MacMost Now 626: Keynote Remote Without a Wi-Fi Network

You can control a Keynote presentation on a Mac with your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad using the Keynote Remote app. But this requires that both the Mac and iOS device be on the same wi-fi network. In cases where you don't have a wi-fi network, such as a presentation hall or classroom, you can establish your own local network using your Mac, and connect to it with your iOS device. This allows you to control the Keynote presentation directly from your device to the Mac.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary from MacMost Now. On this episode, let's take a look at how to use the iPhone Keynote Remote without a wi-fi network.
So here's the situation. You've got a presentation to make. You've got it on your MacBook and you want to use the Apple Keynote Remote app to control it. Usually not a problem. You just hook the two up to the same wi-fi network and then you can control this with this. However, what if you don't have a wi-fi network. What if you're in a presentation hall or, say, you're in a classroom and there's no wi-fi network for you to connect both devices to? Well, there's still a way to do it.
So the basic idea is to create a network on your MacBook. You can do this and other devices can connect to it. Now of course your MacBook wouldn't be connected to the internet so it wouldn't be a regular wi-fi connection. It would just be this local network you would be creating. But you can use that to then connect your iPhone to it and control your Keynote presentation.
So if I go here into the remote app it will ask me to set up a link and I would normally just tap new link there and I get this code and I have to enter that into the preferences on Keynote on my Mac. However, in this case I don't have a wi-fi network that I'm sharing between the Mac and the iPhone 'cause I'm in a presentation hall or classroom that doesn't have a wi-fi network. So what do I do?
So your first step is to set up your own network. So if I go to the wi-fi settings here on my MacBook I can see I'm connected to my regular network here. But let's say that doesn't exist. It's not even there. What I'm gonna do is set up my own network here that's just a network named after my computer. And this will just be my computer on its own network. There will be no connection to the internet here. I can assign security and I probably should but for this example I won't. Now I can see there's the network I created.
So now that I have a wi-fi connection set up locally for that Mac I can go into my wi-fi settings on my iPhone here and I can switch from the wi-fi network I'm on now, and you may not find any if you're in a presentation hall or classroom, switch to that special one that I created. And there you go. You can see it. Now notice at the top it still says 3G. It doesn't show wi-fi network because that wi-fi network is not connected to the internet. But your phone is still attached to it and if you go to the remote you get this passcode link here.
So here I am in my Keynote settings and you can see that it appears there. I enter in the code and I'm connected directly to that Mac through its local wi-fi network. And I can now use that to control the Keynote presentation. Now you can see that it's there on my iPhone as a Keynote link. I can hit "done" and then I can go and click "play slideshow." I can control the slideshow.
So it's basically just creating a network on your Mac using your wi-fi menu, then joining that network using the settings on your iPhone, then initiating the connection from your iPhone's Keynote Remote app and accepting it in the Keynote preferences under remotes and you've got the connection.
So if you need to make presentations where there's no wi-fi network available, give this a try. Hope you find it useful. 'Til the next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 23 Responses to “MacMost Now 626: Keynote Remote Without a Wi-Fi Network”

    11/2/11 @ 10:09 am

    Nice video Gary. I didn’t now that and it will be really useful on our next small Mac user group meeting.


    Gary M
    11/2/11 @ 3:27 pm

    Thanks for another great post.
    I will use this method for the very next Keynote presentation.

    11/3/11 @ 1:10 pm

    Thanks – this will be a great help at school.
    A related question – are you using a 4S to display the screen of the iPhone in your videos ? Or is there a software solution to do this. ? Thanks

      11/3/11 @ 1:14 pm

      I am using the 4S, output through the HDMI adapter.

    11/7/11 @ 9:52 am

    Hi Gary,
    thanks for the video, a quick question though! Does that work with iTunes as well?


      11/7/11 @ 9:59 am

      The Keynote Remote app is for Keynote, not iTunes. But there is a “Remote” app by Apple for iTunes and Apple TV control. I suppose this same technique works for that. Why not try it?

    4/10/12 @ 5:35 am

    It was really encouraging to see that I had already worked this out myself!
    One question though…
    When you disconnect the connection, the network disappears and you have to go through this process again every time you want to use it – is there anyway of saving it to use as necessary?

    5/16/12 @ 10:31 pm

    This is a great post- fixed my nagging issue of using unreliable hotel networks to link iPhone to iPad in keynote. Now I’ll either just use my new MacBook or let the phone and iPad hang out on the new network. Thanks so much!

    Chris Pescatore
    7/12/12 @ 11:04 pm

    I was wondering if there is a way to use the keynote remote on my iPhone 4 to control my keynote presentation on my iPad (3) without wifi (other than using phone as a personal hotspot). You would think there would be a way to create some kind of adhoc network with a MacBook Pro (which I have), an hone and an iPad to do this. I really want to be able to walk around the too with my iPad and present but a good wifi is not always available.

      7/13/12 @ 12:13 am

      No. The Keynote Remote app controls Keynote for Mac, not Keynote for iPad.

      Chris Pescatore
      7/13/12 @ 12:27 am

      Ok I think I found a solution. I did as you said creating new network using my MacBook pro. I then used Airserver ($15 I think) and mirrorred my iPad keynote presentation to my MacBook which is hooked up to the projector. Now I can walk around the room and use my iPad to deliver presentation. No keynote remote needed.

        7/13/12 @ 1:09 am

        But if you are going to do that, why not just run Keynote remote on your iPad. Then run the Keynote presentation on your Mac. Control the Mac presentation from the iPad with Keynote remote. That would be the simpler solution.

    Chris Pescatore
    7/13/12 @ 1:26 pm

    Yes that is a great solution and you don’t have any of the limitations of the
    keynote ipad app.
    Gary do you think an app like splashtop presenter would work then seeing as the presentation is on my MacBook and not my iPad ?

    9/13/12 @ 7:58 am

    Thanks, Gary! Just what I was looking for. You SAVED me :)

    11/26/12 @ 8:15 am

    The one reason I can think of to mirror from iPad to MacBook instead of merely using the keynote remote on the iPad is that you can see the whole presenter screen on the iPad if running it from the iPad. However, if you use it as a remote, I believe you are limited to either portrait or landscape – I.e. Seeing either the next slide, OR the presenter notes, but not being able to see both.

    However, if using Airserver, correct me if I am wrong but doesn’t that limit any video with audio one would have in their presentation? In other words, one couldn’t run audio/video through Airserver, isn’t that right?

    Is there any work-around that would allow presenting a keynote presentation with audio and video, and controlling it with an iPad wirelessly (to allow walking around), and still getting to see the full presenter display (upcoming slides, and presenter notes)?

    Or am I the only person that would want this possibility?

      11/26/12 @ 9:31 am

      AirServer just uses the AirPlay connection. So whatever you can do over AirPlay should work with AirServer. So why not try it and see if it behaves like you want. If you use Keynote with AirPlay, you DO get the presenter notes on your iPad screen and the presentation on the Mac. That isn’t something AirServer does, it is just how AirPlay works with Keynote.

    11/26/12 @ 8:18 am

    As a follow-up, I investigated using appletv as a possibility, but again, unfortunately you need a wifi connection to do this.

    Would it be possible to mirror the iPad keynote presentation onto a MacBook via the dedicated network you can create off the MacBook itself, and then show video with audio? It shouldn’t be this difficult to make this work…

      11/26/12 @ 9:32 am

      Try setting up a local network and using it with your Apple TV. It will probably work just fine. Try it.

    1/19/13 @ 10:51 am

    Thank you so much! You saved my day! ;-) I just purchased the Keynote Remote App and almost regretted it as I could not get it to work via Bluetooth. Then I found your nice video – easy enough for a Mac greenhorn like me to succeed at first try!

    2/16/13 @ 5:00 am

    Planning on using the Keynote remote for a presentation but for some reason my iPhone 4s will no longer connect to the network I create on my Mac – despite having done so in the past.

    The Mac created network shows up, once selected a tick appears next to the network name but the airport icon doesn’t show up on the iPhone screen.

    I’ve tried the Keynote app despite there being no airport icon but have had no luck.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated?

    2/24/13 @ 9:26 am

    I called apple to have them help me and they couldnt even do it!! Your video explained it so well and easy to follow! I needed to use the remote wirelessly for my senior project since we are not allowed to connect to the school’s wifi. Thanks!

    3/8/13 @ 9:58 am

    Thank you SO much Gary! This was incredibly helpful! I give Keynote presentations with my Mac, but I also need the flexibility to move around AND have my slides and presenter notes show up on my iPad. Originally I tried to set it up through Bluetooth but it is not possible. This Create Network option is amazing and awesome! Much thanks!

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