teaching and presenting with the iPad is broken

I was hoping, desperately hoping that Keynote for the iPad would become my dedicated presentation and teaching device. Imagine it: highlighting, circling, presenter notes, and all of the media I could want in a seamless experience, all pumped out of the video out cable to a project.

Unfortunately, it’s nowhere near that experience yet. It turns out that video out is handled in very app specific ways. Keynote, for example, projects the slides onto the secondary display and simply shows which slide number your on. That’s right: you can’t see your slides while your present. If you want to see what you’re presenting, you’ll need to look behind you.

But it’s worse than that. Let’s say I want to show a YouTube video; when I leave Keynote, the display stops signaling altogether. So rather than an elegant black screen, or mirroring the iPad display, you get your projector’s big ugly blue no signal screen. The experience is quite broken. Any app that doesn’t explicitly support video out simply doesn’t provide a signal. I can’t project anything on the web, for example, or sketch in front of students.

Luckily, most of these are software limitations. I hope that the lack of mirroring isn’t a hardware limitation. Does Apple know these things? Is it rectifying these issues? Who knows. They’re not known for their transparency. Maybe I’ll find out that everything is fixed with iPhone OS 4.0…

4 thoughts on “teaching and presenting with the iPad is broken

  1. Thats an interesting use for iPad that I hadn’t considered. Is this “really” a software problem? To have a seamless experience, the video output would mirror the internal display completely at a hardware level. By the way, we had the exact same issues using the iTouch for an application we were working on. The video out just doesn’t mirror what we needed it to mirror. So, we abandoned it as a platform for that project.

    • It could very well be a hardware problem, but mirroring isn’t the only solution. Keynote could also just show the initial state of the slide or show presenter notes, but it does neither. Maybe it was a performance limitation.

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