Mobile interaction is about to look drastically different, and it’s not the Apple Watch. App-to-App deeplinking is the seamless interaction between switching mobile apps. Universal Links in iOS 9, Google App Indexing, and tie in between mobile assistants and mobile apps will change how we think about contextual awareness of app user workflows.
The near future begins with understanding the app function you’re current in and what utility an user might want to do next. For example, if I’m looking at song lyrics I may want to immediately open Apple Music or Spotify. If I’m looking Google Maps, I may want to take a Uber or Lyft. Similar to machine learning in image recognition, after viewing user app open patterns millions and millions of times it’s easy to predict what app action may come next.
The obfuscation of web urls is about to be much clearer. Search and opening apps with your voice will happen with Siri, not your keyboard. Extension in iOS 8 and Android sharing was the beginning, but contextual awareness of app users workflow will remove manually choosing what app actions are needed. It will only be the an even smaller percentage of time you’ll want to manually share an piece of content or open the browser url manually.
Some of the future challenges in supporting App Links come from cross-platform deeplinking. If you email a link, recipient may click on that link from their desktop computer or from their mobile phone. If you share a link on Twitter, your audience may click on that link from an Android device or iPhone. Search and Google Now will continue to operate differently on iOS than their native experience on Android. Don’t expect Siri to become an Android launcher anytime sooner either.
Riding in a Tesla is the first time you’ll experience a different sensation from any combustion engine car on the road. It just feels different as you accelerate without losing power to the wheels. With App Universal Links the transition between opening apps will feel the same way. In true Apple fashion, you’ll recognize the difference of when you don’t see app transitions.