Clarifications on Mobile AP constraints

I have been reading the various forum entries, the articles at http://www.articulate.com/support/storyline/c/mobile, and reviewed the chart http://www.articulate.com/support/storyline/comparing-storylines-flash-html5-and-articulate-mobile-player-output.

I think I am more confused than when I started to try to understand what limitations, issues and other factors I need to be aware of for developing mobile courses.  If someone could help me understand a few things, it would be greatly appreciated.

1.       My understanding is that you can publish a course as both HTML5 (for our desktop userss) and Articulate Mobile Player on iPad. Is that correct?

2.       I understand that even with Articulate Mobile Player, the module will not run embedded Flash or swf video files. Is that correct? 

3.       What is solution for embedding flash files used for animation? Could I record the screen and save as video file?

4.       What format do video files need to be in to play in the Articulate Mobile Player?

5.       Which Browser Settings and Player Size should the module be set to when used for both desktop and Articulate Mobile Player?

Any tips or advice about how to adjust my ‘design’ plans would be appreciated? My company is trying to decide how to proceed to offer our modules to the sale force in the field. I don’t want to pitch the capabilities of mobile incorrectly.

Thanks for the help, Cheryl

5 Replies
Steve Flowers

Hi Cheryl - 

Here are a few answers to your questions:

1) You can publish a course as Flash, HTML5 and Mobile player on the iPad. The detection scheme will first look for the Flash player, if the Flash player isn't present then it falls back to HTML5. If the browser isn't HTML5 capable, the content will tell the user the package can't be displayed. On the iPad, the content will detect that it's being run on an iPad and will cue the user to get the mobile player. Flash player on the desktop will offer the most complete experience. AMP is generally better than HTML5 on the iPad. 

2) The AMP will not run embedded Flash or SWF video files. Any SWF's with code embedded are verboten on the Apple device ecosystem. 

3) Depends on how you produce the Flash file. If you're using Flash, there's an export option for video that will likely produce the best results. If you're using another tool, one option is using a good screen recorder to capture the animation. Replay might do the job.

4) All files are processed by Storyline (or Presenter if you're using Presenter). And I have yet to find a video format that I can't use as an input. I prefer to use MOV since the compression results in the least noticeable artifacting, in my experience, while maintaining relatively low file sizes (compared to something like AVI).

5) There are varied opinions on this one. If you're using the AMP, sticking with the default settings are a good choice as it'll scale well. If you're publishing to HTML5 on the device,dimensions depend on the player settings you want to include (menu vs. no menu). Without a menu, since I like round numbers, I tend toward 960x720 (960x540 if I want a 16x9 wide screen layout). You can bump these up and out a little bit for iPad display. 

HTML5 comes up a little short but it's getting better. AMP is really close to the Desktop output but you won't be able to track progress unless you use a Tin Can LRS or Articulate Online.

Hope this is helpful. 

Cheryl Theis

If you don't mind, I have one more questions.  I read that there is an issue with using layers in the mobile courses because the sound files for the layers will not play. Is that correct? If yes, would you need to design using only base slides?

Thank you for the information. The muddy waters is clearier.

Steve Flowers

There are some odd behaviors with audio. But I haven't experienced problems with sound files on layers not playing or synchronization problems. One thing I've gotten into the habit of is spacing the start of the audio a half second from the start of the timeline. This provides a better chance that the audio gets queued up and doesn't get skipped while the slide is initializing. This may be why I don't notice that particular issue.