Lets you manage who can access which content, and for how long. This can be used to manage subscribers of a magazine but also allows companies to define access based on users and groups criteria.
Twixl offers a number of built-in Entitlement scenarios that require almost no configuration:
- manage access to paid content for (print) subscribers and so provide them free access to in-app purchase content.
- for customers migrating from Adobe DPS/AEM, we support the Adobe DPS/AEM direct entitlement API to facilitate a super smooth transition to Twixl.
- publishing content to only entitled users, both for app store and in-house apps. You can define users and groups, and manage access to collections based on user/group criteria.
- use access codes or promo codes to enable privileged or specific users to get access to specific content.
If you have a scenario that falls outside the scope of these built-in options, a custom entitlement server can almost certainly provide the answer - as this is a ‘custom’ solution, it can be tailored 100% to your requirements.
Using advanced scripting you can filter the content that’s displayed in the app, based on a number of properties like language, geolocation, categories, etc.
Content segmentation is part of the Entitlement pack. It can be used to filter the content shown in the app, based on a custom set of business rules.
A typical use case would be sales apps where based on the geographical location or the language choice of a sales rep, only specific content will be shown.
Using the integration API you can also integrate your app with a marketing automation tool so you can feed the app with specific content based on a reader’s profile and reading behavior.
Twixl Publisher lets you easily integrate with different solutions for automated production flows and lets you push content to the Twixl Distribution Platform and into your app.
The “Integration API” option allows you to integrate with a number of solutions that we support out of the box, but using that same API, basically any type of CMS could be configured to push content to the Twixl Distribution Platform.
Some custom development or help from your local integrator may be required to achieve this.
The CMS solutions that offer out of the box integration are:
- vjoon K4
- WoodWing Aurora / Inception
- Caymland M4
Automated content sources
Lets you integrate RSS feeds or news feeds from your web site, or basically any site, in your app. This could also be a YouTube or Vimeo Channel. It gives you the ability to create a constant flow of content in your app and so to offer added value in your app in a very easy way.
The ‘browser client’ brings the whole article-based app experience to the web, all your content, and your browse pages. All content can be published to both your app and your web site. All interactive elements are supported, all updates are instant.
Your complete app, both the interface and all content is pre-rendered as HTML and published on our servers making it accessible from a browser.
You can provide a seamless experience across different devices, phones, tablets, laptops and desktops. Your readers will recognize the same environment and content on the different devices they are using, and if you are using entitlement the reader settings will also be aligned.
You only need one solution to bring your content to your native app as well as your web site.
By default the content of the browser client is accessible from a Twixl domain, ‘https://browserclient.twixlmedia.com', but you can setup an optional ‘custom domain’ so it appears as if it is published on your own domain.
Articles vs Collections
An article is a content item. This can be an HTML article, an InDesign-based article, a PDF, an image or a video. A collection is a set of articles presented as a group.
A collection can be compared to an issue, but it is much more flexible in that you can organize it as a series of articles, but also link to sub-collections. You can provide certain collections for free and others as paid content.
An article is the foundation and from there you are free to define how and when you publish it. You can publish continuously, with a regular publication schedule or even have a combined approach.
The configuration of your app is fully server-driven, so any platform change to your interface or your content is reflected in your app and on your web site on the fly.
When you publish a new article or an update to an existing article, only that one article needs to be uploaded to the platform. This makes it easier to publish, and also allows for faster downloads and optimal use of the bandwidth.
Multiple content sources
Create responsive HTML-based content, integrate web services, create InDesign-based content and enrich it with our plugin, publish PDFs, images, movies, integrate with a CMS or an HTML editor.
An app created with Twixl can contain a multitude of content items.
You can publish HTML-based content, InDesign-based content enriched with our awesome plugin, plain PDF content, images, and movies.
In addition, you can also easily include any type of web content, whether online or embedded. This is often used to integrate services in the app.
Content can be pushed from external content sources like a CMS or content can also be pulled from RSS feeds, so that every new article in the feed will automatically appear in the app.
You can easily make changes to your app on the fly, and new content will always be available to your users instantly.
Customizable user interface
With the advanced cell and grid layout features, you can create your app interface just the way you want to, and create a custom layout to guide the user through your app.
The great thing about Twixl is that it gives you so many options for introducing your content to your users. The concept of ‘browse pages’ lets you define the interface for your app and create a custom layout. You can create either one ‘browse page’, or you can create multiple browse pages if you have a lot of content in your app. You can even personalize the content based on the reader’s profile.
This makes your app unique, this lets you provide exactly the experience you want to.
An optional navigation menu lets you create list of quick access links to anywhere inside (or outside) your app.
The nice thing about this menu is that you are in control, you define the layout and you can define which items you want to put in there. It can be like the navigation bar or it can serve as a secondary navigation.
Table of contents
Each collection of articles can have its own table of contents. The table of contents will show the metadata you provide per article in a chronological order. The metadata consists of thumbnails and textual content.
The setup is slightly different depending on the type of content (HTML, InDesign, PDF)
Bandwidth & Storage
The Twixl Distribution Platform infrastructure uses the Microsoft Azure platform, and has five different storage locations around the world. In addition, it also relies on the Akamai CDN (Content Delivery Network) to ensure optimal download speeds from any location worldwide.
When you create an account on the Twixl Distribution Platform, the storage location closest to you will automatically be selected.
Every Twixl subscription comes with a specific bandwidth volume every year. One app: 2 TB / Four apps: 8 TP / Unlimited apps: 20 TB.
If you prefer to setup your own content storage space you can do so on Amazon S3 or on Windows Azure. Note that in that case, you don’t et the benefit of the Akamai CDN.
Download collections for offline access
This feature lets users choose to download one or more collections for easy offline access. Users can also manage the content that’s stored on their device, and remove certain content to free up space.
As a publisher, you decide whether to offer this to your readers or not. If you don’t, your content will only be accessible when a reader is online.
Full offline mode
If you enable this feature for your app, all content of all collections will be downloaded completely at first startup. Every time a user returns to the app and he’s online, all new and/or updated content will be downloaded automatically.
This is ideal for sales apps or manuals that are often used in circumstances where the user does not always have an online connection, but must be able to access the content. We strongly advise against using this for magazine apps, as this is really intended for business apps.
Auto logout support
When using entitlement in your app, there is an optional feature called ‘auto logout’. This means users will be logged out when they quit the app or when their device goes to sleep. This is an extra security feature for very sensitive content.
In an article-based app you can also publish video content (.mp4 files). In addition, you can also embed a video file (mp4) in your browse pages, or in InDesign or HTML articles, or you can also stream your video. A Vimeo or YouTube clip can easily be embedded in HTML articles, or in InDesign articles, using a web viewer.
Horizontal and/or vertical orientation
When creating a new app, you can select whether to support portrait only, landscape only or both orientations for the browse pages. This creates clarity for the user on how to use the app. Navigating between different articles is done by swiping horizontally. Navigation to the next page in the same article is done by swiping verticaly.
For bowse pages, the orientation can be selected by type of device, phone or tablet. You can support either one or both orientations.
HTML and PDF content, videos and images are always available in both orientations.
InDesign-based content will be displayed in the orientation you have created the content for. So it can only be both if you create both. This also offers the ability to display different content in the other orientation, like a video or a slideshow.
Most apps are made for only one orientation and the browse pages indicate the orientation when you start the app.
Preview and share
The Twixl app, a free download from the app store, lets you to test and share the apps you are creating. When you have an app project on the Twixl Distribution Platform, you can scan a QR code to preview it with the Twixl app.
That way you’ll immediately be able to preview the full app experience on your mobile device, with zero configuration, i.e. all the content, HTML, InDesign, PDF articles, etc., as well as the browse pages.
If you’re on a Mac, you can also use the iOS simulator to preview the same app. This makes the creation process even more convenient.
Custom URL schemes
Custom URL schemes let you trigger specific actions starting from a browse page, the hamburger menu or an article. This can be in relation to entitlement, to navigate through the content, to activate the paywall, to activate a search, to launch a third-party app, to make a phone call, …
Push notifications with deep linking
You can send an unlimited number of push notifications to the users of your app, and either send them automatically when publishing new content or also manually.
Twixl Push notifications allow for ‘deep linking’, which means they’ll bring your users directly to where you want them to arrive in your app.
You can also send push notifications by platform (iOS/Android) with the most obvious use case being to send a different web link or app store link to iOS and Android users.
Any article can be shared from the app via messaging, email, Twitter or Facebook. A custom sharing message can be defined, but by default the app will provide a link to the article in the browser client.
At the same time, if people on a mobile device navigate to the browser client of your app, a download link for the app will be displayed.
In-app purchase & Subscriptions
Twixl Publisher supports in-app purchases on a collection level, both time-based and all access subscriptions.
A collection can either be a free download or an in-app purchase. The app will interact with the App Store developer portals (Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store) to get detailed in-app purchase and subscription information.
Free and in-app purchase content can be combined in the same app: you can create a collection with some free articles to give an insight into your paid content and from that content provide a link to subscribe or to buy a collection.
Encrypt PDF files
The encrypt PDF option will encrypt PDF files downloaded to an Android device so the reader can only open it from within the app, and if he has a subscription or paid for the issue.
Full text search
You can include search functionality in your app. You can integrate search in your articles or add it to the hamburger menu. It will display a search field and search all metadata and all indexed text in your app (for all articles the reader has access to). From the search result one can quickly navigate to the relevant article.
All apps offer built-in analytics reports. Twixl analytics require zero configuration, and track how readers (anonymized) use your app, which articles they read, which collections are looked at. They allow you to have a good understanding of how readers interact with your content.
It is also possible to track analytics by entitlement token and so to analyze the behavior of every entitled user.
Analytics data can also be exported as a .xls file or, using our API, you can even integrate it with your CRM solution and automatically extract analytics data.
Tracking via Google Analytics is optional. To get started, create a Google account first, and then you can get a tracking code that you can embed in the app.
Twixl provides a plugin for Adobe InDesign to enrich the articles you create. All layout and enrichment work can be done in InDesign, in a single creation environment, making it easier to create your content.
Here’s an overview of the type of interactivity that is supported by the Twixl Publisher plug-in: action buttons, hyperlinks, slide shows, video & audio, scrollable content, image sequences, full screen image views, HTML web viewers, web overlays with external or embedded HTML, Animations, Apple or Google Maps, nested interactivity, Panorama VR...
Alternate & liquid layout
Using InDesign's alternate and liquid layout features, you can easily generate a portrait version based on a landscape version, a 16:9 Android layout after you created a 4:3 iPad layout, or even a special layout for phones. Twixl Publisher allows you to generate the alternate layout for all your articles with a single click.
Video or audio files can be embedded in your InDesign article. Movies need to be H.264-encoded mp4 files, sound files need to be in MP3 format.
From the Media palette, you can either select a particular frame within the movie or a specific image as the poster frame. A number of parameters let you define whether to play the movie automatically when loading the article, whether to play it full-screen, etc.
It is also possible to stream a video by adding a link to an external movie using the “Place a video from a URL” option from InDesign's Media palette.
Integrating YouTube or Vimeo videos is extremely easy and requires no HTML knowledge.