New Feature: Reusable Digital Signage Widgets

We've restructured our widgets management to make your life easier, it's now possible to reuse a single widget in multiple campaigns!

In the past, you would have to configure your digital signage widgets each time you wanted to add them to your campaigns - even when you wanted to use the same widget in different campaigns. But now when you add a widget, it’ll be immediately shown as an option for you to reuse it when needed. Plus, specifically for weather widgets you don’t need to set geographic coordinates anymore. Just type your forecast location, as you can see below:

We’ve also divided our digital signage widgets into 7 categories: clock, lottery, media, news, text, URL and weather. Now all you have to do is click + Add Widgets when creating a campaign, then choose one of the many options we offer and customize it the way you want by setting your widget properties. Just don’t forget to give your digital signage widgets meaningful names so that you can easily find them afterwards.

​Once you Save your widget, it’ll automatically appear on your Widgets tab. Just drag and drop your digital signage widget to your timeline and that’s it! Next time you want to use that widget with the exact same properties (format, language, etc) in another campaign, you won’t have to add it again: just reuse the same one. Note that we’ve fixed widget thumbnails as well, making them really match your widget in terms of color and properties.

Bear in mind that when you Edit a widget, you’ll be making changes to every campaign using that specific widget. Now there’s no need for you to manually go to every single campaign and change your widget properties. Once you edit your digital signage widget, it’ll be changed in every campaign with that widget.

Do you realize how Reusable Widgets make your digital signage easier to be managed?

And that’s not everything... stay tuned for further updates about our widgets restructuring! This change just paves the way for you to make your own widgets through OnSign TV, which is something we hope to implement very soon.

new features widgets

New Feature: Campaigns On Demand

If you’re an active user of OnSign TV, you’ve probably noticed that you have a new option when publishing a campaign: Play Campaign On Demand.

But what does that actually mean?

It basically gives you the opportunity to play any campaign you want at the click of a button. Campaigns On Demand will start playing instantaneously on your screens when you click that button, regardless of which other campaigns are playing that moment.

Campaigns On Demand will interrupt whatever campaign you’re showing at your player and get back to the beginning of that campaign only after showing your whole Campaign On Demand. If you wish, you can also set your Campaign On Demand to be played several times or indefinitely.

You just need to click + Publish to Player, choose those players in which you want to have that campaign and click Play Campaign On Demand when publishing it. Note that when you publish a Campaign On Demand what you’re actually doing is preloading that campaign so that it’ll be ready to be shown whenever you want.

If you actually want to start playing your campaign, you should publish it AND click the magic button. Go to your Player Dashboard, click Campaigns in Player and then press the Play Button to the right. That’s it, super easy! Campaigns On Demand are particularly useful for communicating emergency messages through digital displays. Our digital signage software allows you to easily create prevention campaigns explaining how to respond to disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards and floods.

More than that, OnSign TV enables you to show those campaigns immediately with the simple click of a button! Strategically placed signs can keep your staff safe and informed in the event of a crisis. They can even display life-saving tips on your screens by helping people to find the quickest escape route in emergencies.

Campaigns On Demand have many other uses, though! Emergency messages are probably just the most common use case for this feature. In fact, Campaigns On Demand are perfect for any time-sensitive message that is an exception to your regular campaign schedule. They’re often used to promptly inform people about special events, news bulletins and short-time discount promotions.

As long as this feature proves helpful for you and your business, we’re happy!

Just make sure your OnSign TV Android Player Version is 0.11.15 or later and that your player is connected to the Internet to have access to all this. Friendly reminder: always create and preload those Campaigns On Demand you know you’ll use in the future beforehand. After that, just click Play Button whenever you want to show a message right at the moment.

Do you want to see the magic happen? Try it out and let us know what you think!

new features

New Feature: Fallback Campaigns

Wouldn’t it be great to set a campaign to always be played when there’s nothing else scheduled to play on your screens? That’s exactly what Fallback Campaigns do!

They automatically start playing when no other campaigns are set to play. Companies usually put institutional messages as fallback campaigns to fill in the gap between scheduled campaigns. But, in fact, you can choose any campaign or campaign playlist you wish to have as fallback campaigns.

Fallback Campaigns are also really useful in case of technical issues affecting your hardware settings. Let’s say your player resets and for unknown reasons it doesn’t show the accurate time anymore. Don’t worry! Viewers will never get a “no campaign available” status message on the screen. When you make use of this feature, you can rest assured there will always be messages playing on your players. As you can see above, it’s super easy to publish Fallback Campaigns through OnSign TV. First, create your campaign or group of campaigns as usual. After that, click + Publish to Player, choose those players in which you want to have that campaign and click Play Campaign as Fallback before publishing it. Easy, right? Just make sure your OnSign TV Android Player Version is 0.11.11 or later to be able to do all that.

So, how do you like our new feature?

Our team is very glad with this progress and we hope it comes in handy for your business. Not only are we releasing a long-requested feature, but also we know Fallback Campaigns can make your digital signage something easier to be managed. If you have any feedback on this, please let us know. Plus, don’t forget to stay tuned for upcoming posts!

new features

Major Re‐architecture of OnSign TV Player for Android: Real-time Publishing

Last year was remarkable for us. In 2014 OnSign TV was translated into 4 new languages, reached more than 50 countries and surpassed the 10000th downloads milestone. We’ve also done major technical improvements and released great new features. Of course none of this would have been possible without your trust!

Now it’s time to think about what we all want for the new year. We wanted to get 2015 off to a good start. That’s why we’ve just published a new version of our Android Player packed full of features: OnSign TV Player 0.11.10. Let’s take a deeper look at all the new features we’ve released.

Real-time Event Reporting and Current Campaign Thumbnail

One of the first things you’ll notice when publishing a new campaign with OnSign TV Player 0.11.10 is that you’ll get the download status of your campaigns instantly. Older versions of our Android Player would only inform you that your campaigns were synchronizing and show their download progress every 5 minutes. In this new version, events get reported immediately without any delay. Besides that, now you can see exactly what’s playing on your player. If you click on your player page in our platform, you’ll see a box that says Now Playing with a thumbnail of the current campaign being displayed.

Campaign Download Progress and Atomic Updates

Now you have a download status bar that displays the exact progress of ongoing downloads both on player-side and server-side. You just have to click on your Player Status to check that out in our digital signage software. This will give you a better idea of how much time you still have to wait until the campaign download is completed and help you diagnose possible problems much faster. Note that the download status bar on player-side will only be displayed at the first time you’re publishing a campaign to a specific player.

If you make any changes to a campaign or campaign playlist that is already published, they won’t stop playing. Firstly, all the new media will be downloaded. Only after those files are added to the existing campaign and all other changes are made that the new campaign will start playing. Meanwhile the old one will be running. Don’t worry, because you’ll never mix an old campaign with a new one. Campaigns will only be updated when they’re completely ready to be shown. If you power off your device in the middle of an update you don’t have to worry: it will continue the update as soon as it powers on and will keep playing the old campaigns in the meantime.

Better Error Reporting and Reduced Memory Usage

It’s now much easier for you to know exactly what happened when any kind of error occurs with your digital signage campaigns. Now you’ll get notified in real-time with an error message on Player Status describing why your player was unable to play a given campaign. We’ll give you an example to make this clear. Let’s say it’s Monday and you publish a campaign scheduled to run only during the weekends.

If your player is on and there are no other campaigns scheduled for Monday, an error will be reported alongside the following description: “No campaign could be played at this time”. You can get even more details about what happened clicking on Understand Why. Whatever the error, it will be reported and explained. Moreover, we’ve also increased memory up to 5 times. This added memory space will allow you to create campaigns with higher resolution images and videos without worrying about errors.

App Watchdog and GPS tracking

In this newest version of our Android player, you don’t run the risk of turning off the application by mistake. We’ve implemented an app watchdog feature. That means you have to confirm you’re shutting down to actually get out of the application. You press Back on your player and then OK to confirm you’re closing the app. This feature ensures your application will restart if the program crashes or hangs.

We’ve also added another long-requested feature to our digital signage software: GPS tracking. It allows you to locate each player on the map and monitor their functioning status. OnSign TV synchronizes with Google Maps to determine the geographic position of your players, which is something very useful for public transportation companies with digital signage networks. You just have to check the Last Location of your player on Player Status. It will be updated every 5 minutes.

OnSign TV Player 0.11.10 was especially designed to enable Real-time Publishing through our digital signage platform. It was a major re‐architecture of OnSign TV Player for Android. It allows a player to instantly get notified of changes you make to your campaigns and starts updating immediately. More than that, Real-time Publishing provides you with valuable information about what your player is doing right at that moment and where it is. It shows you what campaign is being played and the download progress of your campaigns. Real-time Publishing just paves the way for a lot of new features that will be released in the upcoming months. As we’ve mentioned, we’ve planned big things for 2015 and that’s just the start.

new features

New Feature: Layer Zones on Campaign Layouts

Content and design must go hand in hand for a successful digital signage strategy. We’ve been talking quite a lot about the importance of having good and engaging content. Besides that, we always say that design matters. Not only design catches the attention of passers-by, but it also gives your viewers more reasons to keep looking at the screen.

That’s why we’ve implemented another great feature in our platform: Layer Zones on Campaign Layouts. This enables you to create more visually appealing content and add transparent layers to your campaigns. We’ve always offered you the option to choose from existing campaign layouts or to create them yourself. However, you weren’t allowed to overlap 2 screen divisions by any means when adding a custom layout.

Now you’re able to draw up to 10 divisions and put them on top of each other. For example, you can reserve a space in your background image to be filled with components and resources that are going to be positioned in layers above. If you want so, it’s also possible for you to use transparent png files as frames to your campaigns. Take a look on how to do that at our platform:

As you can see, you just have to click Create Campaign and then Add Custom Layout. If you click + Add Division, a new zone will be positioned above the existing one. You may also change the layering order of each division by raising or lowering them and change divisions’ height and width in your Layout Preview. Don’t forget to check your device orientation and resolution. Click Create Layout and that’s it! Pretty easy, huh? Note that the first division on your timeline list is always going to be the lowest on the screen.

Retail companies, for instance, can now merchandise products on a backdrop layer that changes periodically. Your company can also take advantage of this feature by using layer zones for easy branding, for example. Some picture file formats — such as PNG — are suitable for creating transparent layers, which allows you to superimpose your logo or add temporary messages on top of any other file without disturbing the background content too much.

Do you realize how much this new feature gives you freedom to design your message to have a bigger impact? We’ve mentioned just a couple of examples on how to use it, but there’s much more you can do! The feature is almost an invitation for you to show your digital signage messages in different ways. Don’t you agree? Now it’s up to you to go creative and see how your digital signage design can boost your business performance.

new features digital signage design