One of the big criticisms of the iPhone was its lack of an Apple supplied solution to work with text documents, spreadsheets, and presentation. This is still the case for the iPhone (unless Apple’s announcement in a few hours includes something to rectify this). However, Apple’s new iPad has iWork mobile components for Pages (word documents), Sheets (spreadsheets), and Keynote (presentations). This was one of the reasons I was so excited about buying my iPad this past weekend. Each of the $9.99 apps worked well in my brief tests.
I was asked on Tuesday to provide a brief talk about the iPad next week Monday (Apr. 12). My plan was to demonstrate how Keynote for iPad can be integrated in a typical multi-platform workflow by doing the following:
1. Start creating the presentation using Keynote on a Mac
2. Transfer the file to the iPad
3. Work on the presentation using the iPad and the Mac over a couple of days moving the Keynote file back and forth between them
4. Export the Keynote presentation to a PowerPoint slidedeck from Keynote on the Mac
5. Use PowerPoint with a projector and teleconferencing system while speaking to multiple office locations
This seemed like a reasonable workflow to me. Apple has an iWork.com beta service that sounded like it should enable this. And, if that didn’t work, iTunes now includes file sync for iWork for iPad files.
Problem 1 turned up after I signed up for the iWork.com beta. This site and service is not a workflow solution. It provides a way to share iWork files with other people. This includes letting people who do not have iWork viewing documents on a web page. However, it does not provide a way to sync a Keynote presentation on a Mac and iPad.
An additional problem turned up after I downloaded the Keynote file created on the Mac to the iPad. The presentation’s theme did not seem to completely transfer to the iPad. Slides created on the Mac maintained their themed look. However, new pages created on the iPad were unthemed.
Problem 2 turned up after I tried my alternate workflow solution: Using iTunes file sync. I used it to copy the Keynote file from the iPad to the Mac. This is the file that included a new slide page. Slide 1 was created on the Mac and slide 2 was created on the iPad. Unfortunately, as you can see in the screenshot above, problems were reported when I tried to open the file using Keynote on the Mac.
With the presentation due on Friday, I’m going to simply create it all in PowerPoint. But, I’ll return to this problem to see if a reasonable workaround can be developed.
Apple Support item: iWork for iPad: About File Sharing