Saturday, March 13, 2010

Presenting using iPhone apps - My experience with MyPoint

Like most librarians, I give a fair number of presentations, so I did a bit of research on how to use my iPhone as a slide-changer remote.

This seems to be an example of a solution looking for a problem since I could just use the slide changer available in my library, but it isn't really. I'll explain later.

I'm not a mac user, so I can't use Keynote, but there are about half a dozen options for windows users, none of which are free. I was going to settle for iClikr (free if you have less than 15 slides), but  literally seconds before I purchased I ran into MyPoint, which is free and perhaps even better.

MyPoint is typical of apps of this nature. You install software on the computer you want the slides to run on. You then install the iPhone app on your iPhone, then use it to connect. Depending on the computer used and whether you are connected via the correct Wi-Fi network, you might need to VPN.

Open the slides on your computer and the app will display the slides on your iPhone, and you can then use your iPhone to drive the slides forward on the computer

The picture above, is the main reason why I use MyPoint. It not only shows the current slide, but the split screen also shows the next 3 upcoming slides.

I don't know about you, but this is a god send to me. One of my biggest problems presenting is remembering the slide order, or what comes next. Sometimes I change the slides so much (and at the last minute), it gets hard to remember which version I'm using.

Have you experienced this? You say or disclaim something dramatically, click on next slide, and oops.. it's another slide in-between you forgot!  Or you click next, and up pops a slide, that you forgot was there, and you didn't introduce it properly.

There is no such problem when using this app, since you can see at a glance what's next and time your slide transitions with perfection.

You can allow change to a notes view, so you can see the notes for each slide. A pity you can't have both! For instance, the current slide, notes and the next slide.

I seldom use this mode, but it can come in handy if you rely on your notes a lot.

You can also switch to pointer mode, as the above picture shows, you can control the cursor to point, but I find this a bit clumsy and the response time when moving the cursor might not be the best.If you need to, you can hold a laser point in one hand, and the iphone in another.

You might also notice that there is a horizontal scroll bar, below the slide. This is because the iPhone app does not show slide animations, so the scroll bar at the bottom reminds you that, when you go forward, it won't go to the next slide.

If need be you can also quickly scroll through all slides and go to any slide.

The app itself is free, though you can pay to access the "timer" option and the "marker" option. I bought the latter, which I found of little use, but it allows you to draw and scribble on the slides. You can probably guess what the former does.

So far I've used it only once, and it worked like a charm, slide transitions were smooth etc. In fact, on that day, I was really ill (I came just to do the presentation), so this helped me out a lot, since I didn't have to stress my memory when already ill!

So have any of you used MyPoint or similar apps for presentation? How was your experience?

Somewhat related to this , is presenting iPhone apps. Say your library develops a iPhone app, and you want to present it to a group of people in a lecture hall, what's the best way to do it? Is there anyway to project what your iPhone is showing to a computer?

So far, I've found a way that works only on a jailbroken phone, are there other ways?
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