Really? Is that so much work?
The Ideal Web Experience
Dion Almaer
717

“Add to Homescreen” was available first on iOS since probably 2008. No Google service added the meta tag for it. I don’t think it was so much work at the time either, but I do think that the reasons might be the same. We need to remember that Chrome/Android arrived into that feature 5 years later.

There are a couple of problems that might get people not adding the feature, including:

  • Android users might not expect apps to be in the Home Screen, but in the Application Launcher. I know, “work is in progress” for it, but I saw companies claiming that is a confusing scenario for users.
  • No Share actions from a full screen experience (yes, you can still have Add to Homescreen with ‘browser’ but you won’t promote the App Banner, so…)
  • Weird things still happens when people add websites to the Homescreen on Android sometimes: OAuth login, push messages, and more
  • You have the icon and the browser, but if you click on a social network, you might end up in the Web View. If you click on the search result, you might end up in the in-browser experience. If you click on the icon, you get the full screen experience. Each of them with its own contexts; I think we are not yet on the best technical solution for PWA for everyone to say: “I must add this feature new on each of my web apps”. We are getting there.