Mobile deeplinking is the practice of sending users directly to content within an app that is deeper than the homepage. Mobile deep links are incredibly useful for marketing as it simplifies the customer journey. It sends users right to the relevant content from your campaign. Unlike traditional web-based deeplinking, which all use the HTTP or HTTPS scheme, mobile deep links do not follow a consistent format.
Different devices use different operating systems. Even within different operating systems, you have choices for how to set up your deep links. AppURL has been specifically designed to access in-app content on different mobile operating systems. It makes the art of mobile deeplinking a little easier on you. However, there are still a few technical pieces that you may need in order to properly set up your mobile deeplinking for Android apps. In this post, we’ll take a look at those elements and the role they play.
The Android Package is the file format used to correctly install apps on Android devices. You may also hear it referred to as the APK, Android Package Kit or Android Application Package. The file contains the instructions for installing the app on your phone, as well as the information about the app itself, including the Android Package Name.
While customers identify apps by their front-facing brand names, our devices recognize apps by either their iOs app link information for iPhones or their Android Package Name for Android devices.
The Android Package Name is used in deeplinking to identify which app the link will open in. Finding the package name of an Android app is easy. Simply go to the Google play store in a browser, find the app, and view its page. In the URL for the page, copy everything between “id=” and the ampersand (&) on the opposite side of the id.
You may also need to know your app’s scheme in order to turn individual links into deep links. A scheme is a portion at the beginning of a link that determines what app your device will use to open a URL or URI. You are certainly already familiar with the HTTP and http schemes. Other schemes you may have run across in the world of marketing (but didn’t necessarily know were schemes) include file, FTP, and mailto.
Custom schemes come with a few drawbacks when it comes to deeplinking. For example, if you want to share a piece of content from an app with a friend who doesn’t have the app already installed, they may receive an error message when they click on the link.
For this reason, universal links are often considered best practices for deeplinking. On Android devices, these are referred to as Android App Links. Universal or Android App Links use standard HTTP or HTTPS schemes, which means you can use one URL to cover both your app and your website. If the user already has your app installed, the link will open to the content in the app; if not, the link will open in a browser.
Does your app use a custom scheme? No problem! When you create deep links with AppURL, our smart link generator automatically identifies the user’s device and connects them to the appropriate app store from which they can download the app and then continue on their way to the desired content – all in a matter of just a few seconds.