By Todd Dominey | Posted Friday, July 2, 2010 at 10:07 am

SlideShowPro Mobile Q&A

MobileWe’ve received a number of questions concerning the recently announced SlideShowPro Mobile. Below are the most common questions with answers. If you have a question not addressed here, contact us.

When will it be available?
The mobile player will be included as part of a SlideShowPro Director 1.5 beta release, which we plan on offering before the end of this month (July).

Is this an add-on for Director I’ll need to purchase?
Nope! SlideShowPro Mobile will be bundled with SlideShowPro Director for free. Any self-install or hosted setup of Director will receive it as part of an application point update. If you don’t have Director, you can purchase it now and receive the mobile player when available.

Can I be a beta tester?
Sure – anyone with a self-install of SlideShowPro Director will be able to try the beta.

I’ve got an iPad/iPhone. Is there a live demo I can try?
We’ll be posting one soon. Watch this space.

What about other mobile devices, like Android?
We’ve focused on Apple’s devices out-of-the-gate not only because of their popularity, but also because they cannot (and may never) support Flash content. So it was important that we addressed those devices first. Android users have (or will soon receive) the Flash Player, so a fallback isn’t absolutely necessary. Nonetheless, we will be including mobile player support for Android, and will look into other platforms thereafter.

Will SlideShowPro Director be required?
Yes. From a usability perspective, it was important to us that the mobile player be easy to implement, and that you wouldn’t be responsible for an entirely separate content creation workflow. Additionally, the mobile player requires some back-end functionality that would be difficult to implement without a centralized application behind the scenes. Director provides the platform for all of the above.

Will both self-install and hosted versions of Director be compatible?
In the final release, yes. The beta test will be first offered to self-install users before deployment on the hosted platform.

I use SlideShowPro for Flash / Lightroom / Standalone. Will the mobile player provide a fallback for it?
Yes. The mobile player can be implemented as a fallback for any SWF loading content from SlideShowPro Director.

Will I need to re-encode / upload my videos?
If your videos are encoded as FLVs or F4Vs, yes, they will need to be re-encoded / uploaded as H.264 in order for them to be viewable in the mobile player. We plan on providing tips and suggestions for video content creation before a final release.

Why mobile? Why not desktop?
We believe that (on the desktop) Flash is still the best delivery method for photo/video galleries and slideshows for it provides the most consistent user experience across all browsers and the broadest range of playback and customization options. As HTML5 support matures across all desktop browsers, we’ll continue to look into alternate presentation options.

Can the mobile player be embedded in my own HTML page?
No. The mobile player has to be served from a special page published by SlideShowPro Director so that user agent and display resolution can be detected, and the player’s user interface fits the screen as intended.

Will the mobile player have all the customization options the Flash player has?
No. We’ve purposely designed the mobile player to feel like a native app on the device, and abstracting from that would erode usability and unnecessarily bloat the player file size (which is crucially important on mobile). You will be able to customize the poster graphic (see video) however you want, but mobile player options will be kept to a minimum.

Will people be able to copy images?
No. Photos aren’t recognized as such by the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch and thus are not made available to save locally.

Can the mobile player’s orientation be rotated?
Yes. You can rotate the device for either portrait or landscape and the player will adjust automatically.

What about the iPhone 4’s Retina display? Will that be supported?
You bet. We purposely developed the interface using only CSS3 and SVG so that everything scales. As for images, higher resolution versions will be published by SlideShowPro Director. Net result? A super high resolution photo gallery that looks as good as a native application.

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