Keynote Remote vs Bluetooth Clicker

When presenting a Keynote slideshow, do you use Keynote Remote on iOS or a separate Bluetooth clicker/laser pointer? I love the possibilities of the Keynote Remote app, but have had some pretty disappointing moments when I tried to use it at locations with poor Wi-Fi (wouldn’t connect, significantly delayed, disconnected while I was lecturing). Maybe I used it wrong?

I have used my Apple HD remote for a keynote presentation since I was using my phone for notes. It worked well.

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I use a small bluetooth remote that is pretty much hidden in my hand. The iOS remote causes me to pause, look at the screen and push a button. I think that delay and action is noticeable and distracting for the audience.

If you want to spend the money, try the Logitech Spotlight. Spotlighting something on the screen really grabs peoples’ attention and has a “cool” factor.


I use an Apple TV Siri Remote, configured with BetterTouchTool.
This gives my start, forward/back, play/pause for a video, black screen and volume. Plus mouse control if wanted, which I don’t tend to use (I disable the trackpad with BTT).


I’ve tried the keynote remote but it failed me twice midway through presentations, so never again. I now use a Logitech Spotlight that has an awesome software pointer, which I use all the time. The build quality is great and battery lasts for months on one charge.


I saw reference on Logitech’s site to having to install software on a Mac for this device so I was wondering if it can be used with an iPad?

It can, but most of the functionality is not compatible. On iPad it can only advance slides. The electronic pointer, haptic feedback, timers etc are Mac only. It is also noticeably less responsive when you use normal Bluetooth compared to the provided dongle (which is not iPad compatible).

I’d say it is not worth the cost unless you’re presenting using a Mac.

The Spotlight’s customizability is worth pointing out. I rigged mine (using Logitech’s MacOS software) to run a Keyboard Maestro macro that popped up a random name of students in the class I was teaching to get them to comment on the current topic. (That said, the chosen student didn’t always like this feature, hah.)


The important thing when using an iPhone or iPad as a remote for Keynote presentations is to set up your own WiFi network. I bring a small battery powered router (HooToo) that I learned about on MPU years ago. It sets up its own WiFi (not connected to the Internet). When I connect all the relevant devices to that network, then my iOS remotes work very well.

I often use my Apple Pencil to write on slides while presenting, so I like method more than a Bluetooth clicker. Though I’ve been known to use both an iOS remote and a Bluetooth clicker during the same presentation!

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:open_mouth: That is amazing!!! Mind sharing your code when you have time?

Good idea on the router. Maybe a small AirPort Express would work well.

You can use the dongle with the iPad Pro 2018. I do it all the time and works great. Now, I still only have advance and back control, but that’s good enough when using the iPad anyway.

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I do this when I have the same wifi and it’s strong, but outside of my work, it’s not too terribly successful. I could setup my own wifi network, but sometimes it just isn’t plausible or takes too much time or I still need to access the internet.

I definitely suggest a separate clicker! Like others I highly recommend Spotlight by Logitech.

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I’ll try again. When I plugged it into the HDMI adapter’s USB port it did not work at all for me.

Did you use this or another adapter?

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I’m almost positive I did it once with that one, but now I’m second guessing my self. I for sure used this one. It’s an Anker USB C adapter.

I can actually test it tomorrow and get back to you!

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Cool, thanks.

I’ve only got the official Apple adapters.

That’s useful to know. Thanks.

Nothing complicated. I used the Spotlight menubar settings to assign a custom hotkey, then rigged a Keyboard Maestro macro to run when that hotkey was pressed. See the screens below.

The AppleScript it runs is incredibly simple:


on chooseClassmember()
	set classlist to {"some student", "some other student"}
	display dialog some item of classlist
	if button returned of result = "OK" then
		my chooseClassmember()
	end if
end chooseClassmember



Awesome, thanks for sharing. I’ll definitely be trying this out in September with my university classes.

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Thanks for this great tip!

For some cumbersome reason though, I couldn’t get it to work (with either Alfred, KM or any other host application even after installing the latest Logitech Options and …Daemon and enabling them in Preferences). Then I choose a custom keystroke including the control key ⌃ and everything just worked like a charm to my big surprise. Maybe somebody can explain what happened—or not happened—even though I consider the problem as solved for my purposes.

(E.g. this super tiny script in Alfred showed a name from a list in Alfred’s large type on top of a running Keynote presentation: return some item of {"A", "B", "C"}).

Of all the devices I have used so far Various Macs, Ericson phone (long time ago), iPhone, Apple Watch, various presenters—and not used so far like the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket—I think the Logitech Spotlight Presenter is my favorite—even more so after your great tip.