IF you want to develop Brains that other people can access, you face a bunch of options/issues right now. To use TB 8 or TB 10, to rely on Web Client vs. Desktop Downloads, and whether to rely on Windows vs. iOS (and presumably Android). It’s actually very confusing to find a workable solution. I’m not referring here to capabilities gained or lost in the TB8 vs. TB10 Desktop, or to the ability to end your own Brains on-line, only to capabilities gained or lost in terms of providing 3rd Parties with access to your Brains.
TB 8 Web Brain. A very modest version of the TB 8 Desktop, but basically functional in terms of online access.
- Relatively fast (no more than a couple of seconds of lag time normally).
- Replicates the Desktop in terms of what you see on your screen in terms of Types and Tags
- Ability to use Tags (sort of) as One-Way thoughts, a powerful TB Desktop feature not otherwise available via Web Client
- Ability to keep private thoughts hidden from 3rd party users
- Ability to see screen-capture-based thought icons pop open upon hover, although very slowly (2-3 seconds).
TB 10 Web Client. A very modest version of the TB 10 Desktop, but not really functional in terms of online access:
- Slower than TB8 by a factor of 3-5, with lag times of >30 seconds (!) experienced (for the identical Brain in TB8 and TB10). It’s hard to see average lag times of 5-10 seconds as usable in today’s world where everyone expects instant access.
- Doesn’t replicate the Desktop in terms of what you see on your screen, forcing you to see Types and Tags. Visible Types and Tags have useful applications, but also totally undermine the uses to which Types and Tags could be put in TB8 to help organize a Brain. Sort of like going to a fashion show and being forced to wear 3D glasses that show you the models’ bone structure – not what you’re there to see. And Tags that have to be visible suggests that the “one-way-link” feature of TB8 Tags is gone.
- The ability to see “live URLs” in TB10 is a huge step forward from TB8. But the Web Client TB10 seems to fail to show the “live URLs” a large fraction of the time (far far more often than happens on the desktop). So many that you almost want to turn the feature off so that users don’t get totally confused. In which case you’re basically back to what we had in TB8, the ability to click on the URLs and have them open up in a new Tab. Unfortunate, since live URLs are a huge opportunity.
- The ability to see “live videos” is back to where it was in TB8 for YouTube, and improved in terms of live-playing Vimeo videos. A good step forward.
TB 10 Web Client Windows Download - Probably the most powerful way of letting 3rd Parties access a Brain, although by definition it’s not truly on-line access. And requires users to download TB to their desktops, a major barrier barrier to initial use.
- The ability to download Brains in TB10 is a huge opportunity, particularly since it doesn’t download all the images and documents. And the ability to have “additional content” appear in downloaded Brains has huge potential (although it would have a lot more potential if using the Web Client were a legitimate alternative). If the only option for 3rd party access is to download Brains, then having additional features as part of the download sort of loses its meaning)
- Downloaded Brains are as fast as on the original Desktop, and presumably a little faster given that all the attachments and images weren’t actually downloaded.
- It does mean that the idea of truly “private thoughts” is gone, and anyone with pre-existing Brains will have to carefully scrub their Brains for potentially thousands of “private thoughts” in TB8 or later that really do need to be kept private.
- Downloaded TB10 Brains presumably don’t have the Type and Tag problem, since on the Desktop there is more control over whether to make them visible or not visible.
- Downloaded TB10 Brains presumably don’t have the “live URL” problem, since it works much more reliably on the Desktop.
- Downloaded TB10 Brains apparently retain all their functionality, even if the user chooses to go to the free version after 90 days.
- But getting users to install TB on their desktop and download Brains is going to be A LOT harder than getting them to access Brains on line. And if the on line experience is poor (as it currently is with TB10), the challenge is likely to get even bigger.
TB 10 Web Client iOS/Android Download A powerful way of letting 3rd Parties access a Brain, although by definition it’s not truly on-line access. Avoids the need to do a desktop download, which is very useful. What’s discussed below is how the iOS/Android Download compares to the Desktop Download. It doesn’t repeat all the bullets just above.
- The TB10 iOS app is excellent, and a huge step forward from the TB8 iOS app. You can actually navigate even mega Brains using the TB10 app.
- It seems likely that the Type/Tag problem of the online Web Client reoccurs here since you don’t have the same power to control your view as with the Desktop download. It’s not at all clear what to do if you know the same Brain will be downloaded both to desktops and to the iOS app.
- There seems to be a fundamental problem with the display of thought icons (at least those based on screen captures). They often don’t pop up when you press on them, and they don’t show up as attachments. Presumably converting all your thought icons to attachments would solve this (?), but manually changing tens of thousands of thought icons is a challenge.
- Getting users to download the iOS or Android app is probably a lot easier than getting them to download the desktop TB.
So what’s the answer to the Brainiacs conundrum of TB8 vs. TB10, Web Client vs. Download, Windows vs. iOs? It seems that the TB10 Web Client Desktop Download is probably the most powerful option available right now, assuming you can get rid of your private thoughts, and assuming you can get 3rd Parties to download the Desktop software. But to not have even a basically functional version of the Brain online is a problem (since a large fraction of users will never consider a desktop download), and have to account for the fact that if people download the same Brain to iOS they may get a very different user experience and it's not clear how to avoid that without getting rid of key things like Types and Tags.
What’s missing from the above? What did I get wrong? And what will change with respect to the various options that could change the assessment I’ve provided?