smartface-cloud-single-link-distribution

Increase Mobile App Downloads and User Engagement with Smartface Single Link Distribution

Smartface Cloud Single Link Distribution allows you to distribute your iOS and Android apps with a single link and a QR code to facilitate mobile app marketing and increase mobile app downloads.

There is no need for any specific SDKs or development efforts, it can be used by anyone without any technical dependency and it can be applied for any app from the App Store or Google Play.

This module detects the device type automatically and redirects the user to the appropriate link based on the device type. These download links can be in the Google Play or App Store or you can redirect to user to any other download location. It also supports iOS URL schemes and Android intents. If the app is already installed in the user’s device, the user can be redirected to a screen or an action inside the app instead of the download URL.

 

This module is especially useful for app marketing, where you can share a single and shortened link with your customers, eliminating the device and install base fragmentation worries.

Any deep linking scenario works well with Smartface Cloud Single Link Distribution and it can be used for any iOS and Android app no matter with which technology it was built.  For instance, in your m-commerce app, you can redirect users to a specific product page instead of just launching the app and if the app is not installed, the store listing will be shown.

You can start using Single Link Distribution instantly and for free as a part of Smartface Cloud. No download, development or technical expertise is needed. Try it now at https://cloud.smartface.io

 

Smartface Single Link Distribution and App Linking FAQ

1. Are there any specific requirements for using Smartface Single Link Distribution?

The module works for all apps, regardless of the used development tool or the structure of the app. It is not limited to Smartface apps, any app from the App Store or Google Play can be used with this module.

Also, there is no need for any SDKs or development. For instance, marketing department can create and manage single link distribution profiles without any technical dependency. There is no need for an app to have deep linking implemented, but if an app has URL schemes or intents defined (see question for details), opening app links will be the icing on the cake.

You can get more information from the Smartface Cloud Single Link Distribution guides.

 

2. What are the advantages of using Smartface Single Link Distribution?

It is a simple but powerful mobile app marketing tool to streamline app marketing for increasing the number of downloads at any stage of your app as well as the user engagement.

  • You can provide short, customizable links for your apps instead of long store links or complex URL schemes.
  • You can share a single link with your customers, without worrying about device fragmentation. (e.g. You can send a single SMS with a single link and the system handles operating system and form factor differences)
  • You can target both your installed and non-installed mobile user base with a single campaign.

 

3. What is deep linking/app links?

In the context of mobile apps, deep linking consists of using a uniform resource identifier (URI) that links to a specific location within a mobile app rather than simply launching the app. (Source: Wikipedia)

You can define links for any screen or compatible action in your mobile app so that just like web pages, you can target a specific screen to be displayed when the app is launched from a link.

 

4. What are some examples of app links?

The following URI launches the @Smartface_io Twitter profile directly on the Twitter app:
twitter://user?screen_name=smartface_io (you can see the URI in action if you are reading this page on your phone)

The following URIs are some of the most common ones that are handled by the system:
sms:1-650-317-3265 & tel:1-650-317-3265

 

5. How is deep linking implemented within an iOS or Android app?

Both iOS and Android uses URIs as a standard of inter-app communication, though the implementation is specific to each platform. Below are the app interaction implementation guides for iOS, Android and Smartface Cloud:

5.1. Inter-App Communication on iOS

On iOS, deep linking is implemented through URL schemes, which are defined as follows:

“A URL scheme lets you communicate with other apps through a protocol that you define. To communicate with an app that implements such a scheme, you must create an appropriately formatted URL and ask the system to open it.”

The URL scheme is registered in the Xcode project settings. You can find more information from the following guide  from Apple:
https://developer.apple.com/library/content/documentation/iPhone/Conceptual/iPhoneOSProgrammingGuide/Inter-AppCommunication/Inter-AppCommunication.html

 

5.2. Interacting with Other Apps on Android

On Android, deep linking is implemented through Intents, which are defined as follows:

“Intent framework enables apps to handle requests from the system or other apps. An Intent provides a facility for performing late runtime binding between the code in different applications. Its most significant use is in the launching of activities, where it can be thought of as the glue between activities.”

The intent is registered in the Android Manifest. You can find more information from the following guide from Google:
https://developer.android.com/training/basics/intents/index.html

 

5.3. App Interaction in Smartface

With Smartface, it is very quick and easy to implement URL Schemes and Intents for your app as well as to communicate with other apps, all in the same mobile application project for iOS and Android:
https://smartface.atlassian.net/wiki/display/GUIDE/Inter-app+communication%2C+URL+Schemes+and+Intents