This Tuesday, without any word of warning (at least I didn’t see it coming), Yojimbo 3.0 and Yojimbo for the iPad hit the shelves. I’ve been hoping for an iPad version of Yojimbo since day one with the iPad, as Yojimbo is my Anything Bucket of choice. So I of course immediately downloaded Yojimbo 3.0, which is required for syncing to the iPad version, and purchased the iPad version. Here’s my first impression of the latter.
The first thing I did was to set up syncing. This is done by launching the desktop Yojimbo and opening its preferences window under the tab labeled iPad. I then clicked the button labeled Pair, then launched Yojimbo on the iPad which prompted me to enter a 4-digit sync code which was being shown on the desktop version of Yojimbo. After I entered that code the iPad version of Yojimbo started syncing my (paltry) 439 items, which took maybe a minute or so. After the syncing was finished, the app was ready to be used.
Let me say right up front that the Yojimbo for iPad is, at the time of this writing, read-only. This means you can only view items in your library, but not modify or delete them or add any new ones. The developer says that he is planning on eventually adding these capabilities, but he wants to be sure to only add them if they’re robust enough to entrust them with your data.
Yojimbo’s interface is very similar to the desktop version, which makes it effortless to find your way around if you’re already a user of Yojimbo for the Mac. On the left side (in landscape mode) you have – at the topmost level – a list of the different entry types (Archives, Bookmarks, Images, Notes), predefined Smart Collections (Flagged, Recent) and any Collections or Tag Collections you may have created. Next to each item is a number denoting the number of entries contained within it. Tap on an item to reveal its contents and tap again on one of the contained items to load it into the viewer, which occupies the major part of the screen area.
At the top of the viewer is a button for revisiting recent items, a sharing button that allows you email an item or, in the case of images, save them to the iPad’s Photo Album and you can also copy an item to the clipboard to use it in another app. If you’re viewing a bookmark, there’s also the option to open the page in Safari. The Info button lets you view an item’s details, such as type, creation and modification dates, flagged status, tags and more. You can also see which collections an item belongs to and its comments, if any.
To find a specific item you can use the search function. You can search by an item’s title, its tags or both. The item list is filtered while you type and to view the complete result list you simply tap outside the search field, which hides the keyboard.
Besides being read-only, there is one other thing that is sorely missing: the Tag Explorer. As far as I can see there is no way to filter your way through the library by selecting tags from a list. If you know how you named all your tags you can use the search function, but there seems to be no way to visually select one or more tags to filter the entries by.
For a 1.0 this is a very solid piece of software. Bare Bones are known to not add features to software just “because they can” and whatever they release, it is usually rock-solid. You won’t see them release something half-baked that needs a point-update virtually immediately. They rather take things a bit slower than others, which results in software that is maybe not cutting edge, but reliable and well thought out.
Of course, probably anybody using the desktop version of Yojimbo is likely drooling over the thought of a Yojimbo for iPad that has the full feature set of the desktop version – including being able to create and edit items on the iPad. And while this ability will some day probably arrive, it’s more likely to be months than weeks before it happens.
One thing I would definitely like to see before that, though, is the Tag Explorer. I use it all the time on the desktop version and while the search function is OK, it’s no replacement.
Bottom line, it’s awesome to finally have Yojimbo on my iPad. It’s well worth the $9.99 in its current 1.0 state and I would gladly pay the desktop version’s price for the iPad version once it catches up feature-wise.
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