If you are anything like me, you are constantly seeking out the next best program or app to integrate into your workflow to save you time and allow you to show off your technological know-how. The app that I’d like to discuss today is not exactly “new”; indeed, it has been around since October 2011. But, this is an app I use often and continue to take advantage of its ever-evolving features (its last major feature release was in March 2013).
The app is SlideShark, a presentation program for mobile devices. What do I like about this program? Well, first off, it is a free app (with premium options) for iPad and iPhone. And, second, its interface makes it easy to upload Power Point presentations and then to use to do a presentation using your mobile device. Third, it integrates some great presentation features (more on that below).
How does it work?
The SlideShark app can be downloaded to your iPad or iPhone. You will then need to sign up for a free account. Uploading Power Point presentations to the app can be accomplished in a number of ways, including opening an attachment from an email to your mobile device or by uploading a file via your web browser to your SlideShark cloud storage account. SlideShark also integrates with popular cloud storage accounts such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Syncplicity, Sky Drive, and most recently, Citrix ShareFile. After uploading your Power Point presentation, it will appear among your other presentations on the app’s homescreen. You need only tap the Download button in the app to prepare the Power Point for presentation. SlideShark free accounts only allow for 100MB of space, therefore you are required to either upgrade to a premium account to add more space or to remove existing Power Points stored in your free account to make room for new ones. I find that the latter is easy enough to do.
Because most projectors or TVs employ a VGA or HDMI connection, all you need to bring along with your iPad or iPhone to a presentation is a VGA or Digital AV adaptor (check the Apple store for the adaptor compatible with your version of the iPad or iPhone). If you have an Apple TV to use with your display, you can use AirPlay to present wirelessly (works with iPad 2 and iPhone 3GS, or later models).
What are SlideShark’s most impressive features?
There are a few features that I particularly like about SlideShark. One, SlideShark has a presenter mode for iPad 2 and later models. This allows you to view your slides and notes on your iPad while presenting. This is one of my favorite features because when I give a presentation I can have only my iPad in front of me, reducing any paper clutter, and with my presentation slides directly in front of me I can focus my attention on the audience rather than looking away to the display with every change in slide. Two, SlideShark has a laser pointer function; when used directly on the iPad, it appears on the presentation display as well. Again, no need to turn your back to your audience to point a laser at the display, instead simply drag your finger directly on your iPad to where you’d like the laser to appear. Three, while you cannot edit slides in SlideShark (other than to hide and re-order slides), you can annotate slides in real-time. The annotation tool works like the laser pointer by dragging your finger on device’s screen and creates a visible trail on the slides and display. You have the option to erase, clear all, or save annotations to the slides. Four, you can use your iPhone to control your iPad app remotely while you work the audience.
There are a number of other features that you can view via SlideShark’s website and its company blog. And, there are further functions available for premium account holders such as real-time sharing over the Internet. All in all, if you give presentations, I suggest giving this simple and sleek presentation app a try.