Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis
Outlining is the first setup in all writing and researching projects, but that is not the only use for outlines. On the computer, many people use outliner applications to keep track of projects, task management, thought processes, lists, and to keep track of information in a tree format.
There are many programs that allow one to sync text files between all the devices that they own. This is not true for outliner programs, even though keeping track of outlines across multiple devices is just as important. There are many applications that can be used on the Mac and iPad, or the iPad and iPhone, but as of now there is only one that application that has a version for all three devices.
Cloud Outliner by Xwavesoft runs on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone. It does not have as many features as its main competitor Omni Outliner, but it has all the required features needed to create a great outline. Many argue that Omni Outliner has too many features, and for those, Cloud Outliner is a better choice. Best of all, Cloud Outliner is only $15 for all three versions ($10 for the Mac, $5 for iOS). This price is much cheaper than Omni Outliner’s prices and Omni doesn't have an iPhone version. Outlines can be imported and exported in the OPML file format, so users don’t have to be tied into one program.
Cloud Outliner uses iCloud to sync outlines between devices. While iCloud should get better in time, this is Cloud Outliner’s bigger problem. The syncing abilities are not reliable with iCloud. Files usually sync, but not all the time, and there are delays and errors even when syncing correctly. Many developers have complained about iCloud’s syncing abilities and Cloud Outliner reveals why. Companies should add Dropbox syncing until Apple can fix iCloud (which was promised by Apple to Developers this past June at Apple's WWDC).
If one wants to use the same application to create outlines on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone, Cloud Outliner is the only option right now, but it is a great outliner with all the basic features. For users who want to create simple and effective outlines, this program works great, except for one area, syncing. If Xwavesoft would switch to Dropbox for syncing, it would be the best outliner on the market for the Apple products.
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