Explain Everything

I have been hunting for a while for something that would replace smartboard functionality on an iPad. Display mirroring to an AirPlay receiving device (such as an Apple TV or a Mac with Reflection running) is half the battle, but the other is finding an app worth its salt.

There are a few possibilities for free, but they have their shortcomings. Such as:

  • Educreations. Simple, allows drawing and writing, well written. Unfortunately you cannot save and then edit a slideshow – it only lets you record one and play it back. Which essentially renders it useless for advance planning!
  • Doceri. There’s a free and a paid version and it seems nice. The display mirroring mode is cool too, allowing the iPad user to see the controls but for them not to show on the big screen. The handwriting tools are particularly effective. However, it doesn’t let you enter text.
  • ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard. Not bad but doesn’t allow you to enter text.

SMART have now released an iPad version of their Notebook software (for the tidy sum of £4.99) but it’s pretty much useless on several accounts. Firstly, when mirroring the app, the iPad still turns off the screen after 2 minutes, which is not helpful. Secondly, the internal file system is bust as whenever you import a new notebook file it just opens the most recent file instead. Oh, and then pen functionality sometimes doesn’t work too.

So, I was very pleased when I discovered Explain Everything. It can be a little clunky to use, but has the following plus points:

  • Gazillion ways of getting files in and out of the app (Dropbox, Evernote, WebDAV etc)
  • Allows you to type text
  • Robust onscreen writing
  • Prevents the screen turning off when in use
  • Easy manipulation of anything onscreen
  • Can record audio as well as an animation of all your interactions

Generally good stuff. And a bargain at £1.99!

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