Jay Wilder is director of product marketing at Brainshark, Inc. Brainshark’s cloud-based software lets users create online and mobile video presentations – using simple business tools like PowerPoint and the telephone – and then share and track their content. Thousands of companies use Brainshark to improve the reach and results of their business communications, while dramatically reducing costs.
In this conversation, Jay discusses new features in SlideShark – an app from Brainshark that solves the problem of PowerPoint’s incompatibility on the iPad.
Geetesh: SlideShark provides an amazing option to display PowerPoint presentations on the iPad -– what are the new features that you just announced?
Jay: Since SlideShark’s launch in October, we’ve added exciting, new features to provide an even richer user experience. They’re geared toward helping our users better conduct business on-the-go – allowing for more interactive, live presentation capabilities and additional storage options, among other valuable features. These include:
- Greater storage capacity – To help users who want to view and present large files, all accounts now start at 100MB of free storage. If you’d like to add more storage, you can purchase a “SlideShark Plus” upgrade – 500MB of storage (on top of the free 100MB) is $49/year, and 1GB of additional storage is $98/year.
- Refer a friend – You can also earn extra storage at no cost by referring friends to SlideShark via a personalized URL. Each time a friend signs up for a free account, you both get an extra 25MB of storage. Both free and Plus users can earn up to 500MB of extra storage.
- Upload to SlideShark from the iPad – In addition to uploading PowerPoint files to your SlideShark account from your computer, you can now use the “Open in” functionality to do the uploads and conversions directly from the iPad as well. For instance, files received on the iPad via email or accessed via cloud storage services like iCloud, Box and Dropbox can be uploaded to SlideShark and automatically converted for iPad use.
- Laser pointer – This feature lets you direct your audience’s attention to key points in presentations. While presenting via a projector or TV, simply press and hold your finger anywhere on the iPad. A red laser pointer will appear and follow your finger as you move it across the screen.
- “Hide Slides” functionality – With this feature, you can hide one or more slides prior to presenting. This is helpful when modifying presentations based on different audiences. Simply tap the “Edit” button in the top right of a presentation’s preview screen to access the “Hide Slides” functionality.
- 16:9 widescreen support – In addition to supporting standard 4:3 sized PowerPoint slide decks, SlideShark now also supports the visually appealing 16:9 widescreen format. 16:9 slides are letter-boxed to fit the iPad’s 4:3 screen size correctly.
Geetesh: Can you tell us more about the direction you are looking at for SlideShark in the near future?
Jay:We’ve been thrilled with user adoption since launching SlideShark –- averaging two downloads/minute, 24×7. We’re currently the #5 Productivity App in the App Store, which is a great honor. I think our greatest pleasure comes from user feedback, ratings and reviews. A 4.5 star rating across hundreds of reviews from around the world gives you a great feeling of accomplishment and a drive to keep making the experience better. Users have been great about providing feedback as well, and we’re continuing to add new functionality based on the features they request. We’re very busy and not planning on slowing down –- so we encourage our users to keep letting us know what they think and what would be most helpful to them.
While we’ve introduced the paid storage upgrades, we’ll still be maintaining a full-featured free version too –- enabling any business or education user to benefit from the app. As we head into 2012, we’ll also be looking to address the needs of large, multi-user organizations through user management enhancements to SlideShark. We look forward to continuing to meet our users’ needs by helping them view and show PowerPoints –- reliably and professionally -– on their iPads.
See Also: SlideShark: Conversation with Jay Wilder