Posts tagged ‘VGA’

July 6, 2010

iPad – the sequel

So, I’m loving the iPad. I’ve discovered what a great note-taking tool it is. I attended four days of classes in New York and used the iPad and Evernote as my main notepad. I love that I can sync my notes across two computers and my iPhone!

The big thing that I’ve been getting my head around is the video output from the iPad. As a teacher, the iPad could be extremely useful presentation tool. I have been given a VGA adapter to play with to figure out how the damn thing works. For someone who has become quite used to the ease of Apple’s history of plug and play, this was more of a challenge.

The first issue is that Apple doesn’t make it easy to find out that you can’t simply plug the iPad into a projector and BAM! everything on your screen is now projected. That’s the way it works on my MacBook, why not on the iPad? If you download the manual through iBook, you will find a paragraph that explains that only certain applications can project or can be viewed via a monitor. I found more thorough information at iLounge in a review from June 18th.

The short story is this: Keynote, YouTube, and Photo fully support display through the VGA connector. The Video app also displays video assuming that it is not copy-protected. That is, my copy of “The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” plays beautifully on my iPad until I connect it to a projector. The projector is somehow an unauthorized device to play my purchased material through!!!!

Another issue is that if you want amplified audio for your presentations, you have to output your audio through the headphone jack. Depending on how you set up to make your presentation, you could have cables running everywhere!

The good news in all of this for me, is called Expedition. Designed as a 99 cent web browser with VGA functionality, it can open other types of files to be projected. I also use Documents to Go. When you click on the info button on any document in Documents to Go, you have the option of opening the document in other programs, including Expedition. You will loose some of your fancy transitions in your PowerPoint presentation, but you can scroll though the slides and user the built in laser pointer (also available in Keynote) to draw your audience’s eye to the important bits.

The good news is that, according to iLounge, the code to implement VGA output is pretty simple and easily added by developers. Hopefully, as the native iPad app list grows, more software will include this function. Perhaps Apple will include it in OS4 for the iPad!