AppNow: Advanced Bookmarks

Hi, I had an idea about a new thing, which I really miss on the web, and I think it could move the Web forward by a huge step.

It is about adding a bookmark, which would appear in the main list of apps of the device, and could possibly make the experience of using webapps the same as the experience of using native apps.

I wrote down my ideas here: … it is quite short, please read it! :slight_smile:

What do you think about it? Maybe you are used to use the web in the “regular way” and it may seem redundant to you, but I truly believe, that this small thing could help webapps and web games reach more people and improve the ways web apps are distributed now.

Check out progressive web apps. I believe this is what you’re looking for. Not quite a bookmark, but having it auto-add as an app whenever you bookmark something could get interesting very fast.

A huge bonus with this is WebAssembly, which should make creating cross-OS solutions quite simple in the future.

Specifically, the add to homescreen or shelf feature, which is available in Chrome OS and Chrome on Android.

Your links are mentioned in my article. I don’t like these solution for three reasons: they are being developed as browser-specific, they are too complicated and adding a homescreen icon is not possible to initiate from the web app… The browser should suggest it, which may be interrupting.

I would like to elaborate on my point. You don’t want the browser to be able to auto-add it to home screen. Imagine if this was possible. Any time there’s an ad on a page, that ad would have the ability to add itself, or anything else, to the home screen. Naturally this isn’t wanted.

As an example of a good, but unwanted, use. Say I’m reading the Washington Post. Without me knowing, it added itself to the home screen. I may have wanted a WaPo app, but why shouldn’t the end user have to click a button (literally, that’s it), to add the app. Without this requirement, it could add the app without my authorization, which is certainly not what most users would expect.

Regarding the complexity, can you elaborate on this? It requires less than what a native app requites.

Per it being browser-specific, what else would you like? It inherently has to be done by browser, as they have different requirements.

These questions are also answered in my article, so I will repeat it here. Web browser does not add an icon immediatelly, but it asks a user to confirm it. The mechanism could be similar to the mechanism of opening popup windows (so you are saying, that any ad can open millions of popup windows) or the mechanisms of calling alert() in javascript (which usually makes the browser unusable, until you close that alert).

By browser-specific I mean, that the HTML code for doing it has to be different for each browser right now. My solution has the same HTML code for all browser on all devices. A web browser should do the rest (the OS-specific part).

Namely, I propose links in form of <a href="...url of some webapp ..." install>Add it to your device!</a>

Actually, there is a specification:

And it is under development in Firefox:

Thanks! I think I have seen it some time ago, but then I forgot it. I will try to discuss my ideas with authors.