Articulate Mobile Player (AMP) End Support?

Hi, 

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day, I am just here to voice a major concern about the coming end of life of the AMP. 

I am a multimedia developer for an E-learning firm based in Canada. We have been using the AMP for some time and we think it's a wonderful tool to be able to provide our clients in developing countries experiencing internet issues with custom HTML5 downloadable offline content. Our main concern is that when December 31, 2020 arrives we will be left in limbo on how to provide offline content to our valuable clients. 

We have tried different methods and this solution with the AMP works the best. I totally agree that HTML5 has matured in all browsers making it the best experience but the problem between the user and the offline content is how they get that content on their mobile devices? We have tried FTP, computer to tablet using USB, Micro-SD cards etc. and things get very complicated when running content that needs to be unzipped/launch directly on the iPad or Android. Also Google chrome or Firefox makes it impossible to launch the story.html file from a download folder on a tablet due to security issues.  

From an end users point of view with little technical knowledge this can be a daunting task. So my question is why are you ending support when people like us rely on this fantastic piece of software?

Will the App remain available on the App store but with no support available? 

Thanks so much for your answers in advanced. 

 

 

38 Replies
Rod Machado

Greetings Ruth:

Thank you for your reply. Yes, I was always puzzled by Articulate's reply regarding the utility of HTML5 when I asked about the disappearance of Flash. It was as if Articulate support didn't quite understand my question. I guess this was a "talking point" to be mentioned (typed) during all AMP/Flash inquiries. Very strange.

Below is the response I received from Articulate support. It seems strange that I've never seen a customer survey regarding the disappearance of offline learning capabilities. It seems to me that Articulate would want to know how their customers feel about this issue.

And I did check out "Disciplemedia." I can't see where any offline learning capability is offered there. I sent an inquiry to their customer support. 

Please keep me posted and I'll do the same.

Thank you,
Rod Machado

_____________________________

Hi Rod,

 Thanks for contacting Articulate Support! 

I understand that you would like Offline Playback on Mobile Devices since Flash is being discontinued. 

We'll end support for the Articulate Mobile Player (AMP) on December 31, 2020. AMP courses rely on Flash output, and since Flash is ending, AMP will no longer be supported. 

HTML5 support has matured in all major browsers, making HTML5 the best experience for mobile learners. Because AMP output is the default viewing option for Android devices and iPads, we recommend republishing courses to HTML5 without AMP output by December 31, 2020. 

We will be leaving AMP available in the Apple App Store as well as on Google Play. While AMP will be considered an unsupported product, it should function as it does now for the near future and therefore remain usable. 

We are actively monitoring requests for the capability to allow learners to access an offline version of a course, so I'll make sure our report is updated with your request.

 You may also want to take a look at LMSs that offer an offline player like the SuccessFactors mobile app that has an offline viewing option.

 Please let me know if you have other questions! 

Hazel Bartolome
Customer Support Engineer
Articulate Support - https://articulate.com/support/

 

Rod Machado

Greetings Gary:
The AMP still shows up in the App store. Here's a link from my site: 
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/articulate-mobile-player/id505546381

My offline courses still download. I'm not quite sure why they do, but they do and that's just fine with me. What worries me is that the folks at Articulate HQ might remove the ability to create offline courses with future updates of Storyline software, thereby rendering the option of downloads and the AMP mute. For this reason, I have not installed the latest update yet. 

Best,
Rod Machado
www.rodmachado.com

Gary Overgaard

Thanks Rod. And sorry, I didn't mean to make that reply to you directly. 

Thanks for the link. After posting this a few minutes ago, I realized that I was searching the App Store on my iPhone which of course AMP was never offered for iPhones. I switched to my iPad and searched there and of course it then showed up.  Don't I feel stupid :-) 

So far, my previously published AMP pieces continue to function on the iPad. But it sure would be nice to hear from Articulate support on the status of AMP's replacement method for offline tablet delivery.   <he said already knowing the vague answer that is coming>

Gary

Lauren Connelly

Hello John!

Articulate Mobile Player relies on Flash to play courses. Unfortunately, this means that with the end of Flash comes the end of AMP. For this reason, we recommended moving away from using this app before the end of 2020.

The good news is that all the major browsers will support HTML5 natively, so your learners will get a great learning experience without downloading any additional apps. 

Since AMP is no longer supported, I'll defer to the community to share which offline options they prefer.

Rod Machado

Greetings Lauren:

So far, the AMP still plays my courses off-line for my customers. I've not updated Storyline 3 to its latest version for fear that the ability to publish courses for the AMP has been removed. Unfortunately, I don't know the internal workings of where Flash participates in the AMP's ability to play courses offline. Therefore, I'm assuming that as long as I can publish to the AMP, then my courses will still be available offline. To confirm my assumption, I have two questions for you:

1. How long will Articulate maintain the ability to publish to the AMP in Storyline?
2. How long will the AMP remain in the App store?

If you don't have answers to these questions, could you check with your company to find this information? I sure would appreciate it. I purchased Storyline on the basis of having offline course ability. Now I expect not to have that, which leaves me deeply disappointed in Articulate. 

Sincerely,
Rod Machado

David Breen

Hi Rod,

I'm in a similar position as you. Out of curiosity, have you updated your iOS to whatever the most recent version is for your tablet? My assumption was that it would be at some point in 2021 that Apple would release an update that would block Flash and that would be what caused the AMP Modules to stop working.

Cheers,

Dave

Rod Machado

Greetings Dave:
I have updated my IOS and this doesn't seem to be an issue so far. I also keep my Samsung tablet updated, too. When I publish a course in Storyline, Flash files are definitely included in that published folder (the .swf files are easily seen there). Therefore, I'm not sure if an IOS plays any part in the ability of a course to be viewed offline. If that's the case, then any removal of Storyline's ability to publish courses using the AMP would immediately prevent offline viewing. That's why I haven't updated Storyline to the latest version. Unfortunately, I don't have an acceptable replacement for offline viewing yet. But I am actively working on this.

Best,
Rod Machado

Gary Overgaard

I can confirm that the latest version of SL 360 does still have the AMP publishing option. I have that installed and also have the latest IOS version on my iPad. But I suspect David is likely correct in that at some point an IOS release will break AMP on the iPad. 

It's a shame that a feature that was marketed by Articulate, and what attracted me to purchase, and it seems other users as well, has been completely abandoned. An accompanying justification has always been "but the Modern Player can <fill in the blank>" while ignoring or minimizing the offline playback feature of AMP that is not being replaced. The progression of the communication to users in the forum last year went from "engineers investigating an alternative", to "put in a feature request" to "defer to the community for offline solutions".  Not really an unsolvable software engineering problem I'm sure, but more of a strategic business decision by Articulate in which existing customers to whom that feature is important have been marginalized. Sad as it may be, just not enough of us to matter. 

Rod Machado

Greetings Gary:

Excellent summary. I've been working on alternatives for downloads and the best option so far is the BuddyBoss App which is scheduled to be released in a few weeks. This app allows any LMS LearnDash course to be accessed by the App and downloaded to the iPhone/Android phone for offline viewing. The specs on how this is accomplished should show up next week. The iPad version will follow, I suspect, in a few months.

I've had a group working on an IOS/Android tablet App that would download ".zipped" Storyline files and play them offline in a player similar to Articulate's Modern Player. Progress, however, is slow going. There are more than a few hurdles to overcome to make it user friendly for both the customer and the author. When I can assess its ultimate utility/practicality, I'll make a post here about it.

On the other hand, the Wordpress Theme (WPLMS) has an App that allows offline viewing (https://codecanyon.net/item/wplms-learning-management-system-app-for-education-elearning/20632362?_ga=2.192045602.948300804.1613000071-1698927496.1612371528). Last year that app didn't receive good reviews. The App apparently has been improved and seems like a reasonable alternative for anyone using the "Wordpress LMS."

Here's the link to the WPLMS App.
https://codecanyon.net/item/masterstudy-lms-mobile-app-flutter-ios-android/27103832?_ga=2.224929555.880031132.1613000162-1698927496.1612371528 

Another LMS with an App allowing offline viewing of courses is Masterstudy (https://themeforest.net/item/masterstudy-education-center-wordpress-theme/12170274). It, too, has an App that's "apparently" much improved over that past year. Should I ever decide to move to a new theme, I'll give Masterstudy a great deal of thought. It's very well laid out.

Unfortunately, the WPLMS and Masterstudy apps are, to the best of my knowledge, for phones, not tablets. The Apps have to be applied to your LMS by someone who knows App language and is familiar with Apple/Android App Submission (you can find these folks on www.Fiverr.com. I've used this service with success over the years). Buddyboss will be for tables shortly as stated above.

That's all I know, so far.

Best,
Rod

Gary Overgaard

Hi Rod,

Thanks for sharing your research and efforts so far and sharing them with the forum! You've been busy! For myself and my need for offline playback, it's different I'm sure than almost everyone else. Although I develop a small amount of LMS delivered eLearning, That's not the use case that I have for offline delivery.

I have been using SL360 (and earlier versions) for developing interactive multimedia sales presentations, that are downloaded via AMP and able to deliver in scenarios where a sales rep is in front of a prospect with little to no control over internet access sufficient to deliver rich content. AMP was easy for them to download and present content. It had limitations Such as I disliked the inability to pinch-to-zoom content and lack of other type typical iPad navigation features. The lack of JavaScript support was frustrating as well. But the ability to easily download and play content offline trumped its limitations IMO.

I don't want my frustration over the failure of Articulate to redesign AMP for HTML5 like they did for the entire authoring program itself, to make it sound like I dislike Articulate. I still think SL is a  great eLearning authoring program. Better than most out there now that I am aware of. However it doesn't stop me from missing Authorware every day though :-). I am however not giving up. Still hoping Articulate will eventually see the error of their ways...but not holding my breath while doing so. 

Good luck to you and please continue to share any progress you make with your research.

Gary