Tuesday, June 15, 2010

iPhone & iPad apps with special url shortcuts

A feature of the iPhone SDK allows you to bind your application to a custom url scheme. This allows others to trigger the opening of your app and opens the possibilities of passing data between apps.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to update your Info.plist to register your own url.

List of iPhone apps with custom url shortcuts along with instructions on how to use them.


Phone Call

SMS / Text Message

  • sms:123456789There is no // in the SMS scheme.
  • Note: Currently no method to specify a body for the message.

Send an Email


Like YouTube and Google Maps, certain http urls get hijacked by the build in Apple apps. This will open the Appstore app.

  • http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=291586600&mt=8


  • Launch the mapping app – maps://

Feed Reader

  • feed:// launches http://reader.mac.com in Safari

Twitteriffic / Twitteriffic Premium

A Twitter client by The Icon Factory


Twitter client by Tapulous
  • Launch – twinkle://


Twitter client by atebits
  • Launch – tweetie://
  • Start tweet with shortened url – tweetie://http://your.url.com


Twitter client by

Site Check

Phishing Protection for Mobile Safari by Kevin O’Reganapps_ie_textonly_on_white

Credit Card Terminal

Online CC processing by InnerFence

This is one of the first iphone apps to provide a return path when it is invoked. See this post on their blog for more details and some security caveats.


by Stephen Darlington

Appigo Todo

Todo list management by Appigo

Appigo Notebook

Notepad by Appigo

Darkslide (formerly Exposure)

Flickr viewer by Connected Flow
Portscanner by Digital Sirup
  • Launch Portscanner – portscan://
  • Launch a scan – portscan://
  • Launch a scan – portscan://host.name


English/Japanese IRC client

  • irc://irc.example.domain/roomName
  • irc://irc.example.domain/Nickname@roomName
  • irc://irc.example.domain/Nickname!Realname@roomName


Wikipedia Viewer by Keishi Hattori


Wikipedia viewer by Satoshi Nakagawa
First one seen with 2 url schemes registered

Ships² Viewer

Game by Universalis

Geopher Lite

Geocaching app by DadGuy

Google Earth

by Google


by Dan Grigsby / Mobile Orchard

An iPhone location web-helper application


by Amazon

Amazon Kindle book reader

UniDict Engine & SpellChecker

by Enfour

Enfour has a number of apps that support round-trip URLs -add the sender app’s URL to the ‘Back’ button.

“UniDict Engine” (used for dictionaries like “American Heritage” & “Oxford Deluxe“) allows lookups from other applications as well as links between dictionaries.

SpellChecker” also has round trip URLs. This lets apps send text to be checked with the results sent back to the app that made the call.


by Skype

VOIP Calls and Chat


by Ebay



by Facebook

Social Networking

EirText Pro

by Vincent Coyne – apps_ie_textonly_on_white

SMS Client


by Ben Reeves

Fully featured SVN Client for iPhone and iPod Touch

Round Tuit

by Leigh McCulloch

Use Round Tuit to keep a quick and easy list of things you need to get done. Add new items, delete items and order your items according to what you need to do next and make a productive difference to your day.


by Alamofire, Inc

Share your experiences through Gowalla with your Facebook & Twitter friends

Print Magic

by Wellala Inc

“Print Magic is the first application for the Apple iPhone & iTouch products, which allows for wireless printing through IPP on the latest OS system”

  • Launch with print:// Data in the pasteboard will be printed.


by BirdFeed

Twitter Client


by Dr. Touch

Download your iTunes Connect reports. (Not available from the AppStore, sold as source fo you to build and run via your developer account)

Sounds real (sound bank)

by Série Blanche

Sounds real (sound bank)

Simply Tweet

by Hwee Boon Yar

Twitter client with push notifications


by Naan Studio

Twitter client

Good Reader

by Good.iWare Ltd

Download files for use offline

  • Launch from another app gropen:// (help)
  • Download files ghttp://, ghttps://, grhttp://, grhttps://, giwhttp:// or giwhttps:// (help)

Pocket Universe

by John Kennedy

Pocket Universe supports the following options (more to come), which makes it possible to link to planets or points in the sky from a web page and then ’see’ them in the app’s planetarium mode. Motion tracking mode must be off for these to function as expected.

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