Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Presentations for Business using an iPad

As professional presentation designers we predominantly use Microsoft PowerPoint to create presentations for our customers, the main reason for this?

Compatibility. A very large proportion of our clients are PC, or more specifically MS Office based and using PowerPoint. The content we create needs to not only be viewed by them, but also edited, simply and with minimal hiccups.

Three and a half years on from its launch the Apple iPad is still the tablet market leader. Its initial success throughout the home consumer market has now spread, to the business sector too. And this is where as presentation designers we are faced with a problem… PowerPoint is not currently compatible with the iPad.
Whilst Microsoft have just released their Office app for the iPhone and latest iPod touch models, which is of course a huge step in the right direction, there is still no sign of a release for the iPad.

Clearly our clients want to utilise the stylish and portable nature of the iPad, but they also need a flexible, creative and presentation solution so what options are available.

Over the next few weeks we will cover some alternative presentation software solutions we have found and the advantages/disadvantages of each:

Adobe Captivate An e-learning suite for the PC that supports HTML5 conversion of PowerPoint presentations.

Adobe Edge Animate A new animation based program from Adobe that is completely HTML-5 based and therefore compatible with every web browser.

Adobe InDesign Widely recognised as the premier print layout and digital publishing tool, InDesign also offers export options for the iPad such as PDF.

CloudOn An application that can download and play PowerPoint files via Dropbox or SkyDrive from within the app. It offers some basic editing tools.

iSpring – A PowerPoint addon that converts presentations into HTML-5. Once converted, presentations can be downloaded from the web onto the iSpring app for offline viewing.

Keynote Considered to be the ‘Apple alternative to PowerPoint’, Keynote offers many of the same features to Microsoft’s counterpart. A dedicated Keynote app is available on the iPad however; to easily edit content a pricey Apple Mac is required.

PDF Developed in the early 1990s as a way to share documents, including text and images, among computer users of disparate platforms; PDF files have become the format of choice when something absolutely has to be viewable by virtually anyone.

Prezi – A cloud based presentation software that mixes whiteboard drawings and slides. The zoomable canvas has proved to be quite popular with its fast growing user base.

SlideShark We have blogged about SlideShark before; which you can read here. It is a free mobile app which enables PowerPoint presentations to be run from the iPad.

SkyDrive/Web Apps Microsoft’s SkyDrive combined with Web Apps allows the viewing and editing of PowerPoint presentations from within a web browser.

Our alternatives listed here are by no means the full extent of solutions available; as new software arrives on the market we will review it and look out for further updates to existing presentation alternatives. With the uncertainty around whether or not Microsoft will release a full iPad app, these alternatives are currently our only choice. Depending on the type of presentation that needs to be created, we can and have put some of these programs and apps to use successfully already.