Nine41 Consulting | How to Add Apps to Launchpad inside of iOS Workspaces
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How to Add Apps to Launchpad inside of iOS Workspaces

How to Add Apps to Launchpad inside of iOS Workspaces

Overview

The Launchpad feature inside of Workspaces for iOS can handle much more than just URL links, however, this process has not been documented and is a bit rough around the edges when it comes to the usability. Nevertheless, by adding the deep link path or URI information into the launch path of an app, once installed on the mobile device, Launchpad will display a tile for the app and if you’re lucky (dependent on the app vendor) an icon associated to the app.

In the screenshot of Workspaces below, I have created a deep link to the app Evernote, Hootsuite, LetMobile, iOS Mail, Salesforce1 and Twitter. I also have standard links to the LANDESK Community and one other site. If I were to click on Salesforce1, it would initially prompt me to allow (this only takes place the first time), and then open up into Salesforce1. However, because it was launched from Workspaces, you’ll see at the top left of Salesforce1 there is a link back to LANDESK.
As such, using this method, one could theoretically create a whitelist of approved apps and links, put an iOS device in supervised mode and only allow Workspaces to run. So doing would allow the admin complete control over the device and what is allowable to execute.

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Mobile Deep Linking

Mobile deep linking consists of using a hyperlink that links to a specific piece of content within an app or to just the app itself. For example, the deep link for Twitter is twitter://. Putting twitter:// into the launch path will open the app Twitter to it’s default home page. However, if you add twitter://timeline it will open up the app to the timeline feature. This deep link needs to be added to the Launch path section of the iOS software payload. For more in deep linking, see: Mobile deep linking – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Configuring AOD for Deep Linking

Setting up a software package to be deep linked is quite simple. All you need to do is put the deep link into the Launch path on the software payload for the app. See the screenshot below for Hootsuite. However, if the app you’re trying to deep link is included within iOS, such as iOS Mail, you’ll need to use a Link Payload inside of AOD under the iOS and Android section.

Figuring out what the deep link is for a given app is going to require some patience as they’re not always published and not exactly obvious. You’ll need to employ a “try and see” approach or maybe even contact the vendor. In my limited testing, I was not able to discover Cisco AnyConnect or Cisco WebEx. As a tip, I would attempt to find the URI by searching for the name of the app combined with iOS to pull up the itunes web link. That web link will contain the app’s full name as well as the ID. I would take that full name and attempt to combine words to discover what the URI might be. This helped me figure out that 1Password’s URI is onepassword:// and not 1password://.

The deep links I’m aware of are:

  • 1Password – onepassword://
  • Audible – audible://
  • Apple Mail – message:// (this needs to be created as a Link package inside of AOD for iOS and Android and not a software package)
  • Ebay – ebay://
  • Evernote – evernote://
  • Facebook – fb://
  • Hootsuite – hootsuite://
  • LetMobile – letmobile://
  • Twitter – twitter://
  • Salesforce 1 – salesforce1://
  • Strava – strava://
  • YouTube – YouTube://
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