Did you know that your iPad can actually play back Flash-based eLearning courses and presentations? Even though the native support of Flash is not provided on iPads and iPhones, there is more than one way to use either of the devices to share your Flash projects.
Flash Web Browser for iPad
We have tested several so-called Flash web browsers for iPad to see how these applications handle sample Flash presentation created with iSpring. iSpring sample included video and audio narrations and complex interactive items: hyperlinks, player navigation buttons, triggers, quizzes and Kinetics-created interactive content. We also paid attention to the support of the drag-and-drop feature. The feature is required for ‘Matching’, ‘Sequence’, ‘Word Bank’, and ‘Hotspot’ questions of our QuizMaker. It is also used to flip the pages of a 3D book. The browsers are ranked according to their overall usability and functionality:
Puffin browser stands at the top of this group in terms of both usability and affordability. Available free of charge at AppStore, Puffin promptly handles Flash projects including audio, video, interactivity, and quizzes. All QuizMaker question categories are supported, including type-in and drag-and-drop questions. Drag-and-drop is performed with a two-finger tap on a touchpad emulator.
The playback of large video and audio files can be rather slow. English is the only supported language for type-in questions.
The Photon browser allows switching between Flash browsing mode and a faster non-Flash mode. This browser provides the smoothest video playback in the group. It also supports interactivity, and fairly supports quizzes and iSpring Kinetics interactions. Drag-and-drop is performed with a finger tap.
Despite smooth video playback, all interactions are performed quite slowly in the browser. Unless you are viewing a large Flash project, switching between two modes can be inconvenient. English is the only supported language for type-in questions as well.
This Flash web browser handles audio and video narrations and project’s interactive items as well. It also has the drag-and-drop feature, performed with a finger tap. iSwifter offers a 10-minute free trial session for 7 days and then has to be purchased at AppStore for $4.99.
iSwifter’s reaction to your actions is performed with lags. The browser often has issues and errors while displaying the web page. It also doesn’t support non-English languages. The browser can only be used on iPads.
CloudBrowse has the familiar interface of a desktop browser. Browser’s reaction to clicks is quite smooth. It also supports video, audio, interactivity and drag-and-drop. If you purchase the basic CloudBrowse app for $2.99, they provide a free 24-hour trial of their unlimited subscription.
CloudBrowse doesn’t adapt a web page to fit the screen of your device. If the web page is too wide to fit the screen, you will have to move it to view the contents. Presentations are played with a low frame rate, which results in slower animations and video playback. Drag-and-drop is performed with a two-finger tab, which may be inconvenient for dragging small items. Small objects can be magnified, but is becomes impossible to drop them beyond the magnified area.
The remote desktop applications provide alternative approach to playing Flash on iPads. In this case, the support of Flash is ensured by your computer, which you remotely access from your iPad. This method is especially effective if you are making a live presentation using iPad, as it gives you the full control over your Flash project.
To access your computer’s desktop from your iPad, you need to install TeamViewer on both devices. You can establish the connection between the devices and enjoy presenting with your iPad. Since your Flash project is played by the computer and not your iPad, all effects and functions of the Flash format are perfectly supported. As another advantage, TeamViewer software is available free of charge for non-commercial purposes.
The Remote Desktop presenting method involves access to your personal computer from an iPad. That’s why it can only be used if you are presenting in person or share your project with someone you trust. It is neither convenient, nor safe to use TeamViewer for public delivery.
While none of these approaches provides the perfect support of Flash on iPad, getting your Flash presentation or course work on your iPad or iPhone is really possible. Which way of playing Flash on iPad is better – depends fully on your requirements. If you are giving a live presentation or showing your Flash project to a small number of people, you should probably go for the remote desktop delivery. In the case of making your content available publicly including viewing via iPad, you’d better choose one of the web-browsers. You can use this review to choose the most suitable Flash web browser for iPad, depending on the content you have.