What to think about when moving from Publish to Bolt
We’ve worked to make moving from Publish to Bolt a seamless experience, building out Bolt’s functionality to be equal to, or better than that of Publish, and automating many of the key steps in the migration to make it swift and error-free.
With that said, we also want to take this opportunity to let you do more than simply mirror the experience from your current app. Bolt has an expanded feature set and is substantially more flexible than Publish, so we’ve written this document to help you understand these options and decide what questions you may wish to ask.
Your migrated apps are submitted as a new version, just like any other Pugpig update. While we are working on the update, the Publish app will continue to work. In fact, the same content will power both your Publish App and new Bolt app so that users can have time to upgrade to the latest and greatest version.
Bolt follows the same tab-based layout as our newer versions of Publish. This means you can have up to 5 tabs on the bottom bar that are any combination of:
- Custom Web View
Customers using the dual publishing configuration of Publish (Both standard editions and a continuous/latest news edition) will want a storefront tab and a timeline tab. Additional content types, such as video, audio or puzzles can also be broken out into their own timeline tabs. Both timeline and storefront tabs can be further divided into multiple timelines or filter groups respectively.
Almost everyone will need a settings/account tab. On Bolt they are much more flexible, and can feature any combination of predefined items (i.e. Sign in, subscribe and link accounts, saved timeline, search) and ad hoc links to pages of your choice.
The analytics do change between Publish and Bolt, primarily because the analytics need to map to the structure of the app. Rest assured that Bolt analytics provide more insight into user behaviour than the Publish version.
For example, with Publish apps, Google’s ‘Total users’ metric includes any device that has connected to the Google Analytics instance at any point during the reporting period whereas on Bolt apps ‘Total users’ only includes users who have opened the app during the reporting period. This is a manifestation of Bolt and Publish handling background activity in different ways. Other metrics such as ‘Active users’ or ‘user_engagement’ more accurately reflect app usage for Publish apps.
You can read more about analytics in Bolt here.
There are also some brand new features you could consider including in your app. These include:
- A much better experience allowing for multiple sets of content timelines, and multiple storefronts. That's the point!
- A metered paywall for anonymous users to allow users to sample content before being asked to buy.
- Far more options for PDFs (see next section)
- A more elegant flow for web based (PKCE) sign in, and receipt linking to your back end system
All of the important features that you are used to in Publish are available in Bolt. There are a few changes worth noting:
- Bolt supports Single Issue Purchases, however currently does not provide the ability for these to be purchased directly from the Storefront. We've learned that virtually all our apps that need single issue sales perform better when they allow the user to preview content. So the Single Issue call to action is provided once a user hits the paywall.
- Bolt does not offer Promo Slots on the Storefront. However, we have new and better ways to achieve a similar result and we can discuss options with you.
- The downloading and offline behaviour has been revamped so it should be fast and use less space on the device.
Be sure to check the release notes for information on new features:
Bolt supports our full range of PDF capabilities, in short these are:
- Enhanced PDF: The ability to have the HTML versions of articles accessible by tapping on the article in the PDF view. Users can read the entire edition in either format, swapping back and forth at their leisure.
- Double page spreads: On larger screens, pages will be rendered side-by-side, as they would be in a physical
- Improved PDF fidelity: Bolt features a greatly improved PDF renderer, meaning that pages are crisper and clearer.
- We've added the ability to provide Full Edition PDFs to download for users that really like printing out entire books.
Your PDF workflow will not need to change. You can continue to use any of:
- Automated upload via STFP
- Automated XCago integration
- Manual upload of PDFs into your CMS
There should be very little difference between how the HTML content pages are shown in your new Bolt App. It's extremely unlikely you'll need to change any content. Bolt uses WKWebView on iOS, which might be slightly different from the older UIWebView used on earlier versions of Publish.