This is an early and partial review of Keynote for the iPad. This review is based on real world experience. I was speaking on Persuasion and Technology in Nashville this past weekend to a group of lawyers. I wanted to try out my new iPad. I was ready.
The night before, I transferred my Keynote presentation from my MacBook Pro to the iPad. I dismissed the warnings in Keynote about all fonts and transitions, etc. not being transported over. I thought, as long as the fonts are readable and the transitions are basic, so what.
Then, as I instruct others to do, before giving any talk, rehearse. I went to the conference room and began to practice. iPad in hand, I began to flick through my presentation and talk out loud. Things went well for the first 5 slides or so. I was using the laser tool feature and all was well.
Press down and move your finger on the screen
Then, I must have touched the screen by accident because the slide advanced when I was not ready. No problem I thought, I’ll just scroll backwards…How do you do that? Interestingly enough, it is the opposite of what I thought. Instead of scrubbing to the left (backwards in my mind) I had to scrub to the right…(forward in my head). When you do that, a white arrow pointing to the left appears…mmm…I’ll touch that to move backwards…Turns out, the arrow simply appears to let you know it is going backwards.
Ok…I will need to get used to that I thought. I practiced going forward and backward a couple of slides a couple of more times.
Then, I thought where am I in my presentation?
There are no presenter notes like on my laptop. This is definitely another feature I would like to see ported over before I am comfortable using the iPad full time for presentations.
To navigate intrapresentation, if you touch the left of the screen, your slides pull up on the left, like a movie strip. You can scrub up or down to see the various slides. Select one to continue your presentation. Pretty cool.
As I continued practicing my talk, suddenly…I was back at the home screen. Not the home screen of Keynote, but the home screen of the iPad. Some transition of an object did not translate very well on the import and caused Keynote to crash. I tried to figure it out and fix it. No luck. Hmmm…I thought. Better not try this out just yet on an audience.
Separately, with the Dock Connector to VGA adapter and VGA cable attached to to the projector, it was not going to be easy to walk around ( like I like to do when I give my presentations). Hopefully, someone will come out with a wireless fix so I can move around without being chained down. Even a way to use my iPad as a presenter screen and have it talk to my MacBook Pro to run the presentation would be really cool. There are a couple of apps that let you use your iPhone as a controller. Hopefully, something like that can help in the future too with the iPad if Keynote does not come up with a fix.
The next day, I did the presentation on my MacBook Pro. All went flawlessly (from my point of view).
By the way, there is help available from within Keynote. The only thing is, you need an internet connection to access the information.
Help for iWork Apps via the internet
The above thoughts and observations are for those who present regularly. Right now, I would not be comfortable doing my presentation from my iPad. I hope my real experience will let you know what to expect (and not to) before giving your first presentation on the new iPad Keynote program. I can’t emphasize enough….practice with the device BEFORE you get up to give your talk.