The Captivate 9.0.2 Update adds insane speed and performance enhancements
I have been working for a while now with the Adobe Captivate engineering team and several customers on a project that should be nicknamed, Project Light Speed. This is a project that normally wouldn’t garner much focus, because the focus of the project was to optimize performance of the Captivate Projects playback on mobile devices, on desktops, and even within the authoring tool. I know – that doesn’t sound all that glamorous at first pass, but I want you to think about it for a second…
If you’ve ever built an interactive project with tons of buttons, questions, click boxes and so on, you may have noticed that after a few hundred items on a single screen – things start to slow down. If you get up near a thousand items, it can seem downright impossible. Our engineering team realized that as so many of us have migrated away from Flash based projects, toward HTML5 projects, the demand for better performance of HTML5 applications coming out of Adobe Captivate, has dramatically increased.
These little delays may only feel like microseconds, but after a while they add up. It’s clear that they add up if you stack hundreds or even thousands of objects on a slide, you’ll see the performance hit. And this impacts your authoring experience as well. So the mission of the project that I’m going to call Project Lightspeed was simple. Make Captivate playback much, much faster. Not just in the authoring tool, but also on desktop and laptop computers and on the smaller mobile devices, places where you’d never imagine that it could perform so well.
I’m thrilled to report that the results of this effort have been shockingly wonderful. We worked with many prototypes, to create test cases. Among them a major commercial project that had some of the most complex interactions that I’ve ever seen in a Captivate project. We also tested against simple empty projects and various responsive projects. The outcome has been added to the insanely fast performance enhancements in Captivate 9.0.2.
I’m very excited to report that the performance improvements on various platforms range from 1.5x to 10x. Let me put that in perspective. Let’s say that you had a particularly terrible problem in 9.01 and loading your project slide took 1 full minute. That means that depending on the device, your project could now load in about 6 seconds – which means that you just improved your time to load by 54 seconds. And all you had to do was republish your project in Captivate 9.0.2.
The most radical performance improvements (like the 10x increase) are on low end mobile devices. But even in desktop environments the improvements can be radical. On the project that I mentioned earlier – that one with hundreds of interactive items on each slide, had problems with user interactions in the older version of Captivate. It could take up to 2 seconds just to see the result of an object click. With the output from 9.02 the interactions all became instantaneous. Just as they should be.
In addition to performance improvements on mobile devices and desktop/laptops, you will also discover that there are visible improvements in the performance in Captivate Prime.
I really cannot overstate the significance of these performance improvements. You’ll find that content loads faster, that interactions are visibly snappier, that mobile performance is insanely great, and that you will be able to use far more interactions on a single slide than ever before.
Captivate 9.0.2 on the right. Both are video captures of the content running on Apple iPad 2.Check out this handy video. In the video I’ve got the same exact Captivate project running as output from Captivate 9.0.1 on the left, and running as output from
As the content runs, notice how the 9.0.1 content starts to lag behind. It loads slower, and it performs less immediately – and eventually falls far behind the playback of the tool on the right.
You’ll probably notice that while the content on the right is complete at only 32 seconds, the content on the left (Cp 9.0.1) takes more than 24 additional seconds to complete. That’s right it’s nearly 2x faster in Captivate 9.0.2!
No need to take my word for it. I encourage you to try this for yourself, and then why not use that shiny new community to compare results. Perhaps folks can even try to determine what kinds of projects yield the highest results on various output platforms and devices. I’m anxious to hear about your experiences. Let us all know how the speed enhancements enable your projects and encourage you to create richer, more dynamic inter-actives.