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Top 5 Presentation Apps on the iPad

Being a loud and proud, iPad-carrying gadget geek girl, one of the things that I get asked about a lot is: "What apps do you recommend on the iPad?" This usually has a follow-up question of, "How do you use those apps?"

Presentation Room

So, I thought that it's best to try to share some of my favourite apps, based on how I use them, here on my blog. In my first round of iPad app recommendations, I'd like to share with you some of my favourite presentation apps*, seeing as I seem to be having to exercise my presentation skills a bit lately.

keynote-icon.png1. Keynote - When it comes to iPad presentations, Keynote is probably the ultimate app. Using Keynote alone helped me to pay for my iPad several times over. And honestly, this is probably the only app from the iWork suite on the iPad that's really worth it for me. I've never bought the Numbers app (and don't miss it, even though I do use spreadsheets), and I've hardly touched Pages. Yet, I have been using Keynote - and completely loving it.

What I Love: Good set of starter templates, Easy to create beautiful & sophisticated presentations, Adding graphs and tables, Different sharing options, Ability to animate text & images, Smooth transitions

What I Wish For: More templates, More fonts, Ability to Draw/Sketch, Adding Audio/Video Functions, Easy Linking to Websites and YouTube videos, In-app Backup to Dropbox, Real-time view of presentation on iPad screen

Keynote for iPad's Site {Keynote on iTunes: US ($9.99) / AU ($12.99)}

2Screens - Presentation Expert iPad2. 2Screens: Presentation Expert - Showing the iPad's screen on to an external monitor or projector is very app-dependent. Unfortunately, a number of apps aren't readily shown on external screens - including the iPad's built-in browser, Safari. So, enter 2Screens! When you need to show websites as part of your presentation, this is the way to go. It can even serve as a white board (write on iPad screen, it shows on the external screen). And, you can use it to show some files on your iPad, such as PDFs and photos. There are also some apps that become external screen-friendly when they tap on to 2Screens. So yeah, this is definitely a must-have for any iPad-loving presenter/teacher/speaker.   

What I Love: Ability to show websites and files on to an external screen; Simple to use; Affordable price; has additional apps which can turn your iPhone in to a remote control for your presentations

What I Wish For: Improve web browser; Ability to project videos on to external screen

2Screens Site {2Screens on iTunes: US ($4.99) / AU ($5.99)}

iThoughtsHD - mindmapping for iPad3. iThoughtsHD - This is probably one of my most-used overall productivity app on the iPad. It's not close to perfect, but I still think it's a great mind-mapping tool. The fact that it's compatible with a number of desktop mindmapping applications (including iMindMap, my personal favourite) is a real bonus. Plus, with the VGA connector, you can even mind map using an external screen. How cool is that for a presentation app? It's not cheap, but it's still worth the price in my book. And yes, it's a great tool to brainstorm a presentation beforehand too!

What I Love: Compatible with a number of mindmapping apps; Different types of mapping backgrounds, icons, etc; Ability to show on screen; Ability to use different shapes, colours, etc for mind maps; Ability to export mind maps in a variety of formats; Dropbox integration

What I Wish For: Additional icons; Improve mapping process (ability to tap/swipe, etc to create/delete new items, etc)

iThoughtsHD - Mindmapping for iPad Site {iThoughts on iTunes: US ($7.99) / AU ($9.99)}

WhiteNote - iPad notetaking app4. WhiteNote - Although primarily a note taking app for the iPad, WhiteNote may also be used for presentations, as it does have a an "output to VGA" function. Using this, the presenter can type text, write, sketch, or draw on to the screen. You can also use it to import web pages and PDF files, as well as insert images and sounds.

What I Love: Ability to mix and match input on a page (text, image, type, etc); Ability to have several pages in one notebook and can create several notebooks; Affordable price; Use for whiteboarding/external screen; Ability to write using smaller prints

What I Wish For: Improve functionality/reactivity

{WhiteNote on iTunes: US ($3.99) / AU  ($4.99)}

Notebooks for iPad notetaking app 5. Notebooks for iPad - By far the best notetaking app I've ever come across on the iPad. It has heaps fantastic features that I can't find on many other notetaking and productivity apps I've tried (and I have tried PLENTY). And yes, Notebooks for iPad is definitely in my list of most-used apps of all time. And, with the 2Screens app, you can easily turn Notebooks in to a presentation tool.

What I Love: Fantastic notetaking application with a number of useful features; Also a great organisational tool (you can even use it as a To Do list, etc); Plenty of back-up options; May also be integrated with Pages and other apps; Also has an iPhone version

What I Wish For: Ability to vary input within a page (mix images, handwriting, etc); More font options

Notebooks for iPad Site {Notebooks for iPad on iTunes: US  ($8.99) / AU  ($11.99)}

NOTE: You need an iPad VGA Connector and a compatible screen/projector in order to use presentation apps.

Presentation room photo courtesy of Fredjk (via sxc.hu)

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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