App production for non-coders

I would be grateful for any advice. I run a small training company and I produce manuals, PPT and e learning programmes using storyline. I would like to convert the manuals into an app at a reasonable cost. I would ideally like to put it together myself but do not know where to start. Firstly am I right in thinking that this can not be done using storyline and if not, any ideas on the best platforms or software out there? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

13 Replies
Russ Sawchuk

Hi Ricardo,

I have been interested in doing the same thing for several years now. I have StoryLine, Captivate and iSpring but none of them seem suitable for easy producing native apps for iOS and Android.

The only affordable and easy-to-use app software development program that I have been able to find is Siberian I plan to subscribe for a month and give it some thorough testing for apps I need for a current project. If it works, I will probably purchase the download version.

Matthew Bibby

One thing to keep in mind is that using PhoneGap or similar to create an .apk or .ipa file will not give you the same results as developing a native app.

It'll just be the HTML5 output with an app wrapper around it (with all of the known Storyline limitations). This means that it'll appear 'non-native' to users as it won't necessarily look and behave in the same way a proper native app will.

Russ Sawchuk

I agree with Paul. I had a millennial nursing student evaluate one of my recent courses. Yes, they prefer to download apps to their mobile devices. Her concern was about data limits and costs. If you download, you don't exceed your phone company's data plan limits. Continually accessing the website will increase both.

Also, when I publish my StoryLine courses in only HTML5, the Articulate Mobile Player is NOT available. It only seems to be available if you publish to HTML5 and Flash (which we all will soon stop doing). So this is not a viable solution for us.

David Tait

I created some apps a few years ago using HTML and PhoneGap and at the time I remember reading that they'd likely be rejected by Apple as they weren't using the native features of the target device (iPad). I have no idea what the other app stores are like for this but it's worth doing some research before you go to the trouble of building.

It's not an issue if you're able to deploy via other means as we did (Apple Enterprise), but again, do some homework before committing resources to the job.

If you're providing content that needs to be viewed in an emergency I'd question whether an e-learning piece built in Storyline would be the most appropriate solution. I'm making the assumption that in an emergency situation you'd want someone to be able to access your content as quickly as possible, would a PDF not be an option? That way you can have it saved to your device for offline viewing and remain device-agnostic. Granted there may be issues with updating the document if needs be but you'd have to manage this with an app too.

@Russ, I get what you're saying but development time/costs definitely increase if you're having to cater for multiple platforms. From experience, of the many "millenials" I know there is a significant number who also dislike downloading apps in preference for web-based content. They say apps clutter their phone, increase backup size and use up valuable cloud storage when backing up. It's definitely worth getting a broader cross-section of opinion to inform the decision to create apps vs hosting online.