NOTE: This report was updated in February 2013. Here is the up-to-date infographic and analysis
How do the mind mapping apps for the iPad compare with each other? Here is a visual analysis, in the form of a chart, which compares price vs. functionality, and what that translates into in terms of potential value to you. The larger the circle, the greater the program’s value. Please click on the image to view a larger version of this chart.
Ideally, you want a low-cost (or free) app with lots of functionality. That yields a lot of value. But don’t discount the higher-priced mind mapping apps in this chart, because even the highest-priced one is only US$15.99 – still a bargain!
What can we learn from this chart? First, there are many developers fighting for the lowest end of the market – low-cost apps that do just basic topics connected by lines, and not much more. If they don’t at least offer text notes and hypertext links, they’re not worth your time, in my opinion.
Next, there is a cluster of apps in the mid-range of functionality, in the price range of US6-8.They offer a bit more functionality, at a slightly higher price than the low-end programs.
Finally, at the high end of the market are apps like iThoughtsHD, iBlueSky, MindMeister and DropMind, which provide an excellent level of functionality for a reasonable price. Mindjet stands alone as a supplier of a fully-featured mind mapping app that is giving it away for free – part of its mission to spread visual mapping to a much larger audience of users, who may some day purchase its MindManager desktop mind mapping program and Connect online workspace service.
What do you think of this analysis? Is this something I should repeat for other segments of the mind mapping software market?
(Updated chart 2/20/12 in response to comments – changed position of iThoughts HD relative to other apps)