Keynote Remote Application

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By Lior Yanny


It took me a while to overcome my expectations and disappointment from Apple’s latest keynote on January 6th, 2009. With rumors of new Apple products, such as an iPhone Nano, a netbook, a new Mac Mini,  and an official Apple Space Shuttle, my expectations from the keynote were higher then the American people’s expectations from Barak Obama.

Nevertheless, I decided to make the best out of the new releases and downloaded iWork 09 for my Macbook Air and the Keynote Remote Application for my iPhone 3G. As someone who loves to give presentations and lectures, creating effective presentations was always my goal. Over the last year, I started using Keynote from time to time, when the only reason for a non-intensive use was the lack of proper Hebrew support. Other than that, all of my English presentations were created with Keynote on my Mac. While giving the presentations, I used the Apple Remote with a program called Remote Buddy and of course my personal presentation skills. As I always said, gadgets and presentations will never replace a good presenter. On the other hand, a good presenter will always know how to use gadgets and presentations to enhance his own performance.

So I started playing with the Keynote application. The pairing process was very simple and intuitive  over a wireless network. Such networks can be created with the new macs very easily, which makes it effective in case you do not have a wireless network around you. The process takes about 5 seconds to understand and implement.

After pairing the devices, there is a very limited number of options, which include the choice between a landscape or portrait view. Both of the views have their advantages:

Landscape – The landscape view presents 2 slides. The slide on the left is the current slide shown on the board, while the slide on the right is the next action and not necessarily the next slide (e.g. if we have a white slide with one sentence that pops up when we click the mouse, the left slide will be an empty slide, while the right slide will include the sentence). The transition between the actions is done by sliding the right slide to the left with your finger. The changes occur on the screen immediately.


Portrait – The portrait view includes one slide at a time. In order to perform a click, you just need to drag the slide to the left with your finger. If you are a notes person, Apple has been thinking about you. The portrait option includes your notes built in to your iPhone application.


Unlike the Remote Buddy application, the Keynote Remote does not include the option to program different kinds of behaviors and actions, and includes only the basics, such as: first slide, previous slide and settings view. There is no doubt that Apple’s general approach of keeping things simple is also the strategy behind this product, no matter how sophisticated the presentation is.

Personally, I find this application to be very intuitive and effective, although it might draw some attention from your audience while you are presenting cuz how many people  make presentations with their iPhone or iPod touch?


Just to summarize, here is a list of pros and cons:

Pros – Easy to use, very intuitive, lets you see the slides without looking at the screen, includes 2 kind of views and makes you look cool and techie.

Cons – Wifi might be a bit slow sometimes, it supports only Keynote, which requires a mac. Oh, and you have to have an iPhone or iPod touch. This program will not help you if you are a BAD presenter, as a matter of fact, it will decrease your performance.


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2 thoughts on “Keynote Remote Application

  1. I’m actually getting ready to facilitate a workshop tomorrow, so I may have to check this out! Although your caution that it will decrease the performance of a non-great presenter should perhaps warn me away…

  2. Hey,
    Thanks for the feedback. You can practice your presenting skills by teaching me how to customize my Twitter design. How does that sound? 🙂

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