App review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2014
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Simple, elegant tool for creating presentations on mobile devices

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Based on 4 reviews
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Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Communication & Collaboration, Creativity

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Pros: Features are intuitive, and built-in template, font, and design elements are extensive.

Cons: Longtime desktop users might find it difficult to adjust to the slightly different workflow without a mouse.

Bottom Line: Provides a solid mobile version of Apple's presentation app.

Teachers can use Keynote to create their own presentations for class, whether to present in person or to share with students for viewing on their own devices. Teachers might also encourage students to use Keynote as their go-to presentation tool, encouraging them to use the app’s features to create visual aids for their own presentations.

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Keynote is Apple’s presentation tool for the iOS. Users can create slideshows that include images (from the device’s camera roll), text, and charts, and they can select themes, fonts, styles, transitions, and animation from a range of options. They can play their presentations from the device or share them via iCloud, email, or through other apps, and they can export presentations in Keynote, PDF, or PowerPoint formats and then open them through other apps on the device. In addition to basic features for creating and viewing presentations, Keynote also comes with a Remote feature that allows users to use one Apple device to control a presentation on another Mac, iPad, or iPhone. The Remote feature is the fanciest one here; others are simply stellar versions of exactly the features good presentation software needs. There's no fluff here; just a strong set of tools for building and sharing great slides.

Keynote wasn’t built specifically for education, but it makes a great go-to presentation app for teachers and students alike. The chart tools are especially attractive and easy to use: Users can create 2-D, 3-D, and interactive charts within a slide. The only drawback to this feature is that each data point must be entered individually -- there’s no way to cut and paste a data table to a slide. That’s less a critique of this app than a remark on the challenge of producing content on the iPad; some users might find it easier to produce a presentation on a desktop computer. With the right information pre-loaded into the device’s camera roll, however, Keynote is a great option for organizing and presenting content to a wider audience.

Overall Rating


Clean, simple design and a range of modern eye-catching templates make creating a presentation a pleasure.


Learning isn't necessarily baked in, but Keynote's extensive features offer a great medium for presenting and exploring new information.


Extensive help text and intuitive features make navigation and creation easy.

Common Sense reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member

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Featured review by
Jamie S. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Madera Unified School District
Madera, United States
Keynote for the iPad is elegantly simple, yet powerful.
Keynote on the iPad is simple, elegant and saves automatically, an essential element when working with students who are new to technology. Keynote has beautiful themes and a simple interface to create themes and color schemes. Keynote is a worthwhile investment for student devices, it is much simpler and more powerful than free options.
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