Windows Mobile Marketplace gets Deep Linking on Device

Windows Mobile Marketplace gets Deep Linking on Device

For quite a while now you have been able to deep link to your application listed on Marketplace using a url of the form https://marketplace.windowsphone.com/details.aspx?appId=LinkID where the LinkID is unique to your application.  If you want to find the LinkID for any application you simply need to find it in the marketplace and then look in the address bar. Depending on how you found your application you will most likely have a url similar to:

http://marketplace.windowsphone.com/details.aspx?appId=89c01d91-48a1-4e09-895e-74db2ced5345&retURL=/search.aspx%3Fkeywords%3Dcricket

As you can see this is essentially a deep link with some additional information on the end of it. Simply strip off all the extra parameters to give you a deep link that you can use.

http://marketplace.windowsphone.com/details.aspx?appId=89c01d91-48a1-4e09-895e-74db2ced5345

Now when it comes to providing a deep link on the device I think the team has completely missed the point. In the post Drive App Downloads with Marketplace Deeplinking they shown how you can invoke the marketplace client application on the device, passing in the LinkID of the application as follows:

System.Diagnostics.Process.Start("\Windows\WMMarketplaceFullClient.exe", "/appid:LinkID");

Now I had to double read this… surely the only way to do something like this would be to have an application already running on the device… and doesn’t that imply that the user already has your application installed on the device… which means they’ve probably already been to marketplace, found, purchased and installed your application… what’s the point in providing this mechanism????

Ok, in answer to that question I can see that if you have multiple Windows Mobile applications in marketplace then you can increase sales by providing cross links between your applications. That way once someone buys one of your applications, they are more likely to buy the others. Alternatively you could provide a free/trial version with a link to the paid version.

Personally I see that there is an obvious gap here – how do I provide a deep link to my application on a mobile web site (or even a standard web site that is accessible via a WM device) that can be resolved on the device via the marketplace client. It wouldn’t be out of the question to have a link such as wmapp://LinkID that would be handled by the marketplace client in order to display the appropriate application. This link could be used when the site detects the page being browsed by a windows mobile client.

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