Just hours after I wrote a story indicating that Pages and Numbers would almost certainly be coming to the iPhone 4 as universal apps, news breaks that Apple filed a patent application to bring Keynote to a smaller screen as well. It looks like the third app of the iWork suite will be available for both the iPhone 4 and iPod touch.
Patently Apple has published a number of print images directly from the patent request, one which I will present here:
Patently Apple includes this bit of information:
“Indirectly, Apple’s patent actually provides credibility to the next step in this process: adding a pico projector to the iPhone. This patent supports a pico projector and video conferencing coming to the iPhone. With FaceTime now here and Keynote coming to the iPhone, the case for a pico projector is now stronger. Time will tell, but it’s looking very positive for a future pico projector coming to the iPhone and beyond.”
The patent indicates that a Keynote app would include both slide-creating capabilities and the ability to act as a remote control.
In some respects, releasing a universal version of Keynote would make more sense than for Pages or Numbers. The addition of a remote control feature would work quite well on a small screen. To control a presentation, Keynote could connect (via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi) to a Mac or PC. Keynote could also be used stand alone on the iOS4 device for presenting. Either method would probably prove popular with Keynote users.
For Keynote to become truly successful, Apple will need to allow the exporting of Keynote files for use with Microsoft’s more popular PowerPoint application. Without this functionality, the app will likely suffer in popularity. Currently the Keynote for iPad app does not include this ability or a remote control option.
Each of the existing iPad iWork apps sell for $9.99. If each app becomes universal, existing users will be able to upgrade each for free and use separate copies on each iOS4 platform. Apple has not yet officially announced plans to bring any of the iWork apps to all iOS4 platforms, although reports such as this show that they are coming.