spetman

I am a huge fan of TheBrain; it is already a stunning program and I believe it has the potential to be life-changing for individuals and corporations, as well as a killer app in the market, but only if it can successfully overcome the final challenges in a critical area: mobility. While Cloud Services, WebBrain, and synchronization (which all exist already) are great and necessary steps in the evolution, there are still some major barriers in the 2 existing mobile solutions which are highly frustrating and prevent the real use of TheBrain in a seamless mobile way:

 

-WebBrain requires right-clicking to do things efficiently, and right-clicking is a capability that most tablets do not support well or at all. And needless to say, WebBrain is not a realistic mobile phone solution (this is true for most non-mobile-optimized web sites, of course). I know, there is an iOS app on the way to possibly handle both the tablet and phone challenges, but…..

-The forthcoming iOS version, from what I’ve seen with it on the iPad, has several significant gaps, including: a) the lack of an efficient way to assign tags, except one at a time, b) the lack of the ability to zoom and/or to change the view to Outline view – at least one of which is necessary to accommodate screen real-estate limitations in mobile devices.

 

Therefore, politely, TheBrain is a challenge to use on any tablet or phone, from what I know. Do people agree? Is anyone finding a usable solution, in any of the newest tablets or phones? I’ve been wondering if the styluses (included in the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 tablet etc.) significantly enhance the mobile experience on any device, for example. [P.S. The forthcoming improvements in TB8 seem nice but I’d much rather have a good mobile solution than even more bells-and-whistles on the desktop solution – and it seems like developing the Desktop version is where the focus must be….]

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mctrexler
I was a bit confused by your last sentence, but I think I take the gist of your comment.   I think you're raising an important question that I'm not sure I've seen discussed before (although I suspect I've just missed it).  The march towards transitioning TB to iOS has seemed inexorable, although it's always puzzled me.   At some level the problem here is that TB is different things to different people.  The great majority of users probably use TB in relatively simple ways, and a lot of those ways could probably be implemented through iOS devices.  But a lot of those same uses could probably be implemented through simpler mindmapping programs already available for iOS. 

That said, I have trouble seeing how the real power of TB can be implemented through iOS, or through tablets in general except for display purposes.   When you're talking about many thousands of thoughts, organized in pretty complicated ways, could one really ever build such a Brain on a portable device?   Even webbrain is a very weak version of TB, offering just a fraction of the power of the desktop version.  I'm assuming there are some good reasons for that.  

I think it is very important that TB be mobile in the sense of being able to display Brains effectively on a variety of devices.  I'm currently using a Microsoft Surface for that purpose.  But I really do question whether it makes sense to want to be able to have fully functional brain-building capabilities across all of the same devices.

-- Climitman



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zenrain
I haven't seen the iOS version, but I do believe that mobile is where things are heading.
While WebBrain can be used in a pinch (I use it for quick reference every now and then) it can't be used for much more. If TheBrain doesn't get a mobile solution that fits in with the medium (that is, is targeted for mobile use, not a modified desktop version) and competitive with the capabilities of other semi-similar apps then it's not going to do well much longer in the consumer market.

I wouldn't expect the iOS and Android versions to be perfect in their first release. Porting a desktop solution with a custom database and synchronization is no small feat. Just getting it out there will allow them to get a foot in the door, and feedback on what to improve. I would think after they have it out they can start looking at how other apps handles tagging (Evernote, Day One, 1Password to name a few) and other features and roll those in once customers have identified areas they need to focus on improving first. I just hope they have the resources to keep up with developing on 5 fronts (Windows/OS X/Android/iOS/Web).

To answer your question without seeing a mobile version though, I have read several posts from people who have had luck with using remote access apps to connect into their Windows/OS X machines. I haven't tried it yet, but it's worth a look.
macOS 10.14.6
TheBrain 11.0.119
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zenrain
Mctrexler makes a very good point. The usability case for a mobile version of TheBrain is different from the desktop version. I would expect the desktop version to have full and robust reporting, thought duplication, mass thought modification, and other power user features (as it does). 
I would expect the mobile version to make it easy to browse, search and view existing data, as well as capture thoughts and web sites. I'm not very likely to start modifying large numbers of thoughts, but I would expect to capture data quickly and easily (as well as send it from other apps), as well as search and find my existing information. 
macOS 10.14.6
TheBrain 11.0.119
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mkabd
I have a Surface Pro, and yes, the stylus does make it easier.  But I would very much like to see a touch-based Win8 version, as the resolution on the Surface makes it very small when running in Win7 mode.  Also, the webbrain is painfully small and almost impossible to use on the Surface - too little of it shows!

A slightly bigger isssue is that I have noticed a problem with BrainZips opening on the Surface and the connections between thoughts all screwy.   I haven't been able to figure out why.  (Not to hijack the thread, but I want to make this clear:   when I work on desktop Brain with Win8 running in Win7 mode, save a BrainZip, open that BrainZip on my Surface, I found that one thought was literally related to every other one - all 1400 or so!  and it has happened with 2 other smaller "test" brain zips.  So there is some issue there, some underlying instability when moving data to the tablet?  The relationships get all wonky.)

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Spacenexus
One of my favorite topics! TheBrain indeed is one of the finest software products on the market. I've come to value the ability to use a nearly 1TB size brain with 100,000 thoughts in a laptop platform but also value the ultramobile solution for the 30% of the time I don't have my laptop on me but still require 100% access. Read my previous post on mobile positioning:

http://forums.thebrain.com/post/show_single_post?pid=1268067516&postcount=10

And here are some supplementary rants on mobility related usage for those not going to the movies this evening:

http://forums.thebrain.com/post?id=2085773
http://forums.thebrain.com/post/realizing-personalbrains-true-potential-cloudstyle-4688014?pid=39950273#post39950273
http://forums.thebrain.com/post?id=2045211
http://forums.thebrain.com/post/brain-and-evernote-im-in-trouble-6134484?highlight=logmein&trail=15

With LogMeIn (or similar remote access service) proving to be really slick these days, high bandwidth available in most places both cellular and wifi, and new Android and handheld Win8.1 Pro platforms, iOS devices etc I have a fully functioning megabrain in my hand.

I think the new iOS mobile version of TheBrain is a useful addition and will be of value to the usage profiles of a number of users, just like Webbrain and the incredible TeamBrain offering (a superb homerun in my opinion); I use TeamBrain a lot myself. 

However, for uncompromised mobile usage, the remote access solution has served me well for many years. Apologies to old friends who have seen these posts before, but might be useful perspective to our valued newbies to help them find the usage model that works best for them.

Jim


@200229:
TB8022 32bit
Java 32bit Version 8 Update 141

Testing 11.0.60.0

Firefox, Office 2013 Pro Plus 32bit
64bit Win10Pro
64bit Primary Laptop, 8GB RAM, Intel Core i7
64bit Secondary Laptop, 64GB RAM, Intel Xeon E3
Brain user since 1997
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enkidu
Well

the debate is large, but simpler than it seems.
servers, desktops and mobile devices are intrinsically different, for a reason : they serve different purposes each being a functional tradeoff.

I find it funny that everyone understands that MS Office has a mobile version, a functional subset of the desktop version, while at the same time expects TheBrain to be functionally identical across all platforms.


cheers
enkidu


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spetman

Great debates! I've read all the posts and links, and want to add this additional fuel to the fire:

-I don't believe there's an expectation that the Brain functions identically on all platforms, e.g. all features are on all platforms. For instance, 'Expanded' views and mass-processing of Thoughts may not make much sense on a mobile phone.

-The ability to quickly access the info (especially Thoughts) in the brain regardless of device or location (e.g. mobile) is clearly Brain Requirement #1 (the core function of TheBrain: store information that can be retrieved or explored via context). But Requirement #2 would be the ability to enter, connect, and classify (via Thought Types and Tags) Thoughts quickly. There are other blog Posts about the primary difference between Evernote and TheBrain being that a deeper 'initial investment' in information storage is required with TheBrain, since a user needs to 'invest' more effort with each Thought entered, to connect and classify it (for better retrieval benefit, of course). I believe TheBrain only 'wins' if that entry-with-metadata is as effortless as possible, regardless of device. P.S. I don't know what their pricing intentions are for the forthcoming app(s), but I believe that I and other Brain power users would gladly pay more/extra/separately to use a deep app, rather than live with a free bare-bones app.

-LogMeIn doesn't resolve the issue that it's not possible to right-click (to access context menus) on mobile devices (phones and tablets) [unless you count devices which have a Bluetooth or attached keyboard, which I don't think counts because that's basically a laptop]. Does anyone know if the Surface Pro operating in tablet mode, or another tablet other there, has a stylus with a special gesture like tap-and-hold or double-tap, to activate/access a context menu? For Windows 8.1 tablets, TheBrain (PC version) would then be a viable application whose full functionality could be utilized natively in the tablet in the fat client, right? (I have no explanation for the weird symptoms that mkabd describes and hope they are not widespread). 

-In my opinion, TheBrain could be thought of as a next-generation leap above Apple's Finder or Microsoft's Windows Explorer, e.g. rather than merely being a 2-dimensional folder hierarchy of files on a single device, it is an n-dimensional, cloud-synched organization of anything-and-everything: notes, emails, URLs, contacts, files, etc. However, as much as it would be great, TheBrain is definitely challenged if it is going to try to synch all attached files across all platforms, a la compete with companies like Dropbox. Maybe the two can join forces......?  ;-)

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Spacenexus
Logmein can readily access right click context menus on a mobile touchscreen with two-fingered touch. They thought of that some time back I believe.

Jim

@200229:
TB8022 32bit
Java 32bit Version 8 Update 141

Testing 11.0.60.0

Firefox, Office 2013 Pro Plus 32bit
64bit Win10Pro
64bit Primary Laptop, 8GB RAM, Intel Core i7
64bit Secondary Laptop, 64GB RAM, Intel Xeon E3
Brain user since 1997
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enkidu
Quote:
-In my opinion, TheBrain could be thought of as a next-generation leap above Apple's Finder or Microsoft's Windows Explorer, e.g. rather than merely being a 2-dimensional folder hierarchy of files on a single device, it is an n-dimensional, cloud-synched organization of anything-and-everything: notes, emails, URLs, contacts, files, etc. However, as much as it would be great, TheBrain is definitely challenged if it is going to try to synch all attached files across all platforms, a la compete with companies like Dropbox. Maybe the two can join forces......?  ;-)


Indeed. If TheBrain could do Jumps between Virtual Thoughts, I'd use it as THE alternative file system navigator !

It's the number 2 item of my functional wish list !!

cheers
enkidu

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bmac
I certainly agree. In fact, maybe two years ago, I suggested that the personal brain be configured to become the "desktop" on a windows PC. Wouldn't that be nice – you boot up and the only visible item is your brain where other windows could be deployed in some fashion  -- either on top of the brain, or the brain would obediently descend to its typical icon, but if all "windows" were closed or minimized the brain would go back to full screen.
Bill
customized Desktop PC (Haswell i7 4770 3.4 gHz with 32 GB RAM), Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, 256 GB SSD,  and a Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Windows 10, 512 GB SSD, 16 GB ram, i5
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spetman
Interesting! So maybe TheBrain should partner with Microsoft to become an option for the Windows interface, and then utilize Microsoft's SkyDrive service for synchronization of files across devices and/or for remote access to files for devices where local storage is limited or not desired. 
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enkidu
Historical lesson :

the minute you partner with microsoft, you're rich
the next minute, your app is dead

so : I'd rather TheBrain stays as is ... ;-)

the examples are as numerous as stars in the sky ...

./e
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voppense
Concerning the mobility challenges of The brain.
read my post on:
http://forums.thebrain.com/post/show_single_post?pid=1280832711&postcount=21
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