, free, and disruptive.

      Ed Walters is the CEO of Fastcase. Before founding Fastcase in 1999, he worked for Covington & Burling in Washington and Brussels, where he advised software companies and sports leagues about regulation of the Internet and intellectual property litigation. He serves of the boards of Pro Bono Net and Friends of Telecom Sans Frontiers.

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