Universal links are deep links that allow users to directly open a specific piece of content within an app rather than redirecting them to the app's home screen or website. Universal links are unique to iOS and are intended to provide a seamless user experience by allowing users to open content within an app without having to first open the app. Universal links are supported by iOS 9 and later.
One of the main benefits of universal links is that they eliminate the need for users to manually type in a URL or search for an app in the App Store. This can save a significant amount of time and effort for users, especially if they are trying to access content on the go. Additionally, universal links can help to increase user engagement and retention because users are more likely to return to an app that is easy to use and navigate.
Another advantage of universal links is that they can help to improve the discoverability of apps. By associating a website with an app, universal links can be activated by clicking on a link in an email, text message, or website. This can help increase an app's visibility and make it more likely for users to discover it.
Finally, universal links also benefit mobile apps as they provide a more secure way to open apps from links. It ensures that the app is opened from a trusted source.
For universal links to work, the developer should first associate a website with an app using the Apple Developer Portal. Then, when a user clicks on the universal link, the operating system checks if the associated app is installed on the device. If the app is installed, the operating system opens the app and directs the user to the specific content within the app. However, if the app is not installed, the user is directed to the website associated with the link.