App o' the Week: Flowboard for better presentations

gulf worldwide dpi product presentation

In the beginning there was PowerPoint and Jobs saw that it was a good market and begat Keynote and thus was the meat and potatoes of the presentation tool market forged. 

I would have argued that the only solid contender to appear since Apple and Microsoft launched their presentation products has been Prezi but I just discovered a new kid on the 'Net that might have a really good chance of becoming one of the greats in this market: It's called Flowboard.

Flowboard consists of a Web site on which presentations are stored and from which they can be delivered via Web browser on any platform, and an iPad app that allows you to both build by standard iPad touch sequences and gestures; what  the developers call "touch publishing."

Creating a Flowboard presentation is easy and elegant. Presentations are a set of screens and for each screen you start by choosing a screen layout based on the template you selected as the presentation's foundation (templates include single panel, four panel, two panel with a header, etc.; you can also create your own custom layout but you can't save it as a template) then add text, images and video from your iPad camera roll, Facebook, Dropbox, YouTube, PDFs, Google Drive, Box, and SkyDrive. You then link the screen to other screens, Web content, or other presentations and specify transitions. 

ipad air flowboard

A Flowboard presentation in edit mode.

Flowboard provides object "snapping" and intelligent alignment of objects (centers, edges, etc.). In short, Flowboard has all of the features you need to build compelling presentations but manages to avoid much of the complexity that comes with the likes of PowerPoint and Keynote. 

Presentations can be public or private and you can share them with built-in social networking features, via a link, or embed them in Web sites (see below).

Castles of Japan Flowboard

A Flowboard presentation of the Castles of Japan created by Andrew Paul Simmons.

Flowboard is free and offers a premium subscription as an in-app purchase. A premium accounts increases your monthly upload quota from 500MB  [recently increased from 200MB] to 1GB, allows for bigger file upload sizes, provides the ability to upload and export PDF files, and adds the ability to password protect presentations. Premium subscription is available for $40 per year, $4.99 per month, or $1.99 for a seven-day pass. You can also purchase a set of premium templates for $1.99. 

This is an outstanding iPad app and one that could gain a large following because it's cost-effective, looks great, and it's simple to use. Flowboard gets a Gearhead rating of 5 out of 5.

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