Beginner help topics are listed in recommended order of completion.
The BLOX Now app is a new delivery app powered by BLOX CMS. Topics (section pages) within the app are managed within the Blocks Manager in the same way as other site pages that pull content in from the CMS. The Now app utilizes Google Firebase for Push Notification functionality and ties directly into Google Analytics for audience tracking.
The BLOX Now app integrates with Google Ad Manager for mobile ad delivery.
The BLOX Now app is currently a hybrid app. A hybrid application (hybrid app) is one that combines elements of both native and Web applications. Native applications are developed for a specific platform and installed on a personal device, often times through app stores such as Apple Connect and Google Play. Web applications are generalized for multiple platforms and not installed locally but made available over the Internet through a browser.
App Privacy Details - App Store - Apple Developer
Google has a new policy for news apps that requires your attention.
BLOX Now makes use of BLOX Subscription to allow you to monetize your content on the app.
Below is additional information to help educate your staff and also assist you with preparing messaging as you market and sell the BLOX Now app:
Different app vendors differ slightly in how metrics are collected in the app. In the BLOX Now app, there are three main metrics to watch to help determine the success for your app:
NOW APP Analytic Set-up
What is IDFA used for?
Short Term Goals
Since "web+app" Google analytics properties have become Google Analytics 4 (GA4), TownNews is adding support to take advantage of the features available with GA4. This document outlines the events and their parameters that will be passed for use with GA4 Properties. Please note that not all of these will be available with the initial release. Some will be coming with subsequent releases. Please check release notes for these additional changes as they come out. The analytics team at TownNews will also be working on some example reporting that will utilize all of this information being passed and provide here incrementally as they become available.
Cards & Flags
Controls for the "Alert Banner" and Explanation Schedule feed URLThis is not active for 3.0 In future release, a xml file for live stream schedules can be entered here for 5-10 steps to deploy URLThis field is for the live stream URL This should be in a m3u8 format Banner backgroundControls color for the banner color - this is represent as black in the examples below Banner text colorThis controls the color of the text entered in the "Main description" fieldThis is represented as white in the examples belowMain description: Description of live stream or alert banner This is represented by "Trump addresses Climate Change" in the examples below This is optionalAlert background colorThis is not active for 3.0 In a future release (4.0), the field interacts with the "Schedule Feed URL" xml file and become active when there is a live stream active. Alert text colorThis is not active for 3.0 In a future release (4.0), the field interacts with the "Schedule Feed URL" xml file and become active when there is a live stream active. Controls the button color on the alert banner Alert titleThis is not active for 3.0 In a future release (4.0), the field interacts with the "Schedule Feed URL" xml file and become active when there is a live stream active. Controls the text color of the button on the bannerIn the screenshot of the admin panel, this is represented by the text "Live" Inactive alert background colorThis controls the button color on the alert banner This is represented as red in the examples below In a future release (4.0), the field interacts with the "Schedule Feed URL" xml file and become active when there is a NO live stream available. Inactive alert text colorThis controls the text color of the button in the alert bannerThis is represented as white in the examples belowIn a future release (4.0), the field interacts with the "Schedule Feed URL" xml file and become active when there is a NO live stream available. Inactive alert titleThis controls the title on the button for the alert banner This is represented by "WATCH" in the examples belowIn a future release (4.0), the field interacts with the "Schedule Feed URL" xml file and become active when there is a NO live stream available
Design / Blocks
Google sunset their legacy SDK for mobile reporting on October 31st for all non-360 customers.
Setting up automatic notification rules
Events that happen within the native app, as well as events that happen in the "hybrid" web pages that are shown within the app, are all tracked to the same Google Analytics account.
We originate our push notification from the “Notifier” in the BLOX CMS. This is connected to Firebase and Firebase pushes notifications on Apple and Google platforms. Due to the origination of the message being in BLOX, Firebase does not pick up individual messages and track performance see below for how GA tracks this information. Firebase gives you overall numbers but keep in mind due to Firebase working out bugs in the reporting, there are discrepancies for IOS. Apple and Google continue to work on better reporting for Firebase for IOS.
The BLOX Now app is a different kind of news application. As such, the way analytics works may be different than other applications. Please read below for more information.
Learn how to setup a paywall with the BLOX Now app.
If you have a video in your NOW App feed you will be able to use Chromecast or AirPlay to stream that video. Your mobile device must be on the same wi-fi network as the Chromecast or AirPlay device.
Since Google Firebase is still a relatively new platform, some features are still in development. One of the most important is analytics.
The Page Customizations panel consists of a set of configuration options that define the Now app user-experience.
TownNews needs assistance in creating a service account in your Google Play store. We try to take care of all store related issues but Google Play has restrictions on who can set up the service accounts.
Google has recently announced that there is a new Terms of Service agreement available that needs to be accepted by February 15th, 2022. Learn how to approve this agreement here in order to maintain your analytics data.
This block template will display a set of summary cards, and has options to show or hide the asset's various details (such as lead paragraph, byline, image preview, etc.).
This block template is used for all editorial content in the BLOX Now app. It generates JSON feeds to create the summary cards which will provide asset details for the BLOX Now app asset feed.
Push notifications will allow you to send notifications to your BLOX Now app to drive traffic back to your site.
To set up the Launch Ad, in Page customizations set the following parameters:
Learn how to link to to the daily e-Edition issue for an e-Edition publication.
This document explains the integration between BLOX "Flex" (responsive design) templates and Google DFP (Doubleclick for Publishers).
This setting is where the ads.txt site file is modified.