Getting Started with Apple Universal Links

Singular supports using Apple Universal Links as tracking links when you use the Singular attribution service. Universal Links are standard HTTP/HTTPS web URLs that open content inside an app. Read more about Apple Universal Links.

When you use Apple Universal Links, Singular serves your users the right deep-link to optimize user experience:

  • Universal Links will be served to devices using iOS 9+.
  • Traditional URL scheme-based deep-links will be based to devices using iOS 8 and below.

Using Universal Links

The general requirements for your application to support Universal Links are:

  • Enable Associated Domains service for the application in your Apple developer's dashboard.
  • Host an apple-app-site-associationconfiguration file on a valid HTTPS web domain.
  • Add the aforementioned web domain as an Associated Domain in the iOS application build.
  • Have your application code correctly handle Universal Links that open the app.

Then you can use a Universal Link when you generate your tracking link for use with the Singular attribution service.

For detailed information about setting up your Universal Links, read on below.

iOSUniversalLinkEnabled.png You have the option of using a Singular-Hosted Universal Link or your own Universal Link.

Setting Up Singular-Hosted Universal Links

Using a Singular hosted Universal Link is recommended for optimal user experience to engage people into your app.

If you choose this option, Singular creates a domain and hosts an apple-app-site-association file for your app. Users who click on the tracking link are taken into the app if it is installed. If the app is not installed, the users are sent to a fallback URL (usually the iTunes app store).

To use Singular-Hosted Universal Links:

  1. In your Apple developer account, make sure Associated Domains service is enabled for your app.
  2. Verify that the Prefix matches the app you want, and record the ID (your Apple Team ID).

    appledevassocdomains.png
  3. Go to your iOS app in your Singular account (App Page) and pick a domain prefix. Your Universal Links will have the form:
    [prefix].iosapp.info

    This domain must be unique per application. If your account has multiple iOS apps, select a unique domain for each. We recommend keeping the domain short and identifiable. For example, for an app called "Favorite Wallpapers", you may want to use the prefix "favwp" to create the domain "favwp.iosapp.info".

    Note: you cannot change the prefix/domain once you have set them up. If you absolutely need to change them, please reach out to our support team. However, we don't recommend this, because old Universal Links will become invalid.
  4. Also provide your Apple Team ID, which will be used to populate the apple-app-site-association file Singular hosts on the iosapp.infodomain.

    teamID.png
  5. Enable the Associated Domains capability for your app in Xcode, and add the Singular hosted domain in your iOS application's Associated Domains. Using our example, you will need to add applinks:favwp.iosapp.info

    favwpxcode.png

  6. Lastly, make sure your app handles correctly any Universal Link that opens the app. To do so, implement the application:continueUserActivity:restorationHandler: method in your application delegate.
    - (BOOL)application:(UIApplication *)application continueUserActivity:(NSUserActivity *)userActivity restorationHandler:(void (^)(NSArray * _Nullable))restorationHandler{
    
       if ([userActivity.activityType isEqualToString: NSUserActivityTypeBrowsingWeb]) {
            NSURL *url = userActivity.webpageURL;
    
           // Put code here to take user to relevant content
       }
       return YES;
    }

It's also recommended that your application supports traditional URL scheme-based deep-linking.

Once the above is completed, your application is now properly configured for using Singular hosted Universal Links!

Using Your Own Universal Links

If you already have your own universal links for your app, you can use them alone or in combination with a Singular Universal Link. An app can be configured to support multiple Universal Links.

Note: Singular supports using Singular macros in Universal Links.

Notes on Using Universal Links

Reporting: Similarly to Tracking Links, reporting on Smart Links is tied to your iOS and Android applications tracked with Singular. As a result, reporting on web URL clicks is not available at the moment.

iOS - Browser Support: For the links to function as intended on iOS devices, the device browser must support JavaScript. If JavaScript is not enabled, the link will still redirect users to web URLs, but other functionality is limited.

Android - Device Support: For the links to function as intended on Android devices, the device must support Android Intents.

Web URL: If you specify a web URL for a destination, you guarantee that your users will land on a platform-agnostic Fallback URL. If you do not specify a web URL, then for all users on platforms other than iOS or Android, one of the iOS or Android Fallback App Store URLs will be chosen to redirect the user.

Overriding Destination URL: If you absolutely need to override a destination URL in the link itself, see the instructions.

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