Thursday, September 7, 2023

Debugging Universal Links


To test your universal links behavior, paste a link into your Notes app and long-press it (iOS) or control-click it (macOS) to see your options for following the link. If universal links have been configured correctly, the option to open in app and in Safari will both show up. The option you choose will set the default behavior for your device when following universal links from this domain in the future. To change this default choice, repeat the same steps and choose a different option.

I still find the Universal Links behavior on macOS to be completely broken.

First, this method of setting the preference is obscure. You have to wait until you encounter each domain (for Mastodon there can be many) and configure them separately. There’s no way to see the current settings. Why can’t I just see a list of apps and choose whether I want them to accept links or not?

Second, it doesn’t actually work for Twitter or Mastodon, because even if I choose to open the link in Safari, Safari will show a Cancel/Allow alert for every click offering to open the link in the separate app. It also does this when I’m already in Safari and click a link. It’s breaking the Web.

The only workaround seems to be to uninstall Twitter and Ivory. (Or, perhaps, stop using Safari.)


The Twitter desktop app hasn’t been updated for domains, has it? And Mastodon apps can’t claim every domain compatible with it.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Do you browse in private mode always? I get the always cancel/allow for universal links only from a private browsing window.

@John Very rarely. I get Cancel/Allow for all windows.

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