If you are sharing a link, you want whoever opens it to access the web service in whichever way makes the most sense on their device. On a desktop, you probably want to see it in a browser. On a mobile device, it often works better to open up that service's app. Google's URL shortening service, goog.gl, now offers that functionality. The same link will open either app or browser depending on the OS and whether an appropriate app is installed. Deep linking works on both Android and iOS.
This news is maybe most relevant to developers, but it should end up benefiting end users as well since you shouldn't have to deal with the confusion. The change is also backwards compatible, so links created before today will work the new way too.
To get support, apps need to get indexed by Google by adding intent filters to their manifest. That also adds deep links to Google search results. Developers can optionally use the corresponding API to automatically generate these links for visitors/users to share.
Google was nice enough to share a link for you to test with: goo.gl/maps/xlWFj. If you are on a desktop, that should open up at maps.google.com and if you are using an Android device it should summon Google Maps. We also heard from Zillow, a service that helped Google develop this new functionality, so you can head to their Twitter page to try it out or just use this link they tweeted today.
- Google Webmaster Central