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Configuring Inception for publishing to Apple News

Configuring Inception for publishing to Apple News

This article describes how to set up Inception for publishing Stories to Apple News. It involves the following steps:

  1. Setting up your Channel on Apple
  2. Determining how to style Stories
  3. Setting up a Publish Channel in Inception
  4. Testing the configuration by publishing a Story

1. Setting up your Channel on Apple

Publishing to Apple News is done by publishing to a Channel that is set up on Apple.

A Channel represents your publication such as a magazine, newspaper or blog. Multiple Channels can be set up when needed and each Channel can have multiple sections such as news, sport, fashion and so on.

Once set up, publishing to a Channel from within Inception can be done with just a few mouse clicks.

Setting up and configuring Channels on Apple is done by using the Apple News Publisher.

Step 1. Access the News Publisher through https://www.icloud.com/newspublisher/.

Step 2. Log in using an Apple ID and set up your Channel by following the instructions by Apple.

References and recommended reading on apple.com: Publishing with Apple News Format (scroll down to 'Resources and support').

Step 3. On the Channel Info page, access the tab named API Key. The Channel ID, Key ID and secret are needed when setting up Inception.

The API Key tab in the Apple News Publisher

2. Determining how to style Stories

Because Apple News uses a proprietary format which has no knowledge of the Story components used in Inception, styling that is applied to the Story components by making use of Style Variants or Styles has no effect on how the story looks on Apple News.

Only styling that is directly applied to text (by selecting text and using the toolbar that appears, with the exception of increasing/decreasing the font size or changing the font), or by setting properties (such as setting a drop cap) is transferred to the story in Apple News.

To style your Story on Apple News therefore a mapping needs to take place between the components in Inception and those in Apple News, and the correct styling needs to be applied to each component.

This can be done in one of the following ways:

  • Let Inception do the mapping. When publishing a Story to Apple News, a default style is applied by Inception.
  • Do the mapping yourself. Create your own files that contain the mapping and styling instructions.

Letting Inception do the mapping

When you are happy to make use of a custom style that is provided by Inception, no styling needs to be set up. When a user publishes a Story, a default styling is automatically applied by Inception.

If you are choosing this option, no setup steps for styling are necessary. Please continue with step 3. Setting up a Publish Channel in Inception.

Doing the mapping yourself

To have full control over how a Story looks on Apple News, you can provide files containing the mapping between the components in Inception and Apple News, and the styling for each component.

Multiple files can be provided. When users publish a Story to Apple News they can choose from any of the files that you have provided.

3. Setting up a Publish Channel in Inception

Publishing a Story in Inception is done through a Publish Channel. This Publish Channel needs to be set up in Inception.

You can set up multiple Publish Channels in Inception, one for each Channel that has been set up in Apple.

Step 1. In Inception, access the Publish channels page by clicking your Avatar followed by Configuration.

The Configuration option

Step 2. In the menu on the left, click Apple News and click Add Channel.

Adding an Apple News Publish Channel

The Apple News Publish Channel page

Step 3. Fill out the details.

Note: Your changes are automatically saved.

  • Name. Enter a descriptive name.
  • Channel ID, API Key and Secret API key. Get these from the API Key page in Apple News that was accessed in Step 1 Setting up your Channel on Apple.
  • Maximum Image Size. Set the maximum width and height (in pixels) for images in a Story. All images that exceed these sizes will be down-sized in the published Story to these maximum settings (this option needs to be manually enabled when publishing a Story). Down-sizing images results in lower file sizes and therefore shorter download times for the user.
  • Styles. (Optional) Upload one or more style files in JSON format that were created in 2. Determining how to style Stories.

Step 4. Click outside any of the fields to have the channel automatically created.

4. Testing the configuration by publishing a Story

Test the configuration by creating a Story for publishing to Apple News and to subsequently publish it.

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