Today at F8, Facebook’s developer event, the company announced an initiative called App Links. It’s a free and open-source solution for developers to enable deep linking between apps, which will mimic linking on the PC web.
It’s also cross-platform between mobile and web content, as well as between mobile operating systems.
Implementation is simple and uses basic tags/HTML code:
Publishing App Link metadata is as simple as adding a few lines to the <head> tag in the HTML for your content. Apps that link to your content can then use this metadata to deep-link into your app, take users to an app store to download the app, or take them directly to the web to view the content. This allows developers to provide the best possible experience for their users when linking to their content.
App Links are specified using the tags defined in the registry below. Each target platform requires a different set of metadata in order to provide enough context for one app to deep-link into another.
This is a potentially significant improvement for app-based mobile development (if adopted widely) and could have a major impact on app discovery and how mobile users navigate (and interact with) the broader app centric mobile universe.