The “Optional URL Scheme” option in Viewer Builder is a relatively obscure feature that can come in handy. If you’re viewing this blog post on an iPad or iPhone in mobile Safari, tapping the following link opens the DPS Tips app if you have it installed (and updated to the newest version):
NOTE: If you click this link from a computer browser, you get an error message. Similarly, if you tap the link on an iPhone or iPad on which DPS Tips is not installed or updated, you get a “Cannot Open Page” error message. It’s useful only when you tap this link on an iOS device that has the newest version of DPS Tips installed.
Here’s how it works. When you’re building your app in Viewer Builder, you specify a scheme. Apple recommends that you use the reverse domain format such as com.publisher.publication. For my app, I used com.bringhurst.dpstips.
Now that I’ve specified the URL Scheme, I can refer to it from a Web page (like this one) or from a DPS article. Use the same format with a “://” trailer (com.publisher.publication://). Here’s what the HTML looks like on this page:
<a href=”com.bringhurst.dpstips://”>OPEN DPS TIPS</a>
Here’s what the Buttons panel looks like in a DPS article.
When users tap the button, they exit the source app and open the target app. Make sure that you select “Open in Device Browser” in the Overlays panel. If you leave “Open in Folio” selected, you don’t let users leave your app.
If you want to test this for yourself, create a button that links to your app’s URL Scheme (or link to mine). Then preview the folio in the Adobe Content Viewer. If the target app is installed, tapping the link should open the other app.
I should probably mention that this URL Scheme feature shouldn’t be used to get customers to install your app. You’ll want to use the publication URL for that, such as “http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/digital-publishing-suite-tips/id436199090?mt=8.”
The DPS team is currently working on other “deep linking” features that let publishers link between apps, folios, and articles.