May 19, 2011 — by: E. Werner Reschke
Categories: Jobs, Steve Jobs, MacBook, Products, Review

I had built my presentation in keynote, hooked up the projector just to make sure all was working with my newly acquired MacBook Air. I hit play in Keynote and then grabbed my Apple remote to begin forwarding slides... but nothing was happening.

“What’s going on here?” I thought. Maybe I had a remote with a dead battery so I grabbed another and tried again. Still nothing. To my horror, I quickly learned the newer MacBook Air's no longer have an infrared sensor. The sensor had been replaced with a second USB port. Zoiks! I had a presentation in 2 hours. What was I to do? No way I was going to look like a PeeCee idiot and walk up to my laptop and click the arrow keys every time I needed something to happen.

I mean picture if that's how Steve Jobs gave a keynote presentation? We'd all think, “What a buffoon. How silly.” 

So what to do? I quickly did some research but came up empty on a USB infrared solution. Then Guy #1 said, “Ah, just get the Keynote Remote app for your iPhone”. What?!? There was such a thing? Apparently so. $0.99 and two minutes later I had a mui-cool™ remote for my keynote presentation using wi-fi. What's more the controls for the iPhone Keynote Remote are vastly superior to the old Apple remote. Plus, I always have my iPhone with me, so now I don't have to carry around another device just for doing keynote presentations. Just whip out my iPhone and use it.

One of the nice features with the iPhone Keynote Remote is you can see notes for each slide. You no longer need to have eagle eyes to read notes on your laptop from across the room.

My only complaint is it would be nice if this were explained at the time of the sale or there were something that helped me learn about this before my crisis. Yes, I can complain about anything can't I?

Even if you have an infrared sensor on your MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, I'd highly recommend getting the iPhone Keynote Remote app. It just rocks — as did my presentation!

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  1. RNKLN ~ May. 19, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

    I've also setup this same app. Ideally, you would setup a computer-to-computer network, so that you can also use it in case there's no wi-fi network available. I've also noticed there are some alternative apps, that include a pointer for in case you want to highlight something on your slide. #
  2. Michael Caron ~ Nov. 14, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

    It's disappointing that the iPhone won't just Bluetooth to the Macbook Air as I often am in environments when I can't get on the corporate WiFi network. In my opinion, this is major oversight on Apple's part. #
  3. PM ~ Nov. 20, 2012 @ 7:43 am

    It is still a problem if like me: a)you don't have an iphone, only a smart phone, b) you give presentations in powerpoint as well as keynote - compatability? c) you're a wee bit bit fed up after being charged a hefty amount for a fancy remote which you find out only works with certain macs. What a joke apple! Amateurs in this regard. As Werner says, imagine how Mr Jobs would've responded if someone had told him to "just step up to the laptop Mr Jobs to click through to the next slide". I don't think so. #
  4. gpsbrian ~ Jan. 31, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

    This is an issue, I'm also on corporate Wi-Fi network that doesn't allow devices to communicate in this way, only option I found was to turn the iPhone (if you have one) into a hotspot and link the Air to this and use the Keynote app - not perfect though. Would still prefer a slim remote that can live in the top pocket during presentations rather than draining the iPhone battery for an hour or so. #
  5. Geo ~ Mar. 12, 2014 @ 4:15 pm

    Hello, I ran into the same problem when i bought the apple remote but than i ran into another problem. I keep having people say that through the Keynote app you can control the Mac air but this is my problem: i don't have the app on my iPhone and it doesn't exist anymore! Any tips on what to do?? #
  6. Hal ~ Jun. 25, 2014 @ 6:50 am

    Big inconvenience. Aside from someone not being in a wifi zone or "limited use" wifi zone...if your controling wifi device falls asleep, you have to wait for it to wake up and have it connect to wifi before controlling whatever you need to control...if for example you need to reduce the volume quickly it takes forever on this contraption...not functional #
  7. doremi ~ Feb. 11, 2015 @ 6:40 am

    wireless mouse is now available #

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