One of the greatest strengths of Google Slides is that you can start using it immediately. There’s nothing to download, nothing to install, nothing to pay, and very little to learn. As long as you have a Google account, you can create a slideshow, collaborate with others on it, and present it quickly and easily. Slides has a few bonuses, too, such as the ability to generate a unique URL at which an audience can submit questions to you, the presenter, in real time. It’s a fantastic slideshow creation and presentation service, especially for collaboration, but it’s missing a few things provided by Editors’ Choices Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple Keynote.
Note that Google Slides is one component of the Google Docs office suite, and that there is also a version of it in G Suite, the for-pay version of Google Docs for businesses, which used to be called Google Apps for Work. We’ll have updated reviews of both complete suites soon.
The three apps mentioned above—Google Slides, PowerPoint, and Keynote—are standard slideshow creation and presentation tools (I’d also call them some of excellent productivity apps), each of which have their own limitations in terms of creativity, however. If you’re in the mood for something less conventional, Prezi is PCMag’s other Editors’ Choice and strong recommendation. Prezi uses a canvas instead of a slide deck, and it works very well for material that becomes lackluster when presented in a linear fashion. If you’re looking for something truly different, consider Prezi.
As mentioned, Google Slides is free to use with a Google account. That said, you might want to know what other presentation software costs to get a sense of the value. Unfortunately, the prices are all over the map. Because they’re so inconsistent, it’s really hard to gauge their relative values. Of course, Slides is free, and that should be a bonus in anyone’s book.
One of the most expensive apps is Prezi, which offers four tiers of service, including a free one. The problem with the free service is that all the presentations you make with it are viewable, searchable, and reusable to the public. For many people, that’s not going to cut it. The first paid tier of service with Prezi is called Enjoy, and it costs $59.04 per year (it’s listed as $4.92 per month. A Pro account costs $159 per year, and a Pro Plus account runs $240 per year.