With iOS 9, Apple introduced Universal Links, which have the potential to greatly impact your mobile business. Universal Links make regular “http://…” web URLs launch your app directly.

What are Universal Links and how do they work?

Universal Links allow you to deep link users instantly into your app whenever they click on a “regular” http link to your website.
If your app isn’t installed on the user’s device, the same link will open your website in Safari as it happens normally. In addition to deep linking into your app from Safari, Universal Links also work in email, messages and most other apps.

How Universal Links work on iOS 9

How Universal Links work

Why should I implement Universal Links?

First of all: Every link out there on the WWW will act as a deep link into your app.
Now you will experience way more traffic in your apps and as conversion rates in app are usually superior than on mobile web, supporting Universal Links is a no-brainer. Universal Links also offer a frictionless deep linking user experience: the app launches immediately, bypassing Safari and can even launch your app when the user is offline.

Challenges with Universal Links

By relying solely on Universal Links, a significant portion of your app users – those still using iOS 8 or lower – will be redirected to your mobile website despite having the app installed. This is where 360dialog Smart App Links play their part – find out how.

Universal links fail to deep link in iOS 8 and below

Universal links fail to deep link in iOS 8 and below

Another challenge we see many brands face with Universal Links is that both your iOS and Android app have to support the very same deep link structure as your website.

Last but not least; with the increasing adoption of Universal Links by apps across all verticals, being linked to the website instead of being deep linked into the app will be perceived as poor user experience.

Conclusion

Universal Links are a great opportunity for your mobile business. They will help you to boost your mobile app engagement and ultimately your mobile revenues. However, they will also challenge mobile brands with a new layer of technical complexity.
With increasing fragmentation of iOS versions, providing deep linking and the best possible user experience for every device in the market becomes a crucial factor in mobile business.
The 360 Smart Deep Linking technology embraces Universal Links on iOS 9, while maintaining backward compatibility for older devices, providing a best-in-class deep linking solution for your mobile business.

Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you.