Designers: Show Your Work Fast, Cross-Browser & Without Flash Using Black Tonic

5 Feb 2010 - 2:09am
1272 reads
Jarod Tang


Sent to you by jtang via Google Reader: Designers: Show Your Work Fast,
Cross-Browser & Without Flash Using Black Tonic via ReadWriteWeb by
Marshall Kirkpatrick on 2/3/10

If you're a creative design professional, you'll want to check out a
just-launched service called Black Tonic; it's a remarkably simple,
easy, fast and enjoyable way to share presentations remotely without
Flash or browser plug-ins and while maintaining full control over the
pace of the presentation to clients.

Using only HTML5 and Javascript, the service syncs your browser window
with the browsers of viewers whether they're using IE6, Chrome, an
iPhone or almost anything else. Transitions between images are
super-fast and the service is a joy to use. It doesn't include things
like markup or native voice support (you'll have to get on the phone)
but for $15 per month, we think it looks like a great deal.


We've found very few shortcomings in our testing of the app so far and
ReadWriteWeb's own designer Jared Smith enjoyed using it a lot. "It
demonstrates an awesome use of standard technologies and real-time
technologies," he says. Existing powerpoint decks will need to be
exported as images and uploaded one at a time, but the company says
it's working on changing that.

My favorite part of Black Tonic is the iPhone Safari view. Even when we
switched from broadcast mode to review mode, where I was able to scroll
through all the images in the presentation and click to zoom in a
light-box - the whole experience worked very quickly on my iPhone. All
I had to do was load a simple URL and we were rolling. (This is going
to be a lot of fun to watch on an iPad.)

The company explained what it calls FLOW, its DOMcasting technology, in
a blog post this summer. Presenting from Chrome works wonderfully.
Presenting from Firefox is a little slower as Black Tonic is
javascript-heavy, but it's still not bad at all. Watching a
presentation in Firefox is no problem at all.

As we wrote in the profile of the then-unlaunched Black Tonic in our
recent research report The Real-Time Web and Its Future:
The Black Tonic team believes that lightweight real-time technology is
an opportunity to reconsider remote presentations, to add some
structure to them and add the necessary control over presentation that
they haven't had with the workaround of emailing PDFs.

A whole lot of options arise when a new computing paradigm emerges.
Real-time doesn't have to only mean delivering a chaotic stream of
social information to an individual at the center of the system. Black
Tonic is a good example of looking outside the standard application of
a new technology and instead taking advantage of the opportunity to
reconsider standard practices [like emailing PDFs to design clients]
that have been influenced by technological limitations that no longer

Black Tonic is available today and includes a two-week free trial.

Things you can do from here:
- Subscribe to ReadWriteWeb using Google Reader
- Get started using Google Reader to easily keep up with all your
favorite sites

Syndicate content Get the feed