Presenter Display in Keynote for iPad

Posted by

Yesterday saw the long-awaited release of iOS 4.2 for the iPad. But Apple had a few more surprises in store, including a nice one for users of Keynote on the iPad:

Keynote 1.3 for the iPad now has a presenter display!

When you start your presentation in Keynote and your iPad is connected to an external display or a projector, you no longer get that dull screen with the two arrows and not much else. Instead, you get to see - at first - your current slide.

Now, that's certainly an improvement, but that's not all yet. In the upper right corner of the screen, there are two new icons. Right in the corner of the screen, there's a big X that will end your presentation. I guess that's simply to make it more intuitive than before.

The other icon, when tapped, opens a drop-down menu with the following options (sorry, the screenshot is in German - I'll try to translate the options back into English):

  • Current slide: That's the default view - it'll always display your current slide.
  • Next slide: That option only displays the next slide.
  • This and the next slide: Shows both the current and the next slide next to each other - scaled down, of course, so they may be a bit harder to read.
  • This slide and Notes: Shows only the current slide but also your notes for that slide.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that Keynote 1.3 now also supports presenter notes. And with that last option, you can have them displayed to you while you give your presentation.

So, as you can see, this is not quite as flexible as the presenter screen in the Mac version of Keynote (where you can rearrange and even scale the slide previews), but it's a huge improvement. The time display on top of the screen can also be switched (just tap it once) to a clock that tells you how long you've been running the presentation yet. The slide numbers (current number + total number) in the upper left corner are also a nice touch. The green light next to the slide numbers doesn't seem to have a real purpose, other than to indicate that you're "live" now.

When you start the presentation, there's also a helpful reminder popping up that mentions the "laser" pointer option (hold down your finger on the screen until a red dot appears that you can move around to point out things on your slide - but note that the audience may see a different slide, so watch the projector screen to see what you're pointing at).

It's good to see that Apple continues to improve Keynote on the iPad. Lack of a presenter screen was my second-biggest gripe with it. Here's hoping that the lack of a remote control will be addressed next ...

P.S. Here's another screenshot showing two slides (current + next) and the clock switched to "running time" display:

If you'd like me to talk or write about this topic, you can hire me to do so.
Please email me for details.
Creative Commons Licence "Presenter Display in Keynote for iPad" by Dirk Haun is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.