Idea Flight: Review
Idea Flight is an iPad app designed for presenters who deliver a lot of presentations to several people at a time. Idea Flight uses Wi-Fi or Bluetooth on a set of iPads to connect them together.
Idea Flight works by having a ‘pilot’ and a set of ‘passengers’. The pilot (i.e. the presenter) is in control of the presentation and the passengers are the audience. Each of the passengers will have their own iPad and can connect to the pilot using either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. A maximum of 15 participants can be connected at any time.
What does it do?
The app is designed for a presenter to use for both presenting and for eliminating the need for hand-outs. It allows users to import a PDF or a PowerPoint presentation into the app, push the content out to be seen on different devices, and then control it. The pilot can then present the slides and move on to the next slide with a swipe – when this occurs the passenger’s iPad screens will all follow. Any other gestures such as zooming on the pilot’s iPad will be replicated on the passenger’s slides. One feature that Idea Flight lacks is the animation function – it would be a lot better if it had the function to use animations in it – this therefore could take away some of your slides functionality and my make them less engaging.
Installing the app is done in the same way as other iPad apps,and just involves going onto the app store and searching for the Idea Flight app. Both the presenter (pilot) and the audience (passengers) have to download Idea Flight. Once you have entered your details into the app you will be able to start using it. You can select a PDF or PowerPoint/Keynote to import into the application and then you can ‘start flight’.
How easy is it to use?
Idea flight is a very simple application to use as all the controls are easily laid out around the app. As the pilot you are in control, therefore the passengers will not be able to flick forward to the next slide without you doing so. This stops them from reading on (like you can do with handouts) and reading your content and not listening to you.
The bad side of using this feature is that if your ‘passengers’ want to zoom in to the content they can’t. However, Idea Flight does account for this with ‘unlocked mode’, which allows the passengers to interact with the slides by making notes on them and zooming into the content separately. The passengers can then save these slides to their iPad – Idea Flight’s website states that the unlocked mode is like ‘passengers taking off their seatbelts’.
What’s right with it?
Idea Flight overall is a good app, it’s simple to use and will save a lot of paper and time from the likes of handouts. It’s also good that the audience can’t flick through the content before you have delivered it – therefore they should be listening to you. This feature can be switched off and can allow your passengers to have separate control if you feel it is necessary. Idea Flight can also be used in schools, colleges or universities with the enterprise version which has some extra features including passwords and viewing a list of passengers – full details are available on the Idea Flight website.
What’s wrong with it?
Idea flight only allows for 15 people to be passengers at any one time – which obviously limits the size of your audience. You could get round this by using a projector as well but that takes away the point of the app.
Other than those listed, the app doesn’t have that many features, however they claim that there will be more coming out soon – but at a cost to free users. The app is also quite pricey, but you’ll only need to pay for it on each ‘pilot’ iPad – this can be done in the setting menu of the app.
The biggest issue with Idea Flight is that it does not support animations, which are integral to effective animations. However, if you used Idea Flight to produce handouts that audience members could interact with, the app could prove a useful tool.
Should I buy it?
At $9.99 for the pilot, the app would be good as a paper alternative for your audience and the inbuilt notes section would work well next to your handouts. Ultimately, Idea Flight is good to use as a handout alternative, but not as an alternative to PowerPoint.
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