Shadow Puppet for iOS review: Quick slideshows with audio have never been so easy

To get these additional tools, you'll need to do an in-app purchase for $1.99/£1.49/$2.49 AUD. I suppose regular users of the app will want to pony up the cash, but these items aren't very useful beyond providing a little extra color.

Presentation tools for personal use

In my review of Adobe Voice, I noted that the app could be used for simple business presentations. In other words, when a more professional app is out of the question (like PowerPoint or Keynote) Adobe Voice has just enough features to make a quick presentation you wouldn't mind showing a business associate in a pinch.

With Shadow Puppet, you get a more casual experience. This set of tools is meant to be easy enough to use that a child could create his own slideshow with voice in just a few easy steps. As such, this app seems to be more geared toward projects for friends and family. You might send a Shadow Puppet video to your mom to give her the highlights of your trip to Hawaii, but it's probably not the app to turn to when you're making a business pitch in a meeting.

Tons of sharing options

When you're finished with your slideshow presentation, you have several options for sharing. You can share your work to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, save it to your library, or send via email, iMessage, or WhatsApp Messenger. You also can open it in other apps like iMovie and other video editors.

A couple of issues

Putting together a presentation is a pretty easy process, but the app has a couple of problems you should know about.

While it lets you use text animations as transitions, it took some tinkering before I was able to get them to work smoothly. With a large (default) font size, the fade-in animation looked more like the text just blinked a couple of times. In fact, whether I used the zoom-in, spiral-in, or whichever animation, the text always blinked as it came onscreen. Only later when I resized the font did it start to work as intended.

There's also an interface element here that is annoying. When selecting fonts, font color, or text alignment, you can only touch to advance to the next selection. This means you might accidentally pass by the selection you want, and will have to advance all the way through all the selections to get back to it. It's not a huge problem, but there must be a way to make the process easier.

Conclusion

Shadow Puppet won't replace PowerPoint or Keynote for making professional presentations, but this free app has a simple set of tools that anyone can use for quick-and-dirty "explainer" videos. The process of manually flipping pages while you record your voice couldn't be more intuitive, and it's so easy it could be used for anything from greeting-card-like slideshows to describing (and showing) a recipe to a friend.

With that said, when fonts are left to the default size, the transition animations were a little buggy in my testing. The system for selecting fonts, alignment, and text color could also use some work.

Still, with such a simple process that kids will be able to understand it and just enough tools for fun presentations, Shadow Puppet is a worthwhile download.

What you'll pay

    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Editors' Top PicksSee All

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Where to Buy

    Shadow Puppet (iOS)

    Part Number: id700902833

    Free

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Category Office and productivity
    • Compatibility iOS