New stuff in Keynote version S

Sunday, January 20, 2008

There is always a version S of Keynote in development. The S could stand for Secret or Steve’s, but whenever there’s a presentation given, you can almost bet that Apple’s number 1 tester of iWork’s premiere app will be showing some off something new. And we weren’t disappointed. We counted two clearly new features and one that COULD be a new feature, but could also be done in the current version of Keynote. Read on and, if you want to jump right to those parts of the video, use the following link to open a new window and use the Chapter Markers to skip to the described points.

Macworld 2008 – WITH chapters

Chapter 1, Grouped Slices
Grouped SlicesAt the first chapter, you’ll find the following slide. As you can see it shows three slices of a pie chart being pulled out as one unit to display a grouping of smartphones (Palm, Motorola, and Nokia’s marketshare). Since this isn’t something you can do with the current version of Keynote (you cannot select three parts of a pie chart, group them together and pull them out as one unit), we examined the video as closely as we could to see if there was some indication of this being a new graphic effect or just some visual sleight of hand. When showing the slices going from the middle, the transition is a cut, not a movement or an animation, so while this COULD be a cool new feature, it could just as well be the clever use of several image copies of the same pie chart with the unwanted parts masked out.

Chapter 2, Fold Transition
Folded iPhoneAt this point in the video, at the end of the “Second Thing”, you’ll see the iPod touch and the iPhone take a bow. Unlike the “Fall” transition, this transition folds the slide at the middle including a nice shadow on the upper half that falls to the lower half and finally reveals the next slide. It’s used several times in the presentation to change ideas or sections to good effect. Because there currently isn’t a way to convincingly fake this one out with the current version of Keynote, we’re pretty sure what we’re looking at is a new transition. One question that remains is whether or not the feature will include the ability to fold horizontally or upward. (The “Fall” transition only goes in a downward direction)

Chapter 3, Twist Transition
TwistedFinally, we have what we’re calling the Twist transition. A logical variation to the current “Flip” transition, this was used as another good way to avoid bulleted lists. When listing several items in the same category graphically, this gives a little more definition to the discrete elements than a “Dissolve” would while being more eye-catching than a “Flip”. Again this is another one that can’t be done in Keynote so we’re sure this one is new as well. Again, the question remains whether or not the options will allow the twist to progress in the opposite direction or twist horizontally.

These aren’t the only places in the presentation where these transitions occur (in fact, the first Twist occurs before the Fold), so watch the whole thing to see how they’re used and if you catch something we didn’t, let us know and we’ll point it out as well. Since Keynote is so impressive graphically already, the changes we’re likely to see during presentations won’t be as drastic as in the past, but we’ll keep looking whenever we get a chance and let you know what we find!