Microsoft already has a mobile PowerPoint app that lets you build business presentations from scratch, right on your smartphone or tablet. But PowerPoint wasn't really designed for mobile devices. That's why the company says it made Sway, a new app in the Office lineup that automates the process of building clean, attractive presentations on the go. It's still in the early stages, but eager business users can sign up for a preview version of Sway that runs in their Web browser right now. Microsoft says apps for iOS, Android and Windows phone are coming soon.
So what separates Sway from the current lot of mobile presentation building apps? Two things: automation and sharing. When you create a new presentation, you can import images from your photo gallery, videos from YouTube, and even content from social media sources like Facebook and Twitter with just a few taps. You can select a priority for each piece of multimedia to determine which order it appears in the presentation, then let Sway create an attractive, flowing presentation using built-in algorithms. Once Sway churns out a design, you can type in text manually or import it from existing documents on your device. Then you can tweak the look of your presentation by dragging and dropping items, or selecting from premade templates. You can even tweak small details, including font, photo placement and color palette.
Sway also makes it easier to share presentations than most other presentation apps. Since everything you build in the app is already on the Web, you can send presentations just by sharing a link. When others tap the link, they'll be redirected to your presentation, whether they're on a mobile device or using a desktop computer. Sway presentations automatically resize and reposition elements so they're easy to read on any screen size. The app is still in early stages, but if it takes off it could be one of the best business presentation tools around.
Originally published on Business News Daily.