Developer: Synaptic Wave
Price: $6.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPad mini (Retina)

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Dream-X is a new mind-map creation offering that aims to give users a blank canvas to put down their initial ideas. As one would probably expect, it works by providing the ability to create a branch for each main idea and then allowing the creation of sub-branches off these main branches, for sub-ideas.

photo 5To start, users will first be asked to name their new project. Once a new project has been created they’ll have a choice between “Classic” or “Organic” themes. The functional difference between these two themes is all but negligible, but there are some visual differences. For example, “Classic” will see one’s canvas appear flat and iOS 7-like, while “Organic” features more of a glossy 3D look.

Starting to brainstorm with Dream-X requires just a tap and hold anywhere on its canvas. This will bring up a dial that will fill up green dependent on the amount of time one holds their finger down. A fully-coloured dial will turn into a node, and every new node must be named with an idea. Each new node comes with a label and, once named, can be moved with a tap and drag. Labels can also have descriptions added to them, and undoing, redoing, or deleting an entire branch is just a tap away.

Tapping an individual node will allow users to change its color, assign a specific icon (which I felt could have had more of a selection), add a photo from the Camera Roll, or turn the currently selected node into a “task.” A user can set whether or not the node should function as a task, when that task should start and end, and even control the percentage of the task’s completion by using a slider.

photo 4Sub-nodes can also be created by tapping on the main connecting node where one wishes to add a new sub-idea. I must admit this felt slightly unintuitive, and really took some getting used to as it resulted in having to remember to tap each parent branch before creating a new node. Failing to do this would see that newly created node attach itself to the last tapped branch.

Visually, there’s really little to complain about Dream-X. Its use of a quick and easy-to-master tap and drag system is exactly what I’d expect from a brainstorming app of this nature, and the customization and sharing options were both a welcome addition. There are a few things holding it back, though. The tutorial videos really looked less than HD on a “Retina” display.

I felt Dream-X could also do with just a few tweaks to its branching system, in order to fulfill its purpose more effectively. Visually, the app is great. Functionally though, there’s still some work to do.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Productivity, Reviews

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