Install to HomescreenInstall to Homescreen

A more seamless experience for web apps on mobile

Update: The latest version of Chrome Beta has just been pushed out in the Play Store, including this new web app functionality along with a refreshed "new tab" page that loads faster.

Original story: Although it isn't available for download just yet, version 31 of Chrome Beta for Android will bring a new option to pin web apps to your home screen. The so-called "install to homescreen" option will let web app developers make apps that identify properly as being able to pin to your home screen, and then launched in a full-screen "app mode." The option to pin these apps will be found in the main menu, as shown above.

You already have the ability to pin bookmarks to your home screen that open up individual sites, but the difference here is that you will be able to add these apps directly from the page and have them open up differently than your normal web page. These full-screen experience will be more akin to native apps, will show up in the task switcher separate from your regular Chrome browser instance and won't have the standard browser UI around them.

It seems like it will be pretty simple for web app developers to identify their apps as being ready for this system as well, which is a plus. Although it will be generally seamless to the user, Google shows that web app developers won't be able to navigate you away from the web app out to a different website without your knowledge. Be on the lookout for the latest version of Chrome Beta and web apps that support this feature.

Source: Google Developers; Google Chrome Releases