The effective use of mobile applications beyond e-mail remains untapped by most users. Microsoft has recently been running a television commercial that follows a well-dressed man as he leaves his home and family for a business trip. If you’re like me and you’ve lived this scenario a few hundred times, your attention is immediately drawn to the conspicuous absence of a bulky laptop bag. After a hassle-free flight, he breezes into a client meeting and casually pulls out his mobile device, from which he effortlessly runs his PowerPoint presentation. The ease with which this character is operating is a bit exaggerated, but the message is clear: These little computers in our pockets can do a lot more than just e-mail.

Despite the validity of this pitch, very few firms, even in the legal market — the industry that pioneered the enterprise use of mobile devices — have deployed additional applications to their mobile users. According to ILTA’s 2006 Technology Survey — Aggregate Answers from “Large” and “Very Large” firms, aggregate usage of PDAs at large firms is pegged at 74 percent, yet only 5 percent of those firms offer any of their users a mobile version of one of any lawyer’s core applications, time entry.

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