I’ve been using my iPad for almost a year now and it has become an indispensable piece of kit. However the one thing I haven’t given up my netbook for yet is running PowerPoint presentations.

The iPad is not yet the ideal presenter tool but it has got much better and it is now quite possible to create or import a presentation and display it on a projector using the iPad.

Here’s what do you need to get started:

Apart from your iPad of course, you will need:
A VGA adaptor: this little dongle costs around £26 or $29 and plugs into the apple connector. It allows you to connect your iPad to a projector or external monitor. It works a little differently from the standard VGA port on a laptop in that you can’t project your desktop. Only applications which are written to access this port can project out. Thankfully more and more of them are being VGA out enabled.

An external projector or monitor. Goes without saying but the choice is getting bewildering. At the time of writing I am evaluating the tiny, battery-powered 3M MP180 mini projectorand will review it in a future blog post.

Finally you will need a presentation application that allows output via the VGA adaptor.
At the time of writing the most popular options are:

A) Keynote for the iPad. (£5.99 or $9.99) This is a cut down version of Apple’s alternative to PowerPoint and it offers some great features including the ability to import PowerPoint presentations. The conversion works pretty well but some fonts may be changed and some animations will be altered. Until recently the biggest drawback with keynote for the iPad was that there no remote control facility for this app which meant that you were tied to the iPad in order to control your slides. UPDATE – Thankfully apple listened and the most recent update to this app now allows you to use your iPhone as a remoter control for the iPad using the keynote remote app Thank you apple!
Link to keynote

B) 2screens. (£1.79 or $4.99 )This is powerful app that has really improved since launch. It allows you to import many different file formats including PowerPoint and PDF and it converts them into slides which can be projected via the VGA adaptor. It also has the facility to access a browser allowing you to jump from a slide to a live web page and then back again without having to exit the application. What I also love about 2 screens is that it has a sister app called 2Screens remote which allows me to use my iPhone as a sophisticated remote to advance slides and jump to different tabs without being tied to the iPad screen. For a full review of 2 Screens check out this great blog post.
link to 2Screens

I’d love to hear your opinions on using the iPad to drive a presentation. Have you used one yet? What were your experiences? What features would you like to see added?

The Presentation Doctor


  1. InteX on 16/09/2012 at 19:11

    Any update? Thanks.

    • Gavin Meikle on 16/09/2012 at 20:56

      Thanks for the prompt. I’ll added writing a new post updating my iPad experiences to by topics list.

  2. Fred E. Miller on 19/06/2011 at 14:01

    Nice Post with good information, Gavin!

    I don’t yet have an iPad, but can see lots of value to owning one. I’m an mac man and love their products.

    I really liked listening rather than reading. How are you and your readers reacting to this?

    Do you have this feed linking to an iTunes podcast channel?


    • Gavin Meikle on 19/06/2011 at 16:49

      Thanks Fred. I am quite enjoying experimenting with producing an audio version of the posts but so far your comment is the first I have received re the addition of an audio option. How do you set up the feed to itunes?

  3. Dirk Haun on 17/06/2011 at 09:04

    At the risk of looking like blatant self-advertising: I bought the iPad specifically as a presentation device when it came out (i.e. the original iPad) and have been blogging about my experiences (both positive and negative) ever since.

    See, for example, http://www.themobilepresenter.com/article.php/presenting-with-the-ipad

    Can’t wait to try out the new version in practice, now that you can finally remote-control it. Btw, did you know that Keynote Remote also works via Bluetooth (with the iPad)?

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