Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Delivering Presentations on the Apple iPad

As a mobile technology evangelist for IBM, I deliver presentations to external customers on the benefits of mobility and IBM's products and services in the mobile space.  However, until recently, I didn't have a good way to deliver my presentations to customers using the Apple iPad.   Specifically, connecting my iPad to an external monitor or overhead projector in a conference room to deliver a presentation.

I have a IPEVO which I use to take screenshots and video of the smartphones and tablets that don't have a video out capability.  However, since this is a USB device, it requires a PC/Mac.  I want the ability to travel light and just use the iPad.

I have an AppleTV at home and I've used the Airplay capability with good success.  However, this requires that both the iPad and the AppleTV be connected to the same network (e.g. wi-fi) which I can't guarantee I'll have at the customer location.  Next, I looked at Apple's VGA adaptor and the new Apple Digital AV Adapter.  While the new digital adapter was tempting, it was expensive ($39) and I couldn't guarantee that the customer had HDMI input.  In the end, I decided on the less expensive ($23) VGA adapter which provides 1024×768 resolution.

While the Apple VGA adapter is described on a the website as providing "video mirroring" capabilities, in reality, this is only for specific applications.  My primary use case is delivering presentations and I use Apple Keynote for iPad which is supported by the VGA adapter.   It would be great to be able to mirror everything on the iPad to an external monitor without having to resort to jail breaking the iPad.  Perhaps Apple will add this capability in a future release.

In a related note, I read an interesting article this morning about Apple adding wi-fi syncing capabilities - another pet peeve of mine.  We're clearly still in the PC era when the iPad requires USB connectivity to a PC/Mac to 1) activate for the first time 2) upgrade the operating system 3) sync files and media.  Cut the cord Apple!

Update 19 April: I met with a customer last week and delivered a PowerPoint presentation using Keynote and the Apple VGA adapter and it went extremely well. I created the presentation on my Lenovo Thinkpad running Windows 7 using Lotus Symphony and used DropBox to copy it to the iPad. 

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