iSpring – PowerPoint on the iPad; Sprung to Life or a Broken Spring?



We have discussed presentations for business using an iPad previously. Today we’ll be looking at iSpring, a PowerPoint add-on that allows presentations to be viewed both online and on the iPad.

We were quite excited when we heard about iSpring. iSpring is an extra add-on for PowerPoint that provides tools to convert any presentation into a HTML5 format. The claims made on their website that it supports Animation, Transitions, Triggers, Fonts and Effects, Video and Audio, seemed too good to be true. After we tested the add-on and converted our content, iSpring opened a player to show us what we had produced. Lo and behold the presentation ran perfectly! We then uploaded our content to the web and opened it in several browsers. Most of the content still worked as well as we saw in the preview however, there were some notable exceptions in that it was unfortunate to find the text had shifted slightly into odd places and our video content wouldn’t play either.

iSpring also provides an app for the iPad to download presentations for offline viewing. Again by uploading to the web and accessing through the iPad’s web browser, the presentation is then downloaded to the iSpring app. We had quite a few issues attempting this with failed downloads that resulted in error messages. When we eventually got it working with a rather stripped down presentation, we were disappointed to find the animation and transitions that ran quite smooth on the pc had become choppy and sluggish. All of the content was present though and it supported all of the PowerPoint features it originally claimed.

We liked iSpring despite its quite expensive price tag of $397. It was simple enough to install and use however for the average user, uploading content to the web so that it can be accessed from a specific web address is going to be rather cumbersome (and confusing if they have never created a webpage before). It’s a shame iSpring don’t offer a service similar to SlideShark that takes care of the uploading and downloading through the app. If they offered this and ironed out some of the sluggishness of the animation within the app, iSpring could potentially be one of the best PowerPoint alternatives for the iPad.

Ease of use: The add-on was very easy to install and publishing HTML-5 PowerPoint presentations was very intuitive. We found uploading the published content onto the web to be a pain and expect this will be too overwhelming for the average user.

Cost: At $395, iSpring certainly isn’t cheap considering it is just an add-on for PowerPoint.

Final thoughts: We were impressed with the compatibility of iSpring in terms of the PowerPoint features that it supported, but it is let down by the sheer difficulty of publishing the finalised presentations onto the web. Although presentations played fairly well in the web browser, we encountered errors trying to download content through the iPad app and poor performance when we did eventually get it working. Overall, given its potential, we were quite disappointed.

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