Running Beamer Presentations from Your Phone

Have you ever given a presentation at a conference using your laptop, and then were annoyed that you had to carry aroudn the thing for the entire rest of the evening?  It happens to me all the time. By which I mean, once in a great while, but I nevertheless though it would be cool if I could give my presentation just from my phone (a Samsung Nexus).  Just in case I can help other mathematicians/philosophers/scientists with either a bad back or a tendency to leave bags in restaurants, here’s how I did it:

  • Get the phone to talk to the projector. For that you need a microUSB-to-VGA adaper, or, for versatility, a microUSB-to-HDMI plus a HDM-to-VGA adapter. In the latter case you can plug into the HDMI port on the projector if you have it. I got this and this but I’m sure there are other options.
  • Get a longer power cord or simply a longer USB-to-microUSB cable.  The microUSB-to-HDMI adapter is powered and you don’t want the phone to be suspeded between the power outlet and the projector. Don’t forget your power adapter.
  • Get a Bluetooth mouse/clicker thing, since swiping from slide to slide on the phone is a drag. I got this one.
  • My presentations are produced with the beamer package for LaTeX, which produces PDF. So I need a PDF viewer app which displays the PDF properly (centered, full screen, no controls), transitions from slide to slide without delay or silly page flip effects, and reacts to the clicker.  This was actually the hardest part, but the OfficeSuite PDF Viewer works fine.  If you use PowerPoint or something like it, you’ll have to look for something that does that.
  • When you actually give the presentation, you don’t want to be interrupted by text messages or phone calls.  So turn airplane mode on. But you need the clicker, so turn Bluetooth back on. Luckily, this is possible.

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