Category Archives: Mobile App Development

Application Development

The Future of Application Development for Enterprises: React

Introduction

Mobile applications play an essential role in generating revenue for businesses with an online presence. An application has all the functionality of the company website, but it is more compatible with the mobile device’s hardware and interface. Mobile Application development has helped multiple industries to expand their global footprints.

According to a latest industry report, mobile applications were responsible for generating 365 billion U.S. dollars in revenue worldwide, and it is not hard to predict that these numbers will only increase. It is projected that by 2023, mobile applications will rake in business well worth over 935 billion U.S. dollars for companies globally.

As the future of mobile applications is looking very bright, more companies are focusing on developing applications that offer a seamless user interface and meet all their customer’s requirements. However, it is not an easy task to create a successful application.

There are many methods and approaches you can adopt to develop an app. You can choose to build a native application, or you can go for cross-platform app development. You also have the option to choose from different programming languages and frameworks.

Most companies prefer a cross-platform app development framework because it saves a lot of time and resources. One such framework that has grabbed the attention of developers is React or React Native, to be specific. A latest industry report showed that as of 2020, React Native was the 2nd most popular choice among developers for cross-platform app development.

Before we get into why React or React Native is the future of enterprise application development, let us understand a bit about it.


The Key Features Of React Native

React Native is a cross-platform application development framework created by Facebook. It was made an open-source platform in 2015 and has been used by many enterprises ever since. Popular companies like Instagram, Netflix, Flipkart, Tesla, and others have used React Native for cross-platform development.

An application that is used for Android and iOS is called a cross-platform application. React Native makes it very easy to build a cross-platform app. The developer will only have to write the code once, and the app can cater to multiple mobile operating systems.

Even though React Native is a cross-platform app development framework, one of the benefits of developing an app on React Native is that it delivers a user experience akin to a native application. Hence, you can expect a React Native app to run smoothly without any glitches.

Many computer engineers and developers claim that, with time, more and more enterprises will choose React Native for cross-platform application development. Let us dissect why that is the case.


Why Is React Native Future Of Enterprise Application Development?

Here is why React Native will be the future of mobile app development for enterprises:


● Reduces Development Time

One of the things that most companies love is reducing the time to market so that their product can be available as soon as possible. By using React Native, businesses can achieve lower time to market. It enables the developers to build the app in a much faster and efficient way.

The developer using React Native can create an application in 30% less time than the other platforms. As the development time reduces, the production cost also goes down. It is the reason why companies prefer React. It is also the reason many startups are choosing to develop their app on React Native.

Startups always aim to achieve high returns with minimum investments. Another advantage of React Native is its code reusability. 90 % of code written for Android can be used for iOS and vice versa. It again saves much time.


● Cross-Platform Ability

As discussed earlier, React Native is an excellent framework for cross-platform app development. However, at the inception of React, you could have only developed applications for iOS. Later, when Facebook realized the full potential of React, they re-developed the framework that was compatible with Android as well.

React Native allows your team developers to build an application on a single platform. This process eliminates any miscommunication among the team. There are different design specifications for different operating systems. React Native also came up with a solution to this problem by providing file extensions that can be used when needed.


● Native Nature

The name “React Native” was given to the framework because the application developed on it can operate as a native application. A native application can only work on one operating system; It can work for iOS or Android, but not both. Native applications have better integration with the device’s hardware and therefore deliver outstanding performance.

This native app-like performance is because of the native widgets of React Native, which also helps in UI development. In fact, React Native surpasses native applications in terms of performance.

Another reason for the excellent performance of React Native is JavaScript, which is the scripting language in React. It allows the framework to create complex applications.


● Real-Time Updates

Real-time updates are another feature that attracts businesses towards React. You can push new updates into the application without user intervention through the app stores. Due to this, users get to enjoy the updated version of your app seamlessly.

React Native makes the up-gradation cycle of your app short and direct.


● Unparalleled User Experience

Most business owners are looking to provide a top-notch user experience to each individual using their application. Its compatibility and native app-like nature ultimately add up to create a rich user experience that your target audience will enjoy and will not mind revisiting your application when needed.


● Large & Growing Community

React Native has a large community of experts backed by Facebook. The React Native community is very active. If the developer faces issues at something while using React, they can share their problem with the community, and the community helps overcome it. There are already more than 2 lakh questions and answer on React Native, so the answers to their questions may be available.

Overall, this makes things easy for the development team if they face any issues while using React framework.


The Way Forward for Application Development

The value that React Native adds to the enterprise application makes it a clear choice among the business owners and developers for cross-platform application development. With less effort and money, React Native offers a high Return of Investment, which most companies want.

From the above points, it will not be a stretch to say, “React Native is the future of enterprise mobile application development”.

Like other businesses, if you too are looking for SaaS Based System, Mindfire Solutions can be your partner of choice. We have deep expertise in React Capabilities. With a team of highly skilled and certified software professionals, that have developed many custom solutions for our global clients over the years

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Cross Platform Application Development

Is React Native The Clear Choice For Cross-Platform Application Development?

Mobile Applications Overview

As of 2020, there are around 218 billion app downloads reported globally. Companies generated revenue of US $462 billion through mobile application development. According to an industry report, it is anticipated that by the end of 2023, mobile apps are expected to generate more than US $935 in revenue.

More and more enterprises are now focusing on developing their mobile applications.
Selecting the right app development platform or framework is essential, as the application would contribute to the business’s profit. Therefore, creating a user-friendly app that has a top-notch user interface is vital for them. However, making such an app is not an easy task.

The two most used mobile operating systems globally are Android and iOS. Therefore, everyone develops mobile apps for these two systems only.  Android and iOS, each of them has provided its platforms and tools to create applications. The only problem here is that apps developed on Android cannot function on the iOS platform and vice versa. “Isn’t there a way to build an app for both operating systems?’ – This is one question that people are grappling with.

It is here that cross-platform apps come into the picture. Before we know why React Native is the best choice for application development, let us understand the concept of cross-platform applications.

What Is Cross-Platform Application Development

The applications that work only on iOS or Android (works on one or the other) are called native apps. Native apps are built for a specific OS; they seamlessly integrate with the smartphone’s hardware and delivers the best UI experience possible.

Furthermore, to develop native applications on iOS and Android, an enterprise would have to hire two different teams. This means that React native applications require more workforce and money to create it. Cross-platform applications are those which are used on multiple operating systems or platforms at once. By creating a cross-platform application, developers don’t have to write different code for different OSs.

More importantly, cross-platform development saves enterprises a lot of time, and they don’t have to hire two different teams of developers. Therefore, creating cross-platform applications has become a popular choice among companies, and it has become a common practice to use this approach for app development.

There are many mobile application frameworks available for cross-platform development. React Native is one of them.

Overview Of React Native

React Native is a mobile application framework created by Facebook and made available in 2015. It’s an open-source platform. React Native uses JavaScript as its programming language.

React Native transforms the code to the native APIs that help it integrate with the device hardware.The stability that React Native provides is far better than other frameworks. A single code can create applications for different platforms. This code can also be edited in case there are any updates in the future. With the help of many pre-existing codes available on React Native, the developers can finish the assigned project faster.

The number of users for react Native have risen exponentially, since it’s release. Github in 2018 recorded it as the second-highest choice for any repositories. In current times React Native is the second most popular cross-platform application development framework.

Many world-renowned companies such as Instagram, Facebook, Flipkart, Tesla, Shopify, and others have used React Native to develop their applications.

Let us learn why React Native is the best choice for cross-platform app development.

React Native Enables Efficiency

Some reasons why React Native is a clear choice:

● One aspect that is most unique about React Native is its ability to provide code reusability. Project managers and engineers are the ones who appreciate this capability the most. It is also found that 90 % of the code written for iOS can be used on Android and vice versa.

● Another benefit of React Native is that web application code can be used for mobile application development if both are on React Native. It saves a lot of time for the companies. The price of production comes down when project duration reduces.

● The developers much appreciate the UI (User Interface) offered by React Native. As the reactive Native framework uses JavaScipt; it is responsive and has less buffering time. Hence React Native enhances the user experience.

● If developers face any problem while coding, the large community of React Native can help them resolve the issues. The community members often share their experiences. Therefore it is also possible that solutions to their problems are already available on the platform.

Now, let’s compare React Native with one of its major competitors, Flutter

Like React Native, cross platform appplications also use Flutter for application developement. But unlike React Native, Flutter uses Google’s Dart as its programming language. Dart is a new programming language as compared to JavaScript. There are instances when enterprises prefer Flutter over React Native.

Does that mean Flutter is a better choice? The answer to this question is not very straightforward. Both the frameworks have something different to offer, and one is better at some things than the other.

Here are some areas where React Native has the upper hand over Flutter.

● The advantage of choosing React Native is that developers find JavaScript a much easier language than Dart. This is the reason why finding a proficient software developer for React Native is less complicated.

● As React Native has been around longer, it is backed up by more than thousands of packages. This number is nearly five times higher than the Flutter.

● Whenever there will be a discussion on the user interface, React Native will always be a winner. The UI experience of React Native is more dynamic than Flutter’s.

● The installation and configuration process of React Native is simple. Where else, in the case of Flutter, things are a little bit complicated.

Final Thoughts

From the above pointers, we can conclude that React Native is one of the top choices for developing a cross-platform application. If you are confused about choosing between Flutter and React Native, select the platform depending on your requirements.

Lastly, you should know that the future of React Native is looking bright due to its simplicity and capability of solving development problems. That is the reason why most businesses prefer React Native for cross-platform development.

Like other businesses, if you too are looking for cross platform Application development, Mindfire Solutions can be your partner of choice. We have deep expertise in React Native . With a team of highly skilled and certified software professionals, that have developed many custom solutions for our global clients over the years.

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VoIP Call Image

CallKit integration for VoIP Apps

Most of us by now are accustomed to using the services of a third-party provider to make VoIP calls over desktops, laptops, and smartphones. But making VoIP over Native iOS apps was never a convenient task. In-fact Apple has completely restricted the use of VoIP push for any kind of background processing from iOS-13. Earlier developers were using VoIP push for making call (audio/video) notifications or some other processing in the background. Apple took this decision to avoid the overbearing process that was happening in the background. It was not only leading to disproportionately high consumption of resources but also a significant drain of battery capacity.

A typical VoIP call usually comes as a notification on one’s screen, and in order to receive it, the user needs to slide the notification and also type a passcode to receive, if locked. Burdensome! Isn’t it? Especially if compared to how a native app eases the same experience.

The solution to this comes with CallKit, which is a framework that is capable of elevating your third party VoIP app experience to a very intuitive one. You get the same rich, full- screen native call UI to accept and attend the calls. Once a call is accepted you also get a “Callback “option to initiate the same function (WebRTC) which you have used earlier. You can also set custom ringtones for your app that would be different from native calls ringtone.

VoIP Image1

VoIP Image2

Besides, if you are on a call in your app and you start getting native calls, you will be able to hold and swap the calls. It could be an audio call, facetime call or even another VoIP call. Even your call history will be stored in the call directory (missed, received, dialed calls and add in favorites). You can also make the call from Siri, Bluetooth and access the “Do not disturb” functionality.

VoIP Artitecture

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. To know more about our company, please click on Mindfire Solutions.  For over 20+ years now, we have been the preferred Software Development Partner of over 1000+ Small and Medium-sized enterprises across the globe.

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Unsure if your Enterprise needs a Website or a Mobile App?

The remark “There is an app for that” is so common nowadays and underlines the deep influence of mobile apps in our lives. But, when Apple went on to register a trademark for it, you knew it was more than that. 

So, you have decided to go digital and create an online identity for your business. But, you are stuck with the difficulty of choosing between a mobile app and a website. Eager to get a quick solution? Turns out, in most of the cases, both mobile app and website are not mutually exclusive but are complementary, with each serving a different purpose and target segment. So, there isn’t an answer that is universally correct. It depends on various different things.

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App First

Some cases are better served with mobile apps, especially the ones that need frequent or repeated use. For instance, e-commerce, food ordering, social media, chat, news, travel, productivity-related applications, utility apps, real-time tracking like stock apps.

App Only

Then there are those which, because of their dependency on the underlying hardware, can only be served through mobile apps. For instance, home automation, alarm, games, navigation apps, mobile wallets, AR(Augmented Reality) & VR(Virtual Reality) apps and games.

Website or Mobile App?

For the sake of this article, the above two categories need not be considered, for the obvious reason that the mobile app seems to be the default choice for them. However, for categories that can be served equally well by both the mediums, there are certain inherent advantages of using either an app or a website. Let’s understand them from the perspectives of a user and a business.

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User’s point of view, what really matters.

1. Convenience

Websites are convenient for informative and non-frequent use like finding details about a business, exploring a place, looking for services, R&D for projects, and yes, deciding the best app to download for a particular need. Basically, all the Google searches we do can be better served by a website. Mobile apps seem to be more convenient for activities that are performed more frequently. The initial hurdles of downloading and setting things up might seem daunting. But things ease out subsequently, and users get pulled into a more convenient, personalized, and engaging experience.

2. Data Consumption and Offline Mode

To use a mobile app one needs to download it first, an act pulls into the mobile resources that the app will need to function -images, icons, layout inbuilt, etc. Once done, there isn’t much left to download during consumption, which results in quicker loading and sometimes offline access too. In contrary to this, you can’t even load the website without an internet connection.

For mobile apps, during the offline mode, tasks can be queued up in batches and then be pushed to the server when online. Such a sophisticated way of dealing with the offline mode isn’t just possible in case of a website.

3. Performance

For CPU intensive tasks such as games, heavy graphics layouts, complex lists, mobile app scores way higher than a website for its close proximity to the device hardware.

4. Updates

Whether it’s an app or a website, it gets developed alongside. Hence the user expects updates. Pushing an update to the website is easy, you do it on the server-side and users get a brand new look and feel next time they check you out. If you can strategically manage the downtime, there is not much that bothers the user. On the other hand, the whole app needs to be downloaded all over again to get the update. Not to mention, the review process apps go through to be live in the app store which takes time.

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Business’s point of view

1. Customer base – Existing & Potential

Initial acquisition cost is high for mobile apps. You need to get the user to download your app first, to be able to use it. In contrary to this, anyone can visit your website through any browser and from any device having a browser. People can even find your website through Google search. This opens up a lot of possibilities for your business. In short, you can serve both existing and potential customers through a website. Whereas, mobile apps can only serve the existing user base.

2. User Engagement

Re-engaging with users using rich and powerful notifications and getting meaningful insights through analytics is better done with mobile apps than websites.

3. Learning Curve and Cost of Development

Mobile apps are highly customizable. In terms of features and capabilities, they can do a whole lot of stuff that a website can’t do, thanks to the close hardware integration. This, combined with the tons of possible unique use cases, helps create an ever-increasing range of UI/UX and feature possibilities. Thus, you have a steep learning curve even if you need to build a basic app. In other words, there is no such thing called an ‘App builder’. Even if you can find one, chances are, it will let you create a basic HTML type webpage app or an app functioning as a container of your website. In that case, you are better off creating a responsive website instead. Not to mention the whole point of creating an app is to create a tool for your users and you want it to be fully customizable in the first place.

On the other hand, a single screen website with some basic viewable features can be made using website builders needing almost no technical skills. A few examples would include blogging sites, personal/resume type websites, a website showing just the details of your business. However, to create a customized and full-featured website, you need a lot of technical skills.

4. Multiple platform support

Because of the way they have been distributed around the globe, you can’t ignore any of the 2 major platforms of the mobile OS- iOS & Android. People in the US, Canada, Australia, and European nations prefer iOS, whereas, Android is the global leader in terms of market share. Apart from this, iOS users are generally high paying customers in any region. This essentially means, to get high ARPU(Average Revenue Per User) you need to support iOS and to get to the masses, you need to support Android.

Mobile OS preference across the world

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(credit: https://deviceatlas.com/blog/android-v-ios-market-share)

Supporting 2 completely independent OS will result in higher development and maintenance costs. On the other hand, a single set of code will result in a website which works universally for every device with a browser.

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Website vis-à-vis Mobile Apps! Can one replace the other?

No matter how tightly websites and apps are attached, they are uniquely placed with each serving a purpose different from the other. However, the matter of the fact is that they cannot replace each other. We might see things in the future that will bridge the gap between them both from the business and the user’s point of view. In fact, we already have things like Progressive Web Apps and tools like Flutter and React which are trying to bring websites and apps closer in terms of use and development.

Even Technologies like AR which is by far better served by mobile apps are finding their way to websites. By creating a new file type USDZ, Apple has made it possible for websites to enable users to try 3D virtual objects in their Physical space. This creates a compelling possibility for E-Commerce websites. Of course, for this to work, the website needs to be viewed on a mobile phone/iPad with a camera supporting AR.

To draw an analogy, mobile app and website are like parallel lines, they remain close to each other without overlapping in terms of their existence. We might speculate about their getting merged in the distant future but that distant future might just never come.

Final Thoughts?

Your website is your online identity. As businesses have an office address in the physical world, they have a website in the digital one. And, a mobile app is like a tool you provide to the user to get things done with ease, as well as engage. In most of the cases, you will need to have both.

Depending upon the nature and the stage a business is in, one medium might find itself positioned more favorably than the other. But, when the cost is not a deterrent, it has become customary to embrace both the website and the mobile app, almost as if they were an obligation. It gives a business the chance to meander seamlessly into the mental realms of its target customers, the users, and unleash many possibilities.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. To know more about our company, please click on Mindfire Solutions.  For over 20+ years now, we have been the preferred Software Development Partner of over 1000+ Small and Medium-sized enterprises across the globe.

 

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Swift 5 Vs ObjC

Is Swift the Objective Choice now?

‘Swift Vs Objective-C’– It is one of the first Google searches every iOS developer does before beginning their journey into the world of app development. At a broader level, choosing between Objective-C and Swift is also one of the fundamental and crucial decisions every business makes before beginning any iOS app development work.

So if the question is Swift or Objective-C? The answer cannot be in binary. If you have an existing application already written in Objective-C, then you can weigh the benefits of switching over to Swift vs sticking to Objective-C. However, if you are planning a new app, then Swift should be your default choice.

Why so? Well, read on to know…

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The Story so far

Apple launched a new programming language called Swift in WWDC in October 2014. It came as a surprise to every developer as it was intended to replace Objective-C as the main programming language on Apple’s platforms, which by all means was stable, proven and had been around for more than two decades, powering millions of apps.

The goal was far-sighted. Swift was designed to be safer, faster, and easier to maintain. Though initially built for Apple platforms, it was aimed to be able to support all platforms. Before becoming Open Source, Swift was designed ground up by Apple using decades of Objective-C experience adding a modern touch derived from the latest programming trends and good practices. It was designed to have all the goodness of a modern-day programming language. Though a descendant of Objective-C, it is fundamentally different in terms of design, syntax, programming style and memory management.

But replacing a decades’ long programming language with a new one cannot be an overnight affair. There were thousands of libraries and hundreds of frameworks already written and working with Objective-C, as they were supposed to. Rewriting them using an infant language did not seem logical. Thus, Objective-C runtime continues to access Apple platform frameworks like UIKit, WatchKit, and AppKit. And Swift has the capability to interface seamlessly and work on top of it.

From the very beginning, Swift is fully compatible with Objective-C, as it should be. Both languages can still co-exist on all Apple platforms. And Apple isn’t likely to change this in the foreseeable future unless it has any strong reason to do that.

Support for interactive programming using Playground enables developers to test their idea live without building and running applications.

In terms of programming capabilities and flexibility, Swift has a lot to offer. Its functional programming style, and strongly typed language makes it impossible to have run time crashes resulting from out-of-bound or type-related issues. It has features like closures, tuples, generics, Structs and enums supporting methods, extensions and protocols, computed properties, powerful extensions, and the list just goes on…

Design-wise factors such as safety, readability, code size, less error-prone, efficient and fast iteration over collections, and other platform support make Swift fundamentally better than Objective-C.

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Why Objective-C then?

Despite being so much powerful, Swift lacked just one thing that triggered Swift vs Objective-C debate, and that is ‘Maturity’. In the earlier years, deciding between Swift and Objective-C was like choosing between a fledgling with a lot of promise and a veteran with proven credentials.

Those who had rushed to develop production apps using Swift version 1 & 2, had to refactor the whole codebase, or just rewrite it again. It wasn’t matured, evolving rapidly, and syntaxes were completely changing in the early iterations. Hence, it was difficult to maintain Swift Apps compared to Objective-C, which was matured, trusted and possessed a huge developer base.

However, after Swift3, syntaxes became relatively stable and some minor refactoring that was needed was taken care of by the Xcode itself. And then Swift4 seemed to be more stable in terms of design and syntaxes, but, it still lacked ABI stability. Then came Swift 5.

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What makes Swift 5 different?

So far, every version of Swift has been better than earlier. But what makes Swift5 so special is ABI stability.

Starting with version 4.2, Swift codes from one version have been compatible with another. However, the application binary, which can be considered as the machine level code for the sake of this argument, wasn’t compatible with that from a different version of Swift. That is, Swift wasn’t ABI stable until recently before version 5 was launched.

With Swift now being ABI stable for all Apple platforms like iOS, WatchOS, macOS and tvOS, all future versions of Swift including Swift5 will be compatible with each other at the binary level. True that Swift will continue to evolve in future releases, but the application written in the current version of Swift will no longer need to be refactored or rewritten to be able to support future versions of OS. In fact, libraries written now will seamlessly coexist and communicate at the binary level with code written in future versions of Swift and vice versa. And the reduction in app size is the immediate benefit it provides to the users now.

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Conclusion

True Objective-C is here to stay. There are millions of applications already running using this. But, it isn’t getting any major updates, most of the updates are just to make it compatible with Swift. As a language, Swift is way superior. And above all, developers with expertise in Objective-C and practicing it will dwindle in years to come.

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If you have any queries in this field, talk to Mindfire Solutions. For over 20+ years now, we have been the preferred Software Development Partner of over 1000+ Small and Medium-sized enterprises across the globe.

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Banner Universal link

Adding a Universal link to iOS Apps- The Challenge & the Hidden Solution

In this blog, I am going to explain how to, without considerable effort, add Universal link and Deep linking capabilities to an iOS app 

We are going to cover this in 3 sections

  • Understanding deep link, URL scheme, and Universal link
  • The issues with a universal link and the difficulty in incorporating it
  • A nice workaround to get rid of the complexity of universal links.

If you are aware of the universal link and the challenges in having it up and running, feel free to jump to the 3rd section straight away.

Understanding deep link, URL scheme, and Universal link

– As opposed to a common belief, a URL scheme is not the same as a deep link.

Then what exactly is a deep link?

Well, the term “deep link” is the route to a specific spot on a website or a native app. So, for a mobile app, “deep link” is a link that contains all the information required to navigate the user deep into a section of the app instead of just launching the app.

What is a URL scheme and how it works?

A URL scheme can be treated as a specially designed URL just to open a particular app.
For instance, any iOS app can open WhatsApp with “WhatsApp://” URI using the URL scheme. This is possible because WhatsApp has registered itself with the app store with “WhatsApp” as a URL scheme.

However, to send a “Hello” to a particular number in Whatsapp, the URI needs to be like “WhatsApp://send?phone=(actual phone number)&text=Hello”. This, in turn, will open chat for the given number with the supplied text pre-filled. This is an example of a deep link in action.

So, what exactly is a Universal link? and why at all so we need it?

The URL scheme works just fine as long as the app is installed on the user’s phone. In the above example for instance, if WhatsApp is not available, then “whatsapp://” URI will just not work and so as the deep link to send a message to a user.

In this case, a nice solution would have been to

  • Send the user to the website on the mobile browser, then, either redirect to the app, if available or show a prompt to download it from the app store if not.
  • A more elegant way is to directly open the app, if available on phone, without redirecting through the website or in case the app is not installed, open the website with a prompt to get it downloaded from the store. This is exactly how the universal link works.

The same universal link can be used to open the Android app as well.

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The issues with Universal link and the difficulty in incorporating it.

Is Universal link difficult to incorporate?

The elegance and ease that universal link provides to your users come at the cost of having to deal with the complexity of implementing it.

Implementation of a universal link requires a guided approach. If you want to learn about the process in details, click here.

Unfortunately, there are a whole bunch of issues and bugs you will encounter after implementing it. As it deals with iOS, Android and the Web, there needs to be a great deal of coordination and support between them all.

Even for iOS itself, there are multiple ways and factors which are likely to affect how a user interacts with the link. Measures have to be taken to address them. To name a few, you are going to need to support previous versions of iOS, it should be possible for the link to open in SafariViewController for some apps like Skype and Facebook, the user may get redirected to the link instead of reaching there by clicking it, there may be a tracking need on the link. Given the default behavior of the universal link, which is to either open the app, if available or the web if not, it is going to break at some point for one of the above cases.

Unless you are hell-bent on having the universal link with all its properties and willing to put all the resources and time it needs to address the accompanying issues, you should consider the alternate, and the more basic solution available, to get the task done.

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So, what is the hidden solution that can be used as a workaround?

The idea here is that the web URL, the actual HTTP link of the website, will work as a universal link.

But, how?

For Android, it’s easier to connect an HTTP link to the app, with the assumption that the user will be taken to your app on tapping the link if it’s available or fallback to the website if not. At most, you will need to verify the domain ownership. More on this is available here.

For iOS, unfortunately, you can’t use an HTTP link i.e. link to a real website to open the app without using Universal link.

Smart Banners in iOS is the workaround we have been looking for.

Safari has a “Smart App Banner” feature to promote app from the website. Your website can include a meta tag containing the app id of the app, and the Safari mobile browser will show a smart banner. On being tapped, it will open the app if it’s installed or take the user to the app store if the app is not there in the phone.

Here is how smart banner looks for the LinkedIn website.

 

LinkedIn Image1

When the app is not installed on the phone.

 

When the app is installed

 

The meta tag format is :
<meta name=”apple-itunes-app” content=”app-id=myAppStoreID, affiliate-data=myAffiliateData, app-argument=myURL”>

Both “affiliate-data” and “app-argument” are optional.

For more information on adding a smart banner to your app, click here.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.
To know more about our company, please click on Mindfire Solutions. 

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