At XPLANE, we design experiences. To help us do that we use a number of iOS apps as digital capture and documenting tools in order to take advantage of instant sharing, collaboration and searchable content for archiving. Here are our impressions of a few that we’ve been working with.
Capturing and Presenting
Love this application! This quirky and fun tool replicates a virtual cork board, complete with all the tools you’d use… tape, post-its, and flags with access to contacts, photos and other items. You can create and share a Corkulous file, or export a PDF version. Two reservations: importing a large number of photos does not scale, as the file size can grow to be very large. Also there is no way draw lines to link a number of ideas… if this, then that kind of thing.
Like tiny TED talks, Show Me is a tool that allows the users to record a talk, while drawing on the screen. Simple. The shows will be fairly primitive, but it is still a great way to share a quick idea (complete with notes) with colleagues. Think of it as a way to draw a quick post-it note and send it across country for a quick pitch.
Paper is perhaps the most paper-like of apps. It beautifully replicates the “Moleskine effect” – of having a notebook handy. It uses the common iOS gestures like pinch and swipe well to create a natural effect. Multiple notebooks can be built, with an endless number of pages for each. These can be shared and sent through the normal iOS channels. This is mostly useful for that valuable white-noise brain time, when doodling can create some real ideas worth sharing.
This is perhaps the opposite of Paper in terms of complexity. It is feature-rich, with good use of iOS gestures (multi-touch, pinch etc.). Storable palettes of tools and colors make for a simpler approach. For a more complex drawing with layers and photos, this one’s worth a try.
Mindomo (free) is one of the many mind-mapping tools out there. Functionally just ok – most of the default layouts end up imposing some kind of structure that you may want to override. Mindomo also makes it difficult to post photos, as they need to come from a URL. Overall, still needs work to better enable sharing and organizing. In this situation, pen and paper still rule.