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Thursday, June 24, 2010

The iPad and Preaching

I recently mentioned Apple's iPad in a blog post, and that was one of the most popular search results for my blog. It dawned on me that people are wanting to figure out how to use the iPad for preaching (or how to convince their church to buy them an iPad by claiming it's for preaching). So I started doing some research to check out the possibilities (inquiring minds want to know).

It looks like there are some cool applications for the iPad and preaching. It offers dual screen support, so with the right cables you should be able to run a presentation from the iPad to a projector. The App Advice blog points out that there is a fake laser pointer function within the iPad feature set. So you could use the touch interface on your iPad to highlight something on the screen.

For preaching I would like to see a way to dynamically jump between slides in a presentation with a touch. The mouse interface is too clunky and slow to be effective during a sermon. I would also want to see my notes and cues so that I could have the slides and the notes in one convenient location. Unfortunately, what I'm seeing is that the iPad doesn't support such functionality. And what I'm seeing about the iDisplay app is not encouraging.

For this moment, it looks like the iPad is not quite ready for prime time. All the pieces are there, but the functionality is lacking. In a perfect world you would have half the screen showing your current slide and notes for that slide and the other half of the screen showing thumbnails of your other slides. You could quickly switch to any of the other slides or point out things on your current slide. Usually Apple comes out with more features later, maybe this will happen with a future software update.

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