Let’s say you want to demonstrate software or walk through a document with multiple clients or colleagues at the same time. If you’re a web worker on a computer running some variant of Windows, it’s not that difficult to find a conferencing product that fits your needs and budget. There simply hasn’t been as many quality choices available for the Mac user. Now there’s one more for us. Glance Networks has just introduced a Mac OS X client of their screen sharing tool.
Unlike WebEx or GoToMeeting which require some advance downloads and configuration and have a bunch of palettes to juggle, Glance is about screen sharing and only screen sharing. No chat windows. No remote control. No pre-scheduled meetings.
It’s incredibly easy and lightweight. When you double click the application icon to launch Glance for the first time, you immediately get a small “G” in your menu bar.
Click the icon to start a session and then send your demo participants your personal Glance URL and 4-digit access code for that session. You can have up to 15 invited guests view your screen at a time. They go to the URL you provided, enter the code and a few seconds later they’re seeing your screen reproduced in their browser window as a Java applet. They aren’t waiting for any software or plug-ins to download, assuming they already have Java running. Performance is very smooth. There are no buttons or menus for the particpants, and minimal configuration for the host. What you see on your screen is what they see in their browser window.
Unfortunately, this simplicity comes at a price and Glance is $59 per month for individuals. This is steep as compared to other personal web conferencing solutions such as Adobe Acrobat Connect, which is $39 per month and also allows Mac users to host screen sharing sessions with minimal configuration or hassle.
Bottom line: If you’re a Mac user, and you want to demo software or run through a presentation for others with no buttons, bells or whistles then Glance does what is says it can do and does it very well. Each web worker has to decide for themselves if that’s worth $59 per month.