All posts by Jonny Kaldor

Pugpig does PDF! (And no it’s not what you think)

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From the very beginning, we’ve always believed that using structured content and responsive design is the only efficient way to power really great mobile apps. And while that will never change, we are always looking for ways to make your lives easier.

So today we’re really excited to announce a whole new way to get your content into Pugpig Express – using your PDFs!

Yes, you heard right – and no, we haven’t gone and done a massive u-turn. We still believe PDFs make a terrible reading experience for mobile, but they are a great source of content. And now we’ve found a partner who has deep expertise in extracting that content from your PDFs. Using this service you’ll be able to reduce the effort in creating a fully responsive Pugpig edition down to just minutes.

All you have to do is send us your PDFs and we’ll take them, rip them, pull out all the content and use it to pre-populate your editions in Pugpig. Then you just log in, have a quick look and make any adjustments or additions you’d like to make before publishing. It’s that simple!

If you’re using Pugpig Express this service is totally plug and play – nothing else about your workflow or your apps will change, only the way in which your content feeds into Pugpig.

If you’d like to try out this new service just give us a shout and we’ll set you up.

And the cost is a snip at only £50 per edition* on top of your standard Pugpig license fee.

Come and give it a go!

*extra fees may apply for editions greater than 100 pages

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Adobe’s AEM Mobile announcement and what it means to publishers

 

After today’s big announcement at the Mobile World Congress by Adobe, you may be left wondering what’s going to change and what it means for publishers. Here’s our (very brief) take on it…

 

What did they announce?

In a nutshell, Adobe announced two major changes that will affect DPS customers:

  • The launch of Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Mobile, that will (amongst many other things) subsume what was previously marketed as Adobe DPS 2015
  • The inevitable (but not immediate) end of life for Adobe DPS Classic

 

What does the launch of AEM Mobile signify?

In essence, Adobe have switched their emphasis from publishing to enterprise app development. This represents a significant shift in both industry focus and scale. Until today, DPS was a product that was almost uniquely aimed at building digital editions of print products. The target market was publishers large and small, who wanted to create mobile versions of their traditional brands. Now Adobe are focusing on enterprise clients who want to benefit from a larger suite of products aimed at automating app development in general rather than just publishing.

 

What exactly is AEM Mobile?

From a publishing perspective it’s a rebadging of the DPS 2015 platform with a bunch of extra stuff behind it. In fact if you are already on DPS 2015, then you’ll log into the same portal, but it will now be branded AEM Mobile. But it’s also a lot more than DPS used to be, because it also includes the AEM CMS – an enterprise CMS used traditionally for asset and content management to drive digital marketing. Along with that, you get Adobe Analytics and the Cordova (Phonegap) framework that will give your developers the ability to extend the base native app container to create all sorts of new features and functions. So it’s significantly bigger.

 

How much will AEM Mobile cost?

We don’t know as there is no public price list. Prices are based on “a number of factors including numbers of apps in the license and scope of the organization.”  That said, our guess is that prices will be higher than for DPS given it’s being sold as an enterprise solution and there is significantly more stuff bundled with the service.

 

What does all this mean for DPS customers?

What this means in practical terms is that classic DPS will only be available to existing customers and probably only for as long as their existing DPS classic contracts run (the second bit is a guess on our part). The official statement is that Adobe have “no near-term plans to end-of-life the DPS Classic product”. One thing is clear however – the only way to buy DPS functionality in the future will be by purchasing AEM Mobile.

 

Ok then, what do I need to do if I want to switch from DPS to Pugpig?

It’s pretty easy to do – we’ve been working with our partners to provide a service to help you move from your existing DPS apps onto Pugpig. They will be there every step of the way to ensure your move is as quick and pain free as possible. Follow this link for more info…

 

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Happy Birthday Pugpig!

 

Five years ago to the day, four freshly departed Newscorp employees sat around a table in the corner of an empty 4,000 square foot office on the second floor of the old Times building at 222 Grays Inn Road and pondered what they were going to do with the next few years of their lives…

We knew we could work together. We knew we had just enough cash to tide us through a lean period. And we knew we’d amassed a load of knowledge thanks to our then recently aborted attempt at bringing project Alesia to life. Feel free to google it. Or look at Apple News. The problem was that we didn’t really know exactly what to do. We wanted to become a sort of app incubator, helping people with great ideas to bring them to life, take them to market and reap the rewards. Only we were dry on ideas. We tinkered with a mix of loosely defined concepts from cycling utilities to wine guides, TV companion apps, interactive ad platforms (Addled!) and games, but none of them really grabbed us. And yet always in the back of our minds there was one simple idea. It wasn’t a huge stretch to be honest – content management and publishing was pretty much all we had cared about for years. And so it was that we decided to put all our focus into building our own little publishing platform, and doing it properly this time…

Within a few weeks we had this little fellow plastered across an otherwise blank website and we were ready to go.

 

 

Just a couple of months later we launched Jasmina’s Giraffe on the iPad – Pugpig’s first little offspring. But it’s thanks to our friends Kerin O’Connor, Alex Watson and Paul Lomax at Dennis Publishing who asked us to launch an app for The Week, that Pugpig put itself firmly on the map in the first week of November, 2011.

Back then we were still just a handful of people perched on desks at CHI’s office in Fitzrovia, with pizza nights every Wednesday and Christmas lunch round a table for four at Nando’s on Goodge Street. And here we are, five years later, thirty three people in London, New York and Madrid, powering over 250 beautiful apps for publishers, retailers and corporates all through our shiny new set of cloud services.

Who would have thought our little hybrid pigdog (and a brilliant team) could have achieved so much?

Happy birthday Puggers…

 

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Five New Year’s Resolutions to improve the performance of your app

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Apps are all around us and given the fact that both Apple and Google are doubling down on app technology, you need to make sure yours are performing as well as they possibly can. It’s not good enough to throw together an app, chuck it into a store and hope they’ll all come running. You need to put some real effort in. So here are five handy tips to make sure your apps are singing in the new year.

1. Tell people about it

If your readers don’t know your app exists then they’re not going to go looking for it. Spend real money on marketing your app – whether that’s house ads in your print edition, or digital marketing on your web properties. Or, god forbid, actually spend money on AdWords and other paid digital marketing channels. Your app is like any other product, you have to invest in telling people about it if they’re going to use it.

2. Get your content out there

There’s a proliferating array of distribution channels emerging for your content, from your website, mobile web and your app, as well as an ever growing set of platform-based content apps such as Apple News, Google News, Facebook Instant articles, Snapchat Discover and on and on. The trick is to use these third party channels to get your content seen, and then drive your readers into your own properties where you can properly control how you engage with them. If you’re clever, in one step you can send new readers from someone else’s service right into pages deep your app.

3. Allow people to search inside your app

Thanks to recent advances, both Apple and Google now allow the content in your apps to be indexed and searched. No longer are your apps searchable only by name and a few keywords. In fact, it’s now possible to have your app content surfaced in a Spotlight or Google search and then drive your potential audience either to the appropriate content in a web page with a smart banner pushing people to your app, or better still, to deep link right into the app if they already have it installed. And with Google currently testing out app streaming, this is going to get even easier, as readers won’t even have to download your app to use it.

4. Keep people coming back

Just because you’re a periodical, it doesn’t mean you have to publish content to your app in the same frequency that you publish to print. In fact, a healthy mix of edition-based content and continuously published articles will give you the ability to keep readers coming back to your apps more often for timely updates, while giving them the ‘finishability’ of the editions they know and love. And with the intelligent use of segmented push notifications, you can let your readers know when content that is relevant to them has just been published and get them back in your app with one tap.

5. Give it some love

Your app should not be some unloved byproduct of your printed publication. If that’s all it is then don’t expect people to come and read it. Your app should be created with your mobile audience in mind and also with the devices they have in their hands in mind. Deliver content that is relevant to them. Add services that they might need. And most importantly, design pages that are beautifully legible not just on tablets, but more importantly on phones (which massively outnumber tablets). The only way to do this efficiently is with responsive design – using layouts that arrange themselves according to the screen that they are displayed in.

 

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