Annoyed with Apple

April 14, 2010

I am officially annoyed with Apple.


Yes you guessed it, a further delay on the iPad.

BBC News reports:

Apple is to delay the international release of its touchscreen tablet computer, the iPad, by one month.

It will now launch the device around the world, including the UK, at the end of May, and will begin accepting pre-orders on 10 May.

…and there I was expecting to get mine at the end of April!

As I have said before on this blog:

Part of me is sad that I didn’t go out to the states and buy an iPad, and part of me knows how sad that would be!

I have also discussed how I think I will be using the iPad too.

Since the iPad was announced and launched in the US, there have been numerous alternatives announced by other manufacturers and we also have Courier from Microsoft.

These “alternatives” have many more features than the iPad. They have cameras, front and back, built in SD card slots, USB ports, they can print, they can be tethered, they can tether, etc… etc…

So why oh why am I going to get an iPad then?

Firstly it’s not about the features its about the functionality and the user interface.

Despite many valiant attempts by other phone companies, none have come close to the way the user interface on the iPhone works. I remember getting the LG Viewty and feeling very short changed by the touch screen experience compared to the iPhone. Likewise, though I do like the Google Nexus One and it has compared to other touchscreen phones a fantastic touch screen and a very intuitive user interface, however even it does not match the iPhone interface. It is for this reason that the iPad will succeed over the alternative devices been proposed or released by other manufacturers will be the touch interface that Apple have managed to excel at on the iPhone and according to the reports from the US have likewise done with the iPad.

The Apps market, though a closed market seems to have been very successful. Though history says that open standards win over closed walled gardens (think of the internet versus AOL) proprietary closed markets do win now and again. Developers like the App Store and the ease by which consumers will purchase apps from it. The reason for this is quite simple, create one account, purchase from many developers. As a consumer I don’t want to have to create accounts everytime I want to buy an app and I certainly don’t want to do this using a mobile device if I can help it. Entering credit cards on my iPhone is something I would prefer not to do, on an iPad probably wouldn’t mind so much!

So even though this further delay in the iPad has annoyed me, I think I will still be getting one when they are eventually released in the UK!

Picture source.

96 slides in 12 minutes – Presentation Styles

April 14, 2010

At a Becta LSIS Learning Innovation, Embracing Technology Conference at the NEC last year I had a twelve minute slot for a presentation on how the future of learning is mobile.

I did use slides.

Now the accepted model for powerpoint presentations is 2-5 minutes per slide, so if I was presenting according to the accepted model I would have had no more than six slides.

So how many slides did you have?

I used ninety six slides.

Did you really?

Yes I did.

I remember been asked to send a copy of my presentation to the organisers, which I had to do via a version uploaded to the web as it was too big for e-mail. I then got a “worried” e-mail reminding me that I only had twelve minutes and that I might have too many slides. I did in fact cut a few slides, I think initially it was over a hundred… so cutting to ninety six was quite tough!

Even at the event, I was taken to one side and reminded how important it was to stick to the timeslot I had been given.

Then it was time….

I use to have quite light slides when I started doing conference presentations, but was noted by someone else that my slides a few years ago were getting more text heavy… and it was true! I had more and more text on my slides.

So I decided to stop how I wrote my presentation slides and think again about how and what I present.

Most times text is on slides as a crutch to the presenter who may not know their stuff, or certainly doesn’t have the confidence to present without the security blanket of lots of text.

I decided that if I was using words I would use phrases or key words. Where possible I would use images.

So where do you get the images?

Most times they are images I have taken myself or had taken for me. But for a lot of images I use creative commons licensed images from Flickr. There is a wealth of images available on Flickr and they can be used to convey lots of different things. If I can’t find the image I want, I have been known to get the camera and go and take the image. I also upload my images to Flickr, not just so others can use them, but if I am out and about and I want to use one of my images I needn’t worry about having it on my computer as it may be on my Flickr account.

Images are very powerful and can convey and support what I am saying

But what about the text?

Presentations are not about text they are about presentations.

Word documents are about text, so write a Word document or a blog post.

I try to use a small number of words and where possible avoid bullet points.

I have seen too many presentations that consist of bullet points with lots of explanatory text, often too small to read!

But when I post my presentation online…

Come on, really who is the presentation for, the audience in the conference room or the online audience.

Remember that the core audience for a presentation is the live audience in the conference room. It is not the remote audience who will only read your presentation and won’t get the full benefit of your actual talk and any questions afterwards.

If it is necessary to offer a more detailed presentation online. then video or film the presentation. Or how about creating one text heavy presentation for the online audience who won’t hear you and one for the live audience who will.

Anyone who puts loads of text onto a slide so that it makes sense to someone who reads it online (notice the use of the word reads) then they might as well not present their work and just print it out and let us read it.

Presentations that are watched are different to documents that are read.

Use the right tool for the right audience and the right location.

I can’t take all the credit for how I create my slides for my presentations, one of the articles I read gave me a real insight into making a good looking presentation. The article talks about the different presentation styles of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and reading it, it makes a lot of sense to me.

So what of the rules about 2-5 minutes per slide?

If you know the rules, you can break the rules.

So how did I do?

Yup, I delivered all ninety six slides in twelve minutes. Got lots of positive feedback as well. The feedback was on the content of the  presentation and what I said, and not on the presentation slides themselves.

Job done!