Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Publish5 Update: New Custom Channel (Simple Web Pages)

Publish5 allows you to create your App content easily with different type of channels, including dynamic channels (for feeds and videos) and static channels for information like contact, address, links. In the latest version, we have added another new type of channel that could enhance the functionality of your App significantly.

 Embed Simple Webpages into Your App (NEW!)

You can now embed simple webpages into your App. There are many ways to utilize this channel, e.g. by simply adding a Google Form URL then you could have live feedback or order form for your users. Or if you (or your friends) are capable for producing simple HTML pages, you can design specific pages to put into the App. If you decide to add a custom page from your website, remember to make sure it will scale dynamically on different mobile devices. As mobile devices usually have less computing power, your pages should be simple and it should load fast.

Demo on Simple Web Page

To experience the latest features, just log in publish5.com to modify your app design, then use the latest version of "Publish5 Test Client" Android App or check the live preview on your iPhone.

For information on how to manage your content, check out this page as well.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Update on Twitter Channels

As of Jun 2013, Twitter no longer allows third party mobile apps to display tweets without their explicit authorization. Due to this change, Twitter channels in all existing Publish5 Apps (Android and iOS HTML5) will be forwarded to mobile.twitter.com
 directly. We believe this change will have minimal impact on your Publish5 App's experience. Publish5 subscribers will soon receive the new APK via email and the corresponding iOS HTML5 App will be updated automatically.

Like many other app developers, we regret Twitter's decision on further closing up their platform. Please feel free to contact us if you have further questions about the change. Thank you.

Monday, December 10, 2012

What is an Android ID?

Every Android must have an Android ID (a.k.a. package name) which is a unique ID to identify your App on Google Play Store. Once your App is published, this ID cannot be modified.

For example, the Android ID of "Publish5 Test Client", our demo app on Google Play Store, is "com.publish5.android", and the URL of  corresponding listing is


It is important that this Android ID is unique and related to your website URL, that is why Publish5 will generate your the initial Android ID based on the URL of your website. In most cases, you do not need to change this initial Android ID.

If you would like to modify your Android ID when you first design your App, please be aware of the following restrictions:

  • All letters should be in lower case
  • The convention is to use the reverse of your domain names, e.g. com.publish5.android
  • The first character cannot be a digit, e.g. com.1abc.android will be come "com.oneabc.android" or "com._1abc.android"
  • The name should not contain hyphen or other special characters

Further Reference:

Friday, December 7, 2012

New Features: Customize your App with New Custom Channels

You can now create brand new Custom Channels in your Publish5 App! Custom Channels allow you to add static content, like maps, contact info, photos etc. to your App with absolutely minimal effort.

About Us or Contact Us Channel

Complete your App with an About Us channel. Seriously, how can your App go without one? Add short summary of you or your organization, and provide ways for your users to get in touch with you.

Photos/Links Channel

Add photos or links with these two channel types to provide additional content or useful links to your users.

Map Channel

The Map Channel is useful for businesses or organizations interested in showing their physical addresses to users. There will be a Google Map snippet showing your physical address, with which you can also include a short traffic instruction, and your contact email or numbers. When users click on your map snippet, they will be directed to their Map Apps on their mobile devices.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tip: Picking a Great Icon for Your App

"App Icons? Oh my I am not a graphics designer what should I do? "

No panic, picking a great icon for your App is easier than it sounds. Ok first things first, what is an App Icon? It is the little image that users click to start your App! For example, four of Google's own Apps icons below:

No no, you don't necessarily have to have draw your own Icon Images! Remember, there's only three rules for a good icon image:

  1. Squarish 
  2. Looks good when shrunk to thumb-size
  3. Squarish 

Hm, I seemed to have repeated myself, but anyway, Google has an official tool for convert your photos and images into a proper icon. Check out the icon generator at Android Asset Studio - a simple interface to resize and trim your images for your icon needs. Click on either "image" to start creating your icon out of whatever image resource you have in hand:

Or you start creating an icon from a short text:

Also, somewhere on your website or blog or content, there has to be some part of it that represents your App well. We would recommend Screen Capture (by Google). Once installed, it allows you to capture images you like from your blog, twitter or any other contents. Just install the extension on Chrome and you can convert any region of web pages into an image:

That's it! Hope you enjoy creating your very own Icon Image for your very own App. Enjoy!

Nemo, Publish5 Team

Nemo is the in-house designer of the Publish5 team. In his free time, he surfs the Internet for squarish images that can be used as App Icons. Seriously!

Tip: DIY Your First App - Start to Finish

So, how exactly do you DIY your very own Android/iOS App? With Publish5, it is seriously simple - all you take is 3 simple steps!

Step 1: Start Publish5 and Design Your App:

The very first step is obvious: get onto Publish5 and start designing your App!  No knowledge of coding or designing is required - our HTML5 based Android/iPhone simulator shows you how your App gonna be like the moment you make changes. It comes with a simple tutorial to get you started too!

Step 2: Preview Your App Design

So, you got your App design ready and want to see how it looks on a real mobile device? Save your design and choose to go to preview your App. For Android users, download the Test Client from Google Play (formerly the Android Market) and load it in. For iOS, you will be given a short URL to test your iOS(HTML5) App on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

Step 3: Generate Your App!

Think your App is ready for version 1.0? Finalize your design and proceed to generation! We now support cross-platform generation so you can create your App to run on both Android and iOS. Our servers will start processing your App once you have chosen your Publish5 Plan. The gnomes inside our server (and our engineers) will start the process of turning your design into reality. You will receive your App within 7 days and that's it, you got your first DIY App!

There you go, instead of spending thousands of dollars on hiring a freelance developer, you have created your own cross-platform mobile App!

Feel free to send us any feedback via the feedback function inside Publish5.

Nemo, Publish5 Team

Nemo is the in-house designer of the Publish5 team. In his free time, he hides from angry freelance developers who have lost their clients to Publish5. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tip: What Should I Do with My APK (Android App) File?

So you have published your brand new Android App and you got your APK (Android App) file from us... now what?

Get Published!

The recommended action is to publish it on Google Play (Google Android Market). The major advantage of Google Play is that your App can be installed with greatest ease on most Android devices through Google Play via mobile or web, and most importantly it allows you to update your App on users' devices automatically. This will be very handy if you wish to add channels, change designs or simply incorporate new features or bug fixes from us. To publish your App on Google Play, simply go here.

If you wish an alternate distribution channel, GetJar offers a free option.

How do I install my APK file manually?

All APK files are tested on multiple standard Android devices before they are delivered, so you can get safely go straight to publish it without testing - it will work the way you see it in Publish5's simulation or the Publish5 Test Client. However, if you really insist on installing the APK manually on your device, or you wish to ask your readers to do so (not recommended), you will need the following short instructions. Notice that it is more work than installing from Android Market, so that's not a path we would recommend for the common end user:

Step 1: Allow non-Market Apps

In "Settings -> Applications", make sure "Unknown Sources" is on so non-Market Apps are allowed, like this:

Step 2: Go to APKinstall.com and Follow the Instructions

This free handy website allows users to install APK files with minimal resistance. Alternatively, you can do it the as described here in MakeTechEasier.

That's it! Not too painful, but things would be easier if you App is published via Android Market - Google meant it to be the way of least resistance, and your users will have less excuse not to download your App!

Feel free to send us any feedback via the feedback function inside Publish5.

Nemo, Publish5 Team

Nemo is the in-house designer of the Publish5 team. In his free time, he likes manually installing and uninstalling APK files. No, not really.