Come Apple, how about a new Keynote!

apple   keynote   presentations  

I've been using Keynote for a few years now and it has not really changed. People always compare it to Powerpoint (Ugg!) and various other slide show tools, but frankly apart from Powerpoint, there isn't really any serious competition. Even then, the only reason I consider PowerPoint to be any sort of competition is because of the stranglehold it has on the corporate market. But it seems that whilst Apple regularly tweaks Keynote, they haven't put much effort into updating it with new features. To a degree it's stagnated, and I think it could certainly do with a refresh and a range of new Killer features.

So after a recent presentation I decided to write down what I'd like to see added. You watching Apple? - Here's my list of things I'd like:

  • The ability to add fade in/out effects to sounds.
  • The ability to interrupt animations. So If I string a set of animations together, I can press the ‘advance’ button and skip the rest of the current animation set. Jump to the next slide/animation etc. A further option would be to either jump to the end state of the animation or simply abort at the current frame.
  • Ability to create long (>99 seconds) animations. Yes I sometimes want this.
  • Ability to create looping animations.
  • Macro technology (via animator ?) so I can write my own reusable bits.
  • Scrollable text areas. Featuring ability to scroll to line x on next click.
  • Built in colour coding for program code. Currently I use a animator script and pygments to inject selected text as colour coded RTF text. So this should be easy.
  • Ability to tie the playing of a sound to an animation. For example I could tie an explosion sound to a out animation.
  • A ‘Random text’ animation. Give it a block of line and it randomly displays lines from that block at random positions within a defined area. Similar to opening credits for a movie.
  • Ability to embed a feed from a camera as a ‘picture in picture’. This would be recorded as part of recording a slide show.
  • Animations which switch from the PIP video feed and back. This would allow me program the switching of the camera when recording a slide show. And to be able to switch the main screen between the slides and the feed as needed. Very much like having your own vision mixer. Most useful for recording a slide show where someone is talking and we want to see them, then we want to zoom to the slide contents.
  • Map mode. This is where there are no ‘slides’ as such. Instead a super large canvas is created, and the slides are defined as specific rectangles on the canvas. Effective giving the user a huge map to scroll around. Then transitions could be defined for zoom out/then in, slide to, rotate, etc to move between each slide. We have seen this mode on various TV shows where a discussion is in progress supported by a large animated map of smaller graphics.
  • Ability to define a rectangle which display a video feed from a iPhone or iPad within a slide.
  • More in/out animations. Get inventive. How about a Matrix effect ? :-)
  • Ability to scroll the slide around the screen. Useful when zoomed out to work on objects which start/end outside the boundary of the slide. Currently when zoomed out, keynote will not scroll the canvas.
  • Kinetic animations: Drop, gravity, anti-gravity, bounce, repel, etc. These will often require two objects. The object to animation and a second object that it (for example) bounces off.
  • Ability to select sub-blocks of text within a text block and animate a text effect between them. For example, the currently selected block is 100% opaque and the rest of the text is 50%. Then the animation moves the opacity to the next block. Similar to the current ‘By Highlighted Paragraph’ function, but allowing custom text to be selected for highlighting, rather than having to work on paragraphs only.
  • Animated selected text animation. Basically add a block of text, then select one or more works within the text and animated those word only. For example make the ‘Pop’. Again this is about pointing out pieces of text within a larger block.

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