Pugpig Pointers: Background Downloads

Pugpig Pointers is a series of weekly tips, tricks and tutorials on how to get the most value from your apps, delivered straight to your inbox and to the Pugpig Post.

Last week we covered how to add interactive elements to your apps with puzzle integrations. In this final week of our Discovery and Engagement series, we are covering the ways you can make the most of your app’s publishing model to engage readers with your new content through background download and push.

Different modes of publishing:

Depending on your publishing frequency and style, you can decide to post periodic editions, have a continuous feed to keep readers up to date with news as it breaks or bring the two together through a mixed-mode app. You can read more about our mixed publishing mode here. Whatever publishing model you follow, there are plenty of ways to ensure that users know when you’ve posted new and exciting content and can access it seamlessly. You can start by enabling background downloads to ensure that all your new content (editions and articles) have loaded by the time users receive a push notification driving them to your material.

What are background downloads and how do you use them?

By sending a  silent push notification, which contains no message or sound, you can deliver new content to the app without users having to manually update your feed or download new editions. You can schedule these pushes to happen at optimum times for background downloads to carry through, for example in the early hours of the morning and when a phone is connected to Wifi, to ensure that your app carries out background updates without disturbing your users. You might then post a local notification when you’ve finished downloading or processing the new content. This means that all your new data will have refreshed by the time the app is opened, creating a seamless journey for your users straight into your new content, meaning that it can be ready to enjoy for offline reading on a morning commute.

As a content owner, you have the ability to schedule your background push directly through push providers, but we’ve made sure to enable scheduling directly through Pugpig Distribution Service too for Urban Airship users, and customers using Firebase can send message or background pushes straight from our dashboard. If you want more information, feel free to email us.

In order for this to work users need to have opted-in to push, and we’ve covered how you can ensure users accept push notifications in our previous pointers.

What your users should know:

First step is to ensure your users are aware of their Background App Refresh settings and this additional benefit of opting-in to push notifications. Consider adding it to your welcome screens or your push permissions pop-up.

You should also let your readers know that they don’t have to compromise available memory on their devices by enabling the automatic downloads. With the new 1.9.0/1.10.0 update, users have the ability archive an edition directly from the store front by long holding on the cover. Another piece of information you might want to include in your welcome screens.

They should also know about the new automatic archive settings we have added in Settings > General where users can choose for editions to be auto deleted if they have not been read for certain amount of time and the time periods are configurable. We have also given users the option to receive background downloads only when connected to WiFi through their Automatic Download settings.

Do you want to know more?

To learn more about deep links, and all other topics covered within our Distribution and Engagement Series, register for our Pugpig Pointers Workshop taking place in London from 2 – 5pm on Thursday 10th November. 

If you want to stay ahead of the game, download the Pugpig Post app to access all of our weekly top tips throughout the series.

So far in Pugpig Pointers Series 1:
Part 1: Increase your apps visibility across stores through App Store Optimisation 
Part 2: Create effective welcome screens for your new users
Part 3: How to use deep linking in your direct mail
Part 4: Use social media seeding to reach brand new audiences.
Part 5: Push notifications and background download
Part 6: User sharing
Part 7: Puzzles



Pugpig Express New Features

We have been busy working away on new features for Express and we’re very excited to tell you about them!

More flexible inline images

clare-1.2We’ve had many requests to make the styling of inline images more flexible, and wanted to work on this feature for a while. You can now use the alignment options in the Media Library to select whether the image you are inserting should be left, right or centre aligned! If you’d rather the image appears as it always has, you should select ‘None’ – and it will keep your usual styling.

We have also added the ability to turn off the tap-to-fullscreen gallery, which is automatically applied to inline images. If you have a small image, that you don’t want to be viewed larger you can use the ‘Turn off tap to zoom’ setting, which will turn off this functionality.

HOW: This setting is in the panel to the right of the image you have selected to insert into your content: ATTACHMENT DISPLAY SETTINGS. You can select the position from the alignment dropdown. The ‘Turn off tap to zoom’ setting is above the alignment tool.

Read more

You can make charts – inside Express!!

charts 2

Providing information to your readers in different formats allows them to digest it more easily. We have built a tool that allows you to create beautiful charts directly in Pugpig Express, and position them inline in articles you are creating.

There are 6 types of chart you can create, pie, line, bar, doughnut. radar and polar, and you can style the different elements of the graphs to fit your bespoke colour palette.

HOW: Charts work in the same way as products – you create them in the Charts tab on the left, and then when you are happy with that chart, you can add them to the body of your article with the ‘Add Charts’ button in the text editor (near the Add Boxout button)

Read more

Set your ‘Back to Top’ preference once

back to top 2

‘Back to Top’ can be a useful navigation tool for your users, and we have now made it a global setting – so if you know you want it always turned on in your articles (or even off… ) you can set it once, and never think about it again.

HOW: The setting can be found in Appearance > Customise > Content Settings. If you leave the setting on ‘Disable override’ the setting you apply on each article in ‘Show the back to top button’ will be respected. The other 2 settings will override the article setting.


Great news for digital publishers from WWDC


A few weeks back, we flew over to San Francisco for the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) and now that we’ve returned we’re keen to share some of the exciting reveals!

Further changes to iTunes Connect were announced at WWDC in addition to the pre-announced new revenue streams and the new 85% revenue split. Great news for digital publishers, a whole 15% increase in revenue from your devoted subscribers. Even better news is there’s no waiting for this, it’s been in effect for renewals since 13 June!

Subscription-groups are a great way to introduce varying tiers and durations for your subscribers, for instance monthly and yearly subs at silver, gold and platinum levels. Upgrading a subscription is instantaneous for a user and downgrading happens automatically at the next renewal dates. Any changes between subscriptions within a subscription group do not reset the accrual of time for 85% revenue split.

Another change that will provide an easier option for managing churn when upping subscription prices is the option to target prices for new-customers only. When using this option, existing customers’ will renew their subscriptions at the old price without warning about price changes providing the option to cancel. Not only that, but Apple has finally conceded that your costs may be different by region so it is now possible to vary price by region, including when upping subscriptions prices for new users only. There were workarounds for subscriptions before this which involved creating new subscription products and hiding the old ones at the old prices from the interface. (A feature we like to refer to as “legacy subs” here at Pugpig.)

There were also announcements at WWDC regarding Apple News with the introduction of subscriptions with selected publishers, a new cleaner look focussed more on Sections and breaking-news alerts on users’ home screens. We’re currently talking to the News team to get more information, but in the meantime we encourage publishers to sign up to the Apple News channel and start using it, if you don’t already.

We’ve added support to publish to Apple News straight from Pugpig Express and customers such as MotorSport and John Lewis are using this to distribute their content to the platform. We’re keen to continue to work with our customers to gain further insight and feedback on distributing content to third party distribution channels, so if you have any questions or comments please contact info@kaldorgroup.com



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


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


Pugpig releases a new mixed-mode publishing model


We’re pleased to announce the release of our mixed-mode publishing model, offering content owners another variation in the way they distribute their content within their apps.

This new product update sees the Pugpig App Container merge the traditional edition-based publishing model with a continuous feed, meaning that readers are kept up to date with news as it breaks regardless of the title’s publishing frequency. Within this new publishing model, content owners can chose between a tile-based and a timeline view in the continuous feed.

And we’re delighted to announce that Motor Sport magazine is the first title to launch a mixed-mode app using Pugpig. Available now on iOS, Android and the web, Motor Sport have used this new publishing model to ensure their readers keep coming back to the app throughout the month. The app contains a full back catalogue of editions along with a ‘Latest News’ section which brings the day’s major news stories from the world of motor racing.

Jonny Kaldor, CEO and co-founder, Pugpig says: “We’re thrilled to launch our mixed-mode publishing model. No longer do content owners have to decide whether they want an edition-based or continuous publishing app. Now that we’ve merged the two, our clients can give their readers the cover to cover reading experience they are familiar with, while also getting up to the minute breaking news as it unfolds.

Gerard O’Brien, Marketing Director for Motor Sport Magazine says: “I’m delighted to offer our readers an enhanced digital reading experience. Our audience is consuming our content across a wide range of platforms and it’s great to be able to offer another channel to our award-winning digital magazine. By making each monthly edition available on mobile and web for the first time, it allows readers to enjoy each edition more easily and engage with the brand in a whole new way. We want to ensure that motor sport fans all over the world discover us and have the chance to consume our award-winning digital magazine via the channel they want. It’s been great working with Kaldor, who have really helped shape and execute our plans. Pugpig’s ‘create once publish everywhere’ philosophy means the magazine can now create a beautiful interactive app that render across all devices and screen sizes in one simple step.”


Timeline View


We’ve extended our table of contents options to include a brand new Timeline view for articles! Like our tiled table of contents and linear list view, this is another option for the primary navigation in your app or your edition.

It works especially well for dual apps with a Latest News feed. The Timeline view presents articles in chronological order and is great for content owners who publish frequently and for users who want to stay up to date. All the tiles are stacked on top of each other with the most recent articles represented in larger tiles at the top, and older articles appearing in smaller tiles below. It will automatically arrange your article content by date and signpost it with Date based section breaks.

The Timeline view is a great option for those who wish to have a visually-driven navigation through their content, especially with its flexible theming controls. Each tile within the Timeline view makes great use of article images, whilst also displaying the title and a short summary of the content.

We have a number of apps in the pipeline launching soon that make use of this new Pugpig feature. It’s officially available on iOS and Android in our latest product releases. Get in touch if you want to know more.


Cut your editorial time with RSS feed imports


Did you know you can cut your editorial time with RSS feed imports? Well, we’ve extended the capability of our RSS feed importing to make it all automated, which makes the importing of articles as smooth as possible. As well as importing the headline and content from your full-fat RSS feeds, you can now import a stand-first, author headshot, article slug, main media credit and footer text! Using the FeedWordPress plugin, you can map tags in your RSS feed to our fields in Express. This means you can now fully automate the importing of full articles to Express, making it even simpler to distribute your content.

For more on importing RSS Feeds check out our Pugpig Documentation for more information.


New Classic Skin in Express


We have a brand new skin on offer in Pugpig Express! Classic is an elegant and clean skin which has taken inspiration from traditional print design. Through the subtle use of background colors, alongside a mixture of sturdy serif and graceful sans-serif fonts, the skin highlights different areas of content.

The responsive layouts have strong vertical lines and the horizontal grid provides a reliable structure for your content. As with all our skins, the fonts can easily be updated and tweaks can be made to the CSS in your Express instance. The Classic skin option is now available to use alongside our Clean, Brand, Dark, Business and Fun skins. Check out our Pugpig Documentation for more information on selecting the visual styles for your content.


Apple News plugin integration


With our new Apple News plugin integration, you have the option to publish your articles from your Pugpig Express site straight to Apple News – in the Apple News proprietary format. So… how does it work? Well, it’s pretty simple! The content will be pulled directly from the Express instance, all you will need to do is put in your Apple News API key and secret and you will be able to publish articles directly to your channel.

The integration with a third party plugin means that there are some configuration options for you to style your Apple News articles and publish the majority of the content you have created.


New shopping content type on Express


We are happy to announce the release of our new ‘Shopping Page’. This is a new content type which allows for more flexibility when creating content with Products. The page enables you to add one or many products to the main image, as well as create a grid of products which you can style and configure to suit your content. And what’s great, is that you’ll still be able to create body copy with images and galleries, as normal.

We have plans to develop this content type further in the future – let us know if you have any feedback about our shiny new Shopping Page by emailing info@kaldorgroup.com or if you have any user feedback on our other Express tools, make sure to fill out our short and sweet Pugpig Express survey.