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Building Presentations on your iPad: A Review of Apple’s Keynote for iPad

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June 27, 2010

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Building Presentations on your iPad: A Review of Apple’s Keynote for iPad

For those new to the Apple World, Keynote is Apple’s equivalent of Microsoft PowerPoint. As an avid Keynote ’09 user on my MacBook Pro, I couldn’t wait to transfer all my presentations stored on my laptop to run on my iPad. After testing the software for the last 3 days, I simply cannot recommend anyone buying this app. Unfortunately for loyal Apple customers; Keynote for iPad is not ready for mainstream use and barely usable for the devoted Keynote user.  Since Apple stated the Keynote for iPad was designed from the ground up, we suggest our readers wait till version 2 or 3 come out. Your $10 is better spent on other iPad Apps.

Overview

Keynote has everything you need to produce basic presentations, such as lovely Apple-designed themes, custom graphic styles, and beautiful animations and effects. Apple makes it really simple to use Keynote. You can start with an Apple created theme and add the slides you need with just several taps. Use the predefined text types or pick from an assortment of text alternatives to personalize your slides. Picture and videos are added through the Media Browser and you can add tables and charts with a few touches. Keynote also allows you to do basic enhancements such as add masks, shadows, reflections, and a picture frame.   Presentations can be displayed full screen on your iPad or you can connect the iPad to a projector by purchasing the appropriate adapter.  Presentations can be shared by iTunes, iWork.com, or emailed.

Sharing

The biggest problem I have with Apple is they make things more difficult than they need to be when you want to share documents between your iPad and your computer. You have to use iTunes file sharing or buy a better third party app. For mobile warriors who use iDisk, you’re going to be disappointed because there is no interoperability with Keynote.

Importing Presentations

You can live with the iPad keynote if you use Keynote ’09 for Mac but if you have PowerPoint presentations this app is pretty worthless. We transferred a dozen PowerPoint presentations between 6-20 slides, and varying in complexity. Most were simple text and pictures and two had embedded animations. Every single import from PowerPoint was formatted incorrectly and had multiple errors. Do not use Keynote if you use PowerPoint as your main presentation software.

If you use Keynote 09 the importing the file to your iPad is relatively simple and painless. However, since the Keynote version of iPad lacks many of the features of Keynote’09, the iPad version converts the MAC .key file to and iPad version stripping those features. I found that most of the animation was left off, and those that survived had missing features and formatting issues.  Too often the font was changed around and all the hard work creating a beautiful presentation on your MacBook Pro was simply wasted in the conversion.  While Keynote for iPad has a user friendly interface, you cannot build eye catching multi-media presentations on the iPad version due to lack of features.

Features and Highlights as give by Apple:

– Choose from 12 Apple-designed themes including Gradient, Showroom, and Portfolio.
– Arrange the objects on your slides by simply dragging them on the slide canvas.
– Create sophisticated animations by using Magic Move, which automatically animates objects across consecutive slides.
– Choose from over 20 professional-quality slide transitions including Anagram, Page Flip, Mosaic, and Twist.
– Quickly add your photos and videos from the Photos app with the Media Browser.
– Organize your data with beautiful tables and charts.
– Skim through your presentation, add new slides, and reorder slides with the slide navigator.
– Your documents are saved automatically every time you make a change.
– Use the Undo button to go back through your work — even the next time you open your document.
– Show your slides on a large screen by attaching your iPad to an external display or projector with the optional iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter.
– View and edit existing documents by importing Keynote ’09 or Microsoft PowerPoint files from Mail attachments or the web.
– Share your work by exporting it to Keynote ’09 or PDF and sending it to a colleague via Mail or iWork.com public beta.
– Transfer presentations between your Mac or PC and your iPad using File Sharing in iTunes.

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