Website links direct to an App instead of the webpage

Discussion in 'iOS 5 and earlier' started by iansilv, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. iansilv macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    Ok- I am frustrated with all those messages, "this forum has an app- click to view it" or whatever. And what's more annoying is that I have an App for every forum or website I regularly visit.

    I still go through my normal web surfing routine with bookmarks, and I get web links in email. For example- I am regularly getting emails from and

    So why can't we have a feature where you can designate certain websites to open their apps instead of the webpage and have this be controlled in iOS? So when I click my search alert link in an autotrader email, it opens the app instead of the browser page. And- there could be a function that developers could implement in their apps where there is a "back" button in the top left that takes you back out of that app and back to the email, note, Facebook feed item, or even safari.

    Because this could be implemented globally so it would work in the safari browser too. From bookmarks, from blog links- where ever there is a web link. If I go to my bookmark for AVSForum from within Safari, and I have listed AVSForum as a website I want this feature activated in, then I switch out of safari and in to the AVSForum app. And when I am done, the "back" button is there for me to click and go back to exactly where I was in safari... And that button only shows when I have been automatically taken out of safari for an app.

    I would like to see this as an option, as most website apps are quite a bit more functional then their websites for use on the iPhone.

    Thoughts anyone? Again- I am talking about this as an OPTION for specified websites.
  2. scaredpoet, Apr 27, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012

    scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Actually, what you ask for does exist in iOS, but it's up to the app developer to properly code for it.

    It's called Custom URL schemes. Quite a few apps use them.

    But to be honest, I' don't like when forums do that. I'd much rather the forums just handled tablet interfaces fine through the web browser. Macrumors seems to have the right idea on this.
  3. iansilv thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    Ok I've seen those- but they don't help with http links.

    Also- YouTube does not have a link back to safari, as I usually get frustrated by being stuck in the YouTube app and having to double click the home button.

    And I know some people do not like the idea of forums being handled according to my idea above. That's why I think it should be a system-wide option in iOS that the developer does not have to code for.
  4. CyBeRino macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2011
    Indeed, as those are claimed by Safari.

    This can't be fixed the way you want it. THe closest I can think of you can get is if the server end of the forum detects that you're on a phone and redirects you to such a custom handler. But it'd have to be damn clever about it or you wouldn't be able to browse the site without the app installed.

    The YouTube app sucks monkeydong these days. An easy way to avoid it is to disable it in the parental restrictions setting.
  5. moonman239 macrumors 68000

    Mar 27, 2009
    I think it can. Somewhat.

    This is how I see it:

    Either a) the MR server sends a header that contains the name of a compatible app, then iPhone or iPad launches it if it's available.

    iOS - upon detecting that the user tapped on a link or upon receiving the header - launches the app and passes the rest of the URL to the app. The app then takes the user to the content he or she wishes to access.

    As for the back button, that'd probably be best left to the app developers.
  6. tonyr6 macrumors 65816


    Oct 13, 2011
    Brooklyn NY
    It does not good anyway because when I am in the forum app and I click on a link it has the nerve to kick me out of the app and open Safari instead of opening the link in the app. I hate any apps that do that.
  7. iansilv thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    This is exactly how I see it working. It would be a global iOS 6 function where apps could enable the feature. Once enabled, it makes any link clicked that appears to be a weblink ANYWHERE in iOS open an app designed for the web address beig opened. So would open in the app from an email message, from a text message, from a webpage, wherever.

    The "back" button would appear in any app opened at the top to give a quick convenient return to the origin of the weblink, so you could go right back to mail from the macrumors app; for example.

    If the rumors of a taller screen are true, this back button could fit nicely, or it could be in the top menu next to the time. Either way, this feature would drive higher ad revenue for developers of apps if they use advertising because it would open the app more often. Right now I have to remember to use an app instead of safari. This would make it so I would not have to remember.

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