Back in November 2011 Apple made a decision which has rippled across the majority of today’s Smart devices - they withdrew support for Flash. The decision, whether right or wrong, has proved a headache for many in the eLearning and web industries.
In the past, Flash has played a major role within eLearning; animations, videos and sometimes even entire courses were made using Flash. But now developers have had to find new ways, which is where HTML5 comes in.
eLearning authoring tools have been slow to adopt HTML5, partly because the specification was only finally standardised in 2014 and also due to the catch up nature of eLearning technology. The majority of today’s eLearning authoring tools output to HTML5 as well as Flash, so what was once a problem is no longer such an issue. But what option do you have when it comes to legacy eLearning that only outputs in Flash? There a few tools out there that could help.
In the mass panic that snowballed after Apple made their announcement, a number of companies, including Adobe themselves, began to develop a Flash to HTML5 conversion tool. Only a handful made it past the beta stage, one of them being Swiffy.
The tool is easy to use - you simply upload your .swf file and you are given a link to download the HMTL5 output. I was pleasantly surprised with the accuracy of the output, which could prove to be a massive labour saving tool for batch files. However, Swiffy has a file size limit of 1MB so anything over that will be rejected.
If your Flash fails to convert you have another option, you can rebuild it! Adobe Edge Animate is the tool to use. If you are familiar with Flash you will feel right at home with Edge. There are some differences and limitations, but I believe, in the future, Edge will eventually surpass and take over Flash.
Convert to Video
Converting your Flash to video is probably the quickest way to produce Smart device friendly content. This method is only viable with non-interactive Flash i.e. animations (as video is non-interactive).
There are a number of ways to convert, from video capturing (be warned, the quality can be hit or miss) to exporting the video directly from Flash. Compared to the other two options, video is the most compatible, so if your authoring tool is unable to accept imported HTML5 content this may be your only option.
You can see here that there are solutions out there to getting your eLearning content Smart device friendly once again.
We have successfully converted many Flash to HTML5 eLearning projects in the past so please contact us if you have a project in mind.
Phil Eagles, Senior eLearning Developer, Bray Leino Learning
In my series of blogs I’ll talk about the components of eLearning design and development.
Copyright © 2017 Bray Leino Learning