Like any mature and advanced software product, mag+ has its own terminology to refer to its parts and pieces. For the most part, the terms are straightforward and easy to understand. We recognize, however, that users who are unfamiliar with mag+ may not immediately understand what a “block” or a “MIB” is. That’s the purpose of this article: to introduce you to some of the terms used by the mag+ system.
We’ve broken the list into two parts: terms used in conjunction with mag+ Issues (the content that mag+ apps download and display) and mag+ Apps, the actual programs that live on an end user’s mobile device and fetch content, show it to the user, and allow them to interact with it.
mag+ Terms Applying to Issues
A mag+ Issue is a bundle of content, settings, and information (initially created in Adobe InDesign) that is served to a mag+ app. mag+ Issues are defined in the mag+ Publish portal and contain information such as a name, description, what subscriptions they are a part of, whether they are free or paid, and contain attachments (MIBs) that are delivered to different devices running a mag+ app. One or more MIBs (tailored for different devices) are uploaded and attached to specific mag+ Issues.
A & B Layers: mag+ documents created in InDesign consist of a number of predefined layers that dictate how objects placed on those layers behave. Several of those layers are divided into A and B labels. Objects placed on B layers are displayed below items placed on the A layers. While objects on the B layers tend to be anchored to the visible screen dimensions of a device, objects on the A layers scroll freely above the items on the B layers. This unique structure lets customers create visually-striking content elements that can float above or scroll across other content. Content can be specifically restricted to either A or B layers or can be placed on both to create visually complex designs. For more information on the different mag+ layers, please refer to the article “The Predefined mag+ Layers in InDesign.”
Block: Blocks are the fundamental pieces of content within a mag+ InDesign document. Blocks are assigned unique IDs that tell the mag+ app where they are placed, how they should behave, and how they are linked to other blocks (providing features such as Popups, Links, or controlling media playback).
Clickable Area: A Clickable Area (also called a Hotspot) is a defined area on a mag+ InDesign document that triggers different behavior when a user taps within its bounds, when it comes into view, or if it is triggered by other means. Clickable Areas are used to control Popups, Web Links, Jump Links, and Media. All Clickable Areas are found on the C-Clickable Areas layer within the InDesign document. For more information on the different mag+ layers, please refer to the article “The Predefined mag+ Layers in InDesign.”
Fast Review: “Fast Review” is a mag+ feature in InDesign that produces a low-resolution preview of your design that is “pushed” from InDesign or the Producton Tool to a selected review device running the mag+ Reviewer app. Fast Review performs image conversion using Adobe InDesign. A “Full Review” uses a locally-installed version of Adobe Photoshop for image conversion, resulting in higher quality but larger-sized files. A Fast Review, as its name implies, is faster to push to a review device. For more information on reviews, please refer to the article “Setting Up and Using the mag+ Reviewer.”
Folder Export: Folder Export is a script/menu item provided by the mag+ InDesign plugin. This command allows a customer to select a local folder and export all the mag+ InDesign documents contained within it into a format suitable for the mag+ Production Tool. For more information, please refer to the article “The Folder Export Script.”
Full Review: “Full Review” is a mag+ feature in InDesign that produces a high-resolution preview of your design that is “pushed” to a selected review device running the mag+ Reviewer app. Full Review performs image conversion using a locally-installed version of Adobe Photoshop for image conversion. This results in higher quality but larger-sized files. A Full Review takes longer to produce and to push to a review device than a Fast Review. For more information on reviews, please refer to the article “Setting Up and Using the mag+ Reviewer.”
GUID: The GUID is mag+’s internal identifier for MIBs and is set within the mag+ Production Tool. Each MIB has an associated GUID. The GUID is used by the mag+ app and mag+ Publish portal to display, link, and download content. The GUID is a combination of a customer’s Brand ID, the Issue ID, and the number of versions of the MIB that have been generated.
Help MIB: Help MIBs are special packages of content that are displayed separately from regular content in a mag+ app. Help MIBs are intended to be used to explain how to interact with a customer’s app and are generated separately from Issue MIBs. They are embedded within the app, unlike Issue MIBs which are downloaded from the mag+ Publish portal. Help MIBs are linked to a special “Help” button in the mag+ app.
Hotspot: A Hotspot (also called a Clickable Area) is a defined area on a mag+ InDesign document that triggers different behavior when a user taps within its bounds or if it is triggered by other means. Hotspots are used to control Popups, Web Links, Jump Links, and Media. Hotspots can be found on the C-Clickable Areas layer of an InDesign layout. For more information on the different mag+ layers, please refer to the article “The Predefined mag+ Layers in InDesign.”
Jump Links: Jump Links are a mag+ feature that provide navigation to other mag+ app content. A Jump Link is created in Adobe InDesign using the mag+ InDesign plugin and is triggered by a Hotspot (also called a Clickable Area). Jump Links can transport a user to another part of the mag+ app (such as the Help screen), jump to content contained within the current Vertical, jump to content within a different Vertical of an Issue, or even switch the user to a different app installed on the current device. Jump Links are different than Web Links, which simply invoke the mag+ app to display content from a web URL. For more information, please refer to the article “Creating Jump Links.”
Knockback: An optional feature in the mag+ InDesign plugin that lets designers fade a scrolling A-Layer into view with a specified “Knockback” color as the background color. The color serves to obscure the underlying B-Layer. Opacity is supported with a Knockback color, thus allowing the B-Layer to be partially visible. For more information, please refer to the article “Changing the Background and Knockback Colors.”
Live Text: A feature that saves selected frames in InDesign as actual text (instead of rasterized images). This text is then selectable in the mag+ app. It results in smaller Issue sizes, but can only display fonts supported by the mobile device it is viewed on and hyphenation/justification will not match what is shown in InDesign. Currently iOS-only. For more information, please refer to the article “Advanced-Saving Text as Live Text.”
mag+ Production Tool: The mag+ Production Tool is where publishers collect their exported InDesign layouts (called Verticals) and arrange them in the order to be displayed by the mag+ app. The mag+ Production Tool then creates a MIB (mag+ Issue Bundle) file. This MIB file (which ends in .mib) is then uploaded to the mag+ Publish portal. For more information, please refer to the article “Setting Up the mag+ Production Tool.”
mag+ Templates: mag+ Templates are specially configured InDesign templates that are set-up to work with specific mobile devices. Designers use these templates to create content to be served to appropriate mobile devices. mag+ Templates are included with every installation of the mag+ Tools, and are updated as new supported devices become available. All mag+ content must be built on these templates. For more information, please refer to the article “Meet the mag+ Template.”
mag+ Tools: A loose term used to describe the mag+ InDesign plugin, mag+ Production Tool, and the mag+ Reviewer app.
MIB: An acronym for mag+ Issue Bundle. MIBs are proprietary files created by the mag+ Production Tool and consist of a package of Verticals exported from the mag+ InDesign plugin. MIBs are device-specific and are attached to an Issue in the mag+ Publish portal. One Issue in the mag+ Publish portal can contain one or more MIBs. When a mag+ app requests an Issue, the mag+ Publish portal will serve the MIB that corresponds to the device the app is running on. All MIBs end with a “.mib” file extension.
Multi-Device Export: Also referred to as MDE, Multi-Device Export is an automated process in the mag+ InDesign plugin that allows customers to export a single InDesign layout to multiple layouts that are targeted for different devices. The mag+ InDesign plugin scales elements on a layout to best fit the new device documents. For more information, please refer to the article “How to Use Multi-Device Export for Multiple Devices.”
Overlay Layer: A special Vertical setting that, when enabled, designates an InDesign document’s contents as the top-most layer for an entire Issue. The background of the InDesign document is transparent, and is thus overlaid on top of the contents of the underlying Issue. It is assembled like other mag+ layouts and can contain Jump Links, Web Links, Popups, and more. Elements on the Overlay Layer can even trigger other elements in the Issue document underneath it. It is useful for providing elements like custom persistent navigation elements across an Issue or for adding sashes, badges, and more. For more information, please refer to the article “Creating an Overlay Layer.”
Panning: A mag+ feature that allows an end user to swipe across an element to see more content that is hidden behind the cropping of the box that contains it. A classic example is an image that reveals more of itself as the end user swipes up/down/left/right within the confines of a box. For more information, please refer to the article “Adding Panning or Scrolling to an Object.”
PDF Import: A mag+ script/feature that allows a designer to select an existing PDF to use as the basis of a mag+ Issue. The script automatically breaks each page of a PDF into separate InDesign documents. Optionally, the script can also take each page of a PDF and drop it onto a separate page of one InDesign document. It is targeted towards designers who want a quick way to take existing PDF content and place it into a digital format. Additional mag+ features, such as Jump Links, Web Links, Popups, and more can be placed on top of the imported PDF content. PDF Import can also automatically enable Zooming on converted PDF documents. This allows end users to zoom in using a touch gesture to enlarge content. For more information, please refer to the article “The PDF Conversion Script.”
Pinning: A mag+ feature that lets a designer “pin” objects in an InDesign layout. The objects are pinned relative to the distance from the horizontal or vertical edge of the InDesign page. When the content is then viewed on a mobile device and the orientation switches direction (say from portrait to landscape), the objects change their position on the screen automatically. Pinning is a feature intended to help designers create one InDesign layout which is used for both device orientations. For more information, please refer to the article “Adding Pinning to Objects.”
Popups: Popups are content configured in an InDesign layout that appears when an end user taps (or an event triggers) a defined Hotspot on the layout when it is viewed on a mobile device. Popups support optional transitional effects to change the way they appear to the user. They can also be triggered by other mag+ elements or be set to appear when the user scrolls the Popup Hotspot into view, out of view, and more. For more information on Popups, please refer to the article “Creating Popups Using the ‘Popup’ Button.”
Popup Groups: Popup Groups are multiple Popup elements that are grouped together so that when one element is opened, all other elements within the group are closed. This helps prevent the designer from creating interactive layouts that overwhelm an end user with the number of Popups that appear on the screen. Popup groups can also be used to present information in a guided, formal way to introduce end users to content on the page. For more information on Popup Groups, please refer to the article “Creating Popups Using the ‘Popup’ Button.”
Review: Review is a mag+ feature that allows designers to “push” content from InDesign or the mag+ Production Tool to configured “Review Devices” running the mag+ Reviewer app. This allows designers to preview their interactive layouts on the actual devices where they will eventually run. For more information on reviews, please refer to the article “Setting Up and Using the mag+ Reviewer.”
Snapping: A mag+ feature that allows designers to customize the point at which content on the InDesign “A-Main Tower layer” appears. By default, content placed in a mag+ InDesign document on the “A-Main Tower layer” will scroll freely as the user swipes it up and down on their device. Snapping allows a designer to set a threshold at which point the content on the “A-Main Tower layer” will automatically reposition itself. For more information, please refer to the article “Adding Snapping to Your Layout.”
Triggers: Triggers are a mag+ feature that allows designers to set the behavior of Hotspots (also referred to as Clickable Areas). Triggers can be set to initiate actions from Popups, Media, Jump Links, and more. Triggers can be configured to respond to a user’s tap or to the Hotspot’s position on the page (as in whether the Hotspot comes into view, exits view, etc).
Vertical: A Vertical is the mag+ term for an InDesign layout displayed within a mag+ app. A Vertical can consist of multiple InDesign pages within a single InDesign document. Verticals are exported out of Adobe InDesign using the mag+ InDesign plugin. Multiple Verticals are then assembled in the mag+ Production Tool in order to create a package of content referred to as a MIB (mag+ Issue Bundle). This MIB represents content optimized for display on specific devices (usually related to their screen dimensions and resolution). The mag+ Publish portal links one or more MIBs into a mag+ Issue that is delivered to a mag+ app installed on an end user’s device.
Web Links: Web Links are URLs associated with Hotspots defined in a mag+ InDesign document. Depending on how the Hotspot is set to trigger (by a tap from the user or its position on the page) the Web Link will take the user to the associated URL. Web Links can be configured to use the apps built-in browser or to open the URL in a separate web browser app on the end user’s device. For more information, please refer to the article “Creating Web Links.”
Zoom: Zoom is a mag+ feature that lets designers specify an InDesign object as capable of being zoomed in or out via a “pinch-and-zoom” or double-tap gestures. A classic example of Zoom is allowing an end user to to use a pinch-and-zoom gesture on an image to zoom in and out of it. For more information, please refer to the article “Adding Pinch and Zoom to Objects.”
mag+ Terms Applying to Apps
mag+ apps can be installed on iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire devices. They are customized and built via the cloud-based mag+ Publish portal. mag+ apps connect to the mag+ Publish portal and download content to the end-user’s mobile device, taking into account entitlement options such as subscriptions or individual purchases.
Ad Hoc App: An ad hoc app is a specially-configured app that can be distributed outside of Apple’s App Store for testing purposes. This type of app requires the publisher to configure a list of Test Devices where the ad hoc app will be installed. The app is then built and can only be launched on those devices. Changes to this Test Device list requires a new build of the app. For more information on building an ad hoc app, please refer to the article “iOS - How to Install Your Test App on Your iPad.”
Application Texts: Text displayed within a mag+ app interface can be customized to suit the needs of the customer. These “application texts” are stored in text files within the app. Language translation is achieved through application texts, but customers can also choose to use this feature to rename an app interface element (eg to rename the “Issues” button to “My Content”). For more information on customizing application texts, please refer to the articles “iOS - How to Customize Your App’s Look and Feel” or “Android - How to Customize Your App’s Look and Feel.”
Banner: Banners are optional promotional images that appear within a mag+ tablet app at the top of the “Issues” screen. Banners can be used to promote new content, subscription deals, cross-promotion of other company apps or content, or can even display advertisements for an app sponsor. Multiple Banners can exist within an app with a timed interval for their rotation, and can link to content internally within the app or externally to web resources. Banners are considered a “Live” feature and can be updated dynamically without the need to rebuild an app or to require a customer to download an update. For more information, please refer to the article “Using In-App Banners.”
Build: A build is a specific construction and packaging of a mag+ app. A build is generated by the mag+ Publish portal and it combines the latest mag+ application code, certificates that identify an app publisher and the features supported by the app platform/marketplace, and IDs that link the app to content, subscriptions, and more. As new versions of mag+ are released, customers can instruct the mag+ Publish portal to generate a new build of their app which they then upload to an app marketplace. For more information on creating new builds, please refer to the articles in the section “Creating Your mag+ Apps.”
Featured Content: Featured Content is an optional area within a mag+ app. It appears within the Issues screen, below any configured Banners, and is used to promote specific mag+ content such as the latest Issue, a specific Issue, or a specific In-App Subscription. Featured Content can display multiple items in a carousel view that includes large preview images, a title, space for descriptive text, and buttons to buy/download the content or subscription. Featured Content is considered a “Live” feature and can be updated dynamically without the need to rebuild an app or to require a customer to download an update. For more information, please refer to the article “General - Adding Featured Content to Apps.”
Live Window: An optional user interface button/window in a mag+ app. The Live Window displays web content from a URL, such as a web page or social media feed. The Live window does not cache content so it only loads when the device is online.
mag+ Publish Portal: The mag+ Publish portal is a cloud-based service that performs a variety of functions. It allows content publishers to customize the look and feel of their app, associate MIBs (that it can host) to Issues, configure Subscriptions that are available to users of their app, builds the customized apps for delivery to their respective marketplaces, and can send messages to users of a published app. For more information, please refer to the article “Introduction to the mag+ Publish Portal.”
mag+ SDK: mag+ offers an app development SDK that lets publishers customize a mag+ app beyond what is provided by the standard, public tools. In addition to UI changes, it can be used to customize how MIBs are parsed and rendered, to alter how content, entitlements, and subscriptions are handled, and can be used to embed mag+ features into other custom-made apps. For more information, please refer to our web page describing the SDK.
mag+ Token IDs: mag+ Token IDs (also called Device IDs on the Android platform) are special alphanumeric identifiers that are associated with each build of a content publisher’s app and each device where it is installed. These Token IDs therefore change each time the content publisher instructs the mag+ Publish portal to build a new version of their app. The Token ID can be entered into the mag+ Publish portal to allow for testing of content prior to the content being published, and can be used to send targeted push notifications. For more information, please refer to the article “General - Defining Test Devices.”
Push Notifications: Push Notifications are text messages sent to an end user’s device and appear in the notifications area. Publishers can notify end users when new content is available or if new features have been implemented within the app. On iOS, Push Notifications are also used to instruct devices to download new content in the background. Different OS makers (such as Apple and Google) have different methods by which to send notifications and specific criteria that must be met in order for a notification to successfully appear.
Reviewer App: The Reviewer app allows designers to preview content on mobile devices. mag+ provides several platform-specific “Reviewer apps” (iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire) that are installed on mobile devices and that can receive content “pushed” to them by a computer running Adobe InDesign and/or the mag+ Production Tool. It is a method for previewing interactive content on physical devices using the exact same rendering engine as the published app. For more information on the Reviewer app, please refer to the article “Setting Up and Using the mag+ Reviewer.”
Spaces: Also referred to as “Screens” in the mag+ app. Different Spaces are triggered by UI elements within the app and show different content. The Issues Space shows the end user all the content on their device, such as content purchased and content available for purchase. The Live Space can show content retrieved from a URL or app marketing package. The Help Space will bring up the content of the Help MIB included with the Issue. The My Account Space can be tied to a custom login page for use with mag+’s Subscription API. The Newsfeed Space allows integration with the Appboy Mobile Relationship Management service for delivering news and messages to end users.
Subscription API: An API that lets developers create their own system for entitling content. App publishers typically have their own database of users who are entitled to certain pieces of content. In the publishing world, this may be a database of print subscribers. In a corporate world, this may be a database of marketing/sales personnel. The Subscription API lets a developer present a custom login to users of the mag+ app. Upon verification, specified content can then be made available to those users. For more information, please refer to the article “mag+ Subscription API - Adding Custom Access Control and Entitlements to Apps.”
Subscriptions: mag+ Subscriptions are configured in the mag+ Publish portal and go hand-in-hand with In-App Purchases defined in Apple’s iTunes Connect portal or In-App Products in Google’s Play Developer Console or Amazon’s Developer Console. Subscriptions can be either free or paid and are associated with content that is then served to subscribed end users. For more information on creating Subscriptions in mag+, please refer to the article “In-App Subscriptions - Adding and Managing In-App Subscriptions.”
Symbols: Symbols are the icons presented to end users in the mag+ app user interface. How a Symbol is displayed, its dimensions, and colors are customizable, but the level of customization is dictated by the platform where they are viewed (iOS vs Android). For information on customizing symbols please refer to the articles “iOS - How to Customize Your App’s Look and Feel” or “Android - How to Customize Your App’s Look and Feel.”
Test Devices: Test Devices in mag+ are mobile devices identified by UDIDs or mag+ Device IDs entered into the mag+ Publish portal. Test Devices in mag+ allow users to preview content before it is made available to apps. mag+ Test Devices are different than iOS Test Devices entered into iTunes Connect. iOS Test Devices allow users to test the ad hoc version of an app before uploading it to iTunes Connect. For information on configuring mag+ Test Devices, please refer to the article “General - Defining Test Devices.”
UDID: The UDID is a unique identifier for iOS devices. It is used to define which devices can install a test version of your ad hoc iOS app. For information on finding a UDID, please refer to the article “iOS - Install Test App on on Other iOS Devices.”
White Label App: This is another term for a mag+ app that can be customized. White label apps are configured and built by the mag+ Publish portal. The white label app can then be uploaded to an app marketplace for purchase and/or download or (in the case of enterprise customers) be shared internally with a company’s staff. For more information on building white label apps, please refer to the articles in the section “Creating Your mag+ Apps.”