Electric Slide makes presenting easy


By Pete Davison

Electric Slide is a new iOS app from Elucidate LLC. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store.

Electric Slide is a presentation tool allowing users to control presentations through their iPhone or iPad and then broadcast them via the Web, AirPlay or an HDMI/VGA dongle. It is designed to be simple to use and to allow users the ability to quickly and easily present content on a large screen with the absolute minimum of fuss — and it succeeds in this endeavor admirably.

To use Electric Slide, users must first upload some content to their online Electric Slide account, which may be created using the app or the main website. This content may include PowerPoint, Word, PDF or video files. Once content is uploaded, there is a short delay while the files are converted to a format that Electric Slide is able to work with, and once available, they may be presented. Content may be uploaded via the Electric Slide Website, shared from the iOS email app or shared from apps that support “Open With…” functionality.

Broadcasting a presentation may be done in several ways. The simplest option is to use the Web broadcast facility, where the user simply presses the “broadcast” button in the app and navigates to the URL http://electricslide.net/username to view the presentation. This allows remote users to view the presentation, also. Remote users are able to provide their names to the presenter simply by typing them in, but are otherwise unable to interact directly with the presentation. Other presenting options include connecting the iOS device directly to a projector or screen using HDMI or VGA dongles, or making use of AirPlay to present wirelessly on devices such as Apple TV.

While presenting, the display on the iOS app allows the user to navigate back and forth through the slides by tapping or swiping, and to preview upcoming content or view notes at the bottom of the screen. Alternatively, turning the device into landscape orientation allows for a full-screen view of the slide for those that prefer this.

During a presentation, the user also has a variety of other options. Tapping and holding on the screen brings up a virtual laser pointer, allowing for the highlighting of specific content on screen. There is a few seconds of “lag” between the user’s input on the device and the pointer moving on-screen. It’s also possible for a user to share an image either from their camera or their device’s photo library. By tapping the camera icon, users may pick the image they would like to share (or take a new one) and this then immediately appears on the screen. In this way, users can supplement their presentation with images that might not have been originally incorporated into their plan.

Electric Slide is extremely easy to use, and two sample preloaded presentations allow the user to practice making use of the app’s various functions before uploading their own content. The user has a quota of 100MB to use for their presentations and documents, meaning they must carefully manage their storage if they are planning on using the service a lot. Deleting documents is easily accomplished using the app, however, but does not appear to be possible from the Electric Slide website itself — this is purely an upload interface.

The only potential issue with Electric Slide may not affect some users. When presenting content that is stored online and which has not been synced with the user’s iOS device, it can take a moment or two for images to load and appear on the device’s screen. This issue can be circumvented by using the in-app sync functionality that is switched on by default, though this uses additional storage space on the device. The app may even be used offline with content that has been synced, though naturally this prevents use of the Web broadcast facility, requiring the user to make use of either AirPlay or the relevant cables.

Electric Slide is an excellent solution for those who have a frequent need to present things, then, particularly at short notice and/or if they do not wish to fumble around with cables and unfamiliar AV setups. The ability to simply broadcast a presentation, document or video directly to the Web with a single button-press is extremely impressive — and all the more impressive considering that the app is completely free to download and use. It would perhaps behoove Elucidate to provide some premium account options for power users who wish to use more than the 100MB quota available, but for most people who simply need a quick and easy means of getting their content on a big screen, it’s going to be hard to beat this app.

Electric Slide is not yet listed on the App Store leaderboards, but can be found in the “New” subsection of the Business category on the App Store. Check back shortly to follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.