Moxtra is an app that allows users to store information in various “binders” and then use its service to share this information and collaborate with others. From the app’s main screen, users may create new binders in which to store information or immediately add a new item to an existing binder. Types of information which can be stored include photos from the device’s camera, pictures from the photo library, videos from the camera roll, blank pages (which can later be sketched on) and files imported from Dropbox, Box or the user’s own computer. The latter option requires that the user install an app on their Windows or Mac OS X-based computer in order to be able to access files.
Once information is stored in a binder, it may be reorganized and annotated. Comments can be added to individual items, and all items can be modified using a suite of simple drawing tools that include freehand drawing, highlighting, text and arrows. Annotations may be erased without affecting the background image, and the drawing feature includes full “undo” and “redo” functionality, though this seemed a bit sluggish to respond during testing. It is also possible to annotate images with voice notes, though this functionality occasionally caused a crash.
Information may be shared with others in several ways. A binder may be shared with others via email or Facebook, and users that accept this invitation will be marked as “members” on the binder, allowing them full access to its content and the ability to modify its contents. It’s also possible to share a “view only” link via email, text or Facebook post. By far the standout sharing feature, however, is the real-time “Meet” collaboration facility, which allows users to publicly broadcast the contents of a binder to those with a link, and collaborate with them either via iOS device or Web app. All participants in a Meet can browse through and annotate the contents of a binder, and this functionality also carries voice chat support, though this did not seem to work via the Web app when tested.
Moxtra is a good app for sharing information with others, but it’s lacking in a few features that it would seem eminently sensible to include. There’s no facility to create a plain text note, for example — creating a “blank page” note simply summons a blank drawing canvas. Yes, the text tool can be used to make text notes, but it’s not a very practical solution for a problem that could be easily fixed. There are also a few technical flaws here and there — attempting to delete a binder occasionally just didn’t work at all until the app crashed, at which point said binder disappeared without warning. The voice notes facility also caused occasional crashes.
These issues aside, Moxtra will clearly be a very good app with a few updates to iron out the bugs and the missing features. At present, there’s a lot of potential evident in the tech, it just need a bit of work to take it from “good idea” to “essential app” status.
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