Android Oreo takes a bite out of Progressive Web Apps

Maximiliano Firtman (
8 min readAug 22, 2017

On August, 21st after the solar eclipse, Google released the final version of Android 8 now known as Android Oreo. The sun wasn’t the only thing that was hidden for a while today, as Progressive Web Apps have acquired new problems.

I’ve installed Android 8 on my Google Pixel, and I’ve tested a couple of things regarding websites and PWAs and then I have a couple of bad news to share.

Android Instant Apps are the only mention to something related to the Web or browser in the Android Oreo website. It seems to repeat last Google IO keynote, where Android Instant Apps appeared as more important than PWAs from an Android’s perspective.

But let me start with good news: software updates can solve most of the problems. The issue is that nobody seemed to care enough about it to do it before the Android release that is currently being delivered to users.

Broken Add to Home Screen

Let’s start stating the worst problems: on Opera Mobile, Samsung Internet, and Firefox the “Add to the Home screen” feature is not working. While Firefox is not supporting Web App Manifest yet for standalone display, it supports bookmarks to the Home Screen.

On these browsers when you add a website or PWA to the Home screen, nothing happens. Nothing. No icon appears, and the browsers seem to understand everything is ok. Web App Banners appears correctly without luck after accepting the icon installation.

My first guess is that the old shortcut API is not working and these browsers had to update to the new Pinned Shortcuts API.

If you had installed icons with these browsers before installing Android 8.0, they would still work after the upgrade. The problem seems to be in the icon installation.

“Add to Home Screen” still works correctly on Google Chrome, but from the other browsers we will need to wait for an update at Google Play.

New Installation Process in Chrome

Maximiliano Firtman (

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