A commentor on the TrialPad review mentioned Exhibit A as an alternative. When initially released, Exhibit A was such a horrible program that it wasn’t worth discussing. After updates, the program has improved dramatically. When first out, the program would choke on any PDF, the secondary display would pixelate, freeze and the program would crash. Awful. The updates appear to have cured these problems and Exhibit A looks like it is becoming a genuine contender. What is missing from both of these apps at this point is the ability to leverage AirPlay so that, using an AppleTV hooked to a projector, wireless presentation becomes possible. Read on for the full details.
File Management: Exhibit A, supports file transfer via iTunes, Dropbox Wifi, Email and FTP. Whole folders or single files can be imported. Supported file formats are claimed as PDF, image files and video (.mov). In testing, large image files lagged a little bit during display, though not so much as to cause difficulty. Video files downloaded via Dropbox refused to play and were listed as an unsupported file format. More work needed there.
Files can be sorted by folder, A-Z, or by Filetype. Once a file is in, a tap and hold offers the options of Renaming, Moving, or Deleting. A toolbar along the bottom allows a quick jump to other files, folders, imports and even any photos saved in the iPad’s photo app.
Displaying/Projecting: Exhibit A uses the external vga adapter for projecting documents. The refresh on an external display is near instantaneous, depending on the file size and level of detail/color in the file. Layout for presentation is straightforward with annotation tools on the left, a slider for quickly navigating to a specific page on the right and “Rotate” “Undo” “Redo” “Clear” “Save” and “Show” buttons across the top right. The tool bars can be hidden and do not display on the projected image.
Annotation tools are very well thought out. The felt marker offers a variety of colors and widths, there is an eraser tool, a standard yellow highlighter with adjustable widths and, a nice touch, a laser pointer which displays a temporary red dot where the user’s finger traces on the image. TrialPad, the only other competitor at present, offers only a single color pen with a static width.
After marking up a document, tapping the “Save” button saves a copy of the document to the Import folder on the home screen.
A final nice touch is the inclusion of a whiteboard with all of the annotation tools available for drawing freehand while displaying (or drawing it up and then displaying). The whiteboard drawing can also be saved as a file to the imports folder.
The developers made a mistake of an early release which was very buggy. Any experienced attorney would not have relied upon the 1st version. The latest updates, however, cure all of the early problems. The only bug observed during testing was the inability to display video files in the .mov format. Exhibit A is also competitively priced at $9.99. TrialPad remains an astounding $89 while offer fewer features.