I’ve taken Google’s new presentation offering for a spin and I already really like it.
So what do I like:
1. Consistent user interface with the rest of the Google Apps products makes it nice and comfortable to use
2. Very simple to create a basic slide and apply various themes
3. The online presentation system is awesome and I can see us using this immediately for the sales calls we do
4. The editing tools work really well and I had no issues laying out my slides
5. The ability to access a slideshow by URL rather than having to send files back and forth is magic
6. The ability to save the presentation as a Zipped HTML file
7. Import of Powerpoint files
What don’t I like:
1. You need to have a GTalk address to be a part of the “audience”
2. Although it uses GTalk to let users “chat” we’re talking text exchanges with no VoIP abilities
3. Can’t seem to be able to embed the presentation into a webpage. That’s a big negative
4. There’s only 15 themes and no-way to create new ones. That pretty much means all Google slideshows are going to look similiar
5. No auto-navigation controls or ability to record a voice track so it’s no good for self-service style presentations
6. Surprised there aren’t a few more AJAX frills like dragging and dropping slides into place
7. No ability to export as Powerpoint (another biggie)
However, as is the case with all of Google’s online applications, there’s always more you’d like to see in them but they do the basics very well. The presentations app is very much the same. It’s good news though that an email that Google sent out which is reproduced on Read/Write web shows that Google has a lot more planned for this app.
Users will see that these features are still in simple, early stages; the Google Docs team is making them available today in response to strong user demand for presentation-sharing, and updates and improvements will continue to roll out over the coming months.
Given that Google is basically admitted this is a first pass, it’s definitely promising and as a heavy Google apps user I’m pretty pleased with the addition.