Announcing App Links Analytics, Windows Updates, and 3 billion links created

By Ashley Smith | Announcements

To further our commitment to building an industry standard around mobile deep linking, we’re excited to announce updates and improvements to the App Links community. Since we launched App Links at f8 in April 2014, we’ve seen over 3 billion unique App Links created across hundreds of apps including Spotify, Mailbox, Hulu, Vimeo, and Airbnb.

Thanks to all the feedback we’ve received from the developer community, we are excited to announce the following updates: analytics for App Links, improved support for Windows developers, and refreshed content on Applinks.org.

Analytics for App Links
Starting today, the Bolts SDK will support sending events so that developers can measure the traffic associated with their app’s App Links integration. This will help developers understand how traffic is flowing to and from any App Links integrated mobile app. Check out our docs page for more information about how to implement the following 3 new events:

‘al_nav_out’ — this event is raised in the referring app when it sends out an App Links URL.

‘al_nav_in’ — this event is raised in the receiving app when it opens an incoming App Links url or intent.

‘al_ref_back_out’ [iOS only] — this event is raised in the receiving app when someone navigates back from the receiving app to the referring app by tapping on the navigate-back bar.

We’ve partnered with Mixpanel, Parse, and Facebook to provide an easy way for developers to measure their App Links traffic. Take a look at the links below for more information about how you can track your App Links events using the integrations built by our partners.

Mixpanel
Mixpanel Blog Post
Mixpanel Documentation (iOS)
Mixpanel Documentation (Android)

Parse
Parse Blog Post
Parse Documentation

Facebook
Facebook Blog Post
Facebook Documentation

Improved Windows Phone support:

We announced at f8 that Windows Phone was one of the platforms we supported, but today we’re announcing a series of enhancements that will make it much easier for App Links to work with Windows. As of today, we will now support Windows 8 apps as well as universal Windows apps:

<meta property=”al:windows:url” content=”applinks://docs” />
<meta property=”al:windows:app_id” content=”a14e93aa-27c7-df11-a844-00237de2db9f” />
<meta property=”al:windows:app_name” content=”App Links” />

<meta property=”al:windows_universal:url” content=”applinks://docs” />
<meta property=”al:windows_universal:app_id” content=”a14e93aa-27c7-df11-a844-00237de2db9f” />
<meta property=”al:windows_universal:app_name” content=”App Links” />

For more information on how to get started with App Links for your Windows and universal Windows apps, take a look at our documentation.

Referer_app_link support on Android:
The referer_app_link is an important property for analytics as it helps you better understand the source of your traffic. We’ve now enabled support for this on Android as an optional property in the al_applink_data field. Here’s what it would look like for Android:

referer_app_link: {
“target_url”: “http://example.com/docs”,
“url”: “example://docs”,
“app_name”: “Example App”,
“package”: “org.applinks”
}

App Links refresh
Today we’re launching a blog (you’re reading it now!) on our App Links website, where we’ll share product updates, case studies, new partnerships, and interesting articles for people in our App Links community. If you’d like to keep up with us, please subscribe to our RSS feed, Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

We’ve also added a few new areas to the App Links website. Curious about which other apps are using App Links? Take a look here for more insight into our partners like Quip, Vimeo, and Live Nation. We have also added a help section where you can get in contact with us about partnership opportunities or engage with our community on Stack Overflow with technical questions.

Welcome to our first post on the all-new App Links Blog. We hope you enjoy our new website and product updates!