Link in Visiolink solutions

2023-02-13 13:23:33 UTC

A great way to expose content in your app is to link to it. There are many different use cases for linking content and we try our best to support them all in our solutions. With that said, we are limited by the technical restrictions set upon us by the software we use. This can be the OS (Android/iOS), mail programs (Gmail/Outlook) and internet protocols (HTTPS). 

Without going into further details about the specific limitations, it due to these limitations that we have two different ways to link content and it's important to differentiate between the two. 

Deep Linking and Universal Linking

Depending on your use case, you will need to use one of these. You can click the link above to go to a guide with more details and examples. 


Deep Linking

Deep linking is the most precise way to link and you have more options here. However it is also more difficult to use and should be done by a developer. The benefit of Deep Linking is that you can link to use cases which Universal Links can't. The most common use case of Deep Linking is internal links in the app. Example could be "click a button linking to the podcast universe". 

The major issue with deep linking is that it is has a platform specific URL structure, which means you cant use same link across different platforms.

Example URL to open app:

Android: intent://reader/#Intent;scheme=visiolink;package=dk.visiolink.areader;end  

iOS: vlereader://

This makes it less than ideal to use for sharing externally like through mails or on social media (because you would need different links for each platform). However it's still possible to use in the app features such as Interstitials or Push messages with a good user experience, as they can be sent to platform specific users (so only Android users would get the message with Android link and visa versa). It would still be preferable to use Universal Linking though.

Generating Deep Links can be difficult. We have a guide below, but even then it's not easy. 

Guide to Deep linking can be found here: Guide to Deep Linking


Universal Linking

Universal Linking is the type of linking we have made to solve the limitation of Deep Linkings platform specific URL structure. This is a way to use one link and whatever platform you are on when you click it, you will see the correct content. The most common use case for this is to share a link to a specific publication or article through mail, social media or push messages. 

The problem with Universal Linking is that it is a requirement to have Desktop Web App and for the apps to "know" the Desktop Web App domain. This might require a resubmit of the app. Also some validations (especially Custom SSO integrations) are very complex and will not allow Universal Linking to work. Read more about validations here: How-to: Desktop Web App validations 

Another issue with Universal Linking is that it's limited to which features exist across all platforms (as it need to work the same way on all platforms). Example of this is that you can't use Universal Linking to Podcasts, because the Podcast feature doesn't exist on web. 

Universal Links are very easy to generate. It's as simple as going to the content you want to link on web (e.g. frontpage of todays paper) and copy the URL from address bar in the browser. 

Guide to Universal linking can be found here: Guide to Universal Links

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