All posts by antonia

Latest Features in our Distribution Service

Distribution service feat image


The Pugpig Distribution Service manages the content from your Authoring Service and pushes it to your apps, taking care of everything else in between. With over 250 apps live on the platform, read about five new features our customers are using to manage their apps and leave their technology headaches behind.


1. The Dashboard

A single integrated portal with all the information you need to know to manage your app and publish content, all in one place. You can check store reviews, latest social media coverage, data usage, editorial content and analytics. Dashboard widgets are clearly presented and easy to view at a glance so you can keep up to date and see how your app is performing. You can be up and running in minutes on our Distribution Service and it is designed to be scalable for publishers. Once you have an account in place we can onboard all of your titles making it a powerful company wide tool. Contact us for a trial or to discuss migrating to this product. 


2. Hosted Web Reader

Every customer on our Distribution Service gets a hosted and themed Web Reader. With the option to use a Vanity Domain many of our customers are making full use of this additional platform and it is a perfect destination for social sharing links to your content. It offers a similar experience to the native app containers we offer and also helps promote these apps with iOS and Android Smart Banners encouraging the app installs when readers are viewing on a mobile device.



3. Fast and secure content delivery

The Distribution Service will handle all of your content delivery, connecting seamlessly with your preferred Content Management System. We have partnered with Fastly to offer a lightening fast and secure CDN as part of our service. This means security and load is taken care of and you can easily deliver your content to a global audience. Many clients choose not to properly protect their content because it is a bit of a tech headache, but with the Pugpig Distribution Service we’ll sort this for you. Digital publishing couldn’t be easier because all your content (editorial, advertisements, supplements, puzzles) is in one place.  Our service also keeps track of app usage and measures how well it is performing. We have lots more features coming soon including scheduled publishing so stay tuned for more updates.



4. Live analytics from your Google account

The data you want, the way you want it. The Distribution service displays key analytics information in highly visual, easy to view graphs. It will automatically run reports on your app based on metrics important to our customers like MPAs. It allows you to link off to the full Google Analytics suite to drill down further when you need to. At Pugpig we connect with the market leaders for analytics, user data collection and push notifications.



5. Making the most of native app features

The Pugpig app containers are feature rich with Sounds, Share, Search, Scrapbook, Wishlist… the list goes on. Most features require server-side components but with our Express product and Distribution Service you can make use of these features without extra development. One example is adding promo slots. You can add these to tablet or phone, iOS or Android – keeping your marketing team happy and attracting new readers! We support a range of add-ons, including Specle (for adverts) and Puzzler (for interactive puzzles) allowing you to make your apps more engaging to your end users.


Introducing two new flavours of Pugpig


We now have Pugpig for Magazines which is the perfect platform for delivering beautiful edition-based content apps, whatever your publishing frequency. To see it in action check out Jack Wills and Asian Bride. Our other new flavour, Pugpig for Continuous Publishing, lets you move away from edition-based publishing in favour of regular content updates. Check out MEED and to see what we mean.


Mark Jones: Be famous?

In this presentation, Mark Jones gives an introduction to the JavaScript platform. The talk covers the fundamentals of using live examples whilst questioning whether this is the framework that will finally bring native performance to web applications.


HTML and the future of digital publishing

By Jon Marks, CTO and Co-founder, Kaldor

Search Google for “HTML vs Native” and you’ll get about 2.5m results. It’s a hot topic, and you’ll find a boatload of articles, many of which have an agenda, declaring that “Native is Dead” or “HTML Is Crippled and Slow.”

Don’t bother reading those. Here is the truth – native isn’t dead, although it is ill. Standards will always win in the end. While HTML is certainly crippled and slow, it’s improving every day. This is because standards are slow to evolve and be implemented.

While early adopters use blood, sweat, tears and a little magic to harness the powers of emerging technologies, it takes a lot longer than you’d think for them to become mainstream. Remember the Year of Mobile? It was going to be “next year” from roughly 2004 onwards. It took seven years for the real Year of Mobile, 2011, to arrive. Similarly, Flash only kicked the bucket about five years after it first received a terminal diagnosis.

Today, both HTML and native have benefits. Making hybrids of the two offers publishers an attractive proposition, where native wrappers precludes the need to use HTML in unnecessarily complex ways. Layers of native will continue to peel away as HTML is progressively developed and improved. This may mean that native operating systems start losing their identities, but that’s a discussion for another day.

HTML’s strongest advantage is that it is a web standard – an internationally agreed upon method of storing and sharing information, so it is not going to disappear. And WebKit, the open source layout engine technology at the heart of most browsers, has benefited from 1,400 man years of work. The separation of presentation and content at the heart of HTML neatly allows for cross-platform interoperability, although this is not as easy as it should be yet. This brings with it a strong advantage in that content, and workflows, are future-proofed. Native apps are not protected in this same way. In addition, existing outside of the native ecosystems is attractive to many businesses as it allows them far more control over things like data and revenue.

So which bits of your app should still be native? Remember that different apps require different features, but as a guide, the bits that are painful using HTML are:

Smooth, responsive transitions - Even the tech community can’t agree when (or if) HTML will match the performance of native apps. It’s complicated. What is clear is that the native apps in the stores are, for whatever reason, a whole lot smoother than the web apps;

Offline storage - HTML only allows you to store a limited amount of data, and the standards are currently a bit flaky. Expect this to improve quite quickly;

Offline advertising and analytics - This might be fairly publishing specific, but both are a real challenge using HTML;

Background activity - At present, if a user doesn’t have a web site/app loaded in a page in front of them, you have no way of interacting with that user. Native apps, however, allow you to send notifications, download background content, or wake up the app based on time or location. In essence, a user can only pull content using a web app, but you can push content using a native app; and

Payment - This is a big one. Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft have millions of credit cards on file. A single-click payment system converts many times more users than a multi-step set of forms. And while there are open standards emerging for this, reaching a critical mass will be difficult. I suspect that, even in the Year of HTML, people will still be submitting apps written entirely in HTML/CSS/JavaScript to native ecosystems purely for the payment mechanisms.

As we predict that native wrappers will die out in the relatively near future, it’s important to be ready for the coming changes. Workflows, technology and content can and should be protected through the smart use of structured data and HTML – but it’s also important to avoid relying purely on HTML until it makes sense.  The future belongs to it – standards always win in the end. However, sadly, the future isn’t now. It’s 2017. And you can quote me on that.


Big wins for Grazia and Dennis at the PPA Digital Awards

It was celebrations all round at the PPA Digital awards as friends of Pugpig swept the floor, picking up four prizes. Congratulations to Grazia for taking home two awards, including Consumer Innovation of the Year for their Pugpig-powered iPad app. And it was a great night for Dennis’ digital team – winning Development Team of the Year as well as the Consumer Digital Leader of the Year award for Alex Watson.