Step 1 - One of the few weaknesses of the iPhone and iPad is that they're a little bit too self-contained. There are no USB ports on either the iPad or iPhone, so exchanging a Keynote presentation – or any other type of file – with other devices has always been a bit of a struggle. However, sharing and collaboration is a key theme of Keynote 2.0, and Apple is finally starting to get all its iWork apps to work a bit more smoothly with iCloud. When you launch Keynote 2.0 for the first time it will ask if you want to use iCloud or leave it until later.
Step 2 - It’s probably best to select ‘Use iCloud’ right from the start, as this ensures that all your presentations will be stored in iCloud and be made available to all your other devices as well. If you decide to set up iCloud later you’ll need to make sure that you activate the iCloud options for Keynote in two separate places within the iOS Settings Panel. You have to select Keynote in ‘Documents And Data’ within the main iCloud settings panel (left) and also within Keynote’s own settings panel as well (right). We’ve shown the iPhone screens here as they're easier to show side-by-side, but these settings are the same on the iPad.
Step 3 - Here’s a presentation that was originally created on a Mac, and then transferred onto my iPad via iCloud. Any new changes that I make to this presentation on the iPad will automatically be uploaded to iCloud – albeit rather slowly in my experience – so that the latest version of the presentation is available on my office iMac and any other devices that are logged into my personal iCloud account. However, Apple is also trying to open up the iWork suite so that it’s easier to share documents with other people as well, so one of the main new features in Keynote 2.0 is the Share menu shown here.
Step 4 - There are two main options in this menu - 'Send A Copy' and 'Share Link Via iCloud'. You can send a copy of your presentation to colleagues via Mail, with a physical connection to a computer running iTunes, or by connecting to a WebDAV server. Keynote also gives you the option of converting the presentation into PowerPoint or PDF formats, which makes it easier to share files with people who are using Windows PCs. You'll notice that AirDrop is also listed here, but comments on Apple's support pages suggest that I'm not alone in finding this option rather unreliable at the moment.
Step 5 - If you select 'Share A Link Via iCloud' you can send a message to one or more people via Mail, FaceBook or Twitter, containing a link to your presentation on the iCloud web site (www.icloud.com). When the recipient clicks on that link they'll be taken straight to the web site and presented with the online version of Keynote. They'll be prompted to enter a name in order to identify themselves to other people who may be sharing the same file, and can then proceed to work on the presentation with you.
Step 6 - This online version of Keynote doesn't simply allow your colleagues to passively view your presentation – as though they were sitting in the audience – it also provides editing tools so that they can actively collaborate with you and make changes of their own. But look closely and you'll see a little 'beta' label in the top-right corner of this window. The online versions of Keynote, Numbers and Pages are still in development and lack the full range of features found in the Mac and iOS versions of the apps. In the case of Keynote, the online version offers a much more limited range of transitions and animation effects.
Step 7 - Of course, if other people are editing your presentation online then there's a risk that the changes they make may conflict with changes you're making at the same time. Fortunately, Keynote provides a relatively straightforward way of handling this problem. If my colleague Pete changes a slide online that I'm also editing on my iPad, I'll get this warning telling me that there are now two versions of the presentation – on iCloud and on my iPad – that are out of sync. I started the sharing process for this presentation, so I get to choose which version we keep.
Step 8 - If I override Pete’s changes he still has the option of downloading a separate copy of the presentation from iCloud onto his own Mac or PC. He can also convert the file into PowerPoint or PDF formats if he’s working on a Windows PC. Pete can’t gain access to any other files or documents that I may have stored on iCloud but, of course, I can still log on to the iCloud web site using any Mac or PC that has an Internet connection. However, you do need to use a supported web browser, such as Internet Explorer 9 or later, Firefox 21 or Chrome 27.
Step 9 - If I go back to the Share menu on my iPad and select 'View Share Settings' I can change the way that this presentation is shared. The Share Settings window will tell me how many people have permission to share the presentation, as well as the number that are actually editing it online right now. I can send the sharing link to more people from here as well, or simply switch off sharing altogether. And if you’re new to sharing files online like this you can click on 'Learn More' to read the full help files that explain how these options work.
Step 10 - Keynote 2.0 for iOS didn’t get a major interface redesign, as its Mac counterpart did. But, like the Mac version, it did manage to lose a few transitions and build effects that had been available in previous versions of the app. Apple has stated that it will restore many of these effects, as well as a few other features, in a number of future updates and there’s already been an update to version 2.0.1, which added a number of transitions and builds. Learning how to use these effects is the key to producing eye-catching presentations, so that’s what we’ll look at in our next Keynote tutorial.