Love it or hate it, Microsoft PowerPoint rules the presentation world and with the emergence of the iPad as the most desirable business tool of recent years, opportunities for businesses to present themselves and their messages to their audience have never been greater. So what’s the problem?
recently, PowerPoint and the iPad just didn’t get on that well. You’d
get laughed at for even attempting to open a PowerPoint document on the
iPad. Things however are changing. Several compatible apps have become
available and one of the best we’ve used so far is SlideShark.
SlideShark app allows PowerPoint users to view and present
presentations on the iPad. PowerPoint files are uploaded to SlideShark’s
server where they are converted and optimised to run in the app.
Animations, fonts, graphics and colours are all preserved. Once a
presentation has been converted it is saved onto the SlideShark server
where it can be downloaded and stored directly onto the iPad for offline
use or shared with others.
Recent updates to SlideShark have made
the app compatible with presentations containing hyperlinks and also
with various cloud based services including DropBox and Google Drive for
downloading PowerPoint decks.
The app is completely free to
download and use at a basic level. This limits you to 100MB of storage
although it can be freed up by removing old shows. If the space provided
isn’t enough, it can be expanded for a yearly subscription fee.
found uploading PowerPoint presentations through the app or through
SlideShark’s website to be a very simple process and it happily
converted quite large PowerPoint shows relatively quickly.
app feels fluid and very intuitive – there was no need to revisted the
demo to find a feature or work out how to navigate through the app. When
in show-mode the slides progress using taps or swipes to move forwards
and backwards. Swiping vertically on the screen brings up slide-sorter
enabling the user to jump quickly to a specific slide or go back to the
general, SlideShark dealt with our content well; whilst SlideShark
themselves claim that advanced animations may not be compatible; we
found it displayed everything we tried perfectly which really surprised
us. It also managed to keep all images and graphics we had created
Our experience with SlideShark wasn’t entirely
flawless though. Issues arose around how well it dealt with non-standard
fonts – always an issue with PC/mac compatibility. In fact, some
weren’t readable at all after they had been converted. Embedding the
fonts to try to solve this issue didn’t work either, in actually
resulted in the conversion process failing.
bigger frustration with the app is that it doesn’t support slide
transitions, however the app is being updated with new features all the
time. We’d be really surprised if a solution wasn’t in the pipeline to
be implemented soon, even so it’s a shame it doesn’t support any basic
ones at the moment.
Lastly, the app is only a viewer and player.
You cannot actually edit any of the slides or their content, but it was
never advertised as a feature so this wasn’t really an issue. Some other
apps we have used including QuickOffice or DocsToGo do allow slide
editing but don’t support a lot of the animations or playback features
that SlideShark does.
Overall, we are really impressed with
SlideShark. Bar some small niggles which can be worked around or may
even end up being improved or added down the line, it handled most of
our content extremely well. If you need to show PowerPoint presentations in a slick, simple way on-the-go (and have an iPad), we would fully recommend this app!