Microsoft Research is working on a way to save links inside mobile apps

A newly revealed Microsoft Research project, uLink, is working on a way for smartphone owners to quickly save and bookmark links inside mobile apps.

While it's easy to copy and past URL on web pages, it's not nearly as simple to do the same with links in mobile apps, such as ones made for shopping, travel or ticket. The uLink project from Microsoft Research (opens in new tab) (via MSPU) is developing a much easier way to save those mobile app links to access later:

.uLink is a novel deep linking mechanism that addresses these problems. uLink brings the equivalent of web URLs to mobile apps. With uLink, users can bookmark links to app pages, and even search previously-seen app pages with content of interest.

The video shows how uLink could work on a mobile phone. A user accesses a hotel reservation app on his smartphone and then books a hotel on that app. He then shakes the smartphone, which, via the power of uLink, saves the link to that booked hotel page on his Bookmarks app. If a person forgets to save a mobile app link, then realizes he needs to access it, uLink can be set up to let him search through all the mobile app links he has used that day to find the link he needs to save.

It's important to note that this project is being developed by Microsoft Reseach. Many such efforts end up not being released to the public, or they are merged with existing software projects as new features.

John Callaham
  • Great see Microsoft Research use their own platform as a test bed!  
  • What are your credentials in research Mr. Anonymous Commenter? P.S.: Once established, this technology can be developed for any platform.
  • Android is where most Microsoft mobile customers are. iOS is second and Windows mobile is dead. Research people are no fools.
  • Sigh... Could you like die instead or something...? Spare us from the windows mobile is dead chant 100 times a day...
  • How can it be dead when we just got one of the most popular apps in America❓❓❓❓❓
  • Microsoft just released the mobile apps for Flow, but for iOS and Android only. Here is what they said: "So today, we are pleased to introduce a first step in responding to this request: a new mobile app available now for iOS, and a version for Android, available shortly." As usual, no mention of Windows mobile. Downvoting me will not change the fact that Windows mobile is dead.
  • We already have flow
  • This is not Word Flow keyboard, it's a tool for task automation. See here:
  • While that's truth for many things Microsoft does, not for this. Android is the ONLY flexible mobile OS where you can experiment with stuff like this. You can't develop app like this on iOS or Windows Mobile. And it is more reasonalbe to develop the app than to develop the OS for this, which would be required if they have worked on Windows Mobile.
  • That would be real handy! Kudos to MS for such brilliant work. Any chances it would arrive on W10M? Because it would be life-saving if it does ever in future.
  • But I thought bots were the future? If they're dedicating resources to this, they obviously feel that apps aren't going anywhere.
  • The death of apps have been widely exaggerated.
  • So have their necessity; 99% of apps should be optimized mobile websites instead.
  • Apps aren't dead. And yes, Bots are the next step, for many apps. The thing is, Bots will be replacing a LOT of apps. Apps like Uber, Dominos, florists, etc, which you wont be using all the time, and use relateively quickly, can be easily replaced with a Bot. Apps like games or social networking (e.g. Facebook, WhatsApp, etc.) will stick around. 
  • @Vis Declined Actually no apps are not dead. The untold "app gap" series points toward the evolution toward bots for some type of apps, but I was clear in the last part of that series how some devs may choose to build "downloadable" apps (in conjunction to bots) to extend their depth and reach with users. Added to that some types of apps simply are not suited as bots. I'm sure you read the series, but if so inclined I encourage you to revisit it to get a clearer picture of the point that was being made. :-)
  • Nice concept but Microsoft needs to come up with a robust solution to nor just save but manage saved links in the system. It's the same with the saved locations in the Maps app. Scrolling through a list of a few dozen favorites isn't very efficient.
  • Somming soon to an Android phone near you!
  • That android phone is fast.
    You know I am a patient person because I cope well with the long loading logo, crash app and more than 5 second of black screen by using preview build of WP10. :D
  • My thoughts exactly.
  • ... or they will release it only for android and ios as always!
  • Exclusively for Android and iOS
  • So its just a URI?
  • This feature will come in handy. Sort of related but how come when you want to share an article from MSN news, for instance, to Twitter only the link appears and not the article's heading?
  • I hope they bring this to the iPhone.