This past weekend, Adobe released the latest update to Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Version 30. This version delivers a number of exciting new enhancements with respect to custom information screens, notifications, navigation options, and more.

Native Android Viewer Apps

DPS has supported Android apps for a couple of years, and the apps have used AIR as the underlying system. Those Android apps previously felt less responsive than iOS native apps. Now, however, DPS can create native DPS apps for phones and tablets running Android 4.0.3 or higher. Not all features are supported, but more will be added in future versions.

Web-Based App Builder

Users previously needed a Mac to run App Builder to create any type of app. This update lets both Mac and Windows users build native Android apps using the new web-based DPS App Builder service. On the App Builder service’s website, sign in using an Adobe ID with an App Builder role, then work with the wizard to build the app. When finished, you will be able to download an unsigned APK file. To sign your app, download the DPS app-signing tool from the service; then you can load the app, the P12, and the password into the tool to sign it, resulting in a signed app ready to submit to Android stores.

Adobe's web-based DPS App Builder

Adobe Content Viewer (Android)

There are now two versions of the Adobe Content Viewer available for Android devices. The new native app is called Adobe Content Viewer, and the AIR-based Content Viewer is called Adobe Content Viewer Legacy in Google Play. If you want to create a legacy AIR-based Android app, continue using the Mac-based DPS App Builder.

The DPS App Builder service is not offered for creating native Windows tablet apps.

Custom Information Screen

Previous releases introduced welcome screens and digital blow-ins as ways to communicate with readers about the app or to encourage different behavior based on how the reader acquired the content, but these interactions could only occur at specific and limited times, or with limited types of information. The new Information Screen is a new way of engaging with readers in a custom store or library, or inside of an article. Publishers can now present information and engage with readers through a transparent, web-based interaction at almost any point within the app.

The new Information Screen is similar to the Welcome Screen but can appear more dynamically, and it’s not restricted to first-time launches after installation or an update—it can appear anytime you want. They can appear within articles, similar to a digital blow-in, but in front of the page with transparencies to guide or inform readers, and with more API access (either custom Store/Library API or the Reading API) than digital blow-ins or the Welcome Screen offer.

Redesigned Text Notifications

Previous updates introduced iOS text notifications and segmented text notifications. In v30, the text notification system has been rebuilt using an HTML interface, so it looks different but still offers the ability to send text notifications to certain device segments, such as just iPads, just iPhones, people who haven’t launched an app in 30 days, or custom segments built by SiteCatalyst users.

There are three other new features:

  • Scheduled notifications, so you can set when the notifications will be sent, with the time based on your browser time.
  • The ability to control what happens when the reader clicks on the text notification—taking them to their last reading position in your app, or having the app launch and then take them to the library where they can find your new content.
  • A history view of push and text notifications, so you can review previously sent messages and preview those not yet sent, with the ability to cancel those that are scheduled.

The new notification features are available for iOS apps built with DPS Pro and Enterprise.

Secure Workflows

DPS Enterprise now supports a workflow for building and distributing folios in a secure manner, by combining options for both the publishing account and for specific folios. Folios will be secure during both upload and download from the DPS Distribution Service, on the Distribution Service, and in iOS devices when they’re locked or asleep.

You need to use the account administration tool to enable the secure content function for the Adobe ID used to create and publish your folios. Then, when you publish your folio, choose the new secure option. This workflow should only be used if you have confidential or sensitive information in your folio. All folios built with secure content enabled do not allow sharing, are not available in Web Viewer, and can’t take advantage of background downloads. They are not available in the Adobe Content Viewer unless you use Preview on Device via USB cable. Secure folios must have a v30 folio version number, and they cannot be free. This is a platform-based workflow that is currently supported only on iOS.

Other Features

Calendar Events and Reminder Lists

  • Calendar events and reminder lists can now be added to readers’ devices.
  • DPS apps on iOS can have API access to both calendar and reminder lists, in both the Store/Library API and in the Reading API, so developers can use HTML and JavaScript to create calendar entries and reminder lists.
  • The default iOS library now supports infinite scrolling. It no longer displays the “Show More” button; it loads all items in the library.

Navigation Options

Within the Folio Overlay tools, the Navto option, which allows for hyperlinking between articles and pages, has new extended capabilities. These new Navto options provide greater flexibility for preset navigation buttons created on InDesign master pages or  within InDesign libraries. Examples are presets for “last,” “first,” “previous,” and “next.”

Relative Navto commands allow for flexible navigation control to other articles relative to the current article. There are also options that are ratio- or percentage-based, such as 50% down, or relative to screen height (e.g., 2.5 times). These are some interesting new features that really help expand navigation options within folios.

Web Viewer

  • New Web View features include browser support notices, which let the reader know whether they’re attempting to use an older or unsupported browser when following a shared link.
  • Web Viewer supports links for “next” and “previous” and can jump to a particular page in an article.
  • Analytics for content in Web Viewer is expanded, with data on traffic source, purchase type, entitlement, TOC clicks, and clicks on the paywall button.
  • Enterprise customers using an embedded Web Viewer can now use and skin buttons in their hosting page that will go to the next and previous article in the DPS content.

Note that single editions will not be supported on Android or Windows. Also, Apple hasn’t approved the Content Viewer for r30 yet, but it has been submitted.

Four videos are available on the DPS channel at Adobe TV that cover new features included in DPS Release 30:

If you’d like to be notified when the next DPS update is scheduled to occur, join TFP’s Adobe Digital Publishing Suite mailing list.

Posted by: Margot Knorr Mancini

A thought leader in the publishing industry, Margot Knorr Mancini has helped numerous publishers redefine their missions to become nimble content generators with the ability to repurpose content easily and efficiently. As Founder & CEO of Technology for Publishing, her analytical mind allows her to remain a step ahead of the industry, recognizing early trends and developing pivotal best practices.