Collector App - iOS -Hyper Link/Deep Link not working now?

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01-24-2017 12:24 PM
BradBolton
New Contributor III

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide...

 

 

(I'm not sure of software versions of each, but) Before updating to the latest iOS, 10.2.1, and the latest Collector for ArcGIS, 10.4.2, Collector was capable of opening another app's URL to a file located in another app. Now it appears that cannot happen in Collector. What has changed? Or am I missing something? The URL link works when it is pasted into the Notes app or the Explorer app.

 

In our case, we use the GoodReader app as file storage for pdf’s of parcel appraisal fieldcards. GoodReader has the ability for other apps to open pdf’s inside GoodReader, when you click the link (from their website: use Link button to copy a special URL link of a single selected file to clipboard. This URL link will have a special prefix gropen:// and will contain a full internal path to a selected file inside GoodReader's file storage. Any other iOS app that is capable of opening URL links (for example, todo-type or notebook-type app) can use this URL link to automatically launch GoodReader and open a file being linked. For example, you can create a "Read this book" todo task in a todo application and associate an URL link with this task in such a way that tapping this URL link in that other application will launch GoodReader and open this file of interest. If you invoke the Link action with several selected files, several URL links separated by line-breaks will be copied to clipboard.).

 

The Explorer for ArcGIS app appears to still allow the hyperlinking to the GoodReader app files, but not Collector. The attached screenshots should help indicate the linking issue. Note that a 'http' link will work, but not a link to another app. We need the local URL link (GoodReader) solution to work in a disconnected environment. Again, thanks for any information you can provide.

 

Thank you,

Brad

15 Replies
BrianShepard
Occasional Contributor

I am having the same issue with Collector v. 17.0.1 on various iPad models running iOS 10.3.1 and 10.3.2.

Deeplinks to apps we've developed internally work in Explorer, but not Collector.  They did work in Collector last year (no idea what version of Collector or iOS) as we use them extensively for vegetation monitoring.  In Explorer they will only work when we use a list of attributes as the pop-up type.  Setting it to a custom pop-up and just listing the attribute value (deeplink URL), or using the field as the URL in a hyperlink prevents the URL from being tappable (it converts it to just text).

The deeplink URLs in Collector are never hyperlinks as they are in Explorer.  This is the same behavior as Brad documented in the screenshots.  Creating hyperlinks in a custom pop-up and setting the field as the URL creates hyperlinks that do not work.  In this form, deeplinks open an empty window in Collector with the options "Open in Safari", which doesn't work, and "Done" that closes the window.

The deeplink URLs are valid.  I can copy them from Collector and paste into Safari.  Safari correctly identifies the app in which they should open and opens them as I'd expect.

What happened in Collector, and will it be fixed?  Is it an Apple/iOS issue?  This is detrimental to our workflow.  The only thing I could find is this thread in which an ESRI employee noted that it had been fixed last year: https://community.esri.com/message/606288?commentID=606288#comments.

BrianShepard
Occasional Contributor

My previous comment remains to be an issue and deeplinks are now also broken in Explorer, which was my workaround.  Is there any comment from ESRI as to what caused this, or whether it's being worked on?  Our organization has support tickets in for both Collector and Explorer as the loss of functionality negatively impacted our workflows in a number of departments.  I can still deeplink to Survey123 from Explorer, but deeplinks to our own apps from Collector and Explorer remain non-functional since updates to Collector and Explorer broke them. 

Currently using Collector v. 17.0.1, Explorer v. 17.1.1 on both iOS 10.3.2 and 10.3.3.

Is there anyone from ESRI that can comment on this?

DougMorgenthaler
Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Brian-

Yes this is a change on the iOS side.  Recent changes to iOS security now require that app developers explicitly declare supported schemes for a given app.  

Can you share details about the published apps you currently link to as part of your workflows?

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BrianShepard
Occasional Contributor

What details do you need? Our app/link schemas are declared with Apple. Our deeplinks were working in Collector until a certain update (don’t remember which version, 17.0?) and then continued to work in Explorer until 2 updates ago (when the menus changed and we were only able to turn services on/off, not individual layers). We had been on the same version of iOS and the only changes were the updates to Collector and Explorer. As soon as those ESRI apps updated, our deeplinks stopped working. We also tested deeplinks to Google Maps, YouTube, etc. No deeplinks except for other ESRI apps (Survey123) work in Collector/Explorer. It’s not just our apps.

-Brian

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DougMorgenthaler
Esri Regular Contributor

The key is not that your schemes are declared with Apple; app developers must now explicitly list every scheme they support.  This is a restriction that Apple has added to their newer controls with increased security in mind.

As an aside, we do support a limited set of deep link schemes in Explorer and Collector beyond Esri apps.  Do you deep link to apps for use in Collector (or Explorer) other than ones you've developed?

BradBolton
New Contributor III

Hi Doug,

Sorry to jump in. We use gropen:// to open files stored in the GoodReader application as mentioned in original post. Our county, as well as other organizations that deeplink to GoodReader, would greatly appreciate having this scheme supported by Explorer/Collector.

Thanks,

Brad

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DougMorgenthaler
Esri Regular Contributor

Thanks Brad, appreciate the response and additional clarification.

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BrianShepard
Occasional Contributor

Doug,

Sorry I missed your reply.  To answer your question, we do not deeplink to other apps.  How do we get Esri to support or link schemes?

-Brian

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DougMorgenthaler
Esri Regular Contributor

Brian-

No problem.  I would recommend adding a request for this to ArcGIS Ideas.  You can also DM me with specific information about how you use this if you'd prefer not to post publicly.

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