Magazine publisher Conde Nast has launched an enterprise edition of Idea Flight, its app for group presentations on the iPad, as well as several notable upgrades to the original version.
How It Works
Idea Flight [iTunes link], which has been downloaded 85,000 times since its launch in June, lets one person (“the pilot”) control up to 15 users’ (“the passengers”) iPad screens remotely while running through a presentation, keeping slides in sync. Presentations can be unlocked to let passengers revisit the slides at a later time.
Users need a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection to participate. Only PDF presentations, which easily be pulled up from email, iTunes or Dropbox, are supported at this time.
The app is free for passengers; pilots will need to make a $7.99 in-app purchase.
In the updated version (Idea Flight 1.1), pilots and passengers can jot down and save notes during a presentation, a feature that’s not only highly useful, but provides an opportunity for the audience be further engaged with the material in front of them.
Pilots can also now manually adjust the size, scale and orientation of their presentation, as well as set a boarding passcode to prevent unwanted access.
Idea Flight for the Enterprise
Conde Nast also released an Enterprise edition [iTunes link] of Idea Flight in public beta.
A Conde Nast spokesperson said the company received “tremendous interest” from education professionals and decided to make a $9.99 version available to them via the iTunes Stores’s Volume Purchase Program.
The $9.99 price covers the in-app upgrade fees and waives any potential upgrade fees in the future. The company has also pledged to work with educators to further optimize the product for them.
Conde Nast’s Broader Mobile Strategy
In an email interview, Conde Nast President Bob Sauerberg said Idea Flight arose out of an initiative late last year to develop digital products independent of the company’s existing brands, several of which — including Vogue, Wired, Conde Nast Traveler and Glamour — have launched one-off smartphone apps and/or iPad versions of their print publications.
“Idea Flight is the result of a small group of incredibly talented individuals who personally desired a way to view content natively on their iPad, as well as present it in a controlled manner. We knew that if they wanted and would use this app, there was a good chance there would be a market for it,” Sauerberg said.
The company will continue to develop independent apps as part of a broader strategy to position the company as a digital innovator and create new revenues streams, he added — a strategy not dissimilar to Hearst’s, which launched a “think tank” for app development and advertising across the company’s many brands earlier this summer.