With the release of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Android found a new way to open an app directly, known as App Links. This mechanism replicates the functionality of Universal Links from the iOS, where if an HTTP/HTTPS link is tapped, the corresponding application is installed
What the App Link does is turning your website links into app links as well. For example, if a website link is http://imbd.com/title/12345, the App Links configures the link to IMDB’s app link. When the IMDB app is installed on your device, it opens up instantly when the link is clicked. In case the application isn’t installed, the URL for the website is opened in a browser.
Requirements for Android App Links
- You must have a functional website.
- Users must have an Android running Android Marshmallow or Nougat.
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Configuring Android App Links
There to ways of configuring your device to use app linking:
- Register the website as an App Link
- Configure the manifest to get intents
There is also a new application from Said Dane a developer that comes in play. You just choose it when the links generated by the URL shorteners opens in your browser instead of the preferred application. To do this, install an application called Open Link With to redirect links into opening preferred apps.
Here is a step-to-step guide on how to use the application to redirect links into opening an app.
1. Install Open Link With
Commence by installing Open Link With application to end the frustrations felt when handling the Android link system
2. Grant usage access
Launch the application and the go to the set-up manual to have a hint of how it works. On the last screen of the guide, hit the ‘Give Access’ button. Then tap ‘Open Link With’ and activate Usage access on the next screen.
3. Force the links to open using a different app
For now, forget that you’ve Open Link With application installed. From now on, each time a link opens in a wrong application, go to the share menu, and tap ‘Open With’ from the list.
You will be asked to select a different application to open the link; the choices are ‘Always’ and ‘Just Once’. Choosing ‘Always’ does not affect the existing link handling settings.
The link opens in the preferred application immediately after you have selected it from the Android share menu. This means that every time you want to open links with different applications one time, you will be able to do it using the Open Link With application.
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