by James A. Martin

LinkedIn’s New ‘SlideShare’ App is a Presentation Library for iOS 8 Devices

Oct 03, 20143 mins
Consumer ElectronicsMobile Apps

LinkedIn's SlideShare service makes an auspicious iOS debut, with features including a "Today" screen widget that utilizes new iOS 8 functionality.

LinkedIn’s SlideShare, the “YouTube of presentations,” now has its own, free iOS app, called SlideShare Presentations. The software is gorgeous, easy to use, and it’s sure to appease slideshow fanatics. (They exist, right?)

The app is also built on Swift, Apple’s new iOS and OS X programming language designed to make apps run, well…swiftly. If you have an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, you’ll see that SlideShare takes advantage of the extra screen real estate.

LinkedIn, which has a solid track record of releasing slick mobile apps, acquired SlideShare two years ago. SlideShare has been available on Android for a while, so its debut on iOS is noteworthy. It was worth the wait, too, because SlideShare makes viewing all sorts of presentations extremely easy on a smartphone. (The iOS app unfortunately isn’t optimized for iPad, and it requires iOS 8.)

After downloading the SlideShare app, you’re asked to sign in with your LinkedIn account. Next, you see thumbnail images representing nearly 40 topical categories. You can use landscape or portrait modes throughout the app experience to browse slideshows and to view them. When browsing in landscape mode, for instance, you can see a presentation’s first two slides side by side, as shown below.

slideshare ios 2
slideshare ios 2
slideshare ios 2

You can follow categories and get notifications when new presentations in those categories hit the SlideShare site. You can share presentations via standard iOS means: SMS message, email, Twitter and Facebook. If you have the LinkedIn app installed and you sign into SlideShare with your LinkedIn account, you can also share presentations on LinkedIn. 

Two other features worth noting: You can save presentations for offline viewing, and a “Today” screen widget highlights the “SlideShares of the Day.”

The SlideShare app isn’t designed for creating presentations; it’s all about easy content consumption. SlideShare really is like YouTube in that the quality of its content varies widely. Of the presentations I viewed, one was awesome (Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Revolution”), some were OK, and others were, like a lot of slideshows I’ve endured in person, yawn-inducing.

By the way, if your business isn’t posting compelling presentations on SlideShare, you’re missing a good SEO opportunity. The Content Marketing Institute has a helpful blog post on this topic.

If nothing else, the new SlideShare app is worth a look if you plan to develop presentations yourself in the future. It can help you get ideas for what works (and what doesn’t), and you can see which presentations have a lot of views and likes.