It’s pretty common for an iOS app these days to support universal links, iCloud credentials, App Clips and other functionality related to the Associated domains entitlement. The tricky part can sometimes be that you don’t have a website or hosting to host the required apple-app-site-association file for the Apple CDN to pull.

This blog is actually running on a static site generator called Jekyll, and it’s hosted by GitHub Pages. There’s an excellent guide from GitHub if you’d like to do something similar - I’m also using it to satisfy the App Store privacy policy requirement too.

For the AASA file, I had two requirements:

  • Upload a JSON file, named apple-app-site-association to the .well-known directory
  • Expose this file via my domain searle.dev at that location via Jekyll - this enables the Apple CDN to locate the file, and cache it, based on the domain(s) you specify in your app’s entitlements.

It turned out to be really simple, all that was needed was to create the folder and file in my root directory and then the key part - specify in my _config.yml file to include that location:

include: 
  - .well-known

There was some misleading information out there that lead me away from this simple approach initially - this works. You can find the commit here