Developer: MindNode
Price: $5.99
Version: 1.2.3

Design Rating: ★★★★☆
Usability Rating: ★★★☆☆
Integration Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

MindNode is an easy-to-use, functional mind-mapping application built for both iPhone and iPad. It allows you to express your thoughts and ideas on what is a popular brainstorming tool. Although constrained by the iPhone’s 3.5″ screen (this problem is removed with an iPad), MindNode works well and makes use of all the space available.

MindNode automatically creates new branches whenever you tap the “+” icon, but if you hold and drag this icon you can create your own custom lines by length and direction. From hereon, your mind map is limited only to what your thoughts and ideas are. Each branch can have as many sub-branches as you like. You aren’t constrained by one single main node either – you can add as many as you like.

In addition, branches are colour-coded by default, with an option to choose custom colours for each branch at the time of creation. The text sits neatly on top of branches, in a simple yet effective font. Branches can be reorganized (see comparison screenshot below) by tapping on the main node – where everything stems from – and then tapping on the ‘send to’ button in the menu bar. You can also view the mind map in list format, with a search present.

MindNode also offers a number of sharing facilities. You can e-mail a specific mind map as a MindNode document, a FreeMind document, a PNG image, a text outline or an OPML outline. The sharing isn’t just limited one way, though. If you have MindNode Pro installed on your Mac, you can transfer files from there to your iPhone. Or, if you don’t have MindNode Pro, you can navigate to a local IP with a specified username and password (MindNode supplies everything) where you can upload FreeMind and OPML documents and download everything from your iDevice.

Reorganize Nodes feature, before (left) and after

MindNode excels at creation, but editing is a different matter. There’s no undo/redo button, which means if you accidentally delete a branch (guilty) you’ll have to rebuild it in its entirety; cut / copy / paste is yet to be implemented; and branches cannot be connected to separate branches. Thankfully, these points are somewhat minor from a developer’s point of view – meaning an update can sort it all out. The only other problem I faced was editing a mind map’s title. Unless it’s the first you edit whenever you’ve created a new mind map, it’ll stay named as “Mind Map” – changing the title only changes the title inside the mind map itself.

The creation and sharing of documents by MindNode is swift and simple. The application, even with fairly large mind maps, was quick to respond to the actions inputted on an iPhone 3G. At $5.99, as a universal application, it’s also priced respectively amongst its peers.

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

Tagged with: , , , ,