The “iThoughts” app for iPad
In the emerging world of mind mapping on the iPad, iThoughtsHD has taken an early lead with an incredible set of features that no other developer even comes one close to. More importantly, it contains the features and functionality that makes it eminently useful to academic users. And on the iPad’s large screen, it’s an absolute pleasure to use.
iThoughtsHD has a clean, well-organised user interface that is key to its functionality. It contains just enough toolbar icons to enable you to quickly capture your ideas, while more advanced tools for embellishing your map and its topics are cleverly hidden within several “inspector” buttons. That keeps them out of the way, yet they are only a few taps away when you need them.
This well-designed app gives you several options for adding topics to your mind maps. A set of 3 buttons enables you to add child and sibling topics, and to create a topic at the level before the currently selected topic.
The shape and colour of topics, icons and task details can be set via a simple multi-tabbed dialogue box. It also contains a tab for topic notes, which may contain live URL and e-mail links. After you have finished typing your notes, you simply click on a blank section of the app’s workspace and your note is automatically saved.
Moving topics is simple: You just tap and hold a topic until it is highlighted and its connector line disappears. Drag it until it is overlapping the new topic to which you want to join it and drop it there.
This impressive app’s attention to detail carries over into the map-level options it provides. These are accessible via another inspector icon in the toolbar. It enables you to:
- Set the map background colour and pattern
- Turn the topic auto-layout setting on and off
- Control inheritance of topic colours and shapes
- Turn drop shadows on and off
- Turn rainbow colouring of topics on and off
You won’t find most of these capabilities in any other iPad mind mapping application.
Not surprisingly, iThoughtsHD offers a multitude of import and export options. You can export your maps via e-mail, wi-fi transfer, Box.net and Dropbox