Instaviz Review: Great Graphs on iPhone

Instaviz is a graph builder of sorts. As all good apps for iPhone its strength is ease of use. As a Graph builder it doesn’t have the multitude of figures that Visio has, however what it has are forms that can easily be made with our finger on the iPhone screen. 

The developer has a website dedicated for this app where there are some useful tips and a video in http://instaviz.com/. Check it out after reading this if you get interested. The app is available on Apple AppStore and now it costs 7,99€ but if you are used to make graphs all the time, I can guarantee that is well worth the price to be able to do graphs on the go.

The Instaviz application is very simple. Contrary to the simplicity of the app interface are the results of its usage. As you can see from part of some Graphs I made on the images below, the Graphs can be big and complex, and I mean BIG.

One of the strong points of Instaviz is exporting the Graphs. The solution here is almost what I call perfect: the app connects to any WebDAV server (in my case MobileMe) to where it exports two files, one GV and one PDF. From there on I just Log into my MobileMe account and download the PDF file. I can even get those files on the iPhone and share them on the network because I have MobileFiles Pro that downloads files from WebDAV servers and shares them on the iPhone via a local WebDAV server on the WiFi network.

The graph is made of nodes which are geometrical figures designed with our finger on the iPhone’s screen. using our finger we also connect two nodes at will by just moving the finger from the first to the second node. This makes for a very simple and incredibly fast way to construct our graphs: it’s so practical and easy you just need to try it to get caught.

For each node we can write text (made up of one or more lines) and we can choose the text color and font, as well as the node background color, line color, line width, etc. For each line connecting nodes we can also add text (one or more lines) and we can again choose colors and styles.

For me the biggest thing about this application is the speed at which we can create our graphs. Creation is easy and fast, adding text and style is also simple and fast, and if we don’t care for changing colors and styles (on nodes, lines and text) then it is ultra-fast. Faster than anything ever on any Desktop Graph application.

 The database of the application is backed on the iTunes, and there’s an free application called Instavue (download from http://instaviz.com/instavue/) that opens the Instaviz database from iTunes backups and allows us to see and export those graphs.

Mostly I’m very happy with this app, it gave me a new level of productivity in graph creation and I can now do them everywhere!!! One thing I would like added is more control over the arrangement of the nodes and scrolling being simpler on big graphs.

There’s also a mailing list dedicated to this application instaviz-users@pixelglow.com. You have to register to it of course to be able to receive and to post. Pixelglow is very present in this mailing list which is great.

Hope to have been helpful.

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