Making Smartphones work

I love my smartphone, my iPhone. In addition to this, I love my iPad, but I’m not as enamoured by it as I am with my phone. Since I got my iPad I have found myself using my laptop even less (it’s only 2 years old so not, by any means, old or slow or a cumbersome weighty block of plastic with a tiny screen). But they could both be better.

Considering how I (we) use these new mobile devices I am surprised that there is less integration between apps. Let me explain:

When I click a link in an email it opens up the Safari web browser. Simple and easy to understand. But when I click a link in an email, or on a webpage, to a Facebook update, to a tweet, or to something on LinkedIn or something else that I use an App to manage, the Safari web browser is used. I don’t use the browser on my phone (or iPad) to use those services, use the app I’ve installed and configured for my account(s). I am not logged in to the website version of those services (and many others) but I am logged into the App.

Why can’t the OS be configured to allow it to ‘learn’ from the apps I have installed. Let’s have them learn that a link to something on Twitter (tweet, profile, hashtag, etc) means I want to use the App and not the web browser?

Perhaps this is just ‘limited’ to iOS devices? Perhaps to get what I want I need to think outside the ‘Apple’ box and go Android or Windows … ?

Or have I missed something so fundamental to iOS and it can already do this? Comments below please if you agree with me, have a handy hint to help me sort this out, or just want to gloat because your (smart)phone already does this.


  • Lawana

    This post seems interesting to read,but I have never come to this type of situation.I recently got a new laptop, and it does not have this type of issues.Frequently, I use Google and Safari,and I have never had a problem with either one. I use Twitter in EDM310,but I have used it before until now.I do not understand twitter,even though I  have read all of the information.I just need more practice with it.”Practice Makes Perfect” is the motto I would use for this task. There are 2 issues I cannot comment on, which are iOS and smart phones because I do not know what an iOS is nor do I own a smart phone. Is an iOS a type of operating system?

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    • hopkinsdavid

      iOS is the operating system for Apple mobile devices (iPod, iPad, iPhone). The issue I talk about here is specific to how mobile devices handle requests for Internet services (websites) that are usually used via apps.

      All the best, David

  • Ben

    The main issue here is that browsers work in a sandboxed mode and aren’t that integrated into the OS at the level you want – this hasn’t been the case since IE5.5 (shudders) and is on the whole a good thing.  Really what you’re asking for is the browser to be aware of apps available to the OS and vice versa, which would remove some of the safety which lies in keeping these two elements separate.  For this to work you’d have to take each link which starts with HTTP and parse it upon being pressed to see if an app is registered with the OS to handle the displaying of that resource.  It would need to be standardised and could be difficult for security as links, and the information embedded in them, could invoke an application at will with undesirable effects.

    Just some thoughts on it, although I agree a more integrated approach would be good for workflow.