Mobile Communications

Slideshow building app Haiku Deck launches for iPhone

Haiku Deck, an app that lets you build gorgeous slideshow presentations for iPad and Web viewing, launched an iPhone version of the app on Thursday, giving the platform even more of a mobile-first edge than before. The new iPhone app works best when used in tandem with a presentation on a bigger screen.

"The way people work now has totally changed, and productivity needs to be mobile," said Haiku Deck's co-founder and CEO Adam Tratt in an interview with TechHive.

The iPhone's 4-inch screen doesn't really bode well for full-fledged presentations--unless you prefer for a group of people to crowd around and peek over your shoulders--so the iPhone app is designed to be more of a driver for the full slide show displayed on an iPad or monitor.

Hold your iPhone in portrait orientation to add and view expanded speaker notes to correspond with the larger slides in your presentation, then switch back to landscape orientation to flip to the next slide with a swipe of the finger. It's like a little remote control: Just tap the remote icon to connect your devices via Bluetooth.

Besides the presentation aspect, the iPhone app offers full offline access to decks you've already built, so you can check on a presentation while on the go. This is also handy for viewing presentations that other Haiku Deck users have built, in case you'd like to review a coworker's presentation during your commute, for instance. At this time, you can't edit or create new slides on the iPhone, but that functionality is coming soon according to Tratt.

Haiku Deck launched in 2012 as an iPad app for building presentations; it expanded as a web client in 2013. Users who create an account can access their presentations across platforms, adding slides and features as they go. Haiku Deck offers six free slideshow themes, each of which are much more aesthetically pleasing than your standard PowerPoint ("It's impossible to create something ugly," boasts Tratt, and I kind of have to agree). For added oomph, pick from one of 11 premium themes, which you can buy as an in-app purchase.

One of Haiku Deck's biggest selling points is that it has a library of Creative Commons images, letting you build a new slideshow with stunning imagery in a flash. You could, of course, import your own images to use, but sometimes that's not an option if you have to do a presentation on the fly.

In terms of layout, Haiku Deck formats everything for you as you build, adjusting the line spacing and text size to prevent your slide from looking sloppy. In fact, our reviewer Joel Mathis found the whole build process to be almost dummy-proof, which is just what Haiku Deck is going for.

"Telling stories and sharing is the coolest thing that we can do," Tratt said, "and we want to make people ten-times better at story telling through these tools."

Haiku Deck for iPhone is available Thursday in the App Store for free, along with the preexisting Haiku Deck for iPad as a separate download. Android and desktop users can use Haiku Deck's browser-based Web app.


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