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How To Quickly Create Tutorials For Mobile Applications

How To Quickly Create Tutorials For Mobile Applications

Author: Hasan Siddiqui

In this packet, we will go over the steps required to make a good quality tutorial for any mobile application or service for the Android™ operating system as well as iOS.

While it is important to be able to know how to use mobile applications, an educator should also be able to show others how to use it as well. If there is an application specific to a class, it would be beneficial to teach the whole class how to use the application.

While it would be possible to use only text to convey the message, it would often time be more efficient to use an image guided tutorial. Obviously using a camera to take pictures of the cell phone screen would not be satisfactory. The pictures would come up low quality, and almost useless.

There are some methods that work very well though. One of these is using screen shots. While there are many different types of cell phones available, with different ways to take screen shots, this packet will focus primarily on the Android™ mobile operating system and iOS.


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How To Create A Tutorial - for Android™ and iPhone™

To create a good tutorial, you only need to follow a few simple steps. Once you get used to the steps, one can create a tutorial extremely quickly.


The first step in making a good tutorial is to take a good screenshot. This is the most important step. It is a pretty simple process for either two major operating systems (OS). On both OS's, you need to first navigate to the screen that you wish to "capture". After getting to the specific screen, you will take the screenshot.

For the Android™ OS:

1. Hold down the power button until you see a pop-up labeled "Phone options".

2. Tap on the button that says "Screenshot".

For iOS:

1. Hold down the home button.

2. Press the power button.


The second step is to get the screenshots on your computer. Again, there are a variety of ways to do this. One way would be to navigate to your photo gallery and email the photos to yourself. From there, you can just download the images onto your desktop or laptop. Another, possibly easier, way is to connect your phone to your comptuer via USB. This would allow you to simply drag and drop the files from your phone onto your computer.


The third step is to edit the screenshot. There are a wide variety of programs that you can use. Paint (comes with all Windows PCs) is a simple, free one to use. In it, you can add arrows, circles, text, or anything that would emphasize what you are trying to show.

After you are satisfied with your edited screenshot, you can save the file. A useful way to save them is in chronological order of using them (i.e. the first image saved as "1.jpg", second image saved as "2.jpg", etc.).


The fourth step is to create your tutorial. A tutorial can be made as a series of pictures, a text document that contains images, or a powerpoint slideshow. In this packet, we will go over the powerpoint slideshow (for Microsoft Office 2007-10). The first slide should be a title page describing what the tutorial will be on. The second slide is where your tutorial can begin. Import the photo by clicking on the "insert" section at the top of the page and then clicking "picture"

Then navigate to the screenshot you want to add, select it, and click "insert".

After placing the image where you would like it (usually centered), you can then type any accompanying text that you would like to add. Repeat these steps with new slides until you are done with your tutorial. Save the file and share your knowledge.


How To Take A Screenshot With An iPhone

Example Tutorial - How To Use FourSquare For Android

A brief tutorial on how to use the FourSquare application for the Android operating system. This tutorial was created using the methods described in this packet.