clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Google adds improved web app support to Chrome for Android

New, 24 comments
Chrome Beta Android Tabs
Chrome Beta Android Tabs

Google's Chrome browser has always been a fairly forward-thinking product, but the team behind the Android version finally introduced a feature that iOS users have had since late 2007. In the new beta release of Chrome for Android, you can save any webpage you visit as a link on your homescreen. Even more notably, some of these links will open as full-screen web apps. Web developers will need to enable that functionality, so most sites won't support it right off the bat, but those that do will even get their own tab in Android's multitasking menu.

It's a handy feature, though one that iOS has long had. Android users could pin websites from their browser bookmarks menu to the homepage using a widget for years, but you weren't able to do so with any random page you happened to be on. And while most developers focus on native apps as opposed to deeper web apps, there's little doubt that web apps are a lot more capable today than they were a few years ago (Google's even built an entire desktop OS around the concept). If this is a feature that would be beneficial to you, you should be able to get it through the Chrome for Android beta "later today," — and it should show up in the stable version of Chrome before long.