In have been living with my iPad for almost a month now and I thought you might be interested in my early experiences with this much hyped bit of gadgetry. I have used it at home and on the road and have performed a number of common tasks including checking and writing emails, reading books, mind mapping ideas, surfing the net, taking notes, running a presentation, managing my todo list, and watching videos. In this post I’ll focus only on using the iPad for presenting slides. Look out for future posts relating to my experiences in relation to other tasks.

Running presentation slides via a projector:
You cannot plug a projector directly into the iPad but you can buy a VGA adapter that a will allow you to show slides. Unfortunately there are some limitations. You cannot show the iPad home screen and the output of most apps. Only certain apps such as Apple’s own keynote iPad will send output to the VGA dongle.

Remote control:
Currently you cannot Control a keynote presentation with any form of remote control. There is no USB port to plug in a remote and the external keyboard does not allow advancement of slides. The only way to advance the slides by tapping on the iPad screen. This is a major drawback if you are the sort of presenter like me who likes to move around and get in amongst your audience.

Simultaneous charging:
You cannot charge the iPad at the same time as you are connected to the via adaptor as both use the same connector. This shouldn’t be a problem if you remember to charge up your iPad every night and give relatively short presentation. The ipads battery life is very good but running a presentation is quite power hungry.

Presenter view:
You can’t get see your slides simultaneously on the iPad and the screen. There is currently no “presenter view” like there is in PowerPoint.

There isn’t a PowerPoint app for the ipad as yet so you have to convert your PowerPoint slides to keynote to show on the iPad. So far this hasn’t been a major problem but the conversion process does change some fonts and may need some tidying up before your perfect PowerPoint presentation is good enough to display via the iPad. Apparently Mac owners running the full version of keynote will also have some conversion issues if showing their slideshows on the iPa

This is where the iPad scores highly. It is light and much easier to carry around than a laptop or net book.

In summary:
The iPad is a fantastic tool and it’s uses are developing all the time. I love it for note taking, planning, organising and mind mapping but it’s not quite there yet as a full blown presentation tool. no doubt most, if not all, of my gripes will be sorted over the coming months as the Keynote app gets upgraded and new apps appear however, if you are looking to use it as a full blown replacement for your laptop or net book, think again.

Gavin Meikle
The presentation Doctor


  1. Fred E. Miller on 14/08/2010 at 13:53

    Thanks for the Post.

    I hope Apple is reading it, also, and updates future versions to include your recommendations.

  2. Edwin Lam on 25/07/2010 at 09:52

    Hi Gavin, I came across your site when looking for comments on Keynote on iPad. I would recommend you to take a look on “2Screens – Presentation Expert” and “2Screens Remote”. Though this app doesn’t support those fancy transition and animation effects in Keynote or PowerPoint slides, it does include quite a lot of useful functions that can be the solutions to some of the above-mentioned issues. -Edwin

    • Gavin Meikle on 25/07/2010 at 10:16

      Thanks Edwin. I’ll take a look. I see you are the developer of 2 screens. Do you think you will add animation support in a future update?

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