Software is online-based and runs in any browser with flash installed
Free (300MB); US$35 (3GB)
If you have to give presentations, it’s easy to get stuck in a Keynote or PowerPoint rut. These slide-based systems are boring, so it’s refreshing to find a tool that does it better.
Ahead is an online service, with a desktop client that enables you to create sprawling, animated presentations without slides. Instead, you have a two-dimensional, virtual ‘Space’ that can be filled with text, images, sound and video in a variety of formats. In fact, the huge range of formats it supports is one of the main reasons to consider it over its rivals.
The tool makes it easy to upload all your media in one go, an advantage over similar apps. You simply drag and drop these elements to your presentation. Then, when you’re happy with the content of the Space, you designate Scenes. These determine the order that the presentation will play through the content, either automatically or step by step as you waffle over the top.
Ahead isn’t entirely original. Prezi is a similar offering that generates huge, interactive, Flash-powered maps or posters, though it doesn’t support all the file types that Ahead supports, and we preferred the ‘Scenes’ metaphor and interface. Plus, Prezi’s desktop version only works if you have a subscription
Ahead only offers two price plans – free or US$35 per month. Whatever happened to the happy medium? Still, we think the free version will be fine for most people, and we’re happy to recommend it.