This is the fifth in my series of 7 planned posts about apps a lawyer should consider when outfitting a new iPad for basic work. So far, we’ve covered file access, writing, calculators and PDF annotation. This time: presentations.
Really, there are two things to think about when considering presentations: creation and delivery. The first piece is an easy call and that is Keynote for iPad. Apple’s Keynote (iTunes link) is quite simply the best and really only tool for creatingpresentations on the iPad. I’ve created and given buckets of presentations in my life on numerous versions of PowerPoint for PC, Keynote for Mac and now Keynote for iPad and the iPad version blows them all away in terms of the quality of output for the amount of effort required. The touch interface is simply a natural designing presentation slides. So much so that I choose the iPad version of Keynote to create presentations even when I have my desktop available.And, despite being a “lite” iPad version, Keynote for iPad contains an amazing number of features tucked behind a few control panels. The extra power of a desktop presentation tool is simply not needed for most presentations. Heck, almost most everything you see in a “Stevenote” can be created with Keynote for iPad. Keynote for iPad can output your presentation to a projector straight form the iPad (leave the laptop at home!). A recent update has markedly improved the presentation mode as well. While there is a short learning curve, after spending a little time you will be rewarded with being able to create beautiful presentations with minimal effort. Even at $9.99, I think it is worthwhile investment if creating and delivering presentations is any part of your workflow.
While Keynote for iPad is great for presentation delivery, one thing it doesn’t handle well are non-sequential presentations. Fortunately, the App Store has solutions. Picture Link (iTunes link) by Zuhanden GmbH gives presenters the ability to project images and videos in a non-linear fashion. Picture Link isn’t for creating content – you must create your static .jpg slides or .mov videos elsewhere. Once in Picture Link, you can add transparent hyper-link buttons between different slides giving you lots of navigation flexibility. You can also easily zoom out to view thumbnails of your slides, tapping on one regardless of order to jump to that slide. While Picture Link doesn’t give you fancy transitions, it does give you control. And for $.99, it is a bargain.
Note also that many file management apps like ReaddleDocs (iTunes link) and GoodReader (iTunes link) also double as presentation apps. While these apps don’t give you any navigation aids or fancy transitions, they do give you versatility with file formats. Toss a stack of PDF, .doc, .xls, .html, .mov, .jpg and .txt into a Dropbox folder, sync to one of these apps and you are ready to present. I’ve used this very successfully in client and practice group meetings to discuss documents and PDF files.
Keep an eye on the updates for your favorite app as more and more are adding VGA output giving lawyers more presentation flexibility.