Today we are always on the go, and we are seldom without our mobile devices. For this reason I thought it would be a good idea to investigate some just-in-time app solutions for presenting PowerPoint presentations on the road. Spoiler alert: it didn't go well.
First, the good news.
SlideShark is available in the AppStore for free and does a terrific job. To use SlideShark, you first upload your PowerPoint presentation from your computer to www.slideshark.com. Then you download the SlideShark app on your iPad. Once you have logged into your SlideShark account, your uploaded presentation appears in the SlideShark app on your iPad, ready to be presented with full animation functionality. You advance the slides by using a simple swipe gesture. Click-to-start animations start with a tap of the screen. To skip between slides, you swipe the screen up to reveal a pane containing all of your slides and then tap the slide to which you would like to advance. You can also hide slides from within the app so they do not show in your presentation. I am extremely pleased with this app. Rating: Highly Recommended
Now the bad news.
iPhone: iPresenter for Microsoft PowerPoint
Hypothetically speaking, this app will allow you to move through presentations on your computer by using your iPhone as a remote. My best advice, however: don't even waste your time. I spent $3.99 on this in the AppStore, which is roughly $3.99 too much, considering I could never get the partner software to install correctly on my PC. I tried several times, checked and re-checked that my system requirements were correct, but it never worked. Rating: Disappointing.
Deja vu: this app should do the same thing as the iPresenter, but, alas, it falls short. I spent $2.99 on this app, but it did not work. The instructions in the app say nothing about downloading the receiver software to your system. Had I not read the reviews, I would not have known at all. However, even after reading the reviews, downloading the receiver software to my computer and ensuring that both my iPhone and the computer were on the same wireless network (which they also don't tell you, but someone in the reviews did), it still could not connect to the receiver, giving me "Error Code 60" but no solution for what to do about said error code. Rating: Disappointing.
This free app should function as a remote clicker for your PowerPoint presentations. I, however, could not get it to work. First the computer download told me I didn't have the correct version of Microsoft PowerPoint on my PC (even though I did). Then the iPhone app told me it was unable to connect, either through a digital Bonjour connection or through a manual connection via IP address. I fooled around with this app for about half an hour, and made sure to check the instructions given in the App Store, but could not get it to work. Judging from the app's reviews, I am not the only person to have these issues. Rating: Disappointing.
For me, except for the success with SlideShark, the world of iDevice apps for PowerPoint is still in its infancy. How about you? Are you having success with an app that you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments below.
AJ teaches a live, 3-hour class that offers tips/tricks for improving the look and feel of your PowerPoint presentations: Slide Sprucing: Remodeling Lackluster PowerPoint Slides for eLearning and Presentations.