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 Pointers: Puzzles

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 time on Pointers we covered how user sharing can help spread your content and increase chances of converting users into subscribers. 

How can puzzles add value to your digital editions?

Adding interactive elements like crosswords, sudoku, code words and word searches can help you to create a compelling app that can generate a deeper level of engagement with users.

Compared to any other pages, ones with puzzles have the longest dwell time. This increases the overall session duration and contributes to more in-app activity. Offering puzzles is a great way to hook readers, they are enjoyable to play, giving the reader a reason to form habits and return to your app more regularly.

You can also use puzzles as part of your marketing campaigns and integrate them into any competitions you run. Over a million people take part in competitions every year, 34% via digital. With the use of push notifications, you can alert users when new puzzles have been posted and ensure that they interact with your app in return for great rewards.

We have a webinar! Watch ‘Delivering puzzles to apps for deeper user engagement – in association with Puzzler Media’ by following the link.


Well, we have clients who choose to build their own HTML puzzles, some examples being The WeekFirst News and Chemistry World. Alternatively you can integrate with our partner Puzzler, like the Telegraph and Metro apps.

Puzzler is the UK’s largest puzzle supplier, delivering bespoke puzzles to national and regional newspapers and consumer magazines. They have a fantastic offering across print and digital platforms. We offer an integration with the Puzzler SDK through our Distribution system which makes it easy to include digital puzzles with minimal work required from your editorial teams.


  • * Crosswords, Wordsearch, Sudoku, Slider, Jigsaw puzzle options
  • * Fully responsive puzzles that have been optimised for mobile play
  • * Local storage, which means users can return to continue playing your puzzle/game where they left off
  • * Extras like puzzle hints, progress indicators and reward messages


Make sure to contact info@pugpig.com and we’ll tell you  a bit more about how puzzles can work and can put you in touch with the right people at Puzzler.

So far in Pugpig Pointers Series 1:
And don’t forget, if you want to receive Pugpig Pointers directly to your inbox subscribe to our mailing list. Otherwise, you can keep up to date by downloading our app, The Pugpig Post.