Today at Facebook's F8 developer conference, the social networking giant unveiled a new initiative to make it easier to share data between mobile apps and the web: App Links. The open source service is meant to make it easy for developers to expose and integrate deep links into their app and into other apps with just a few lines of code.

App Links is designed to be cross platform, with support for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. App Links works not just between apps, but also from the web to mobile apps.

Currently developers have to code in each app to which they want to link. While there are a few standards meant to make that linking easier, there's nothing truly universal, let alone comprehensive in scope. App Links aims to solve that by making it possible to build in links to any appropriate apps on a mobile device without having to code in each one.

Part of the App Links system will be the Facebook Index API, which will serve as the central index of apps that support App Links.

In developing App Links, Facebook worked with a number of notable app developers that have already built-in the service, including Endomondo, Flixster, Hulu, Pinterest, and Spotify. Facebook has committed to building App Links into their own apps, but hasn't yet released an update with such support.

Integrating, centralizing, and simplifying the app-to-app sharing experience is a move that we welcome from Facebook. It's been nice to have a few apps working together here or there, but having a big company like Facebook pushing an initiative like this can't hurt.

Developers can go ahead and check it out everything the need to know about App Links at the source link below.

Source: App Links


Reader comments

Facebook wants to make it easier to jump between apps with App Links


Fixes the BS on iOS where you don't get the app association picker because apple believes their apps are the best. Google circumvented that with their apps

Posted via Android Central App

Whenever I see Facebook announce something I immediately have absolutely no interest in using anything associated with it.

i cringe immediately and a bit of me dies. I really hope they stay off Pinterest. I won't update and if I do on accident I will look for an older version of it on Amazon Appstore.

Download MyAppSharer and send yourself a copy so if you ever make a mistake...

Posted via Android Central App

If I was a developer, the last thing I would want to do is include a Facebook api into my app. Facebook isn't doing this out of the goodness of their heart.

Posted with a Galaxy Note 3 and the Android Central App


"Part of the App Links system will be the Facebook Index API, which will serve as the central index of apps that support App Links."

Easy enough to get it back, plus it leaves Top Stories easy to get to. It's not a popular opinion but I find Top Stories to be very useful... Though I use Most Recent more.

Posted from my Nexus 5 via Android Central App

I use the F.B. Purity greasmonkey script. My posts switch to most recent after a moments load, I have no games on my news stream. I haven't seen a "Person you know has liked x, y." in months. No Games feed, etc. My once a week visits to FB haven't been all that bad since.

As for the related story, I wonder if it's going to be free, or how much they are going to charge developers for it. Looks to me like it's their way around the Google app permissions. You just offload all the spying, data mining and privacy theft to the Facebook app with tons of permissions while they hide behind no permissions required.

You all seems to let your hatred for Facebook get the best of your reasoning. Which developer wouldn't want to grow? When you associate yourself with Facebook, you're reaching billions of people with your app, so there's every reason that Facebook will thrive.
Posted via a sexy Nexus 5

So this would mean (for example) links would open in the AC app instead of the mobile site? Like with G+?

Posted from my Nexus 5 via Android Central App

And every link and every app you ever communicate with, along with all 'transient' data being passed along with it, will then and forever be entered into Facebook's personally identifiable database. For them to sell.