Software

Hop Apple News

Current Version: 1.0.0
  • Installation EE 2

    1. Unzip the folder to a temporary location on your local hard drive.
    2. FTP the files from their local folders to the same locations in your EE install’s /system/expressionengine/third_party/ folder on the server.
    3. Navigate to Modules in your EE control panel and install the add-on. That’s it!

  • Installation EE 3+

    1. Unzip the folder to a temporary location on your local hard drive.
    2. FTP the files from their local folders to the same locations in your EE install’s /system/user/addons/ folder on the server.
    3. Navigate to Add-ons in your EE control panel and install the add-on. That’s it!

  • Set up a template

    The add-on doesn’t fetch fields from the DB, it requires you to create a specific very simple template to output the fields you want and eventually do some processing if needed.

    The template must contain only the HTML content that will be converted and sent to Apple News as the article content. That means no <head>, no <body>, no <script>, no <div>. You may only use only <p>, <h1-6>, <blockquote>, <ul>, <ol>, and <img> tags.

    Here is an example:

    {if "{exp:hop_apple_news:is_hop_apple_news}” == “yes”}<br /> {exp:channel:entries channel="news" limit="1" require_entry="yes"}<br /> {entry_body}<br /> {/exp:channel:entries}<br /> {/if}

    Note the {exp:hop_apple_news:is_hop_apple_news} tag. This tag returns yes only if the page is fetched from the add-on. That means nobody will see the content of that page other than the add-on parser. That tag is simply using the user agent sent in the request to verify if it’s coming from the add-on or not.

    Remove the {if} if you want to test your template in your browser. This allows for easy debugging and complex processing.

    Be sure to handle all channel cases in that template if you will send entries from multiple channels to Apple News.

  • Configure the settings

    Add the template URL in the add-on settings. The add-on will try to fetch the HTML from that template we created, appending the entry id at the end of it.

    For example: If your template is news/apple_news_format, just enter /news/apple_news_format in the Entry URL settings field.

  • Set up an Apple News field

    The add-on has a custom field included called Hop Apple News. That field is used to trigger the add-on when saving an entry. Simply add the custom field to any channel you want, just like you would do for any other custom field. There are no options to configure.

    In the Publish entry screen, the field will be displayed as a dropdown. The options are:

    • Don’t Publish This tells the add-on to not send that entry to Apple. If the entry has been sent to Apple in the past, it means the update you made to the entry won’t be sent.
    • Publish Live This publishes the article as live in Apple News. If the article has already been published, this option will update it.
    • Publish Draft This sends the article as draft in Apple News. If a draft has already been sent, this option will update it. You can’t send an article as draft if it has already been sent as live.
    • Delete This deletes the article from Apple News. Once deleted, it’s totally removed from Apple News. You will be able to re-submit the article as draft or live.

    If the entry has been sent to Apple News, the field will display some information regarding the article, including the Apple News share link or errors if any.

  • Usage

    Setup layout and styling

    Apple allows quite deep styling but it’s not really easy to comprehend. It’s sometimes hard to get a sense of what settings or parameters do what.

    Each element (title, list, paragraph…) has its own styling. It’s not possible to set a general style for all elements. The styling is divided into different parts (borders, text style, shadow…).

    Our add-on allows you to setup styling for every element via the Layout page, which should make styling easier.

    Once the styles are roughly setup, it’s ready to be previewed.

    Article Preview

    Apple provides a tool that allows you to preview an article without sending it to your Apple News account.

    Grab the News Preview app, launch it and select a device to preview the articles on.

    Now, go on the Preview page of the add-on to generate an article.json file from an entry (just enter an entry id). Drag and drop that file into the News Preview app. The News app should automatically open on the device and show the article.

    Notes:

    • The file must be named article.json
    • If the file is not correctly formed or contains invalid elements, the News Preview app will show an error message with details about the issue.

    We recommend previewing a wide range of articles containing different elements in them to be sure they properly display in the iOS News app.

    Previewing on your device

    You can preview draft articles on your device, but they need to be sent to Apple News first.

    The iCloud account you’re connected to on your device must be the same account that is registered as the Apple News Publisher.

    In Safari, go to https://www.icloud.com/#newspublisher. Under the Articles tab, choose Drafts. There will be a note there explaining how you can preview your Draft articles on an iOS device.

    Important: If you’ve delivered articles using the Apple News API or a plug-in, make sure you preview them in Apple News to see how they look on iPhones and iPads.

    Click on “previewed them” to open up a popup containing the URL to your news channel. Opening that URL on an iOS device should open your channel in the News app, where you can view draft articles.

     

  • Updating

    Updating is easy:

    1. Download a new version from this website, and extract on your hard drive.
    2. Upload the new files to their appropriate locations.

  • Uninstalling

    1. Navigate to the Add-Ons/Modules tab in your EE control panel and uninstall the module.
    2. Remove the add-on directory from your EE system folder on the server.

  • Version History

    1.0.0
    Initial release

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