When Google Presentations joined the rest of the Google Documents online application, many (including me) had high hopes for it. The expectation was that Google’s presentation app would be flashy and cool. It is, however, pretty bland and doesn’t command very much attention.
Enter SlideRocket, a new entrant into the online presentation arena. This rich internet application is said to resemble Apple’s Keynote in its use of transitions, reflections, and fonts.
SlideRocket uses Flex technology from Adobe and includes a client that allows for offline access to presentations. Whether you’re on a plane or otherwise away from an internet connection, you can edit your SlideRocket presentations. This is something Google Presentations doesn’t offer at the moment.
This application is at home in the online environment, easily showing live-updating information from Google Docs/Spreadsheets, pictures off Flickr, and photos from a media folder that is shared by your presentation collaborators. SlideRocket also offers asset management, delivery and analytics tools, all in their hosted environment. There is even a mobile client that allows viewing of a presentation on a WAP-enabled mobile phone.
Like Google Documents, it’s easy to invite people to collaborate with you on your SlideRocket presentation. Version control is built in to the SlideRocket client. Assets and presentations can be tagged for easy lookup in the future. When viewing a presentation, SlideRockets allows you to gather feedback from users through comments and poll results.
It’s great to see a presentation app that blends the features from Microsoft PowerPoint but with some of the flashy features of other online applications. The offline client makes this a viable alternative to Google Presentations and perhaps even Microsoft PowerPoint.
SlideRocket is currently in private beta. Look for service plans to be $12/month for an individual or $50/month for business who want to have SlideRocket available for an entire team.