Recently, I've had a few opportunities to use my iPad 2 for presentations. It worked so well, I've captured my thoughts for anyone else thinking about presenting with an iPad 2.
Mirroring: The Killer Feature
One flaw in the original iPad were limitations when using the Apple VGA Adapter. The adapter only worked in certain apps, like Keynote and no others by default. Pretty useless for showing websites or iPad apps that didn't support video out.
The iPad 2 changes this by mirroring the entire iPad screen through an adapter to a TV screen or overhead projector. It doesn't matter which app you're in — mirroring works in any app you care to launch. It even shows the iPad desktop.
Live Sketching & Collaboration
Through mirroring, I can blend sketchnotes right into my presentations. Using Adobe Ideas, Penultimate or Sketchbook Pro to draw on the iPad screen, my audience can see those drawings as they happen on the big screen, in real time.
Images, like wireframes or design mockups can be imported into a drawing tool, and notes can be added right on top of the images. This could be ideal for design critique sessions, as feedback could be captured from a team, with one facilitator or even each team member making notes directly on the design for all to see.
iPad 2 screen mirroring also opens the door for other collaborative apps being used on the iPad - writing tools, task and project management tools and more.
In a visual thinking workshop this week with Stone Ward, we used Air Sketch, an iPad app to draw sketchnotes, which were displayed locally on my MacBook's web browser over WiFi from the little web server built into the app. The images posted after a very brief delay, which was so brief the remote watchers couldn't sense it.
A sketch sent from the Air Sketch web server in a local browser window.
This approach worked great. Images Air Sketch displayed live in the browser were shared with a remote audience over a GoToMeeting connection, who could see and respond to my live drawings almost immediately.
I'm excited to see what other drawing tools will develop in this space, with presentations to local and remote audiences in mind.
VGA vs. Digital AV Adapters
Apple offers 2 adapters for the iPad 2 that can display mirrored video:
1. The Apple VGA Adapter ($29) with a 30 pin adapter on one end and a VGA port on the other. The VGA adapter is probably better for all around use, as you're more likely to find a VGA cable on an overhead projector when presenting on the road.
2. Apple Digital AV Adapter ($39) with HDMI port and a 30-pin connector to charge the iPad. This adapter requires an HDMI cable and port on the overhead projector or HDTV monitor. Having the charger might also be handy, though a fully charged iPad 2 ought to run a good 8-10 hours on a charge.
If you have an iPad 2, try picking up one of the Apple video adapters so you can try it out in your next presentation. It might just become your go-to presentation device.