Keynote for iPhone review

Apple recently updated their suite of iWork applications to work across all iOS devices, namely iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. They are pretty powerful productivity applications to be sure, but how well do they actually work on a screen as small as the iPhone’s? I decided to go ahead and drop $10 bucks on Keynote and give it a spin.


Like all three of the iWork apps on iPhone, you wouldn’t be advised to try creating a PowerPoint (oh wait… that’s a Microsoft product) ahem… Keynote presentation on your iPhone due to the small screen. If you have an iPad though I would highly suggest using Keynote. With the many formatting options and especially the animations, you could probably turn out a better presentation then in PowerPoint, and in a far faster time.


Keynote has loads of features even on the iPhone. When you create a new presentation you need to choose a theme, there are 12 to choose from. You then have options to add many different kinds of slides, transitions, inserts and text types. This is by far the most full featured Keynote creator/editor for iOS to date. You also have the ability to add presenter notes.

Now that I’ve told you what it’s got, let me tell you what it doesn’t. It doesn’t have support for the fancy stuff you see in Keynote for the Mac. If it’s not available  in app, It’s not supported as far as I can tell. According to Macworld, if you create a presentation on Keynote on the Mac with that has unsupported items or transitions, and then transfer to your iPhone or iPad, Keynote will replace then with the closest item or transition. So you must be careful when editing on your iPhone or iPad.  Keynote for iPhone also seems to be missing the ability to give presentations wirelessly. You seem to be limited to using an cable  to connect to a larger display which is a bummer. Another annoying thing has to do with document arrangement. With the icons on the iOS homescreen you can move them around and put them in any order you like, and they stay there. In Keynote, all of the documents are arranged by when you last opened them, with the most recent items at the top. I found this to be aggravating, as I would prefer keeping them in an certain order and changing them as I see fit.


The value of this app for you will probably depend on three key things:

  1. You actually do presentations – If you do then this is probably a no brainer, as long as you…

  2. You also own an iPad – This app is far more useful if you own an iPad as opposed to just an iPhone. If all you really need to do is quickly edit a PowerPoint before a meeting or school function you could probably get buy with something like Quickoffice.  If you own an iPad but don’t own this app, you should go out and drop $10 on it right now. Especially if you…

  3. You want to pretend to be Steve Jobs – Using the “Gradient” theme and some Photoshoped images of the whatever you think the next iPhone will look like, “You too can be Steve Jobs”.

If you’re the average person (and you just own an iPhone or iPod touch), I probably wouldn’t recommend spending $10 on Keynote. I did, but I’m also not the average person. You will probably be feeling like you were swindled.  On the the other hand. If you own an iPad, you must get Keynote. It running on your iPhone or iPod touch is just an added bonus. Even if you do very little with PowerPoints. You never know. Someday you just might need it,  and it might save more than $10. It might just save your job, or your life  (I doubt it, but who knows).


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