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Is it bad practice to launch a webpage in Safari from your iOS app? It seems to have its pro's and con's.

Pros

  • The transition to Safari looks better than to an in-app browser
  • Users are more comfortable using Safari because they use it more often
  • The overall layout/look of Safari looks better than in-app browsers

Cons

  • Less customization
  • Once users leave your app, there is no guarantee they will return

What would your advice be regarding this? The UX for viewing the webpage would increase probably, though it may hurt me in the long run.

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Common way is to open web page inside your own app, add back/forward navigation and provide an "Open in Safari" action for those who really want (need) to go to Safari. –  alexeypegov Apr 1 at 15:15
    
Addition to question: If it turns out that this is considered a bad practice, what alternatives do you have? What are some other ways to allow the user to do the same things without going to a browser? –  Anindya Basu Apr 30 at 22:05
    
An passive indication for the user that the following action will open another application is a good idea to avoid switch-shock. –  StrongBad May 9 at 9:16

2 Answers 2

Apps that people use a lot (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) from my experience all seem to have a built in browser, with the option to open in safari.

I'd say that's the best experience for a user; some users will want to open it in safari, and you're then providing that option for them. Others, however, will just expect to see the link, so they can then close it and continue with whatever it was they were doing in your app, without interrupting the flow of what they were doing.

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I don't know what kind of app this is for, but often times users find too much navigation frustrating. Some people may not be aware that clicking this link will bring them to Safari, so offer a pop-up after clicking the link that confirms they would like to move to the page on Safari. The other issue you have is that your app will close and this unfortunately as you said may prevent the user from going back to the app. Personally, I think it's a good idea to keep the user on your app for as long as possible so try and work out a way that the app can run in the background while the user is on safari then upon hitting the back button they are brought back to the app. Just some suggestions, hope it helps.

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