The developers at Infinite Kind aim to make the iPad a more useful tool for folks who want a whiteboard collaboration space, without all the hassle of getting everyone in the same place at the same time.
SyncSpace is a collaborative whiteboard for iPad. You can sketch out ideas and text on your own, but its real appeal is the ability to turn on syncing and let others draw with you in real time over the Internet.
The app is aimed squarely at distributed teams of application designers, Web developers, and other professionals who need to collaborate on a visual canvas, whether they’re across the street or the continent. As of this writing, however, Infinite Kind had not responded to Macworld’s request for comment on how many collaborators can work on a document at the same time. Update: Sean Reilly from Infinite Kind got back to us to say that there is no limit to the number of collaborators on a whiteboard. I imagine that responsiveness could get wonky after a significant number of people are all drawing on the same document over the Web. But there is at least no built-in hard limit on the number of collaborators you can have.
SyncSpace boasts smart a smart offline mode; if you have to go offline while working or collaborating on a whiteboard, it can sync all your changes with your collaborators once you get your Internet back. It’s also a vector-based drawing app, so you can zoom in pretty tight to make fine, detailed changes to your whiteboard.
Besides collaborating with others, SyncSpace can also share your creations on Twitter, Facebook, e-mail (as a high-resolution PDF), and 37signals’s
Campfire business chat service (which the company’s own
Draft can do as well).
SyncSpace is certainly not the first collaborative whiteboard for the iPad or iPhone. But it and
Groupboard are the only two apps I can find that allow collaboration over the Internet, not just local Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections. Groupboard takes a different approach, though, in that its app is free and allows up to five collaborators on a whiteboard; if you want more simultaneous participants, Groupboard offers paid monthly packages that start at 15-20 collaborators for $10 per month. Update: Reilly says that Infinite Kind eventually plans to introduce more premium features and license the sync software so businesses that wish to maintain control of their data can run it on their own servers.
SyncSpace is $10 and available now in the App Store. Your iPad will need at least iOS 4.2 or later.
Updated at 10:00am PT with more details about SyncSpace, including the lack of a collaborator limit and the company’s plans to eventually license the sync software to businesses.