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 also dramatically reducing costs.
In this conversation, Jay discusses new features in Brainshark’s free SlideShark app, which enables users to view and share PowerPoint presentations on the iPad.
Geetesh: SlideShark’s new 1.6 version adds so many new capabilities. Tell us more about all these great features.
Jay: Yes, of course. We’re excited to offer new features in SlideShark version 1.6 that build upon version 1.5, announced in March, which gave users the ability to share and track their PowerPoint presentations online for on-demand viewing on all major devices. The most significant new feature offered in v1.6 is Presenter Mode, which encompasses capabilities not offered by any other app currently available on the market.
With Presenter Mode, iPad 2 and new iPad users can now rehearse and present their presentations with ease. When connected to an external projector or TV, users have access to slide notes, separate timers for time spent on individual slides and the overall presentation, an animation counter, and current, previous and next slides –- all while their audience sees the presentation in full-screen mode. Users can also choose a full-screen mode for both the presenter and the audience if they’d like. What’s great too is that, in either mode, any animations included in a presentation will display on both screens.
SlideShark v1.6 also includes these new features:
- iPad 1 projector/TV support: First-generation iPad users can now plug in and present to audiences in full-screen mode, a feature that was previously only available on the new iPad and iPad 2.
- Dramatically faster conversions: New processing improvements allow users to upload and convert their presentations three to five times faster than before.
With these new features, all SlideShark users now have the optimal plug-in presentation projection capabilities for their device and the speed they need to get their PowerPoint content “iPad-ready” fast. The best part is that all of these enhancements are available for free to all users.
Geetesh: What are the extra features available in SlideShark Plus and Team Edition? Can you share any details about SlideShark’s successes and its future direction?
Jay: As your readers may recall, SlideShark Plus is an upgrade option available for individual users that offers two key benefits: 1. additional storage and 2. the capability to track the viewing results of presentations shared online from the app by email or social media. “Share” was added in v1.5, providing all users with a simple and effective way to follow up after a presentation. It’s the perfect way to address the common post-meeting request: “Can you send me those slides?” Instead of sending the actual slide deck, SlideShark lets users share a presentation as a link that can be viewed on demand from any device.
In addition, both SlideShark Plus and Team Edition, SlideShark’s multi-user edition, give users the capability to track the results of these shared presentations, such as who viewed, when, for how long, which slides and even in what order! SlideShark Team Edition includes this level of tracking plus administrative features that organizations need to roll out SlideShark to groups of users. With Team Edition, administrators can manage users and permissions, add and remove content for team use and get analytics on that content usage. With the latest update, viewing and usage reporting is now available over the Web or through the app for both SlideShark Plus and Team Edition users. Additionally, Team Edition administrators can now control team members’ ability to hide or re-order slides on specific presentations and can specify whether they are allowed to upload their own content. This feature helps ensure the use of authorized content and provides the ability to meet any potential compliance requirements.
To date, SlideShark has been tremendously well-received. In fact, it continues to be adopted by hundreds of thousands of users across more than 120 countries and is averaging more than two downloads per minute, 24×7, since its launch in October. SlideShark recently won a Mobile Merit Award, which recognizes outstanding companies, individuals and technologies that have achieved excellence in the global mobile industry. The app has also recently been recognized as a finalist in two mobile categories each for the MITX Innovation Awards and the American Business Association’s Stevie Awards.
Looking ahead to early summer, we have some new functionality planned, including the ability for Team Edition administrators to manage content via folders and support for all users to incorporate embedded video into their presentations. We’ll also have support for playing music while using the app, which has been a popular request from both business professionals and students using SlideShark. Overall, we’re thrilled with the traction the app has achieved and look forward to continuing to help mobile business professionals reliably and effectively view, share and track PowerPoint presentations on their iPads.