VoxyPAD: Clever iOS tool for real-time sharing of photos and docs
VoxyPAD (free) is an innovative and easy to use app for sharing and annotating documents, photos and web pages with others while talking about those shared items in real time.
VoxyPad features instant messaging and you can send a message to another user even if they are not running the app. I can see lots of uses for VoxyPAD both in business and the consumer space. You can share a photo while you draw arrows or highlight parts you want to point out to someone else. The app has a built-in Web browser, so people can discuss a web site design or content on a web page. You can draw with your finger to simulate a pen, while others see what is happening in real time. VoxyPad supports up to 5 people in a group chat.
Other functions include the ability to display and annotate maps, and text can be typed onscreen in a variety of styles and colors.
I tried VoxyPad with a friend, and in general it worked pretty well. Pictures could be loaded and shared, then drawings or other symbols could be added by using a finger as a "stylus". The app was pretty responsive over an Internet connection.
The integrated Web browser worked well. You type in a Web address, and the page appears on the screen of everyone logged into the session. Audio comes from your built-in mic on your iPhone or iPad. While testing VoxyPad, the app dropped the audio feed and I had to re-call my testing partner.
The company also offers an extended service for US$0.99 a month or $8.99 a year. That service allows up to 50 people to chat and also provides cloud-based data access so you can share and review Dropbox documents in a session with others.
You can work with VoxyPad offline, and then choose items to share when you are connected to others. The free version of VoxyPAD is really quite complete. Most people won't need to opt for the subscription, but it is easy to try it for free and decide if you need the additional features.
To use VoxyPad you'll need to create a free account or you can use Facebook credentials. The app only works in portrait mode, although I think most will want to use it in landscape mode -- especially on the iPad.
It would be nice if VoxyPad also worked with a Web browser so you weren't restricted to iOS devices, but in vernal this is a solid app with some great free features. Upgrades to the extended service are handled through the VoxyPAD website.
It has some overlap with services like GoToMeeting, but VoxyPAD has the advantage of being free. VoxyPAD requires iOS 5.1.1 or later. It's universal, but probably best suited to an iPad for the bigger screen.
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