What are Android app links?
Android App Links are HTTP URLs that allow you to deep link users directly to specific activities inside installed apps. If the users' devices don't have the apps installed, they are redirected to the app owners' web sites.
AppsFlyer fully supports Android App Links via OneLink.
Android app links vs. URI schemes
Android App Links are Google's answer to iOS Universal links, and similarly work only for advanced Android versions, Marshmallow (Android 6.0) and above. In Android, it means that only about half of the users can activate app links. All users, regardless of their Android version, can be deep linked using URI schemes.
Android app owners should use both methods to cover 100% of their users.
To learn more about URI Scheme, see here.
Benefits of Android app links vs. URI schemes
App links solve a major security issue that URI scheme method has. Fraudsters apps can define the same URI scheme that real apps use. When users click on the real app's scheme links they need to select which app to open. If they open the fraudster app by mistake, they are at risk of revealing important login details, etc.
App links ensure domain uniqueness, meaning only the original app could be launched when users click on its deep links.
Better user experience
When a user clicks on a URI scheme link an internal browser is launched which identifies the scheme URI, and only afterward deep links the user into the app.
With app links, the app is directly launched without the browser's help, which leads to faster and smoother user experience.
Setting up Android app links
For more technical background on how Android App Links work, refer to the official Android documentation.
Advertisers that have content on their mobile app, as well as on their web sites, can use Android app links to give more security and better user experience to their users. Android users below 6.0 still need the URI scheme method, so both methods need to be set up by the advertiser.
OneLink supports simple setup for working with both methods.