You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Review: Keynote Remote

January 10, 2009
Overview Keynote remote is an app that allows you to control Keynote presentations with your iPhone! Being completely new to Keynote, I started this review with a pair of fresh eyes - how easy was this app to use for someone who had no clue what they were doing? I’m pleased to report that it was astonishingly easy to set up and use. I whipped up a few test slides, opened Keynote remote, followed one step of instructions, and was done. If you use Keynote and have an iPhone, the coolness factor on this app make it a must-have.


  • Extremely Easy To Use
I literally had to press a button on my iPhone, enter the preferences menu in Keynote (on my iMac), enter a code, and the linkup was done. I’m fairly sure that even the least tech-savvy of my friends could figure this out if they had to.

  • Your Presenter Notes On Your Remote
A feature in keynote called “presenter notes” allows you to basically have cue cards to help you stay on track throughout a presentation. Keynote Remote displays those presenter notes right below the current slide, which seems like it’d be incredibly helpful.

  • Swipe To Change Slides
Aside from being very cool and showing your presenter notes, all this app really does is let you change slides. That’s fine, and it does its job very well. Like in your Camera Roll, just swipe left and right to go forward or backward in the slide queue.
  • Landscape or Portrait
Each has its benefits. In portrait, you can see the current slide as well as your presenter notes. In landscape, you are shown the current slide and the next slide, which could be handy for talking about what’s up next. I would probably just use portrait and include a cue to the next slide in the presenter notes.


The Good:

It’s been a while since I played with a new program straight from Apple. The slickness and “it just works” feeling is still there. I loved how easy it was to set up the Keynote Remote program, and how once it was plugged in, it just worked. I’m not familiar with the options for remote controllers that work with Keynote, but I don’t know what functionality you could ask for that’s not here. The Bad:

I noticed that at one point the iPhone showed the little loading circle and stopped between slides. This didn’t change the presentation, but it makes me wonder if this would work in places with bad wireless signal. I think remotes work on a different wavelength and communicate directly from computer to remote, but is it the same with this one? My only worry about this app is that there could conceivably be some unreliability, but I don’t have anything to really confirm that fear. Anyone run into any problems using this In The Real World?


This app costs one dollar. That’s less than a bottle of water in most 7-11’s. The above review represents my impression of the app, but in the App Store I read reviews saying there are some functions missing. These include not being able to black out the screen, flip through multiple slides at once quickly, and not being able to auto-decline calls. I see the necessity for these, though they didn’t cross my mind while writing my review. Keynote Remote would serve my purposes just fine, but before tossing your current remote, I would shop around a little bit. The 2 for utility reflects that the general consensus in the App Store seems to be that this is a somewhat barebones (though pretty) app.

Related articles