Search and Seizure iPhone App

If you have an iPhone, an iPad, or an iPod touch, you can now download the School of Government’s first smartphone app, a guide to the law of search and seizure called ASSET. (That’s an acronym for Arrest, Search, and Seizure Electronic Tool, but obviously we also hope that the app will be an asset to its users.) Enter the App Store and search for “NC ASSET.” It should be the only result. Here are a few things to know about the app:

  • It’s free. It isn’t just a free trial, or a free version that encourages you to buy a more robust version later. It’s just free.
  • It’s designed for officers. That doesn’t mean that lawyers, judges, and others can’t use it or won’t like it. But it isn’t massively detailed and packed full of citations. It is meant as a field reference for officers who aren’t toting around their copy of Arrest, Search, and Investigation in North Carolina.
  • I wrote the content. I had a lot of help with this app, both legal and technical, but the final responsibility for the content is mine. Any complaints should be directed to me. I’m also willing to accept compliments, which I will share with the other members of the ASSET team.
  • It isn’t optimized for iPad. We had a limited budget for this project, so it’s professionally produced and looks great, but it is really an iPhone and iPod touch app that you can view on an iPad, too. Veteran iPad users know the drill, but you’ll have to choose between looking at a sharp, iPhone-sized image in the middle of your screen, or a larger, blurrier image produced by pixel doubling.
  • There’s no Android version. At least not yet. In the poll we took a while back, most smartphone-equipped officers said they had iPhones, so we built for that platform first. If the app’s a success and there’s strong demand for an Android version, we may try to build one. We’ll have to figure out how to pay for that.
  • We would like your feedback. You can provide it on the blog, through the app store, or directly to me by email. We’re interested in your thoughts about the look and feel of the app, how the app is organized, features and functions, and the level of detail. Because this is our first app, we’d really like to know what we got right and where we can improve.

You can read more about the app, and see screen shots, in the App Store. The “splash page” for the app appears below to give you a taste of it. I’m pretty excited about this new vehicle for disseminating legal information. Hope you like it, too.