Shareable Web Links that Open iOS Deep Links
Ben, May 23, 2013
When building 55Prophets (available in the app store), we built in a number of deep linking options. I wrote in-depth about adding deep links to your iOS app here.

Now that we have these deep links, we wanted to be able to share them with people around the web. However, sharing links that look like ffprophets://leagues/22/join is confusing to people and isn't necessarily clickable/touchable in many cases. To make it easier to share deep links in the app, I added a quick and simple snippet to our nginx config that redirects deep link url's to open inside the app. It looks like this:
location /deep_link/ {
if ($http_user_agent ~ iPhone) {
rewrite ^/deep_link/(.*) ffprophets://$1 permanent;

rewrite ^/deep_link/(.*) /deep_link.html last;
Now, we can share urls like (download the app, visit this page on your iPhone and try it out!). When people access the url in mobile Safari on their device, it will redirect them to ffprophets://leagues/22/join, which will open in 55Prophets. If they access the page from a computer, it will show them the deep_link.html page, which informs them that the link needs to be opened on a mobile device with the app installed and gives them a link to download it.

P.S. If you found this helpful, I'd love to hear from you on twitter, @bcroesch.
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