Firefox is making it simpler and easier for Android users to navigate through the mobile web interface with Web App Manifest support, which will come with Firefox 58 for Android. The new feature supports Progressive Web Apps (PWA), the app-like interfaces within mobile web browsers. With the feature, you can add web apps to Android home screen so they can be accessed by a single touch rather than via web search or URL input.
In case you’re too new to Progressive Web Apps, these are the web apps for Android that are tailored to function like native applications. They are intended to be fast and work offline, along with the ability to be added to Android home screen. Google Chrome has already been leading the charge on PWAs for a while and most recently, it has added the ability to install them in the app drawer just like native apps.
Read more at 9 Failsafe Ways to Speed up Firefox Browser
Mozilla announced today that Firefox 58, expected to launch in January 2018, will have support for web app manifests. This allows you to add web apps to Android home screen. Firefox’s web apps feature lets PWAs set a custom app icon or startup page and hide the browser UI when opened from the home screen. Let’s dig a little deeper and know how the new feature will work.
How to Add Web Apps to Android Home Screen?
In case a website is served over HTTPS and includes a valid manifest, a subtle button will appear in its address bar. All you need to do is merely tap on it. Once done, an ‘Add to Home Screen’ message will appear.
Don’t miss out: Top 10 Newest Firefox Extensions of 2017
Once a progressive web app has launched from the home screen, it will appear in its optimal view mode and orientation. In addition, you can see the web app as a separate entity in the app switcher, meaning that you don’t need to worry about losing progress with it if you tap on an external link.
Apart from the feature letting you add web apps to Android home screen, Firefox 58 will also boast a bunch of other handy features. Its Add Page Shortcut feature will allow you to put a shortcut to any URL on your home screen while opening the external links that are accessed via PWAs in a custom tab for added security and a faster loading time.
Although Chrome has long spearheaded the PWA effort, now Mozilla Firefox is following the Chrome’s footsteps. Android Product Manager Andreas Bovens said that the team is ‘quite excited’ about a wide range of upcoming API support products. Other features Mozilla is working on are Background Sync Implementation and Web Share API.
You may also like: 10 Must-Have Firefox Add Ons for Faster Web Browsing