There are lots of options for giving a Keynote presentation from your iPad, most of which are sub-optimal. This morning I discovered that I can do it over Bluetooth (not WiFi) from my iPhone. I didn’t know that was possible! It makes presenting from an iPad a realistic option.
Option 1 – AirPlay
You can AirPlay your iPad screen to an AppleTV, or to a computer running Reflector, AirServer or X-Mirage. I’ve done that sometimes in the past, but there are four problems. ① Sometimes AirPlay can be a little laggy – especially if you have video in the Keynote slides. ② The iPad is a little bulky to hold while presenting. Its heft restricts hand gestures and I think, looks a bit awkward. ③ I find that sometimes when there are lots of WiFi devices in a room all accessing the WAP (as is usually the case in a classroom) the AirPlay connection tends to drop out altogether. That happens too frequently to be viable.
Option 2 – Cable
You can hard-wire your iPad to to the projector using a VGA or HDMI cable and the appropriate lightning adaptor. But if you present from your iPad while hand-held and tethered to a cable; you’re likely to accidentally unplug it mid-stream when you trip over the cord. And if you are going to leave the iPad on the table, your own movement in the classroom is restricted (or you’ll be constantly dancing back and forth to change slides – which I think looks comical, and frankly, a bit amateurish.
Option 3: My new preferred option.
A third alternative is to connect your iPad to a cable, then use Keynote on your iPhone to control Keynote on your iPad. This has been possible for a while, but what has stopped me from doing it is that (I thought) it relies on having both iPhone and iPad connected to the same WiFi network. I don’t trust that arrangement because I’ve sometimes found the whole “both-devices-on-the-same-network” thing to be a bit unreliable – with dropouts being too frequent. Also in a number of schools in which I’ve worked, even though my devices are connected to the same WiFi network, they still can’t see each other (I’ve no idea why – but presumably there is something on the network preventing this kind of interoperability).
But I recently discovered that if you turn the WiFi off on your iPhone, you can use the Keynote app on your iPhone to control Keynote on iPad via Bluetooth (directly between the two devices). In my testing that provides a more robust link, making presentation from the iPad via iPhone viable. While you do have to turn WiFi off on your iPhone, you can leave the iPad’s WiFi on which seems to work just fine. That is handy if you need to access the web, or another app during your presentation.
The iPhone app allows you to advance to the next slide, go back to the previous slide, navigate to any slide by number, and the iPhone’s screen displays the current slide together with either the next slide or your presenter notes.
It’s a pretty good set-up. The iPad is directly connected via cable to the projector so video isn’t laggy. The iPhone is not sending video via AirPlay – it’s just controlling the iPad – so it works reliably, and the iPhone sitting in the palm of your hand acts as a confidence monitor, too (so you don’t have to turn your back to the class to see what is on the slide – it’s in the palm of your hand!)