StageHand for iPhone, good but not Ignite ready

being the nerd I am, and that my wife married, I thought to myself. “self, i said, let’s use StageHand for Ignite Denver. That way you aren’t tied to a laptop, and can be a good host.”

“Self, I replied, you’re so smart, and rather handsome too, that’s a super idea! We couldn’t use stage hand at 360|Flex San Jose because of the poor audio from a Macbook Air, but we’ve solved that and let’s do it.”

Having now tried to use it twice, I think I can write a good review of it. In a one slide deck environment, I think it would rock. I had it all ready to go at 360|Flex.

In a multiple deck environment, even on a single machine, no such luck. I went through all my decks (i ran them all on my machine) and named them with a number, so they’d be in the proper order. When i connected Stagehand to stagemanager, that work was for naught. The decks appeared in what looked like random order. It wasn’t alpha, wasn’t numerical, maybe it was file size? I dunno, but iwasn’t useful.

The other problem was connection. I’d load up stage hand, and it couldn’t find Stage Manager. Closing Stage Manager usually solved that, but that’s kind of a pain. Then sometimes, I’d manage to be connected, but Stage Manager, would lose it’s connection to Keynote, needed to be restarted.

I think leaving my iPhone on and unlocked might have solved that, but that’s not super practical, at least in an Ignite setting, where the slides adv on their own.

So ideally I’d connect, kick off a slide, spend 5 minutes doing something else, connect again, kick off the next slide. That didn’t work and I ended up more or less manning my laptop, boo!

I was able to use it for my welcome slides, though it wasn’t very fast, which might have been the load on the machine, with 13 keynote decks open, I dunno. But when I tried to use it for the others, the above problems made that impossible.

Hopefully as StageHand/Manager grow and mature as apps, these things get ironed out. I totally love the idea of it, so I really hope so!

By John Wilker

I'm a science fiction writer and conference organizer. In 2017 I published my first book, 'Space Rogues', a fun Sci-Fi adventure with a fun cast of characters. I'm also the co-founder of 360|Conferences, a conference and event logistics consulting company.

%d bloggers like this: