It’s that time again, which means another iPad app review. This week I’m looking at the Keynote app, which is the iPad version of the desktop application. The Keynote app is part of the iWork suite and is a nice presentation creator for the iPad. Overall I like the app, even though I don’t like doing “PowerPoint-ish” presentations, there are some decent features which make this a handy resource when travelling and presenting.
When you first open Keynote, you see all the presentations you’ve made or synced with your iPad. If it’s your first time, then there is a Getting Started guide that really goes into depth with the product and how to do some basic tasks. I actually found the guide quite helpful, which is surprising since I’m used to those guides explaining how to do everything in very detailed steps, leaving a guide about the length of War and Peace. To create a new presentation, there is a + symbol in the top left you can push and a number of themes appear making it easy to create a decent looking presentation with little effort.
The layout is pretty much what you would expect. The slides are listed on the left side, there is a simple toolbar at the top and the play button is in the top right. Keynote has the ability to insert a variety of media, such as: images, sound, video, tables, charts, and shapes. Editing text is also very simple. All it takes is a double tap to on the text box and the keyboard appears. There are a variety of slides, such as title slides, the standard bulleted slide, pictures slides, etc. There is also an undo button, which can also redo if you press and hold. While the picture above doesn’t show it, there is a way to edit the fonts, which is using the info button. All the standard features are there, such as: font size, color, lists, arrangement, styles, etc. There are also animation and transitions, as well as the ability to share your presentation to iTunes, email, etc., in either the native Keynote format, or in PowerPoint or PDF formats. Keynote also has the ability to open your PowerPoint presentations that you sync via iTunes, which truly is handy.
Another useful feature is the laser pointer feature. I never use them, but I suppose it could be helpful for some. To activate it press and hold during the slideshow and a little red dot will appear. You can then move your finger around to different parts of the slide as necessary.
And finally, the best feature, in my opinion, is the ability to organize your presentations into folders. This is especially helpful if you teach multiple subjects or even if you just want to keep your presentations organized by topic. You can have as many presentations in a folder as you wish and you can personalize each folder’s name. Again, pretty basic, but truly essential for those who do a number of presentations.
All in all, I like the Keynote app. Looking at how I plan to use the iPad, this will certainly make travelling to presentations throughout the state much easier since I won’t need to lug my laptop around everywhere I go. This app costs $9.99. This is certainly a content creation app, but I still want to stress the need to not make presentations that “PowerPoint people to death!” Remember, people can read and they really want to hear what you can say. For more tips on making a more effective presentation, check out this post.
Attached is the presentation I created using the Keynote for iPad app. Unfortunately, WordPress will not allow me to upload the Keynote version of the presentation, but here is the PowerPoint version: Video Conferencing in Methods Classroom.