For all your presentations, Pointer is what you need

As an academic, I’ve been using presentation software intensively and had my share of panicked presenters, unprepared seminars and lame conference keynotes.  But I also had my share of clumsy moments when I needed to be both next to the main screen and to click on my laptop because my clicker wouldn’t work at the last minute. No more, thanks to Pointer ($.99) or Stage Hand ($7.99).

Neither will prepare your presentation for you, or protect you against really annoying questions from the audience; it will not make that d*mn beamer work, but it will turn your iPhone into the most convenient clicker you’ve ever had.

  1. Your phone is always near you.
  2. You can jump to any slide.
  3. You can see notes.
  4. It just works.

Both can walk you through both PowerPoint and Keynote presentation, using the Wifi connexion of your MacBook.  Both can double as rough track-pad, even outside of a presentation.  Both need you to download and install a local applet beforehand, and I recommend that you set everything up before you start. Although the software works right away, there are some tweaking to do with multiple screens parameters in your Preference panel.  Both have similar options: clicking sound, typeface size, jump to a given slide, highlight color.

Beside the price, there is little difference: Stage Hand has a convenient Wifi meter and a “Slide mode” where you can slide to switch to the next slide, and —more importantly— where your iPhone screen shows the actual slides of your presentation (current slide or Keynote’s Presenter Display).