A call to iOS Twitter client developers!

With Instapaper’s x-callback-url support available, I hope people will start to see some of the cool possibilities for more complex handoffs between iOS apps. The next big thing I’d really like to see is for Twitter clients to extend their URL schemes to support x-callback-url, particularly to allow the user to jump over to post a tweet, and then be returned to what they were doing in their original app.

Most of the major iOS Twitter clients already support incoming URLs for status updates. For example, if you want to send a status update to Twitteriffic, just call:

twitterrific://post?message=Message%20Text

For Twitter:

twitter://post?message=Message%20Text

This is strictly a one-way call, however. Why not use x-callback-url to allow passing a return callback for after the user edits and sends the tweet. For example:

[targetAppScheme]://x-callback-url/post?message=Message&
  x-source=[SourceAppName]&
  x-success=[sourceAppScheme]://x-callback-url/tweetPosted

NOTE: arguments should be URL encoded, but were not for legibility.

This could work very much like the existing support in the Twitter app, opening the compose window with the text pre-entered — but after the user taps “Send” and the tweet is successfully posted, fire the callback URL and return the user to where they started.

With this sort of support available, it would be easy for apps to add “Share” functionality that lets their user take advantage of the accounts their users already have setup in their Twitter client, along with all the great composing tools, without forcing the user having leave their app with no clear way back.

If you think this is a cool idea, contact the developer of your favorite Twitter client and let them know. And tell them we’d be happy to help with testing!

Instapaper 3.0.2 with x-callback-support now available

Instapaper 3.0.2 has hit the app store. This is the first version of Instapaper to support x-callback-url. Marco Arment, the developer behind Instapaper, was important to the formation of the ideas in x-callback-url, and we’re excited to see this version hit the store.

Instapaper’s integration with Terminology also represents the first “in-the-wild” use of x-callback-url’s two way callback support. If you select to lookup a word in Terminology from Instapaper, you are provided an easy way to jump right back to where your were. See Marco’s post for details.

x-callback-url teams up with handleOpenURL.com

The folks at handleOpenURL.com have added support for x-callback-url to their excellent directory of iOS URL schemes. When listing your app in their directory, you can now mark whether it support x-callback-url, and we’re redirecting the “apps” page at this site to their listing of x-callback-url supporting apps.

handleOpenURL.com is a great resource, and we hope that if you have apps that use any sort of URL schemes, x-callback-url or not, you will take the time to list them.