Presenting with iPad

by Volker Weber

iPad VGA adapter

Marco promised to send me this adapter which I forgot to order (and cannot get in a store here). Even my trusted PR folks don't have one. If it is delivered in time, I am going to do my next presentation this week from the iPad.

The adapter connects iPad to a secondary display, that does not mirror the primary display. So it only works with very few apps. But that is exactly what I want.

Apple does not nickle & dime you. They $29 you.


One thing that I don't like about using the iPad for presentations is that you cannot use a remote clicker. You are tied to the iPad.

Bruce Elgort, 2010-05-03

Yes, that is certainly a downside. But then again, I get to travel very lightly.

Volker Weber, 2010-05-03

Yes, that is certainly a downside. But then again, I get to travel very lightly.

Since the iPad recognizes my BT keyboard, there may be an opportunity for a clicker there. Is there any software that mimics a BT keyboard for the iPhone for instance?

Volker Weber, 2010-05-03

You are probably already thinking of this ... but I'll say it anyway: Test the battery life when hooked up to an external source!

Garret P Vreeland, 2010-05-03

You mean the VGA output needs power? ;-)

Volker Weber, 2010-05-03

Actually, VGA output does need power ... it has to source 6 lines at about a minimum of 50mA, 5 lines at 0.7 volts peak to peak (or -3.5v to +3.5v) and one line (assuming its DDC1/2 compatible) at +5v, 50mA, so that is an additional 300mA (minimum) draw due to an active VGA connection .. assuming a 7000 mAH battery and a 7 "active" hour battery life for an iPad (Just guessing with round numbers, I have no clue), that 300mAH draw will knock down battery life from 7hours to roughly 5.5hours ... of course this is way oversimplified, but you get the idea...

jeremy hodge, 2010-05-03

Thanks, Jeremy. I was only joking, but now I learned something I did not know.

Volker Weber, 2010-05-03

Hey, considering this is a VIDEO cable, they could have gone for $49 easily. Maybe more.

Joerg Michael, 2010-05-03

You could always just get the Keynote remote for iphone, and use your laptop as the display machine and got thru the presentation with keynotes from the ipad. Seems to work pretty well. I guess if it's all about traveling light and doing a presentation from the ipad then you really do need that dongle.

Bryan McDade, 2010-05-04

If you need to power up the beast and drive an external display, I think you need the dock - it sounds like it has a port for power and an extra port you can connect the VGA adapter or the camera conn kit to.

Kevan Emmott, 2010-05-04

No, it doesn't. It also makes the iPad stand in portrait mode, which is the wrong way for Keynote that works in landscape. Don't worry, the iPad has plenty of power.

Volker Weber, 2010-05-04

I have found the iPad to be hugely distracting in a meeting scenario.

You may need to allow extra time for your presentation to compensate!

I found I had to tap or swipe the screen to move from slide to slide - BT keyboard did not do it.

Simon Barratt, 2010-05-04

Simon, nobody will see the iPad when I am presenting. It is going to be sitting on the stage. When you connected the VGA adapter, the presentation is only visible on the external screen. Not a problem here, since we use monitors in addition to the screen projector.

I also found the BT keyboard works for many things, but not for advancing slides. That is a huge omission which Apple has to fix in a later version. I would also suggest they need to make the iPhone Remote work with the iPad Keynote.

Volker Weber, 2010-05-04

Can't project Safari to show a demo. Or the built-in apps like mail to show how those look. I find the limitations hugely limiting for me to consider buying one right now, though I'd really like to use it for this purpose exactly. Hmm, something to discuss.

Ed Brill, 2010-05-04

I am only aware of four apps that use the secondary display:

- Keynote
- Photos
- Videos
- YouTube

For me that means it works exactly like I use my MacBook for presentations. I never mirror the display. However, the Mac Keynote presenter display is way more useful than the iPad.

Volker Weber, 2010-05-04

PaperDesk for iPad uses the secondary display as well:

With the latest update of PaperDesk for iPad, the whiteboard now has VGA-out capabilities. It's possible to pop up a whiteboard, connect your iPad to a projector with the Dock Connector to VGA cable, and start scribbling or typing away. That's a great way to take collaborative notes or work on a project together.

There will be others soon :-)

Ole Saalmann, 2010-05-07

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