Bringing people together is easy when you know how…
For those of us conducting work across the globe, ensuring our colleagues and clients are kept up to speed can become an all-consuming task. It’s not easy; messages can get confused, misinterpreted or even ignored and if there was a way to communicate visual ideas in a clear way – in real-time – you’d probably want to know about it, right?
For some, the solution SyncSpace presents for this particular problem will feel like a light bulb switching on in one of those rare ‘why hasn’t anyone done this sooner?’ moments. A simple idea, realised with quiet proficiency, SyncSpace allows users of its app to witness the same sheet of paper (or whiteboard) and interact with it in real-time. Simultaneously. There’s not a whole lot more to it than that, but the avenues of communication this opens up to conference calls or any other moment where you just need the person, all those many miles away (or even in the next room), to see what it is you’re trying to do will become clear. That other users can then chip in with their own suggestions, without completely stalling or interrupting your process, will be enough to convince many people that having this sort of freedom will help enormously when exchanging ideas.
There are areas SyncSpace scrimps on its features, though. Whether it’s because sharing information across the internet in this manner is too complicated or it’s consciously limited to keep things simple, we’re not sure, but we could have done with a few more options. SyncSpace provides a basic palette of colours and a rudimentary selection of font sizes and types, but this really isn’t about children painting a picture on tandem iPads (though you could still do that if you wanted to). What SyncSpace does provide is enough tools to allow you to sketch and share your thoughts.
The ability to zoom in or out to a huge degree helps enormously in augmenting these limitations. For adjusting the font sizes and so on you can simply zoom in or out of the page for greater impact or finer details. You can also track other users’ movements and even insert pictures, which is a simple process.
Where issues do arise is with the general sluggish quality of the pen touching the ‘paper’. Because of the way SyncSpace limits the amount of information needed to send across an internet connection to other devices hooked up to the app, it sometimes creates a sensation that your work is just behind your pen impression. It’s a slight delay that can be exacerbated by your connection, but it rarely causes problems and it’s a small price to pay for an app that allows so many to stay connected and working together.
For drawing up workflows, strategies and rough designs with others in real-time SyncSpace does a great job. Since everyone connected can not only see what’s being drawn simultaneously, but also edit the canvas themselves, you have a very powerful communication tool in your hands.
Want to draw a complex picture on your iPad? There are clearly better and more customised apps out there for that job, but none will let you connect with people the way SyncSpace does. Used as it’s intended as a communication tool and as a blank space for your ideas, SyncSpace’s simple design and fantastically realised concept is proof there are still worthwhile innovations being developed. That it falls short with a limited toolbox may disappoint some, but this app still makes a worthy purchase and could prove essential.
A brilliant visual aid that manages to bring something new to the table, while remaining focused on its task.
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