Finally, the new BeamAir has arrived in the App Store. From the first version, we shifted focus a bit more towards presentations as there are plenty of photo sharing Apps anyway, but presentations are still a topic that has not been addressed too much. Still, we think the approach of BeamAir is somewhat unique also for sharing of images, but also really great for doing presentations.
Our vision is to make BeamAir the mobile presentation device for the mobile age, enabling users to quickly share documents, slides or images with anyone, anywhere. So basically, we aim to turn the iPhone or iPad (Android version might come at some point in the future as well) into a mobile projector.
Using BeamAir is straightforward and can be explained in two sentences: Start a the app session, select an image or a presentation and tell all viewers to enter the session ID displayed by BeamAir at http://www.beamair.com (or just go to http://www.beamair.com/sessionid). As you flick through the images or slides in the app, viewers see exactly the images and slides that your select – live and in real time.
BeamAir also shows a very Snapchat-ish behavior: Once you end a BeamAir session, all images and slides that were shown are not available anymore online and deleted from our servers.
All that was already working pretty well in BeamAir 1.1 – but for 2.0 we added quite a bunch of very useful features to fix some shortcomings of the first version and make using BeamAir more efficient, useful and fun
- Slide in Menu and iOS7 Design: first and foremost, we added a menu to BeamAir, to make the load of new options selectable. Also, we tried to stick to iOS7 design in order to make it more stylish (BeamAir is now only available for iOS7 as well)
- Paint mode: We think this is the coolest and most “magic” feature of the new version – go into the paint mode and paint in your images and slides, and your audience sees what you are painting – in real time! This is great for highlighting important facts at presentations, show the tactics of the next game to your football teamor just painting a moustache an image of your your mother-in-laws – possibilities are limitless. Of course, your masterpiece can also be shared as an image in social networks or just be saved in your image library.
- Instantly take images: Instead of choosing an image from the gallery, it is also possible now to instantly take a picture and publish it via BeamAir – imagine you going to a party, a day trip or a concert and tell your friends the BeamAir session in order to follow your latest snapshot from you having a lot of fun and envy you. Or show live taken shots of people in the audience on a big screen in a bar or club. And when the session is closed, no image remains online :-)
- Phone Conferences: As people frequently discuss their BeamAir session on the phone, we included a possiblity to exchange a phone conference number via a BeamAir session in an easy way – by tapping on the phone button and selecting a conference session number every viewer of the session gets a notification that a phone conference room is available in order to talk about the BeamAir session. The default conference call number is worldwide available conference room, available 24 hours, 365 days a year, provided by mobilkom Liechtenstein. It should be considerably cheap to use all over the world, but of course phone fees may be apply. Of course, a custom conference call number can also be established in the settings.
- Presentation timer: Who ever did a time boxed presentation or pitch will find this feature very useful – while presenting with BeamAir, you immediately see how much time you have used and left before the bell is ringing.
- Presentation Library and Dropbox Support: in BeamAir 1.1, the only way to add a presentation was by selecting “Open with” in Mail or Browser App and select the BeamAir App. If you wanted to show the same presentation many times, this had to be done over and over again – find the mail or URL, download the PDF, open in BeamAir – not very comfortable, so now, once opened, PDFs can be saved directly in BeamAir. We also integrated Dropbox, to get PDFs into BeamAir directly from the Dropbox Account (the Dropbox app needs to be installed for that though)
- Scheduled Sessions: When planning a presentation in advance, it does make sense to tell people in advance under which URL and at which time they can follow the presentation. This was not feasible with the old version of BeamAir, as the Session ID was generated randomly and only at start of session. We are trying to address this with scheduled sessions, where a pre-reserved session ID is used. Every scheduled session creates a calendar entry on the iOS device that can also be used to invite participants.
- Settings: last but not least, we added quite a few settings to BeamAir – now you can control image upload quality in order to adjust BeamAir to the bandwidth available. The delay after an image or slide should be automatically uploaded can be set – or, to get even more control, do not upload automatically, but upload only manually on tap on the image. PDF Annotations/Comments can be optionally shown in a presentation – only visible in the app and not to the viewers of course, very useful for presentation notes to prevent you from losing your lines. There are also various settings for phone conference like using a custom number and the number of digits for a random generated conference room.
Well, we already have some features for future BeamAir versions in mind, as well as considering an Android version in case the iOS version is doing well. We are looking forward to questions, comments and suggestions from our users.
We hope that we can make the way presentations are done easier, more spontaneous and more interactive with BeamAir – for a sales pitch as well as for a lecture or your private photo show from the last vacation.
So, get BeamAir from the App store, try it out and let us know what you think about it:-)