Synote mobile phone testing

Synote mobile meeting

Testing with the mobile phone  version of Synote is proving exasperating!  The different devices, operating systems and browsers all produce different results despite the fact that the pages have been designed in HTML 5 with media element js player and jQuery mobile.  The transcript, synmarks and the PowerPoint slides all appear to display in the same way on the various browsers and devices.

 BUT …

Issues arising with videos and the media element js player have caused several headaches.  The way YouTube videos are presented  on iOS 5 (iPhone) where the controls work but the video is launched in the iOS player  and Android where there are variations in the software used on different phones e.g. some HTC and Sony phones.   On the latter the video is seen but cannot be played using an Opera browser but will play in the built in Android webkit browser – on the former an error message appears within the Chrome browser as it cannot load the player.  There is no mobile Firefox for HTC Wildfire.

The HTC OneXL with a 4 inch will run  Synote Mobile  in the same way as the tablet and desktop version.

Audio is not a problem as the transcript can appear below the player in this case.  Synmarks can also be seen with a separate tab.

Planning ahead

whiteboard designThe view of the video page will have titles, tags and description – the options page will allow the user to go to the video or audio page, transcript, slides or synmarks.  The transcript has the thumbnail picture from  the video and the start and end times for each transcript block.   The slides can be displayed in a row or line with start times and actual slides, the synmarks are listed with title, description and tags plus start and end time and a thumbnail of the YouTube video for that time.

At present there is also a huge variation between the way mobile phones show the captions as taken from the transcript (as seen in the tablet version) because the players (whether built or in the browser) react differently to the selection of the caption button.   This is a testing phase and we are trying to see if there is anyway to overcome this issue.   If you use a Flash player on the HTC Wildfire it will display the captions  but this does not help us with HTML5! At least we know there is a fall back player that will cope with closed captioning on Android

Testing with the iPhone – it did not matter whether we used Chrome, Opera or Safari the player once launched just would not play the YouTube closed captions despite having closed caption settings on.  This appears to be a known problem as mentioned in the blog “YouTube – Apple’s Lack of Caption Support

3 thoughts on “Synote mobile phone testing

  1. E.A. Draffan Post author

    I am hoping Yunjia will be able to answer your questions but wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could just tell us this sort of information! Thanks so much – sadly no updates on their HTML 5 developer page in relation to iOS6 and Safari.

  2. Yunjia Li

    Thanks for asking the question. I would say it’s a help instead of hinder for Synote Mobile. Technologically as a developer, I still believe currently the native app can do more than mobile web app, especially for multimedia applications. But the mobile web is improving all the time and it will overtake native app someday when most things we could do on native app can also be implemented on the mobile Web. This has already happened on desktop where many desktop software has gradually replaced by Web applications.

    At least, YouTube thinks OK to ask users go to mobile Web to view videos instead of using native app. This is a good sign to show Google’s believe on mobile Web, so does Synote Mobile. Of course, HTML5 has not been finalised yet and it’s hard to say if we can do something about the browser’s native player now or the old player will be replaced. So our current opinion is that we still stick to the mobile Web, even though there are many uncertainties. Meanwhile, we are trying to get something working on one mobile Web platform first and adopt it for other platforms.

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