With Present Pad for the iPad you can set up your presentations in a ‘multi-directional’ format. What does that mean? Let me explain…
You save your final, ready-to-go Keynote or PowerPoint presentation in PDF format. You then import it into the app (see below on the two ways to do this) and drag the ‘slides’ around the editing grid, arranging them so that when presenting you can swipe left, right, up, down – any direction, you get the picture – to advance to the next slide.
How to import into Present Pad
Either drag the PDF file to the Present Pad section at the bottom of the Apps tab or open a PDF presentation from the Mail app (click on the attachment, then click Open In and choose ‘Present Pad’).
It’s a neat idea. It’s particularly useful for loading up with ‘back up’ slides, ones you don’t necessarily intend to use, but would find useful to have around if particular questions crop up or an example is needed to help explain something further.
It’s simple to use: you can easily drag slides where you need them and you can also delete slides by simply touching a slide and hitting the Delete button. However, you can’t get a slide back once it’s deleted. Hmmm.
Which leads me to…
The not so good
Often swiping down would send me to a blank spot rather than the slide I was expecting (the slides seem to have a life of their own and whizz over to the left or right).
I found it frustrating that I couldn’t delete a presentation except from the apps section of iTunes.
You can’t create presentations with Present Pad. It would be great to at least see some editing facilities so ‘on the fly’ changes are possible, rather than having to edit the original presentation, export the PDF and import it into the app again. In particular a ‘Duplicate slide option’ would be useful. In fact, an option to import from Keynote would rock. Although I’m guessing Apple has put the kybosh on these ideas already though?
There’s no VGA output, but apparently “it’s in the works” according to the developer’s Twitter site.
And, more seriously, the ‘Open In’ Present Pad option in the Mail app crashed Mail and wouldn’t open the document.
For now Present Pad is a great idea but needs serious implementation tweaks to make it more useful and reliable.
However, it is free for a short time, so it’s definitely worth downloading it now in preparation for future updated versions.
Danielle Saul is a technical writer and all round geeky chick. You can follow her on Twitter at @GeekyCh1ck
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