During a recent webinar discussion on iPads and accessories, mention was made of A/V cables and projectors. Since I already have the Rocketfish Composite A/V cable for iPod, I decided to spend some time experimenting with the cable hooked up from my iPad to my television and using as many VGA out apps I could find in the app store.
First, they all worked. In fact, with Keynote ($9.99) you don’t need any additional app to project a presentation. With the cable connected, I just clicked on the arrow in the upper right corner and each slide was on my television screen. Keynote does not mirror your iPad screen. The iPad screen is dark with arrows to advance or back up. You can jump to any slide, and you have a “laser pointer.” By the way, making slide presentations in Keynote is easy, very easy.
Here is the list of VGA out apps I used for my experimenting:
Mirrors iPad screen as you surf, pinch and zoom, it’s 99 cents.
Expedition – VGA, Composite, Component Out Web Browser $.99
Mirrors iPad screen, works nice, intuitive menu, and also 99 cents.
2Screens LE $1.99
(I think LE must stand for Limited Edition, not as full featured as Expert) web browser and document viewer, just type in an address and display is mirrored, quick and easy, pinch and zoom, watch YouTube full screen on television.
Mirrors iPad screen but has awkward interface and is slower than the other VGA apps.
2Screens Presentation Expert $3.99
Does everything 2Screens LE does plus make folders, add tabs, get photos from your albums, and more.
iPad screen shows both mirror image and control pad but does not have features or benefits of similar priced apps.
Like every other app shopping experience, after some quick experimenting and quite a bit of fumbling, I found which app was best suited to my needs and teaching style. I kept trying different things with each app and kept coming back to 2Screens Presentation Expert. Even though the interface is not as user friendly or intuitive as I like, it seemed more reliable and had more features.
I almost missed one. GoodReader for iPad can mirror your screen and it is only $.99. Show PDF, keynote files, etc.
During this experimenting, it was helpful to read the reviews for each app in the app store. But I always temper the advice I see from others with my own experience and my own priorities. Sometimes a free or 99 cent app will do all that I need. Other times, I invest in something that has features I don’t even understand but I recognize that it is a tool I will be using often and I like knowing the extra capacity is there if I ever need it.
One other thought about customer reviews in the app store. When I buy a car, I always remember, I am also buying a dealership. Visit the developer’s website, look how often the developer offers upgrades, and read what customers write about customer service.