Moxtra is a secure multimedia collaboration binder for iOS devices that lets you organize content on your iOS device. I've been testing it on my iPad since the app launched and recommend it for anybody. Moxtra also includes features for online chat and conferencing that are well developed enough for a team to conduct meetings about documents completely in the app.
While I've professed my love for Evernote on TechRepublic in the past, Moxtra is more of a binder and I've gotten some use out of it organizing research and documents for meetings and calls I've attended since its launch.
Creating and managing Moxtra binders
Moxtra's strong suit is graphically appealing binders that enable you to keep all relevant content together. Figure A shows a notebook I setup while writing this post.
Inside a Moxtra binder.
While inside a binder, you have options to share content with your team and assign roles to co-workers as viewers or editors. It's all pretty standard collaboration platform stuff. There is an Invite to Binder option that links to your iOS device's address book.
When creating a Moxtra binder, you can pull in data from Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and Evernote. I recommend setting up your notebooks before you go mobile using a PC or Mac of your choice.
I found the chat tools to be a bit slow during my testing though I couldn't track down an exact cause. However, I'm not a fan of chat tools embedded in applications.
Then page formatting in Moxtra is the big draw for the application. Navigating through pages is quick and easy through easy to read pages. In fact, I like how Moxtra renders pages better than viewing Word documents and Adobe Portable Document Files (PDFs) on my iPad. You can even rearrange pages in Moxtra to organize binders to suit your needs.
Moxtra includes its commenting and annotation tools. You can add comments to pages with real time updates and notification. Moxtra also includes voice annotations. Personally, I would find voice annotations annoying in a document review because written review comments are a standard document review process. Figure B shows a note annotated on a Moxtra page.
Note on a Moxtra page.
Personally, I'm not so sure that the notes stand out enough on a Moxtra page. However, I do find the commenting feature more usable than the notes because of how it makes comments stand out on a Moxtra page. Figure C shows comments on a Moxtra page.
Comments on a Moxtra page.
You can also add text bubbles and draw on Moxtra pages if you are into those sorts of annotations options.
Chat and meetings
Moxtra includes an integrated chat tool to hold conversations with one or more team members. Meeting attendees can join a Moxtra chat session from any device or browser. Surprisingly, no Moxtra account required for attendees. The apps include dynamic presence information for all of your contacts on Moxtra. While chatting, you can share documents, pictures, and videos and I can definitely see a project team using Moxtra to share and comment on project documents like client presentations and technical documentation.
If you are in a chat session, you have the option to share documents, pictures, and videos with other chat participants. Moxtra also promises you can switch devices in a middle of a chat session seamlessly. I didn't have the opportunity to test this feature. However, it couldbe useful for workers who work between home and office.
Teams using Moxtra can use the conversation history for future reference over project decisions and topics of meetings. One thing for Moxtra to think about is a method for exporting conversations into another file format. You then have the option to convert a conversation into a binder for archiving or later reference.
Moxtra conversations can be persistent throughout the day using tools to tune in, tune out, and catch up on the conversation at the end of the day. While Moxtra conversations are powerful, I'm not sure it's a powerful enough tool for teams to give up their existing Instant Messaging (IM) and presence application.
While the chat and meeting features in Moxtra can be a bit complex for novice users, the binder features are ideal for iPad users who want a better way for organizing their documents for projects and meetings.
I recommend Moxtra for users and teams that need to engage with their documents during a review cycle or want to take long form paper documents online. For example, I can see putting technical documentation and policies and procedures documents into Moxtra for field service staff.
Are you using Moxtra? Share your experience in the discussion thread.
Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management applications, Google Apps, Microsoft technologies, and online collaboration for TechRepublic and other sites. Will also works as a contract technical writer for clients in the Washington, DC area and nationwide. Follow Will on Twitter: @willkelly.