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Preserving the UX: How to Implement QA 1629


Monday, we introduced you to the Stutter Step. While it sounds like a really cool dance move that would have made Grandma Susie proud, the stutter step is actually a user experience faux pas that occurs when an iOS app isn’t prepared for multiple http-based redirects, like those found in affiliate links. Today, we’re going to tell you about Apple’s fix for the stutter step.

It may sound like the newest planet to be discovered in the Milky Way, but QA 1629 is actually small chunk of code, developed by Apple, to reverse the negative effects the stutter step.

As we know, some links – including iTunes Affiliate links – result in multiple redirections before reaching the appropriate store / application. We also know that Apple is dedicated to providing a beautiful, sleek, design-centric user experience; so it should come as no surprise that they’ve developed a workaround for this. (At GeoRiot, we’ve got our own version of QA 1629 to better compliment your GeoRiot based affiliate links.)

Imbedding the code from QA 1629 helps avoid the negative user experience by allowing links to resolve in the background without jumping between apps. Using NSURLConnection, the redirects are processed silently and open the URL once the redirects encounter an based URL. This allows your application to transition right to the store without launching Safari – as pictured in this demonstration from the iOS Developer Library.

QA 1629 is a great way to ensure you’re providing users with the best experience possible, but it’s important that it’s implemented properly. In our next and final installment, we’ll discuss an issue we call “Swallowing the Cookie” that can come up when QA 1629 isn’t implemented correctly.