Remote Control for Keynote

If you are using Keynote for OS X, you may already know there are Keynote versions for iPhone, iPad, and now, Apple Watch!

Apple used to have a special app for iOS that was called Keynote Remote. You would connect your iOS device to the same network as your Macbook. You would then be able to remotely control your Macbook Keynote presentation from your iOS device. It was a wonderful tool!

Some time ago, Apple removed Keynote Remote from the App Store. The remote functionality is now available within Keynote for iOS and watchOS. So now, you can remotely control your Keynote Presentation from another device.

Here are all the combinations available

1. Presenter device

  • Macbook
  • iPad
  • iPhone

2. Remote control device

  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • Apple Watch

The support document from Apple outlining how to set this up can be found here.


Recently in a Facebook forum for Speakers, a question was asked about this technology. Here is my reply..

Keynote in iPhone in remote mode to iPad or Mac is quite brilliant. However, it is not for everyone.

The first caveat is you must have excellent connection to the same WIFI network. You can do this many ways, but if seems too technically complicated, use a standard remote. I have occasionally used an Airport Express portable router and that means I am in charge of the entire closed network.

The second caveat is to get a smaller iPhone – mine is an SE. Holding a large device in your hand is awkward for a lot of people, so use a standard remote.

The third caveat is to prepare and rehearse. This is not always straightforward technically, so be aware of the possible issues of no/poor network, etc.

The value of Keynote on your iPhone is huge! No more turning around to the screen to see where you are.

If you ARE technically savvy, bring an Apple TV and connect it to the projector (with HDMI). Run your presentation directly from your iPhone (or iPad!) through the Apple TV .

In all cases, be sure to have the right dongle or connector to convert to VGA and HDMI carry a standard remote presenter,, backup your presentation in the cloud, bring a USB stick – be prepared for all circumstances!

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