Link an NFC tag to download your app in the app store – the correct one for the user’s phone platform!
When you deploy tags in the wild, you might need a custom NDEF record (using an external RTD) to store your application data, and to register your app to be automatically launched when the tag is touched. On the other hand, the phone should perform a useful action if the app isn’t installed yet on the phone – ideally redirect the user to the App Store to download it.
App Store Link Tags
As you don’t know which phone platform the user is going to have, you can’t simply write the URL of the store to the tag; it would then only work for a single mobile OS. Every operating system needs its own link.
Hosted App Store Link service
The script hosted at NfcInteractor.com can be used to generate a generic URI or Smart Poster, which then redirects to the correct app store for the phones’ operating system.
Usage is simple: write the URL of the web service to the tag, and add the IDs of your app in the various app stores as parameters. An example that specifies two different download links, for Symbian and MeeGo Harmattan:
Each platform has a one-letter name. Currently supported:
- n: Nokia Store (if the app has the same ID in the Nokia Store, no matter which platform)
- s: Symbian
- h: MeeGo Harmattan
- f: Series 40
- w: Windows Phone
- a: Android
- i: iOS (iPhone / iPad)
- b: BlackBerry
- c: Custom name, app id stored in script source code (only for self-hosted scripts)
Nfc Interactor has an easy-to-use template to create links to the App Store service on NfcInteractor.com. Simply specify the UIDs of the platforms you support, and write the tag.
The script hosted on NfcInteractor.com is released under the open source BSD license, so you can download it and host the web service on your own site. This is recommended for real-world deployment of your services.
Additionally, hosting the service on your own web server allows you to add custom-named apps to the script (using the parameter ‘c’), so that the link on the tag doesn’t need to contain the ids of the app in the various stores, but you can link to a custom app name instead. See the source code of the script for details on how you can add your own places. Example:
Download coming soon!