The joys of Apple Keynote for iPad
November 10, 2012
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Apple Keynote is a presentation software similar in function to that of Microsoft PowerPoint. First released in 2003, I became familiar with its capacities in 2005, although at that time, I primarily used a Windows desktop at home and thus, created most of my slideshows using PowerPoint. However, as of late, I’ve begun again to present using Keynote, owing to its compatibility with iOS. The iOS Keynote app retails for $9.99 in the iOS app store, and shares the same features as the desktop software, with the key exception that the user employs touch to position and manipulate elements, rather than with a mouse. The minimalistic design allows for presentations to be created very quickly, and the iPad can be used to play back full presentations.
- This is the app’s main screen for file organisation. Presentations are organised by the date they are edited, and may be dragged over one another (like the apps) to form folders to allow for improved organisation. The option to copy and delete presentations is present, a fundamental feature that makes the iOS Keynote equally as powerful as the desktop Keynote. Finally, Keynotes on an iPad may be copied back to a desktop machine through iTunes.
- To alter an object in the presentation, simply tapping it will bring out a menu. Animations on the iPad are equally as visually stunning and diverse as those found on the desktop. I first encountered Keynote on return to my middle school to visit my first computer science instructor, and saw some of the presentations that the students could assemble. Many years later, I used keynote to assemble my own presentations. I daresay mine are a cut above theirs.
- Objects can be formatted using the menu items on the upper right hand corner, allowing for text to take on different styles, and for images to be given special appearances (like borders and reflections). Moreover, presentation notes can be added under the tools menu. On the Keynote remote app, the presentation notes show up, making it possible to use an iPhone or iPod touch as a cue card in addition to advancing slides in the presentation.
- Keynote for iOS can do some really cool stuff, including video playback. To allow embedding of videos into a presentation, one must first enable videos to be syncronised to the iOS Device under the Photos section in iTunes. Once this is done, viewers may sync any QuickTime video (e.g. .mov, .mp4) into their library and import it into their presentation. Given my usage of the app, it is worth every penny of its cost.
I made the purchase for Keynote and Pages back during Summer 2011, anticipating that both apps would be heavily used in the upcoming semester. The app would subsequently prove to be useful in several courses that presented PowerPoint slides, allowing me to keep up with the lecture and make annotations without the need to bring a laptop computer. However, it was only recently that I was able to take full advantage of the Keynote app for the iPad, when I decided to do a research presentation using the iPad. The presentation was performed in conjunction with the Keynote remote (an additional $0.99 on the app store), allowing me more freedom of movement during the presentation, and also adding a degree of depth to the emphasis on capitalising on new synchronisation and communication technologies. Easy to use, iOS Keynote is immensely useful for anyone who wishes to present with a highly mobile device and adds to the iPad’s reputation as a highly portable device that can fill almost every niche out there expected by most users.