iPad Presentations

I’ve found my iPad works great as a traveling presentation tool. Instead of dragging a laptop and all the paraphernalia that goes with it, I carry my iPad mini along with a VGA connector and an HDMI connector. My iPhone serves as the remote control.

Keynote is my presentation software of choice and I keep most of my presentations in my iCloud account so I can access them just about anywhere. Before leaving home, I make sure to open my presentation on both my iPad and iPhone from the iCloud version. This insures I have a copy of the presentation on the device and can still function even if there’s no Internet connection where I’m presenting.

Setup is quick and easy. I just hook the projector’s VGA cable to the VGA connector plugged into my iPad, open up my Keynote presentation and tap the Play icon.  Then I open Keynote on my iPhone and tap the remote icon. Once it makes the connection to the presentation on my iPad, a big Play button appears. I tap on that and I’m ready to begin. The slideshow below is a quick demo showing how it all works.

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NOTE: The Keynote Remote app is no longer needed as long as you have the most recent version of Keynote for iOS on both devices. 

Recently, I’ve been conducting genealogy workshops at our local Council on Aging using a flat-screen television as the display. These are usually conducted in a board room setting. The HDMI connector and an extra-long HDMI cable [3-meter Amazon Basics cable is only $7.50] make it easy for me to present slides and demonstrate live sites right from my iPad. Yes, I do need a Wi-Fi connection for the live demonstrations.

Although I can include transitions and effects in Keynote for iOS presentations, I personally find them a distraction. [I do love them, however, for creating greeting cards with Keynote.] The app only supports the limited selection of fonts available on the devices. Remember this when your building your presentation on your desktop. For a font fanatic like me, it’s a challenge.

One last tip . . . I make sure both the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth services are turned on for both devices before the presentation. That way, if there’s no Wi-Fi signal in the room, I can still use the iPhone remote via Bluetooth. I haven’t checked the distance limits for Bluetooth, but I have wandered 15 to 20 feet away from the iPad during my presentation and was still able to control the presentation.

My iPad has made presenting a whole lot easier – and lighter. Life is good!

The Secret Camera Tripod In Every House

From Pogue’s Basics via Yahoo Tech:

But there’s also a tripod in just about every room in every house in the world. The threads at the top of a typical lamp — where the lampshade screws on — precisely fit the tripod mount underneath your camera. Remove the lampshade, screw the camera on, and presto: You’ve got a rock-steady indoor tripod. Yours free!

The Secret Camera Tripod In Every House

Mobile Toolbox – Documents by Readdle

The Documents app [iOS – free] is at the top of the must-have apps list for genealogy research. It serves as a document reader, media player and file manager – all in one beautiful package. With Documents, you can search, read, bookmark and annotate iWork and MS Office documents, read PDF documents and ebooks (ePub and FB2), view photos and videos and even listen to music.

The file manager screen in Documents by Readdle

Need to view a document attached to an email message? No problem. Just long-tap the attached file and choose the Open in Documents option. There is also a built-in browser so you can find and download documents from web sites.

If that’s not enough, Documents also serves as an impressive file manager, giving you access to your computer and cloud services. Using the Wi-Fi Drive feature, you can upload documents from your desktop computer to your iPad using your desktop browser. You can also share files with your favorite cloud storage service and download online files directly to Documents. Of course there are tools to copy, move and delete the files saved in Documents. You can even select and zip a number of files. Use the Share icon to send any of your files to someone via email.

Other Readdle apps work with Documents to give you even more functionality. For example, adding Printer Pro [iPad – $6.99] makes it easy to print attachments, documents or web pages from your device to either Wi-Fi or USB printers. (Note: USB printing requires a free helper app installed on your computer.) PDF Converter [iPad – $6.99] can convert the files managed in the Documents app – including those stored in cloud services such as Dropbox – to PDF documents. Need to fill in PDF forms, sign documents or markup documents for review? Then PDF Expert [iPad and iPhone – $9.99] is the app for you.

Readdle’s suite of document management apps give your iPad an amazing amount of functionality and access to your files and documents wherever they are stored. All of this in your choice of easy-to-use and affordable packages.

The iPhone Traveler

We recently took a short trip to Louisiana. It included a bit of family history, a bit of world history and a lot of good food. My iPhone got quite a workout – as road atlas, restaurant guide (Evernote Food – free), camera and photo editor, museum guide (National World War II Museum Guide – free), travel radio (Tune-In Radio Pro – $3.99) and travel journal (Day One – $4.99).

We used Evernote’s Food app to find places to eat on the road. Not only could it find nearby restaurants using the phone’s location services, quite often there would be menus and reviews to help choose. Since there was lots of road time – more than 1,000 miles on I-10 alone – Tune-In Radio Pro got quite a workout. It allowed us to listen to our favorite radio stations without having to find a new station as we moved out of range of the current station. This worked great on the Interstate because we had good cellular coverage there, but not so well down in bayou country.

The World War II Museum is an amazing place. It now encompasses two city blocks and is still growing. There’s so much to see and do that the guide was a great tool. If you’re planning to visit this museum, go ahead and install the app before you leave home so you can plan ahead. The only reason we “did” the museum in one day was because we had been there before when it was just the D-Day museum.

Of course, Day One made sure I’d capture all the memorable moments of the trip. One thing that was quite helpful was posting entries after the fact. When you import a photo from your phone’s photo library, Day One asks if you want to use the date and location information from the photograph. Yes I do, thank you! That made it easy to select the images that represented the high points of each day and include descriptions after we had returned to our hotel.

My Day One Louisiana travel journal.

I was also posting updates on our Posthaven family journal. All that took was a quick email with a photo or two and a few lines of text. The message content is posted as an entry on the blog and then emailed to each family member. They can comment on a post by replying to that message. It’s not only captured as a comment on the blog but sent to all the family subscribers.

An entry posted to our Posthaven Family Journal from the road.


Five days of travel ate up about 1.5GB of cellular data with most of that coming from the hours of online radio while driving. It was worth every minute!

Smartphone Scanning

Smartphone scanning with affordable tools … except maybe for the … smartphone.

Smartphone Scanning
Is this awesome or what? You are looking at my iPhone with the Scanner Pro app by Readdle [iOS – $2.99] sitting on a Fopydo scanning stand[$30.00]. The stand is made of hard plastic and folds up into a lightweight “portfolio” you can easily take with you. The page you see in this example is resting against a tacky strip (enough to keep it there, but not enough to make it hard to remove) making…

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