May 17, 2016 at 11:49 PM by Dr. Drang
If I’m at my Mac and want to create an Amazon Associates link to whatever product I’m currently looking at in Safari, I run this little Keyboard Maestro macro:
It gets the URL of the frontmost tab in Safari, extracts the Amazon product code (the ASIN), and constructs a new URL to the product with my Amazon Associates ID attached. If you click the link and buy the product, you pay the same amount you otherwise would, but I get a small sales commission.
This is a very easy way to make Amazon Associates links, and I’ve been using a system similar to this for years (it used to be a TextExpander snippet). I would never buy a special-purpose Mac app just for making these links.
But iOS is different. Yes, I’ve used tools like Launch Center Pro, Pythonista, and Drafts to create a handful of very useful (to me, anyway) workflows, but I’m generally not as enthusiastic about creating automated tasks on the iPhone as I am on the Mac.
So I’ve been looking forward to Associate, the new app for quickly making Amazon Associates links on iOS. It’s from Squibner, maker of the analogous app, Blink, for making affiliate links to items in Apple’s various iStores.
What I like most about Associate is how smoothly it works with the Amazon app. The items I link to are almost always things that I’ve bought myself, so they’re easily found by looking through my order history. Now, the Amazon app doesn’t have a Share button in its top toolbar, nor is there a Share item in the hamburger menu.
Instead, there’s a big Share button down near the bottom of the item’s page.1
Tap it, and up pops the Share sheet, where you can choose the Associate action.
This takes you into Associate, where the link is waiting for you.
Associate can create links in a few formats, but I like the plain URL, because most of the links I make on my iPhone are for pasting into Twitter. I don’t write blog post on my phone; I write them on my computer, like a gentleman. (Lately, I haven’t been writing them at all.)
One thing you’ll have to remember to do is tap theaction button so you can flip the toggle that’ll make Associate appear in the Share sheet.
I know all the usual suspects in the Apple world have been singing the praises of Associate today. When that happens, and you’ve just read your fifth post on the virtues of a newly released app, you start to wonder if the fix is in. Are the positive reviews just because the developer is in the inner circle, a friend of the reviewers? All I can say is I bought the app today, got it set up with my Associates ID, and put it through its paces on the kind of linking I want to do. It works well, it works quickly, and I’m glad I spent the $5.
Also, here are the pens I like.
Like many apps, the Amazon app is basically a web view, although it’s better designed than most such apps. ↩︎