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Apple Newsstand

Since the launch of Newsstand on iOS5, the App Studio iOS app has been upgraded to allow your app to be included in Newsstand. This offers the following to iOS5 users:

  • All Newsstand apps appear within the Newsstand app bookshelves. The latest cover is shown - your icon is only shown to iOS3 and iOS4 users. You cannot be in Newsstand AND have your own icon on the homescreen.
  • If users sign-up for a recurring subscription (paid or free) and agree to receive auto-downloads your latest issue will automatically be downloaded onto the device without any intervention

Notes:

  • Your app must offer regularly-updated content, it cannot be a single-issue bookazine
  • The secondary category will always be 'Newsstand'
  • You will require an Urban Airship account for push notifications

If you want to be included in Newsstand you need to work through the following:

1. Enable Newsstand

  • Within iTunes Connect click on your application from the 'Manage your applications' page. Then click on 'Newsstand' and click 'Enable'
  • At this point you will be asked to upload the default cover art detailed below. 
  • On the Newsstand page in iTunes Connect you should add a url to the 'Atom Feed' section - the App Studio team will provide you with your unique url on request. This Atom feed is used to keep the issue cover in the App Store up to date with the latest published issue.
  • Note: you MUST provide a description for each issue in App Studio as this is a required field within this feed.

2. Default Cover Art

  • Although the latest cover image is displayed automatically in the app store and on the Newsstand bookshelf, Apple requires you to provide a default image. This is only seen on the user's first install of the app before they have opened it. You will need to create an image to the following spec: "The cover art must be a .png file, at least 72 DPI, a minimum of 512 pixels on the long edge, and it must have an aspect ratio between 1:2 and 2:1. Also, the artwork must be flat with no rounded corners."
  • You must upload this to iTunes Connect when you enable Newsstand for your app, and provide it to the App Studio team for inclusion in your app.

3. Apple Recurring Subscription

  • Your app must offer an Apple recurring subscription (paid or free). Please follow the instructions at Set up Apple subscriptions to create one. Note: App Studio standard apps support up to 2 Apple subscriptions.
  • Send the product id of the subscription(s) to the App Studio team to set-up in your publication. You should also provide the text you'd like to appear in the app e.g. "Get automatic downloads for free"
  • Download the Subscription Shared Secret and send to the App Studio teamSubscriptions Shared Secret

4. Enable your app for Apple Push notifications

To enable automatic downloads, we must send push notifications to the app when a new issue is published

  • You will need to create an Urban Airship account for App Studio to send push notifications from. Please set one up at Urban Airship. See Create Urban Airship account
  • You will need to enable your app for push notifications:
    1. To do this use developer.apple.com to 'configure' your app id (you must be using an Apple Mac machine)
    2. Check the box next to 'Enable for Apple Push Notification service'
    3. Click 'Configure' next to 'Development Push SSL Certificate' and follow the wizard
    4. At step 1: Download, click 'Download' and save the .cer file safely for use later
    5. Repeat steps 3-4 for the 'Production Push SSL Certificate'
    6. Next, double-click the first .cer file to see it opened in Keychain
    7. Right-click on the certificate in Keychain and choose 'Export' - save the .p12 file as a suitably named file e.g. myapp-dev.p12. Set a password if required and keep a note of this.
    8. Repeat this for the second certificate
    9. Keep the .p12 files safe for use in Urban Airship

5. Setup application in Urban Airship

When you publish a new issue in App Studio your signed-in iOS5 users will be sent a push notification to trigger the auto-download. If you want to display a pop-up push notification you can send a broadcast message via the Urban Airship website.

  1. Login to your account at Urban Airship (see Create Urban Airship account)
  2. From the 'Your applications' page, fill in the 'Add a new application' section - you will need to repeat this for your development and production certificates
  3. Set the application name to be something like 'My App Development'
  4. Set the application mode to development or production as appropriate for the certificate
  5. Leave 'Rich Push Enabled' as false
  6. Set 'Push notifications support' to true
  7. Leave 'In-App Purchase and Subscriptions' as false
  8. Click 'Choose file' under 'Apple' and upload the .p12 file. Enter its password if you created one when you exported it from Keychain
  9. Leave 'Push debug mode' as false
  10. Click 'Create your app'
  11. Send the 'Application Key', 'Application Secret' and 'Application Master Secret' to the App Studio team
  12. Repeat for the second certificate
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