Keynote – iPad App of the Week
This is a regular feature of the blog looking at various Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive.
This week’s App is Keynote.
Keynote is the most powerful presentation app ever designed for a mobile device. Built from the ground up for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, it makes creating a world-class presentation — complete with animated charts and transitions — as simple as touching and tapping. Highlight your data with stunning 3D bar, line, area, and pie charts, animated with new 3D chart builds such as Crane, Grow, Radial, and Rotate. Use full-screen view to present right on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Or use video mirroring to present on an HDTV, and preview your slides and notes on your device using the Presenter Display. The Retina display on the new iPad makes everything you do in Keynote even more brilliant. Keynote works with iCloud, so your presentations stay up to date on all your devices — automatically.
I actually purchased Keynote (and the other iWork apps) before my first iPad had arrived so I could use these apps straight away. I remember trying out Keynote and been initially very impressed with the app and how it worked. I then rarely if ever used it for a while, hence it hasn’t featured in my App of the Week series until now. However in the last few months I have been using Keynote on the iPad for both creating, editing and presenting presentations. Though I much prefer the desktop version of Keynote, the iPad version certainly is very usable and has a lot of flexibility.
My reason for using it was one of convenience, but also as I was presenting about the impact of mobile devices I wanted to use a mobile device, not just for creating the presentation (or in some cases editing the presentation) but also for delivering the presentation.
Creating presentations in Keynote is simple, but the app is very powerful and has a lot of functionality. There are a lot of themes from which to choose, there is of course a smaller range than you get on the desktop app.
It is possible to buy additional templates for Keynote from a third party, so even though you start off with a limited choice you are not totally limited. Also it is possible to copy over presentations from Keynote or even Powerpoint. Though the theme may be copied over, the fonts won’t be… so if your presentation theme depends on particular fonts then Keynote for iPad isn’t for you.
The process of getting your presentations into Keynote is a real pain. You can do it through iTunes, but I have never thought that this process was intuitive. You connect the device to your Mac, in iTunes select your device, then select Apps. Scroll down to file sharing, scroll through the apps until you find Keynote and then select it.
Click Add to add a file, or drag in. Note that you can add Powerpoint files, which is useful if you have a Windows PC or are using a template or viewing a file created using the Microsoft app. Should point out here, that it took me a while to work out how to delete files from each of the apps. There is no context sensitive menu (ie no right click) what you have to do is to select the files and then press delete on the keyboard. To open the file on the iPad, as it isn’t automatically imported by the app, you need to open the app from “iTunes”.
Now again this doesn’t make sense to me, as you’re not actually opening the file from iTunes, you are importing the file that you copied over in iTunes. Of course if you forget to sync in iTunes after adding the file then it won’t be available anyway. This can be annoying if you discover this away from the desktop computer. Compared to everything else to do with Apple, I really don’t understand why the process is so complex.
What is also annoying is that Keynote doesn’t have support for Dropbox, yes it does for WebDAV, but not Dropbox and Dropbox doesn’t have native WebDAV support. However one workaround I have found if you have a good internet connection, copy over the presentation to Dropbox, then open Dropbox on the iPad, select the presentation and open in Keynote.
In theory with the release of Mountain Lion and updates to iWork, it should be much simpler to start a presentation on the iPad, move to the Mac and back again.
Keynote works with iCloud to make presentations automatically available between your iOS device and Keynote on your Mac running Keynote 5.2 and OS X Mountain Lion 10.8. Changes made to a presentation on one device are instantly available on the other.
My own experience is that the process does work, however you need to ensure that when working on a presentation on the Mac that you only use the fonts available on the iPad. However though Keynote for iOS has a limited set of templates, any new presentation you create using a Keynote template on the Mac will work on the iPad, but as mentioned if you use a special font in the template, this won’t be available on the iPad.
So if you are creating a new presentation, having selected a theme you are faced with a title slide. Adding new slides is a simple process of clicking the + button at the bottom left of the screen and choosing a new slide layout.
Editing is simple, for text double tap to edit a piece of text, or to enter text.
If you want to change the attributes, ensure you are not in the text editing mode, either by dismissing the keyboard or clicking elsewhere on the slide. After initially clicking the text you can Cut, Copy, Delete or Animate the text.
Animating text allows you to add a “build in” and/or a “build out”.
Click the + button to see the available options. Selecting an option previews it.
You can then change the animation options, whether it appears “after transition” with a delay or on a tap.
The Delivery option allows you to change how a list of bullets or paragraphs will appear. The Order option allows you to choose and move which order animations happen.
This is quite a powerful series of options for building complex animations.
You can also animate the transitions if required too.
The themes come with some default images and selecting the image will allow you not only to animate the image as you can with text, but you also have a Replace option.
Selecting Replace brings up the Photo library.
You can then replace the default image with your own.
If you double tap the image, you can edit the mask allowing you to change how the image fits into the slide.
You can make the image bigger or smaller by using the slider control. You can move the image within the mask using your finger, and you can change how much of the image is cropped by changing the shape of the mask.
You can of course add images direct into slides of the presentation from the + button at the top right of the screen.
Adding video is a little more complex. If you use the iPad to take video then you will be able to add this within the app through the same way that you can add photographs.
However if you want to add a video that you have taken with a different device, you could import that video using the camera connection kit, however I am unsure if this works with all cameras.
If you have a video on your computer then it is more difficult. First you need to convert the video into an iPad friendly format, on the new iPad these are:
H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High Profile level 4.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format.
I use Elgato’s Turbo.264 HD app to do this with my videos that then automatically adds them to iTunes. Once in iTunes I can add them to the iPad. Alas you can’t “access” this video on your iPad to add to a Keynote presentation.
You need to create a presentation using Keynote on the Mac. Add the video that you added to iTunes. To find it on your Mac, right click the video in iTunes and select Show in Finder. You can then drag into the presentation. You then save this presentation and add to the iPad in the way described previously. Personally I think is an overly complicated process and not as simple as it should be. If there was an accessible file system on the iPad then this would be a lot easier. You can’t for example use Dropbox and then share the video to the camera roll as you can do with images!
Though possible to add video to presentations, unless taking the video using the iPad itself I would not recommend embedding videos into your iPad.
This insert control also allows you to add tables. Swipe left and right to see different kinds and colours of table. The default table shown will match the current theme.
Charts allows you to insert charts and edit them with different kinds of data. As with tables, the default chart will match the current theme been used.
Similarly, Shapes allows you to add different kinds of shapes. These can be edited, colours changed and resized.
When you have added any of these, again they can all be animated on the same way text can be animated, as already mentioned.
The brush control is context sensitive, so you will see different things depending on what you select.
If you have selected text, you can change the style, the typography or the how the text fits into the text box. There are a range of styles of how the text will look when you select Style. These will include frames and background colours that blend with the chosen theme.
You can change the font, font size, there are also a range of styles that fit into the chosen theme.
The Arrange option allows you to place the text towards the back of the slide or the front, useful when using text with shapes and images. The text alignment allows you to decide if the text will be at the top, middle or bottom of a text box. You can also adjust the margins or allow the text box to have multiple columns.
These are all useful options if you are going to be using Keynote to create learning objects rather than just presentations.
Select an image and click the brush control, you can change the style of the image and add a border.
You can also arrange the image, moving it back and forth or flipping it.
Select a shape and again similar options on how it looks and fits onto the slide.
Select a chart and you can change the colours, legend and of course edit the data.
The wrench control allows you to control the entire presentation. Transitions and Builds puts you straight into the transitions mode, allowing you to add transitions to slides and builds to objects.
Despite updating my iOS version of Keynote the Share and Print menu is out of date providing options to save to iWork.com and iDisk, both of which have now been superseded by iCloud.
Print will only work if you have a compatible printer…
Send to iTunes will take you back through that complex process I described above! You are given though the choice (as you would be if you chose to e-mail the presentation) to keep the presentation in Keynote format or convert to PDF or PowerPoint.
The Find option is as you might suspect, allow you to search your presentation for a search term.
Presenter Notes is an useful option if you like to add notes to your slides. When you’re presenting these can be made visible.
The Advanced options give you even more flexibility and choice on how Keynote works.
If you like numbers on your slides, you can add these.
You can add guides, this can be useful with complex slides ensuring that all the objects and text on the page fit together and are aligned.
Interactive Hyperlinks, not only allow you to add live URLs to text or an object, but can also be used to create non-linear navigation through a presentation.
This means you could use Keynote to create a learning object with navigation. If you decide to go down the hyperlinks route then the Presentation Type options will allow you to restrict the presentation to the hyperlinks only.
You can also loop the presentation and make it self-playing. This is a really nice way to create a video style presentation with animated text and images. You can either show as it on the iPad itself, or connect the iPad to a projector or TV.
With iOS 6 you will be able to lock the iPad down to a single app by disabling the Home button, This means that you could use a Keynote presentation in kiosk mode, either as a self-playing presentation or using hyperlinks as interactive content. The key thing will be security and making sure people don’t walk off with it, there are certainly quite a few possible ways to do this.
Using Keynote to create self-playing presentations and “learning objects” may not be the best way of doing this, but has the advantage that lots of people know how to create presentations and this is really only one more learning step to take Keynote beyond that. Similar things can be done with the desktop version and Powerpoint.
It is possible to present using the iPad, connecting the Apple VGA cable to a projector. This works with all versions of the iPad including the original iPad. If you have the new iPad or the iPad 2 and your projector has an HDMI port then you can use the Apple HDMI connector.
On the Remote menu, Enabling Remotes allows you to use your iPhone to control the iPad when presenting. You will need the Keynote Remote app on your iPhone.
This is useful if the iPad has to be connected to the projector, but would be difficult to actually hold the iPad when presenting. This was certainly the case at a recent CILIP event where I wanted to present from the iPad, but the projector cable was awkwardly placed. Using my phone meant I could leave the iPad where it was and move around with the iPhone. Initially I found I couldn’t connect the two devices on the provided wifi network (and this often happens) so I used my Google Nexus One to create my own wifi, using the portable wireless hotspot feature, and this worked just fine, allowing the iPhone and the iPad to talk to each other. From my own experience, though it is possible to do this with the iPhone 3GS I have found it to be very unreliable compared to the iPhone 4.
From a presenting perspective, using AppleTV and Airplay is much easier than using a cable. You connect the AppleTV to the projector, your projector needs to support HDMI. You also need to connect the iPad and the AppleTV to a wireless network. When I am using this process I normally bring my own Airport Express wireless access point, but I have also used my Google Nexus One in portable wireless hotspot mode.
Overall my experience of creating presentations and presenting with Keynote on the iPad has been positive and I certainly will, in the future, continue to use Keynote for the iPad.