Mobile // Mobile Business
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5/16/2014
09:06 AM
Chris Sell
Chris Sell
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Mobile's Next Step: Deep Linking Between Apps

Today's smartphone and tablet apps don't link to one another. The app ecosystem is missing a fundamental component for businesses -- but that's about to change.

Image: Pixabay.
Image: Pixabay.

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MackFlavelle
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MackFlavelle,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/16/2014 | 2:57:15 PM
Re: Mechanics of linking between apps?
Deeplinks are super great, and could go a long way to making multitasking on mobile work well. They are also a brilliant reengamement tool for mobile marketers.

But until now they don't work on uninstalled apps. At Tapstream we solved that piece which allows deep linking to work as a really great onboarding tool, allowing the developer to customize the first time user expereince to parallel the channel/content that initially drove them to the app.

I think Deep Links will be a really big part of the app ecosystem moving forward. The big challenge has been large scale adoption but FB's open source applinks.org might give the momentum required to reach the tipping point.

Exciting times!

 
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
5/16/2014 | 1:00:52 PM
Re: Mechanics of linking between apps?
>I agree this would be a great thing, but has anyone worked out the mechanics of how linking between apps should function?

Take a look at applinks.org. Facebook's deep linking scheme works quite well.
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
5/16/2014 | 12:46:36 PM
Re: Mechanics of linking between apps?
This could get messy. The idea of "links" is a bit different when using the web, which is an open and standardized platform. I don' think that links between mobile applications is going to work as well. But I have been proven wrong before. 

I would have to think that this is a perfect excuse for the rise of open HTML5 mobile apps instead. It's been tried before, but I think that devices and data throughput have improved since 2009, when we first started hearing that this standard could become big on mobile. 
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
5/16/2014 | 10:27:13 AM
Mechanics of linking between apps?
I agree this would be a great thing, but has anyone worked out the mechanics of how linking between apps should function? What happens when I click on a link to another app but don't have it installed? Do I get prompted with the opportunity to install it at that moment? Do I get the choice of accessing a mobile web equivalent, if one exists, and I don't want to or don't have time to go through the app install?

I've also had the experience of trying to interact with web content which directs me to other web content even though I have a better app experience available on my device. For example, clicking the share button on a news website and being sent to facebook.com rather than being given the opportunity to share through the Facebook app on my phone or tablet. Providing a way for apps to intercept and handle mobile web interactions like that would be convenient. I can also imagine security/usability complications when the app interaction is something the user doesn't expect.

Ideally, there should be protocols for linking between apps that work across mobile operating systems.

Is any of what I've imagined happening? If we're still at the stage where interactions between apps have to be custom programmed, I wouldn't expect fast progress toward the vision you've outlined here.
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