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Facebook New 'App Links' Mean No More Switching From Apps to Web Browsers

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By Daniel Joseph Cruz | May 3, 2014 8:55 PM EST

Facebook may have started a new standard for deep-linking across all mobile platforms.

REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during his keynote address at Facebook's f8 developers conference in San Francisco, California April 30, 2014.

The new App Links take away the hassle of switching from an app directly into another. Users can now open apps and online content easily without being interrupted with new Web browsers from time to time.

On April 30, Facebook, together with "Parse" CEO and Co-founder Ilya Sukhar, announced "Applinks.org." It is Facebook's new solution to deep-linking for apps that will make mobile browsing for online content easier. This new scheme will help both developers and users in many ways.

One problem that users face is when they open third-party apps. They are stuck with the Web browser where they have to log in again. Users find this situation an annoying experience.

App Links work by finding a Web URL compatible to a mobile app, and opening that content in the same app instead of a new Web browser. The app does the work for users in searching the Web without multitasking several apps or Web browsers at the same time.

One of the good things about App Links is that it's open and already uses deep linking by OS providers. It's also not an issue if developers use an app index from Facebook or anywhere else.

For developers, App Links are open and accessible to anyone:

1. Developers are provided a source for a software development kit (SDK) from where more applications can be created.
2. They work in all platforms, so there won't be issues in any mobile specifications.
3. Facebook's App Index helps users check for any URL that can be easily deep-linked.

App Links are truly cross-platform and an open standard available for everyone without being restricted to a specific mobile.

To contact the editor, e-mail:

(Photo: REUTERS/Robert Galbraith / )
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during his keynote address at Facebook's f8 developers conference in San Francisco, California April 30, 2014.
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