Google updated Google Slides with a new Q&A feature, the option to present directly from an iPhone or iPad to a Hangout call, and a laser pointer option. The new version is rolling out globally now on Android (Google Play), iOS (Apple’s App Store), and the Web.
First up, Q&A lets speakers collect real-time feedback from their audience members. Viewers can use the link displayed on a Slides presentation to submit questions from their phones, laptops, and tablets. Furthermore, they can vote on the questions that they want answered the most.
Google Science Fair winner Shree Bose debuted the new feature in a talk to over 200 middle school students at Google’s NYC office. During Bose’s talk, as opposed to after, students submitted more than 170 questions (including some anonymously) and voted 800 times.
Bose sorted the questions based on audience votes and responded to the top ones. “I was so surprised when I saw my question was the most liked,” 7th grader Leila said, according to Google. “I probably wouldn’t want to stand up and ask the question because I’m kind of shy.”
As Google puts it, Slides Q&A doesn’t require setting up microphones or hiring moderators. The company has high hopes for the new feature, particularly in business and education.
Next up, Google Slides now makes it easier to present from iPhones and iPads. This means that just using your iOS device and the Slides app, you can present to any screen using Chromecast, AirPlay, or Google Hangouts. Keep in mind that Android devices gained this functionality in August 2015, so this is just Google bringing the iOS app up to speed.
Last but not least, Google has added a new laser pointer feature for Slides on the Web. Presenting from mobile is handy, but many still prefer using their computers, and a laser pointer is both useful and awesome.