Authenticators allow two modes of content access:
- Time limited (subscription-like access)
- Not time limited (unlimited access)
Authenticating (in either mode) successfully unlocks access to the entire catalogue of the application, for either a limited time period or an unlimited time period.
While you can provide both modes of operation within a single authenticator, you should not mix them, as providing unlimited access effectively overrides any time-limited option a user may have.
Authenticators can also be used to explicitly require the user to either sign in or select guest mode before any issues are available.
This mode provides access to the application's catalogue for a limited period of time. For example this could be used to grant access to a member's journal for the duration of a membership. This is similar to the way Apple's auto-renewing subscriptions have a duration.
Any content published within the period of the subscription is automatically made available to the user. Like auto-renewable subscriptions, time limited access has the advantage that previous purchases can be restored when an iPad is replaced or upgraded.
Not Time Limited
This mode provides non-time limited access to the application's catalogue. This access can be switched off by the authenticator at any time, meaning current content can be kept, but purchasing new content or restoring old (previously downloaded) content will not work as the user no longer has access. This style of access is useful for time sensitive information such as news content that does not have a requirement for maintaining access to back issues (e.g. for restoring purchases).
It is possible to provide specific issues or sets of issues to specific users while preventing unregistered users from seeing the private issues. This is configured using the Private Issue Access API.
It is possible to configure your app to display an authenticator dialog when the app is launched, before any issues are displayed. This provides a more explicit mechanism to allow users to sign in than the current Redeem button, which may not be immediately visible to a user in the Downloads screen.
Apart from this change in app startup, there is no functional difference between this and a traditional authenticator dialog.