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I know you’re busy. The FBI is all up in there. You’re building a money pit for the largest corporate profit you’ve ever had. And I know, it is a lot of work to create a spaceship with a carbon-fiber dome.

There’s a big problem in boomtown though. You know about it. It’s called deep linking.

You have a big, beautiful app store. There are over 1.5 million apps available in all their native Objective-C and Swift glory. Think back to when “apps” on the iPhone could only be webapps and they totally sucked? No one wants to go back to that day.

Then why are you allowing apps to bypass that big, beautiful full app experience? Why on earth does every website now have “Open in app” link in the header? It’s because you’re not taking a strong stand.

Networks like Facebook and Twitter want their users to stay in their apps. That’s how they get more facetime, show more ads, and make more money. Remember when Facebook thought HTML5 was the best way forward too? Ironic that they relegate third-party content to in-app browsers that can only use HTML5.

Platforms like Apple want to lock users into the experience and never switch. Your goals are fundamentally at odds. But admit it, the in-app browser experience sucks, just like that original webapp model.

You’re the sheriff in town. Only you have the power to fix it. Every web view opened on iOS goes through one of your APIs. You also know what apps are installed on the phone, what alternate URLs are available for each link, and which URLs schemes each app handles.

When you release the next version of iOS, for the love of god, automatically detect deep links from in-app browsers and redirect to the app.

Thank you,
An iPhone user since the beginning

Written by

Unrelenting traveler, United Million Miler, Pennsylvania native, Pilot, often found on a ⛵️, product manager

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