Simple tutorial creation app iorad opens in beta, automatically turns walkthroughs into annotated slides
When a new piece of software is released, companies frequently include a video of someone walking through the features of the software, explaining how it works. Unfortunately, videos like this lack the basic interaction of a step-by-step tutorial.
Now, a Web app called iorad has opened in beta, which lets developers create interactive instructions for their software completely within the browser.
When you navigate to www.iorad.com, a Java applet will open in the browser. From there, you can do a step by step walkthrough of your application, and Iorad captures a series of slides of all your actions within your application's window. Your mouse path is then automatically drawn on each slide, and each of your clicks is automatically highlighted. You can then annotate the slideshow with captions, images, or interactive buttons, rollovers or clickboxes.
The finished tutorial can then be published to the Web, or exported as a Word, Powerpoint, or PDF file.
This is still a very early beta product right now, so there are still tons of kinks to be worked out and lots of feedback that could be submitted. For example, I tried hooking up to the Web app in Chrome, Safari, and IE8, and it starts up well and all the tools are available except the all-important "capture" feature, which is arguably the most compelling aspect of the app. UPDATE After a few tests, this functionality was opened, and as I expected, it is absolutely the selling point of the whole app. I opened Songbird and clicked through some songs and then installed a new plugin, and iorad snapped a screenshot every time I clicked on an item, and saved it as a slide with the action highlighted and explained. A five minute session with the app yielded a dozen complete slides.
The iorad beta is open to anyone, and signups only require a valid email address; become a tester at www.iorad.com.