AR Bookmarks - Dev Notes #3 - Link Creation

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The issue with URLs, and one of the main reasons for any bookmarking tool, is that they can be long and awkward to type. The current UI for AR Bookmarks is that you choose where in 3D space you want to place a link, touch the screen anywhere then type in the URL. You are able to paste but even that isn’t a perfect experience. I also noticed you have to type in the full URL such as https://google.com instead of google.com which is a bit of a pain too.

Making it easier to create a link

So what I’ve been working on is the ability to share from Safari. Unfortunately iOS doesn’t work the same way as Android in that respect so sharing the URL from Safari does not open AR Bookmarks which means the link cannot be placed in 3D space.

I attempted to force the iOS share extension to open the app via a custom scheme URL but that didn’t work and nor did embedding ARKit ability into the extension (which would have been annoying anyway to update both parts). Both of those ways may be possible but I didn’t get them working and as I mentioned in the first dev notes, I want to “finish” the project and not give up due to taking too long to fix something. So keep it simple… I’ve decided instead to share the URL to the app and when you next open the app it will give a list of URLs that can be placed in 3D space or deleted. Once again not a perfect experience but it gets one step further.

Accessibility

I bang on about accessibility a lot. But it got me thinking, I would feel quite hypocritical if I made an app that was completely non-accessible. So how do I do it in AR?

I’ve not made a proof of concept yet but my current thinking is it would be really useful for all kinds of people if there was a list (very similar to sharing from Safari) that shown nearby links. So for example if you’re in the kitchen it could show you some recipe links without having to point and click at them. I would like to have some kind of feature like that in before it hits version 1.0, it will be interesting to see how the idea develops… hopefully it is possible to do that at all. That’s the thing with this project, I quite like how much of a beginner I am.


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