HTML5 on the iPad is running slow

Apologies if this has been addressed elsewhere, but I am working on a course that will be viewed via iPad only. The Articulate mobile player is not an option, so the users will have to run the HTML5 version in Safari.

I am noticing that the load time is very slow from screen to screen (I am using an internal, networked web server which is quite fast). Not surprisingly, it is slowest when advancing to a screen that has a large number of assets (e.g., photos, layers).

I expected HTML5 to run a bit differently, but I did not expect it to be this slow.

Are others experiencing this? Does anyone have any advice or tips for me?

If all else fails, I'll add a fake "loading" layer to each screen so users know that something is indeed happening.  But I am hoping that there is something else I can do to improve the speed. 


P.S., Storyline is fantastic. 

24 Replies
Mark Kizilos

I have experienced this problem as well. I had a screen with five radio button interactions on it, and it would take 20 seconds to load via html5 version. It was instantaneous in both the mobile player on the iPad and in flash on the desktop. I didn't test in chrome or safari on desktop. Instead, I had to spread the questions out over five screens. That sped things up.

It would certainly be nice to know if this is a problem that will be fixed or needs to be designed around. I have notced in some of the demos that when they run in html5, there is often a lagtime in slide advancement...

Steve Flowers

Hi, Mark - 

I'd definitely report that as a bug. HTML display is supposed to be snappy. The http load of elements is likely not the bottleneck. It's probably the client side calculation for presentation. HTML5 is supposed to offer really snappy performance and from what I've seen it is when constructed well.

Be sure to submit the story files that are causing the problem. The more examples of cattywhompus load and output the team has, the easier it will be to make a feature perfect

Chad Carlile

Thanks, all. 

Gerry - Yes,I have tried the same course (from the same server location) in Chrome, and even IE7 on my desktop and it works like a charm...super fast. It is only when I am on my iPad using the HTML5 version that I run into this problem. I have seen this same behavior with a few other courses I published for HTML5 on the iPad. 

The project I am working is highly proprietary, but perhaps I can make a generic version and share the files. If anyone has any other tips in the meantime, I'd love to hear them. 


Keith Freeman

Just looking over this post because I'm experiencing the same slowness issues with iPad. I currently don't "advertise" to anyone that the mobile version of my projects work because so far unless it's very basic it is just too slow. 

Don't get me wrong I love Storyline but the mobile and iPad exports definitely need some tweaking. I would love to hear any tips on how to get them to run faster if anyone has any. 

Katy Joy

Same here!  The files are playing beautifully on a  desktop, but the files are running super slowly on HTML5 using all browsers that I have tried.  The interactions have lots of layers and triggers.  There's nothing I can post either, but if you can let me know if there's a fix, it would be greatly appreciated.

Electron Karthick

I have noticed the performance improves when the content accessed for the 2nd time from the mobile safari. The performance was better when the contents loaded from mobile safari cache. At this point there is no easy solution for HTML5 performance limitations. This makes me wonder, can storyline introduce a new 'option' to preload the entire course contents before the the course starts (just as an optional feature)?

If such option is introduced the performance complaints might reduce for the time being until browsers mature with HTML5

Leslie Shapiro

I have an html5 course for iPad that was exhibiting extensive wait times, but through extensive testing we discovered one item that might be helpful to anyone else with this problem.

I removed the gradient background (which was in the Master) and changed it to white. Now, there is zero lag time. This piece includes videos and some other large files, too. This was like item 35 on my testing list and I could not believe that it worked, but it did. So give it a try if you are having similar issues.

Electron Karthick

Leslie Shapiro said:

I have an html5 course for iPad that was exhibiting extensive wait times, but through extensive testing we discovered one item that might be helpful to anyone else with this problem.

I removed the gradient background (which was in the Master) and changed it to white. Now, there is zero lag time. This piece includes videos and some other large files, too. This was like item 35 on my testing list and I could not believe that it worked, but it did. So give it a try if you are having similar issues.

Thank you for sharing your experience. Are you referring to player background color or the slide master background? Because the slide master background by default is consists of white background only (unless we manually change it to gradient pattern)?

S.  Dyson

Yes, definitely. I had hoped that Articulate would have addressed this issue, especially considering it was reported three years ago. I'm on an iPad Air 2 with 128G, with space and speed to spare, yet both the Articulate player and HTML 5 on iPad run painfully slow, compared to the same course running on any desktop or browser. The Storyline runtime doesn't seem to be managing memory very well and ultimately grinds to a halt as the course progresses. Mobile support is critical and I'd like to see this fixed. Anyone have any information to share? 

S.  Dyson

I do. The courses aren't media heavy, although there is audio throughout. They run quickly on desktop computers, both from the network and installed locally. The iPad versions start well, but then quickly crawl to a halt. Unsync'd audio, painfully slow transitions & basic animation. It's really bad. Any suggestions?

Sent from my iPad

Gerry Wasiluk

Well, just to throw out a few random observations that may apply here . . .

1)  First of all, a bit of perspective.  I've been using Storyline since the first beta of Storyline 1.  So I've seen it grow and mature.  While things may not have evolved as fast as I would sometimes have liked, I believe Articulate has done a tremendous job in improving things for HTML5 and iPads.  Yes, they have more to do to continue to evolve things.  But, from using their software since 2003, I have faith they will.  

The period between technologies is often called "crazy time," and we're in such a crazy time now as Flash is declining and HTML5 is ascending.  In such times, replacement solutions and technologies rarely come fully realized and perfect.  They need time to grow and mature. 

We're a society craving instant "perfect" solutions and desiring instant gratification--as a result, it's often very hard to be patient waiting for things to improve, especially if the product we are producing is essential to our livelihood.  So the question for me is not is the solution perfect but is it evolving and growing and maturing.  And Storyline is.  Again, it may not be doing it as fast as I would like, but, at least for me, it is at a very acceptable rate.  Of course, YMMV. :)

2) For content that has to play as HTML5 on iPads, I'd ALWAYS use Storyline 2 and not Storyline 1.  Articulate made a lot of great HTML5 improvements with Storyline 2.  If you don't have it, consider upgrading.

3) I'm neither an Apple fanboy nor an Apple hater, but the iPad, for me at least, has been one of the strangest performing devices that I've ever used (I have two).  For me, part of the issue in Storyline course performance is the Apple browser and the iPad hardware--it's not all the fault of Storyline and the HTML5 standards.   Playing a simple video on an iPad is one thing but playing it inside an e-learning course with a lot of other things going on is something else, something more complicated and demanding.

4) For courses that need to play on iPads, we may need to design them differently to run well.   The forums and the resources here have a lot of great tips and suggestions.

For example, if at all possible, I'd try to avoid consecutive slides of long videos at optimal quality.  Slides with a lots and lots of layers or objects states can sometimes be a challenge, especially in courses with a lot of videos.

In such courses, I like to design simple slides between intense multimedia-content slides.  I also like to build delays at the beginning of courses (like "course is loading" slides and other simple delays that hopefully won't frustrate the learner) to give time for things to download in the background. 

For courses with a lot of videos, I may reduce the video, audio, or image quality of them to reduce the size of the course and to lessen the demand on iPads. 

I recently completed an onboarding resource for a major U.S. company that was mainly stock company videos.  The source .story file ended up being 1.5 GB and, at highest video quality, it published out to 764 MB.  Just reducing the video quality when publishing from 9 to 8 reduced the published output to a size of 282 MB.  And I couldn't see a reduction in video quality.

And this onboarding resource plays mostly fine--yes, there are sometimes 4-8 second delays in loading a couple of slides but most slides load in 1-2 seconds, even with all the videos.  And I don't see the course slowing down further over time.  Not as good as Flash perhaps but totally acceptable to both me and this client. 

I realize that others may find that unacceptable.  We all have different perceptions of what "slow" is.

Anyway, just a few things to throw out there.  Again, I'm encouraged by the HTML5 improvements in Storyline and look forward to how things evolve further.  In the meantime, I need to try and always design things effectively to run on iPads.

Steve Flowers

Hey S. -

Agree with Gerry. SL2 is MUCH better than SL1. If you're using SL2, be sure to submit a help request along with your project and a link to the functioning output if you are able.

If you're using SL1, you might try downloading the SL2 demo. You can run both on the same machine. I'd bet you'll see a marked improvement in performance between SL1 and SL2.

Gerry Wasiluk

Hi, Stephen!

Hopefully, some day your clients might upgrade.  It really is worth it.  Unless forced to, due to circumstances like yours, I'll always use Storyline 2 over Storyline 1 or even Studio 13.

Earlier this year, I was helping a major medical firm here who has having trouble delivering Storyline 1 content to their external clients with iPads.  Among other things, content was not displaying properly in the LMS player frames.

They were this close (imagine me holding two fingers together separated by less than 1/4") to dropping Storyline completely and maybe moving everything to Captivate.

The first thing I had them do was upgrade to Storyline 2 and use some specific player and other Storyline 2 settings.

They are now very happy, and they're migrating some 50-80 courses done in Storyline 1 to Storyline 2.


P.S.  On the sometimes sporadic, spurious, puzzling weirdness of iPads . . .  I love the iPad for "instant on" and browsing and playing simple games when being a couch potato at night.  Drives the wife nuts when we're watching TV.  :)

Well, two nights ago I went to two websites with my iPad 4 and was getting content dated from three days earlier (both were newspaper-related sites).  Went to my main desktop PC and went to the same sites and they were up-to-date with the current date and content.  Went back to the iPad and flushed the Safari cache and website data many, many times but the sites would not update.

Tried the same sites a day later and everything was current.  Go figure . . .

Probably use that as an excuse (along with wireless AC) to now get an iPad Air 2.  :)


Gerry Wasiluk

If you have not yet noticed, Articulate released a great new update (Update 5) to Storyline 2 this morning.  While mostly bug fixes, there is one feature of interest to this particular thread:  Enhanced performance of HTML5 output so slides load faster.

During my beta testing, I did see an improvement, especially for slides with videos.  For very simple slides, the improvement was not as dramatic, if at all.

To download the update, or for more information on the new features and fixes, go here:

Again, if you have not done so, I'd strongly recommend updating to Storyline 2.