Alfred significantly speeds-up the operation of the Mac. Press Cmd-Option-Control-Space to open a textbox hover and enter… text! This is a mini and powerful CLI (command line interface) to launch apps, find folders and open documents. Alfred can do much more than that, but just alone launching applications by thought and muscle memory leaves more time for being productive and creative.
iThoughts and iThoughtsX by toketaWare are two mind-mapping apps that synch between Mac and iPad/iPhone. In addition to sharing maps, customized styles can also be shared among devices. Tip-over diagrams – the example above is a UX Journey Map – have different layout rules depending on the node level. Typically they make good use of the real screen estate. Last not least, as in Mindcad Incubator, sheets can contain more than just one graph.
Mindcad Incubator. Did anybody say that only mobile apps are presented on app design critique? Incubator is my favourite mind mapping tool for Mac. It does not come with the usual constraint of just one root node for the mind map. This clever detail is a huge advantage during brainstorming when ideas are not yet structured in any hierarchy. Incubator has a simple and clean user interface. The keyboard shortcuts are aligned with the Finder – hence powerful and easy to remember. The limited amount of features is one of the huge advantages compared to other mind-mapping tools. However, if you need a more powerful layout engine I can recommend iThoughtsX. I use both apps for similar purposes.
Splashtop is an app to connect from an iPad (or iPhone) to a Mac/PC that are in the same WLAN; real internet access is available for a monthly or annual fee. Splashtop is robust and fast. Of course it does not replace a full fledged desktop environment, but it gets the job done if you don’t have physical access to your computer. Small control elements, like in Aperture above, can be zoomed with spread and pinch gestures.
iThoughts is a mind mapping tool for iOS and MacOS X. Maps can be synched among all devices via iCloud or DropBox. I use the latter, which is a bit tricky to set-up, and I run into glitches when using fonts on the Mac that are not available on the mobile devices. Nonetheless, iThoughts scores high at style templates for mind maps. For each level, layout, font, font size, line style and node style can be configured and applied to any other map. Touch interaction is a joy, and the keyboard shortcuts for Mac are quite powerful.
BTW The map above is a User Experience Journey Map for a workshop (slides here).
Pixelmator started as a clever alternative for Photoshop on Mac. On iOS it is a delightful experience as well. A set of essential photo editing tools are complemented by surprising effects. The interaction concept is flexible, powerful, and a joy to use. Pixelmator iCloud integration works like a charm: You can start to edit on iPad and continue on Mac and vice versa.