One of the major complaints of MindManager for Mac users was answered in the release last week of version 9 of this popular mind mapping software: Its features and functionality are now on par, and in a few ways superior to, that of the Windows version of MindManager. Mindjet also announced new mind mapping apps for the iPhone and iPad, based on technology acquired from MyMind.
What’s new in MindManager 9 for Mac
Quick entry mode: This new feature is a new dialog box where you can quickly enter a succession of ideas, using only the keyboard. They appear in a list below the text entry field. At any time, you can drag them from the list and drop them onto any open mind map. This looks like it would be useful in MindManager 9 for Windows, too!
A presentation view that supports the creation of slides, much like the Windows version of MindManager 9. As with the Windows version, you can edit and annotate slides during a presentation. The Mac version of MindManager 9 also has one presentation feature that’s unique to this platform – the ability to jump to any slide in your presentation.
Improved exporting: For some reason, previous versions of MindManager utilized a cloud-based service to handle conversions from the native MindManager file type to Microsoft Office Mac 2011 and iWork applications. Version 9 handles all exports from within the program, a major improvement. MindManager 9 for Mac can now export to Microsoft Word, iWork Pages, Keynote and other formats.
Improved filtering: MindManager 9 for Mac is now equipped with the same multi-level filtering tool as the Windows version, which is especially valuable when working with large, complex mind maps.
User interface improvements: The toolbar of the program has been improved for better usability, and is now customizable. Inspectors have been improved and optimized, and you can now have multiple inspectors open at the same time. In addition, MindManager 9 for Mac adds an in-context formatting bar, which should improve your productivity when formatting map topics.
Support for Catalyst: Previous versions of MindManager for Mac were not designed to integrate with Mindjet’s Catalyst online workspace product for teams. This capability isn’t in this new version of MindManager Mac – at least not yet. Mindjet says it will release a version 9.1 shortly that will add this capability.
Mindjet emphasized during a recent press briefing that it has hired a new Chief Products Officer (CPO), Blaine Mathieu, who is part of a renewed commitment to listening to the needs of its customers. Among other things, Mathieu will be responsible for developing Mindjet’s cross-platform strategy (how it develops visual mapping solutions for all computing platforms). Hopefully, this will mean that MindManager for Mac will remain more on par with the Windows version in the years ahead.
MindManager 9 for Mac will be available on June 23, 2011.
New product: MindManager Mobile
Along with the launch of MindManager 9 for Mac, Mindjet also announced a new product: Mindjet Mobile for iPhone and iPad. It’s based on technology recently acquired from MyMind (see my review of this impressive app here), one of the most impressive mind mapping apps available today. Mindjet hired the developer, and plans to invest aggressively in developing mobile applications, according to a company representative.
Here’s what’s most notable about this app:
Round-trip compatibility: If you have ever tried to move a mind map or other file from one software program to another, then you may have experienced this: Things get lost in translation, corrupted or just flat out don’t work any more. Thankfully, the developers at Mindjet made round-trip compatibility between the new mobile app and the desktop version of MindManager a major priority. You can now move a complex mind map from the desktop to the mobile app and back, with no loss of data. If a capability isn’t supported on the mobile app, it simply goes dormant – it isn’t thrown away. Considering how important it is for people to move their maps seamlessly between their desktop computer and their mobile devices, this is a big plus!
Finger slide topic creation: As in MyMind, the new Mindjet Mobile supports finger slide topic creation. In other words, if you slide your finger from an existing topic in a specific direction, a new linked topic will be created in that direction. This makes it possible to build up new mind maps very quickly. Here’s how I described this elegant functionality in my review of MyMind, the predecessor of Mindjet Mobile:
“When you tap and hold on a topic in your mind map, a set of orange arrows pops up – to the sides and at 45 degree angles to add child topics, and vertical arrows to add sibling topics. Simply drag your finger over the arrow that points in the direction where you want to create a new topic, and an add topic dialog box pops up where you can type in the name of your topic. I tried this on my iPhone, and was very pleased at how intuitive this arrangement feels when creating a mind map.”
In-context editing: Another unique MyMind feature that has been retained in its successor is in-context editing. To edit a topic, you double-tap on it. The menu that pops up looks like a blue circular pie chart, with appropriate icons for the functions you can perform (copy, cut, paste and delete, for example).
Dropbox integration: Dropbox has become a de facto standard for storing files from mobile devices “in the cloud,” or utilizing it as an online backup for your mind maps. I’m pleased to see that Mindjet Mobile supports this.
Separate apps for the iPhone and iPad are available now on the Apple AppStore, priced at US$6.99 and $8.99, respectively, after June 15, 2011. Your Apple mobile device must be running iOS 4.0 or later to run these apps.