Twixl Publisher Builder
On Oct. 29, Google announced a public beta of the Google Analytics iOS SDK 2.0.
As it turns out, people who integrate Google analytics in a Twixl Publisher publication may have an issue:
- if you created the Google API key before October 29th, your analytics will continue to work properly without problems.
- If you created the Google API key after October 29th, information will not be tracked with Twixl Publisher 3.0.
A forthcoming update, 3.0.1, will support the new API.
The Twixl Publisher Professional documentation is available here
It provides step-by-step instructions on how to create a kiosk app with either in-app purchases or subscriptions.
With the release of Twixl Publisher 2.2, we have revamped the product documentation and integrated everything in a wiki:
The documentation is available here
Below is a checklist of items you need to configure if you want to publish a Kiosk application in Apple's Newsstand in iOS5, and the Kiosk contains only free content
[ITC] refers to the iTunes Connect portal [UA] refers to the Urban Airship back end
- [ITC] Make sure your application [My Free Magazine] is Newsstand enabled (refer to Apple's documentation for more info)
- [ITC] Make sure you have defined an in-app purchase of the type "Free subscription" e.g. com.mycompany.myfreemagazine.freesub
- [UA] Add a new subscription and name it [My Free Magazine]
- [UA] Add an new subscription product of type "Free subcription" with product ID matching the one used in [ITC], i.e. com.mycompany.myfreemagazine.freesub
- [UA] Every time you have a new publication, add subscription content for [My Free Magazine]
When creating 'standalone' applications, these apps are always downloaded through the App Store, and Apple provides the infrastructure and bandwidth (at no extra cost, independent of the number of downloads).
When creating 'kiosk' or ‘storefront apps’, only the app and its inital (default) content are distributed via the App Store. E.g. if you have a series of issues, all issues that are added after the initial download, can only be hosted outside of Apple’s App Store infrastructure. This implies additional hosting fees when using this model.
Twixl media uses Urban Airship for hosting the different issues. More details about the per download pricing for in-app purchases and the per subscriber pricing for subscriptions is available on the Urban Airship pricing page.
Twixl Publisher Plug-in for InDesign CS5/CS5.5/CS6 requirements
see the Adobe site for details.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Although the plug-in can be used on both Windows and Mac OS X, the Twixl Publisher Builder app is Mac OS X only.
Twixl Publisher Builder requirements
Mac OS X 10.6.8 or 10.7.x and Xcode 4.x. Xcode is a free download from the Mac App Store.
There are two ways of distributing apps in house:
- "Ad Hoc" distribution - this is possible if you have registered for the standard iOS Developer Program
- "Enterprise" distribution - for this you need to register for the iOS Developer Enterprise Program
"Ad Hoc" distribution requires you to register
the UDID of all iPads (or other iOS devices) in the iOS
Provisioning Portal, and is limited to a maximum of 100 devices. It
is a bit more cumbersome to use and configure, because when you add
a new device to the pool, you will need to create a new build of
your application(s) every time to include that device in the list
of supported devices.
NOTE: "Ad Hoc" builds can be created with any version of Twixl Publisher.
"Enterprise" distribution does not have a
limitation in terms of the number of devices it can be installed
on. Also, you do not have to register the UDIDs of all devices
(although you still can). As of version 2.0.3 of Twixl Publisher,
the option was added to specify a "deployment" URL
when creating an Enterprise build.
NOTE: Enterprise builds can be built with Twixl Publisher Advanced and Pro only
Enter a folder location on a web server here, and three files will be generated when you create a build:
- app.ipa (the application file)
- app.plist (a plist file)
- app.html (the page to navigate to)
If you copy the three files to the folder that was specified as the deployment URL, users will be able to navigate to http://[yourserver].com/[appfolder]/app.html from their iPad to automatically install the application.
Sometimes, specifically if you are using a lot of "web viewer" content, you may want to create your own thumbnails. By default the "web viewer" content will not be shown there.
Here's how to add your own thumbnails:
For each page you want to have a thumbnail for, you need to create an image with the following properties:
- File Format: JPG
- Dimensions for the portrait thumbnails: 128 × 167 pixels
- Dimensions for the retina portrait thumbnails: 256 × 334 pixels
- Dimensions for the landscape thumbnails: 171 × 125 pixels
- Dimensions for the retina landscape thumbnails: 342 × 250 pixels
The thumbnails need to be placed in the same folder as the InDesign files for the article.
The files need to have the same name as the article, but should have the extension ".jpg" (for the normal thumbnails) or "@2x.jpg" (for the Retina thumbnails).
A sample folder structure looks as follows:
If the system cannot find a thumbnail for a specific article, it will generate one on the fly.
In many cases these problems happen if a person trying to create the build does not have the private key that was used to create the distribution certificate.
Apple provides a technical note about "Understanding and
Resolving Code Signing Issues".
The note is at:
If you were using version 1.1.1, this problem may occur.
Do the following:
Remove the current app from /Applications/ePublisher Builder.app/
Download the new version here and reinstall.
Twixl Publisher Explore and Twixl Publisher Standard only allows you to create (an unlimited number of) “ad hoc” builds to install on your iPad.
If you want to publish an application in the App Store, you can send your InDesign export to Twixl media or one of its partners in order to create the App Store build and optionally submit the application in the App Store via iTunes Connect.
There are two ways of doing this:
Build only option: You can send your
publication to Twixl media in order to create the App Store build,
and once you receive the App Store build of the app, you can submit
it in the App Store via iTunes Connect completely by yourself.
More details are available in this FAQ
Build & Submit option: You can send your
publication to Twixl media in order to create the App Store build,
and have Twixl media also take care of the process of submitting
the app in the App Store via iTunes Connect under your account
More details are available in this FAQ
I have Twixl Publisher Explore and want Twixl media to create an App Store build and submit it to the App Store
This is available in our web store as the product "App Store Build for Twixl Publisher Explre/Standard - build & submit option" via this link
Here are the steps to follow when sending a publication to Twixl media to create an App Store build and have it submitted in the App Store
- Prerequisite: It is required to be registered as an iOS Developer. If you haven’t done so already, you can via http://developer.apple.com/programs/start/standard/
- Request an FTP upload account via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org - if you use a service like e.g. WeTransfer or you can put files online on your own server, you can skip this step
- Create the export from InDesign
- Gather an application icon (144x144 pixels) and iTunes icon (1024x1024 pixels), and startup screens (1536 x 2008 pixels for portrait and 2048 x 1496 pixels for landscape), then group these files in a folder and create a zip file named "appmetadata.zip"
- App name: by default, your publication name will become the name of your app - if this should be different, please specify.
- Gloss effect: by default, no gloss effect is added to the app icon - please specify if you want the gloss effect added.
- Gather iTunes metadata such as described on p. 61 & 62 of the iOS Developer Program User Guide (app name, description, price, screenshots etc.) - provide all text info in .txt files and when you have collected all the materials, compress the files and name the archive "itunesmetadata.zip".
- Provide the login details of your iOS Developer account to Twixl media
- Provide Twixl media with the private key for your iOS Distribution Certificate (see details below)
- once you have received the FTP login information, upload the zipped file of your InDesign export (the file with the .publication extension), along with the "appmetadata.zip" and the "itunesmetadata.zip" files.
- Send an e-mail to email@example.com and you will receive a reply within the next 24 hours. The App Store build will normally be submitted to the App Store within 48 hours (provided all required metadata is available).
About the private key
The Private Key needs to be exported via the Keychain Access application. First navigate to the Keys section, then export the key, linked to the iPhone Distribution certificate. You will need to provide a password when exporting. Be sure to also provide us with this password.
I have Twixl Publisher Explore and want an App Store build that I can put in the App Store by myself
This is available in our web store as the product "App Store Build for Twixl Publisher Explore/Standard - build only option" via this link
Here are the steps to follow when sending a publication to Twixl media (or one of its partners) in order to create an App Store build
- Prerequisite: It is required to be registered as an iOS Developer. If you haven’t done so already, you can register via http://developer.apple.com/programs/start/standard/
- Request an FTP upload account via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Create the export from InDesign
- Gather an application icon (144x144 pixels) and iTunes icon (1024x1024 pixels), and optional startup screens (1536 x 2008 pixels for portrait and 2048 x 1496 pixels for landscape), group these files in a folder and create a zip file named "appmetadata.zip"
- Once you have received the FTP login information, send us the zipped file of your InDesign export (the file with the .publication extension), along with the appmetadata.zip file.
Provide Twixl media with a copy of the following files: Private Key, Distribution Certificate and App Store Provisioning Profile. Use the option "Export Developer Profile" from the "Help" menu in the Twixl Publisher Builder application, then select your iPhone Distribution identity, your App Store provisioning profile, and provide a password.
App name: by default, your publication name will become the name of your app - if this should be different, please specify
- Gloss effect: by default, no gloss effect is added to the app icon - please specify if you want the gloss effect added
If you provide the login details of your iOS Developer account to Twixl media, then you only need to send us the Private Key (as described below).
Send an e-mail to email@example.com and you will receive a reply within the next 24 hours, and the App Store build will normally be made available to you by the next business day.
- Once you have received the App Store build, you are ready to submit your application to the App Store via iTunes Connect.
IMPORTANT NOTE If you provide Twixl media with the login details of your iOS Developer account, you only need to provide us your Private Key. If you prefer not to give Twixl media access to your iOS developer account, you will need to send us your exported developer profile as outlined in step no. 6.
New to iOS Development ? Here are the steps to follow before you can create an Ad Hoc build with Twixl Publisher Builder that can be installed on your iPad
First of all, you need to be registered as a developer in the "iOS Developer Program" (99$/yr): Start here to enroll now.
Xcode needs to be installed (but trust us, you'll never need to open the application itself ;-)
You can download Xcode for free from the Mac App Store.
Follow the instructions on Apple's iOS Provisioning Portal (via this link) - you need to be logged in with your iOS Developer account to access this page
Now you will need to to:
- obtain your iOS Distribution Certificate
- add devices that will be used for testing
- create an App ID for your app
- create the Ad Hoc Distribution Provisioning Profile
In order to create a Distribution Provisioning Profile for Ad Hoc Distribution, follow the steps below:
Obtain your iOS Distribution Certificate
Follow these instructions to generate a certificate signing request and download an iOS Distribution Certificate.
Assign the devices you want to use for your Ad Hoc builds
Locate the Unique device ID in iTunes and add them to the 'Devices' section of the Program Portal as described here
Create an App ID
An App ID consists of a universally unique 10 character "Bundle Seed ID" prefix generated by Apple and a "Bundle Identifier". The recommended practice is to use a reverse-domain name style string for the "Bundle Identifier" portion of the App ID, e.g. com.yourdomain.yourpublication - more details here
Create and download a Distribution Provisioning Profile
In order to build your application for Ad Hoc distribution, you will need to create and download an Ad Hoc Distribution Provisioning Profile. Follow Apple's instructions here
Once you've done all of the above, and have downloaded the Provisioning Profile, you're ready to create and Ad Hoc build with Publisher Builder:
Open the file you exported from InDesign (with extension .publication) in Twixl Publisher Builder, go to Preferences, then navigate to the "Provisioning" tab.
Add the Ad Hoc Provisioning Profile you downloaded from the iOS Portal to that preference setting using drag and drop (or perform right-click to insert it).
Add a home screen name (under the "General" tab) and optional home screen icon and splash screens (under the "Artwork" tab).
Click "OK" to Save the Preferences.
You're now ready to create an Ad Hoc Build.
Once the build has been created, drop the .ipa file on iTunes and synchronize with your iPad.
If you want to quickly be able to look at the result of your InDesign publication in the iOS simulator, then you can download Xcode for free from the Mac App Store.
However, if you want to be able to create an Ad Hoc build and install it on an iPad, or publish to the App Store, you also need to be registered as an iOS developer. That Apple program is available for 99$/year.
Check Apple's developer web site for more details.
The iOS SDK required for Twixl Publisher Builder will automatically be installed as part of Xcode.
ePublisher Standard users
Once you have previewed the app in the simulator, and have found you are satisfied with the result, zip the .publication file and send it to RovingBird's FTP server. RovingBird will then take care of the actual build process.
ePublisher Advanced users
Once you have stored the settings for your publication in the ePublisher Builder Preferences, and have added at least one type of provisioning profile, you are ready to create a distribution build of the app.
1° Open the InDesign export file (the file with the .publication extension).
2° If the Builder app finds information about the publication in its Preferences (i.e. by matching the publication name), it will display it in the respective fields.
3° Select the type of build you want to create.
4° Click "Build".
Once your build is finished, you are ready to distribute your app.
If the build is an "App Store" build, make sure to gather the necessary metadata (product description, screenshots, etc.) and then you are ready to submit the app via iTunes Connect. If the build is an "Ad Hoc" build, make sure to bundle the provisioning profile together with the app for internal distribution.
There are three types of builds:
- App Store
- Ad Hoc
1° App Store build Use the "App Store" provisioning profile created in the iOS Provisioning Portal to create a build that you will be submitting to the App Store. The application will automatically be zipped so it's ready for upload to iTunes Connect.
2° "Ad hoc" build iOS Developers enrolled in the Standard program have the opportunity to distribute their application outside of the App Store on up to 100 different devices. Use the "Ad Hoc" provisioning profile created in the iOS Provisioning Portal to distribute a build of your publication internally.
3° "Enterprise" build iOS Developers enrolled in the Enterprise program have the opportunity to distribute their application outside of the App Store and without the 100 devices limit. Use the "Enterprise" provisioning profile created in the iOS Provisioning Portal to distribute a build of your publication internally.
Both the "ad hoc" and "enterprise" builds generated by the Builder app are files with a .ipa extension. These files contain an embedded provisioning profile, and can automatically be added to iTunes.
In order to create any type of build, the Preferences settings for your publication, which you should preconfigure, must contain the relevant provisioning profile.
See also this FAQ
The application or bundle identifier is used in the actual build process of an app, and it is not required for a "Preview" (or "simulator") build.
The recommended practice for an application identifier is to use a reverse-domain name style string.
An example App identifier would be: com.twixlmedia.twixlmagazine or in general com.[your_domain].[your_product_or_publication].[issue number].
For more detailed technical information about application identifiers, please refer to Apple's documentation on the iOS Provisioning Portal.
The iPad has a resolution of 1024 x 768, but the status bar uses 20 pixels.
Therefore, the size should be exactly 768 x 1004 pixels for portrait and 1024 x 748 pixels for landscape mode.
NOTE: In version 2.3 we introduced support for
the retina iPad, and that version requires a larger version of
these splash screens:
the size should be exactly 1536 x 2008 pixels for portrait and 2048 x 1496 pixels for landscape mode
Up until version 2.2: the iPad icon should be exactly 72 x 72 pixels in size
As of version 2.3 and higher: the iPad icon should be 144 x 144 pixels in size