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Twixl Publisher 5 was released on the 21st of June 2016. This major release brings new features and possibilities in different areas

Twixl Publisher 5 is about flexibility, speed of publishing and cost-effectiveness. In many ways it is now offering publishers the complete freedom in deciding how to publish:

  • Publish either article-based or issue-based
  • Publish pixel-perfect or responsive content
  • Setup automation with your CMS workflow and integrate RSS feeds, or just publish your content manually
  • Publish in a traditional kiosk or design your own app interface to introduce your content to your readers

Twixl Publisher now supports InDesign, HTML and PDF content in the same app and offers you all the options you may need to exploit all the capabilities of mobile apps in a cost-effective way.

One of the main advantages of moving to an article-based workflow is that it is much more bandwidth friendly, and on top of that the Twixl team decided to double the available amount of bandwidth included in all subscriptions.

1. Lower the content creation cost

Twixl Publisher 5 introduces HTML articles in addition to InDesign and PDF articles.

Let’s face it: we all know that creating pixel-perfect content for both tablets and phones (sometimes even multiple tablet renditions) is a time consuming process. This makes mobile publishing projects often very expensive.

Working with HTML articles offers different advantages:

  • HTML can be made responsive
  • HTML articles can be pushed directly from a content management system
  • It is smaller in bytes and so faster and cheaper to download
  • It offers easier workflow integration
  • It is easier to update

Adobe InDesign is the standard! And we are well aware of this. Twixl Publisher 5 continues to provide a plugin for InDesign, but we firmly believe HTML will be part of the future of mobile publishing. This is why we now open our solution to HTML content next to the existing formats (Twixl publications from InDesign and PDFs).

We believe the future of mobile publishing is a combination of HTML and InDesign content. A number of articles will be created in HTML in a more automated fashion, and for certain articles publishers will still feel the need to take the time to create pixel-perfect, illustrated and enriched layouts. That way the total production cost will become affordable and mobile will still offer its own added value.

The move from InDesign to HTML will take time because it is about people and habits that are changing. That’s why we wanted Twixl Publisher 5 to be flexible and offer the option to work with different types of content: InDesign, HTML and PDFs.

2. Increase the flexibility and speed of publishing

Article-based workflow

In Twixl Publisher 5, we are introducing an article-based workflow in addition to the existing publication-based workflow.
The main reason for this is flexibility and download cost. In terms of flexibility we introduce the concepts of articles and collections. A collection can consist of a set of articles or it can also link to another set of collections.

A collection can be compared to what a publication is in the current Twixl Publisher solution, but it is much more flexible in that you can organise it as a number of articles, but also link to sub-collections. You can provide parts of your content for free and others as paid content.

An article can also belong to different collections and when you publish a new article or an update of an existing article, only that one article needs to be downloaded and not the entire collection or publication. This makes it easier to publish, and also allows for faster downloads and optimal use of bandwidth.

The article now becomes the foundation and from there on you are free to define how you publish it. If you decide to keep publishing collections (formerly ‘issues’) using a regular publication schedule, that’s fine, but if you also want to publish some extra articles in-between normal publishing dates, you can now do that too. And if you want your mobile app to evolve from a magazine to a continuous publishing channel, that is perfectly possible as well.

Integrate different types of content sources

We started with InDesign, later we added support for PDF and now you can use HTML-based content. But that’s not all: Twixl Publisher 5 offers a new concept called “content sources” that allow you to integrate any type of RSS feed, a YouTube or Vimeo feed and CMS-based content in your apps.

Integrate in automated production workflows

Having an article-based approach also makes for easier integration in cross-channel publishing and automation environments. There, having the option to work with HTML-based content and responsive designs and templates is a match made in heaven. Twixl Publisher 5 provides different ways of integrating external content.

The ‘Integration API’ option lets you push content from different types of content management systems to article-based apps created with Twixl Publisher 5. This allows you to easily and transparently manage (i.e. add, update and remove) the content items in your apps.

You can e.g. push a Twixl article created in Adobe InDesign from solutions like WoodWing Enterprise or Vjoon K4, or you can push HTML articles from WoodWing Inception, TruEdit or Canvasflow. Basically the Twixl Distribution Platform Admin API allows you to push content from any external source available.

The ‘Automated Content Sources’ option provides extra capabilities for automated publishing of content. It allows you to e.g. integrate an RSS feed into your Twixl Publisher 5 apps. This lets you fetch content from such popular platforms like WordPress and Drupal automatically, or effectively any web site that offers an RSS feed. In addition, you can also integrate a YouTube or a Vimeo channel feed.

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3. Enhance content promotion and presentation

Perhaps this is the biggest change in Twixl Publisher 5, or at least the most visible change for readers.
But to be clear: this does not need to have an impact on the way you publish today, i.e. we are not forcing you into a new model, but are just providing more options.

What was previously called the ‘kiosk’ or ‘storefront’ has now become one or more browse pages that introduce your content and guide the reader through what you have to offer. It can provide a better and more flexible overview of your content, can attract the attention of your readers to specific points of interest, emphasize specific articles or collections, and it is 100% customizable.
These browse pages are managed from your Twixl Distribution Platform account. Per browse page that you want to include in your app, you can define a specific grid and define the layout of this grid.

Like the examples displayed above, this approach offers a whole range of possibilities. But do understand that a traditional publication-based approach with fixed publication dates remains possible.
Twixl Publisher 5 just provides additional options to offer your content to readers in a more attractive way.

It is also important to understand that the configuration of your browse pages is fully server-driven, so any change you make on the platform is reflected in your app on the fly. This means that there is no need to update the app itself when you want to update the look and feel and the organization of your browse pages.

4. Respect the traditional publisher environment

Moving from a publication-based to an article-based approach does not necessarily mean you can no longer publish the way you are used to.
For many publishers the publication frequency remains essential. “We need this moment to attract readers and our readers are looking forward to this.

Switching from a publication to an article approach is just a matter of flexibility. It makes it easier to update (parts of) your content, and offers more ways of publishing it. With the article approach we introduce the concept of a collection. A collection of articles can be compared to what is currently called a “publication”, but with the added option that the same article can be part of different collections and a collection itself can consist links to different collections.

Every publisher can evolve at his own pace, e.g. keep the focus on a weekly or monthly publishing frequency, but regularly add new articles in-between. Or create special interest issues next to the regular publications.
Publishing on mobile is not just a copy of print, that much is clear. Twixl Publisher 5 offers the capability to surprise your readers, to offer that extra value.

Not convinced yet? No problem, we do not force you to move to the new article-based approach, and you can continue to work publication-based if you prefer. All we are saying is that the new article-based approach provides more options and is far more flexible, both for the publisher and the reader. Up to you to make the move when you feel ready for it.

Conversion from 4 > 5

It is clear that if you make the choice to move to the new Twixl Publisher 5 approach, you will need to update your app and convert your legacy content.
The good news is that converting your legacy publication content into article-based content will be possible using an automatic conversion tool on the Twixl Distribution Platform, a one-click process.

Creating your browse pages will surely require some tweaking, but then it will also allow you to offer something new and exciting to your readers. And updating your app is never a bad thing, it might even remind some of your readers to look at it again, and shows them you keep improving your offering.

If you intend to use Twixl Publisher only to create single-issue apps, we’ll offer Twixl Publisher Classic as a replacement for the current Twixl Publisher Single.  Note that Twixl Publisher Classic can only be used with InDesign-based content. This product still remains the perfect entry-point for starters and occasional publishers, but it should be clear that moving to a more professional article-based approach offers far more capabilities and opportunities.

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Twixl Publisher for Publishers

Publishers embrace Twixl Publisher as one of the most complete and effective solutions in the market, providing them the freedom to define how far they want to go on the level of interactivity in their publications.

Twixl Publisher provides a complete mobile publishing package that can be used either as an all in one solution or brick by brick. It is a:

  • Content creation tool
  • App creation tool
  • Content distribution & management solution

Twixl Publisher for Agencies

Brands can’t afford not to be mobile anymore, all their different stakeholders are in need of specific mobile tools and mobile content. Agencies need to be able to respond to this demand without the need to change the way they create content completely.

Mobile publishing is a match for the agency business

Traditional agencies and independent designers represent a large group of users of our solution. Basically, Twixl Publisher lets designers create and publish enriched apps without any programming knowledge.

Mobile publishing sits in the middle between print and web. This is why Twixl Publisher lets you create content in InDesign, and integrate HTML5-based content created with tools like Tumult Hype and Edge Animate.

So parts of your app may be created by designers and other parts by web developers who can integrate tailor-made HTML5 animations and content. This will lower the overall development cost and shorten the time to market.

App store and In-house publishing

Today, agencies using our solution are creating both App Store and in-house (“Enterprise”) apps, e.g. newsletters, brochures, annual reports, company magazines, sales presentations.

Twixl Publisher, in combination with the Twixl Distribution Platform and the Pro Pack can also be deployed by an agency as an extra service for thier clients. The agency will then not only create the interactive content, but also manage the private distribution.

Mobile publishing represents a new market and a new source of revenue that can compensate for the decrease in revenue from the traditional print market.

Twixl Publisher for enterprise

Attractive and dynamic presentations for sales reps are already used frequently. Today companies are looking at in-house publishing to control content distribution in their company. They are also looking at public apps to give access to specific target groups as part of customer loyalty and engagement programs.

Enterprise publishing requires a good content management solution where every user profile only gets access to the information that matters to him/her. It brings sales presentations and customer relations management to the next level where the customer experience and delivering on expectations is essential.

App store or iOS enterprise publishing?

There are two ways to publish in-house or to closed target groups. The first is specific to iOS, where you can distribute Enterprise apps under the Apple Developer Enterprise Program. The disadvantage is that you are only allowed to distribute these apps internally to the company’s employees. Therefore many companies that want to publish in-house still use App Store apps, but with restricted access. This has the advantage that you can also publish to Android devices if needed.

All Twixl Publisher subscriptions allow the creation of single- and multi-issue iOS Enterprise apps as well as App Store apps. The Twixl Distribution Platform will facilitate the distribution of both types of multi-issue applications next to all the other services it offers. With the optional Pro Pack you can integrate Entitlements and Categories in your apps.

Users & Groups Entitlement allows you to manage who gets access to which type of publications/documents. Categories let you divide your content into different sections.

Twixl Publisher, in combination with the Twixl Distribution Platform and the Pro Pack, offers everything you need to publish in-house.

CMS integration

Twixl Publisher offers the possibility to integrate with different solutions for automated production flows and so to 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 setup to push content to the Twixl Distribution Platform. Some custom development or help from your local integrator may be required to achieve this. The Twixl Distribution Platform can also pull content from automated content sources. This lets you easily integrate RSS feeds, YouTube channels and Vimeo Channels in your app. This gives you the possibility to enhance your app in a very easy yet valuable way.

Pricing

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workflow

Twixl Publisher 5 – Five components

Plug-in for Adobe InDesign®

Create your complete interactive publication in the same familiar environment.

OS X app

The Twixl Publisher application allows you to build the apps for iOS and/or Android, either for phones only, tablets only, or universal.

Twixl Viewer Classic

The free Twixl Viewer Classic for iOS and Android allows a designer to send a preview of an InDesign article or publication to a tablet or phone on the local Wifi network.

Twixl App Reviewer

Review your complete app. The interface and all content pages. InDesign, HTML and PDF content all together.

Twixl Distribution Platform

The Twixl Distribution Platform is a cloud-based system to manage and store content for multi-issue (kiosk) apps created with Twixl Publisher and to connect with your CMS and/or different automated content sources.

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Valéry Girou

Valéry Girou

D.A. / DIGITAL / WEB / PRINT / Co-fondateur du site ELECTRICNEWS.fr / Consultant & Formateur Digital / Web / Print

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