Keynote Remote and your iPhone / iPad pairing


I discovered that Apple sells an iPhone app which lets you control a presentation in your iPad – nice I thought, I saw it in action and it seemed to work ok for the presenter. So I bought it, and then tried to pair my iPad and iPhone using Bluetooth. I assumed you’d avoid Wifi as you’d want to link the two devices directly, as in most cases where you’re making a presentation you don’t necessarily have access to a Wifi network. I tried for some time to pair them, but neither seemed to recognise each other, not showing up in the Bluetooth settings screen. Puzzling considering I used the Personal Hotspot on my iPhone to get my iPad on-line.

After investigation I realised that you can’t just pair using Bluetooth, oh no, apparently this isn’t something Apple allows. I found two methods that did get them paired:

  1. Wifi – be on the same Wifi network, of course
  2. Personal hotspot: switch on the personal hotspot of your iPhone
    • Switch off wifi on both devices, you can then pair using Bluetooth
    • Pair using Wifi (but not needing a shared hotspot)

Once you have them paired, you have to go into Keynote, open a presentation, play it, then go into the Spanner icon (tools) and setup the remote connection to the iPhone, not just the pairing above.

It’s all a bit long winded and not as easy as you would think. Once you get the remote control working, I did fine the iPhone lagged in displaying the next slide – rather than pre-fetch it, the next slide appears once you move onwards from the current slide.  I think what I mean is that the iPhone only stores the immediately next slide, and fetches the one after that as you swipe – it was jerky and not as swift as I would like. The remote has a button for jumping to the first slide, but not a way to see an overview of the deck and jump direct to a specific slide.

So after all that, I suppose it’s an ok facility, but alternatively a Mac with a remove control stick performs the same function without all the network setup hassle.