Easily integrate PDFs and print products into the app

iPhone with Lilien News App

Documents or print products are available in PDF form on various digital devices. Whether on a smartphone or a tablet, PDFs or ePapers have become indispensable in mobile apps.

The advantage here is that existing content can be easily integrated into an overall digital offering. With PDF maps, this is also the case at tchop in no time at all. There are various possibilities, which we will discuss in more detail below.

Different use cases

Any standard PDF document (see here) can easily be uploaded to create a map. The title image of the PDF is automatically generated as a teaser image. There are a number of different use cases for PDFs in our customer base:

  • Internal documents such as work instructions, studies or product information
  • Official letters or letters of internal communication
  • Charts, presentations or business analyses
  • Press clippings or press monitoring
  • Digital versions of print publications such as magazines or newspapers

PDFs still play a major role for companies and agencies as well as for media providers. In addition to the possibility of uploading PDFs manually, there is of course also the option – if there is a larger quantity of documents – to automate the upload, for example to offer entire archives (e.g. in a separate channel). This has also proven to be very useful and robust.

Integration a question of content strategy

Depending on the particular use case, PDFs can be integrated into one’s own app in different ways (see also here).

If a larger number of PDFs are involved, which should always be available, for example, in the sense of work instructions or manuals, then a separate channel is a good idea. With appropriate mixes, such an archive can be easily structured. The search function makes it easy to find specific PDFs or content. Even hundreds of PDFs can be made available quickly and clearly for all or specific target groups. Channels can also be assigned to specific groups within a company’s user base, for example to make specific documents available to certain departments within the company.

A separate channel can also be used, for example, for the ePaper archive of print products from a magazine or newspaper. In this case, access is reserved for the corresponding print subscribers. They can quickly and easily jump back and forth between the news and ePaper sections of the app.

A separate section for PDFs

Of course, PDFs can also be easily integrated into an existing channel. This can be done by creating a separate section or even a pinned mix in the navigation bar. This allows users to access a dynamic list of PDFs with a single click.

It should also be mentioned that PDFs, like all cards, can of course be commented on, liked or forwarded in chat by users. This can be used for different things and experience shows that many users place new, useful ideas, suggestions for improvement or opinions in the comments, for example.

Premium reading experience for PDFs

There are several ways to further improve the reading experience of a PDF. If you click on a PDF card, you can easily read the PDF in a special view by so-called pinch & zoom. This works fine, but there are even better options. By integrating a special PDF Reader module, additional functions can be unlocked within the PDF. This is especially useful for larger PDF documents and use cases where the PDF is the focus. (Attention: this is however associated with additional costs, because a corresponding module requires a separate development thread and thus increases the license). However, for publishers or media houses that place a lot of value on the PDF, this offers the possibility of combining an ePaper offering with a community – in an app.

In addition, it is of course possible to make individual parts (or all content) of the PDF available in individual cards (e.g. in the same section) at any time without additional costs. This way, users can be offered both reading experiences – the original PDF and an optimized reading form. Some of our US customers are currently testing this with very positive feedback.

As you can see, PDF maps and integrations offer a wide range of possibilities. Feel free to contact us with any requests, questions or suggestions.