This week, Adobe reviewed the latest release of the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to partners and customers. Release 23 is targeted at putting the polish on some of the foundational features that have needed tuning for a while but had fallen lower on Adobe’s priority list. Here are some of the new or updated items:

Upgraded Distribution Service Infrastructure

Thanks to updates to the server technology that the distribution service sits on, customers should begin to see significant improvements in the publish process. While there are no benchmarks as of yet, there have been anecdotal reports of a fivefold increase in performance. This server update has also decreased instances of consumer download errors. Adobe has included a beta version of a content aggregation feature as well, so that multiple application account folios can be stored in a single library.

Multi-resolution PDF Files for iPad and iPhone

The benefit of this enhancement is that you will no longer have to create two renditions for Retina and non-Retina displays, because one PDF folio can target both versions. This feature includes PDF rendering for scrollable frames and slideshows. It supports Retina and non-Retina asset support for key overlays, including pan and zoom, image sequencing, and video buttons. In addition, if you want to differentiate the resolution of content in the PDF, you can designate folders to differentiate standard assets from high-definition assets when creating the folio. This will allow the viewer to choose the appropriate set of images for the consumer’s device.

Single Edition in Creative Cloud

All Creative Cloud subscribers will be able to create unlimited Single Editions for free for the iPad. Adobe is excited about this feature, since it opens the door for independent designers looking to create their own apps at minimal cost.

String Customization in the Viewer

Publishers can now customize all strings used in the Library viewer in all supported languages, including button text in Library, text in dialog boxes, and error messages. This long-awaited feature is available for iPad, iPhone, and Android, and for Professional and Enterprise customers.

Folio Builder Panel

This version provides the ability to create a  folio using the File>New command in InDesign. New options in the Folio Builder panel include the ability to select the Viewer version and to choose the target device for the folio. In addition, the panel now shows more tool tips, an import icon, and an enhanced Back button.

New Features in the App Builder Dialog

An important part of this release are much-awaited App Builder enhancements. You can now drag and drop icon and splash screen files into the App Builder dialog and it will populate the appropriate fields in the dialog. This feature also works for the selection of digital certificates and provisioning files. Also new is the ability to enable an option to show the HUD (heads-up display) when a user taps the bottom area of the screen. A “rate this app” function can also be enabled here, giving publishers the ability to ask users to rate their app.

Enhanced Viewer Features

With this release, publishers can choose to hide inline video controls in iOS and can also elect to stop at the last frame in a video. In addition, iOS users can now enable a hot zone to activate top and bottom bars in folio view. For both iOS and Android apps, Release 23 offers a prompt for opt-out analytics. This feature is available to both Professional and Enterprise customers.

Background Audio

For the iPad only, you will be able to set background audio that continues to play while the user moves to other content. The play/pause icon will be displayed in the top navigation bar. This can be enabled by selecting the option from the Folio Overlays panel.

New Purchase Option for DPS Professional Edition

Adobe has released an option to buy Professional Edition as an annual purchase directly through the Adobe store.

Web Viewer Enhancements for Professional and Enterprise Customers

  • Internet Explorer 10/Windows 8 on PCs is supported.
  • Publishing to Web Viewer is easier, thanks to the ability to render PDF folios to PNG format.
  • Entitled users can continue beyond a paywall; direct entitlement is available to Enterprise customers only.
  • It provides a paywall for free folios, as a way of driving enrollment without a purchase requirement.
  • It includes support for legacy WoodWing folios.

 Improved Communication Around Professional and Enterprise Subscriptions

Adobe will send account status emails related to DPS subscription end dates, including:

  • 60 days prior to subscription end
  • 30 days prior to subscription end
  • At expiration date
  • 30 days after subscription end
  • 60 days after subscription end

 What’s Next: Releases 24 & 25

Adobe announced that Release 24 will focus on efficiency and bug fixes to make the tools more stable and agile. Release 25 is expected in early 2013 and will focus more on new features. Some of the features expected with Releases 24 and 25 include:

  • iOS 6.0 and Social Sharing. Adobe notes that iPad 1 and iPad iOS6 can’t both be supported due to differences between code. Adobe is still working out the details of what to do about this.
  • Sections, a feature that will enable consumers of daily publications to split issues by section
  • Launch newly downloaded folios automatically
  • Maintain read location of all folios, not just open ones
  • Enable background downloads
  • Reduce confusion around the sign-in and restore process
  • Add Distribution Service API v2
  • Resume the publish process when an error is encountered, so any uploaded folios will stay uploaded
  • Improve error messages
  • Allow multiple selection of articles for update in article view
  • Require the selection of a default orientation when creating a new folio in the Folio Builder panel
  • Upgrade the Folio Producer infrastructure
  • Provide a downloads report that covers Web Viewer downloads
  • Count Web Viewer downloads against fulfillments
  • Add Custom Publisher Branding
  • Add Tablet Web Viewer
  • Provide the option to select Tablet Web Viewer or Tablet Onboarding

Adobe plans to switch to a nine-week release cycle instead of the current six-week cycle, as a way to release more features over time and give the company time to stage its feature testing during the cycle.

There are several more on the list – stay tuned for the next update in about 6 weeks to catch the latest highlights in how to best plan for and create your new DPS apps!

Posted by: tfpadmin