Universal links in iOS

Last day I was asked to integrate deep linking in one of the app that I made last year. It was in objective-C. I had to face so many issues doing this as there are no proper documentation and the one that is available over the internet are not straight forward. Here, I will share what I understood and how I did it.

What Is A Deep Link?

What is Apple iOS Universal Links?

How Do Universal Links Work in iOS ?

How to Set Up Universal Links in iOS?

1. Configure your app to register approved domains

2. Configure your website to host the ‘apple-app-site-association’ file

What Is An AASA (apple-app-site-association) File?

Hosting the AASA File on Your Domain

Supporting Multiple Apps on the Same Domain


Preparing Your App to Handle Universal Links

func application(_ application: UIApplication, continue userActivity: NSUserActivity, restorationHandler: @escaping ([Any]?) -> Void) -> Bool {
print("Continue User Activity called: ")
if userActivity.activityType == NSUserActivityTypeBrowsingWeb {
let url = userActivity.webpageURL!
//handle url and open whatever page you want to open.
return true
Manipulating the components of the URL
//playground code..var str = “https://google.com/contents/someotherpath?category=series&contentid=1562167825"let url = URL(string: str)func queryParameters(from url: URL) -> [String: String] {let urlComponents = URLComponents(url: url, resolvingAgainstBaseURL: false)var queryParams = [String: String]()for queryItem: URLQueryItem in (urlComponents?.queryItems)! {if queryItem.value == nil {continue}queryParams[queryItem.name] = queryItem.value}return queryParams}
// print the url parameters dictionary
print(queryParameters(from: url!))
[“category”: “series”, “contentid”: “1562167825”]
func application(_ application: UIApplication, didFinishLaunchingWithOptions launchOptions: [UIApplicationLaunchOptionsKey : Any]? = nil) -> Bool {
var isUniversalLinkClick: Bool = false
if launchOptions[UIApplicationLaunchOptionsUserActivityDictionaryKey] {
let activityDictionary = launchOptions[UIApplicationLaunchOptionsUserActivityDictionaryKey] as? [AnyHashable: Any] ?? [AnyHashable: Any]()
let activity = activityDictionary[“UIApplicationLaunchOptionsUserActivityKey”] as? NSUserActivity ?? NSUserActivity()
if activity != nil {
isUniversalLinkClick = true
if isUniversalLinkClick {
// app opened via clicking a universal link.
} else {
// set the initial viewcontroller
return true

Keep in mind:



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