Apple Keynote app review | Tech Radar
First introduced in 2003, Apple Keynote is part of the iWork suite which also includes Apple Pages and Apple Numbers. Regularly updated over the years, the presentation software takes a minimalist approach to design, and that’s one of the biggest differences between it and Microsoft’s leading PowerPoint application. To date, Apple Keynote is available on Mac, iPad, iPhone, and via iCloud on the web.
There are plenty of reasons to consider Apple Keynote for your presentation needs — and a few more that might convince you it’s best to look elsewhere for a solution. So let’s take a look at this beautifully designed app.
Apple Keynote: Plans and Pricing
In 2017, Apple started offering its iWork suite on its many platforms. Apple’s iMovie and GarageBand also went free at the same time. The application is pre-installed on Mac and you download it from the App Store on iPhone and iPad. Previously, the company charged up to $20 each for Apple Keynote and other iWork apps.
Apple Keynote: features
Like other apps in iWork, Apple Keynote is built around templates that make creating a digital presentation quick and easy. And yet, even from scratch, it’s relatively simple to create your next design masterpiece.
Inevitably, any discussion of the iWork app comes back to how it compares to the Microsoft equivalent. However, when it comes to Apple Keynote versus Microsoft PowerPoint, another component is at play here. If you’re new to designing presentations, you won’t find an easier solution than Apple Keynote, and that might be reason enough to choose this solution if you’re an Apple user. If, however, you’re a long-time or even occasional PowerPoint user, you might feel overwhelmed by Apple’s solution. The reason: the application offers far fewer advanced features than PowerPoint.
In terms of features, you will love Apple Keynote Templates. These are categorized into different categories, such as craft, portfolio, and editorial. It is also possible to create templates as starting points for future presentations. You can rate them on any device using iCloud. Among the pre-packaged templates are those called Improv, Kyoto, Chalkboard and many more.
You can customize your Keynote presentation choosing from over 700 Apple-designed shapes, galleries, math equations, and charts. For more customization, Apple allows you to take a photo or scan a document with your iPhone and then send it directly to Keynote on your Mac using the Continuity Camera option. The nifty feature works with other Apple apps and is highly recommended.
Another feature to consider is the ability to add live video streams to any slide. This feature is great for giving presentations remotely or offering how-to videos and lectures. Live video works with the built-in camera on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad. For something different, consider creating the live stream from your mobile device and streaming it via Apple Keynote on Mac. It’s a new way to show apps or other content.
Using videos in a Keynote presentation is even better when playing videos on different slides without the need to restart or stop the video. You can also change the position, size, and rotation of the video throughout the presentation.
Another video-related benefit of using Apple Keynote is the ability to play a slideshow in a separate window while using other applications. You can also view your current and upcoming slides, speaker notes, and slide navigation in a separate window.
Do you need to create presentations with multiple speakers in different locations? Apple Keynote makes this possible and, unsurprisingly, these speakers can control a single turntable from any supported device.
Finally, iPad users with an Apple Pencil can take advantage of a handwriting tool built into every iWork app. doodle Automatically turns your handwritten numbers and data into typed text. Imagine using this tool with digital forms that end users might be asked to fill out at a school or organization – no typing required.
Microsoft PowerPoint outperforms Apple Keynote in some areas despite all these positives. On the one hand, there is the question of compatibility. Native Keynote files cannot be opened outside of Apple devices, which is a huge problem. Also, while you can convert Keynote files to PowerPoint versions, the conversion process isn’t always perfect.
Finally, PowerPoint offers more tools than those available on Keynote. This may mean very little to new users, but it’s a big deal for presentation experts.
There’s another area where Keynote trumps PowerPoint: price. While Microsoft charges a fee for its product, Apple does not.
Apple Keynote: Interface and in use
Apple has gone out of its way to create a much less cumbersome Keynote experience than you’ll find with PowerPoint, which uses Microsoft’s signature ribbon. Minimalist in nature, the Keynote setup works very well due to its intuitiveness. Even new users know, for example, what there is to discover under the Table, Graph and Media links in the toolbar. The same goes for the Format link which opens a sidebar on the right side of the application. You can adjust the document style, layout and more from here.
Apple Keynote: Support
You can access Apple Support through the website. Moreover, the Apple Support Community is another great resource. Most likely, if you have a question or concern regarding any part of the iWork suite, it has been discussed here.
Apple Keynote: the competition
Microsoft PowerPoint is the king of presentation apps, but it’s not the only game in town. A long list of free alternatives is available, including Google Slides, WPS Office Free, and Prezi. Each solution has its own advantages and disadvantages which often boil down to compatibility.
Be sure to check out our article on the best free presentation software and alternatives to powerpoint and our most recent Microsoft PowerPoint Review.
Apple Keynote: Final Verdict
Apple Keynote is the best application in the Apple iWork suite, thanks to its ease of use. Whether on Mac, iPad, iPhone or via the web, you can create stunning presentations in just a few steps. The biggest problem is familiar with other Apple apps: it’s not from Microsoft, which means a lot of people can’t use it right now.