iPad VGA Adapter

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Well, I guess this is the first real disappointment regarding limitations of running Keynote on the iPad. When you connect the iPad VGA Adapter, it displays your (running) presentation on the external display just fine. However, all you get to see on the iPad itself is this:

Wow. All that wasted space on the display. Also note that the miniature slides on the left will only show up when you tap on the three vertical dots in the title bar of that "window". And they go away again as soon as you go to the next slide. So you can really only use them to locate a specific slide and jump to it.

The "laser pointer" is a cute idea, though. When you tap and hold anywhere on the iPad screen, a red circle appears on the external display, emulating a laser pointer. You can then move it around on the screen to point out things.

But that's about the only good thing about using the VGA Adapter with Keynote. As others have reported, there is also no way to advance slides with an external keyboard or a Bluetooth "clicker". In other words, the only way to advance slides is to tap on the iPad. So you always have to be near it and can't be somewhere else on a stage, for example. Given that Steve Jobs himself is always pacing up and down the stage when he's giving one of his famous presentations, I'm somewhat irritated by that limitation.

I sure hope some future update will bring:

  • The ability to see the current and next slide on the iPad while running the presentation. There's certainly enough space on there to do that. Heck, it has the exact same resolution as my old iBook and Keynote for the Mac would even let me stick a watch on there (in addition to the slides).
  • The ability to remotely control slide advancement. There are Bluetooth enabled clickers / presenters out there - they probably emulate some keys on a keyboard, just like their equivalents for "real" computers. The iPad can use Bluetooth keyboards, so it shouldn't be hard to implement.

Not being able to use a "clicker" is my main - and only - real gripe with the combination iPad + Keynote + VGA Adapter right now. I can work around the other limitations I found so far, but this is (almost) a deal breaker for me. Apple, are you listening? (Im)patiently waiting for an update ...

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