There are millions of apps in the App Store and the Play Store. And I haven’t even slightly exaggerated the number. There’s an app for everything these days. And yet, there are even more websites in the world. And no matter how much we might wish otherwise, there’s not an app for every website the internet has to offer.
When you have a website you often like to visit, opening the browser every time and entering the site’s address or opening it from the bookmarks becomes tiresome. And the alternative of keeping it open in a tab isn’t much better either. Before long, your browser becomes a vortex of open tabs. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you could access it straight from the home screen? We come bearing good news. You can!
You might have come across some websites directing you to install them as an app. These Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) aren’t the only websites you can access from your home screen. You can add any website to your home screen on your iPhone or Android. Only their functioning might differ, but that’s a matter for later. Let’s dive right in.
Adding a Website to Home Screen on iPhone
Using the Safari browser on iPhone, you can easily add any website to your home screen. The “web app” cannot be added to the App Library, though. It won’t appear in the App Library, like other apps. And you cannot declutter your home screen by removing it from the home screen and keeping it only in the App Library, as you can with App Store apps.
Open the website in Safari. Safari is the only browser you can use to add websites to the iPhone home screen. The option isn’t available when using any other browser, like Chrome.
Then, navigate to the page you’d like to open when you access the website from the home screen. The website will open the page that you select, so it’s important to navigate to the right page, for instance, the home page, to prevent it from becoming a nuisance later on.
Then, tap the ‘Share’ icon from the toolbar at the bottom of the screen.
A menu would appear from the bottom of the screen. Tap ‘Add to Home Screen’ from the menu.
Then, enter the name for the website bookmark that you’ll see on the home screen. This is the name that’ll appear underneath the app icon, i.e., the name for your makeshift app. Don’t make any changes to the link.
Finally, tap the ‘Add’ button in the top-right corner of the screen.
The web app will appear on your home screen in the next available slot just like any newly installed app does.
Tap the icon to open the website from your home screen at any time. Now, depending on the website, one of the two things will happen when you open the web app. It will either open in your browser in a new tab, like any other website. Or, it will open independently of the Safari browser. The interface will still be the same as the website presents in the browser, but there will be no other browser tools available.
When you encounter the latter, you’ve come across a Progressive Web App. Even though it’s added to the home screen in a manner similar to any other website, there are a few criteria a website must meet to qualify as a PWA. The basic criteria for a website to become a PWA is that it must meet the installability criteria. When you add any other page of the website apart from the home page, it will open in the browser then.
No matter how the website is opening – in Safari or independently – you can move it around on the home screen or delete it like any other app on your iPhone. Tap and hold the web app icon or an empty space on the screen to enter the jiggle mode. Then hold and drag the app anywhere on your home screen or add it to a folder.
To delete it, tap the ‘–’ in the top-left corner of the thumbnail.
Then, tap ‘Delete’ from the confirmation pop-up that appears.
Adding Website to Home Screen on Android
Adding a website to the Home Screen of your Android device is also an easy feat. Open the Chrome browser and go to the website you want to add to your home screen. Navigate to the page you want the quickest access to. In most instances, it might be the homepage. But whatever page you add to the home screen will be the one that’ll open every time.
Tap the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
Then, tap ‘Add to Home Screen’ from the menu.
Enter the name for the app icon that’ll appear on the home screen and tap ‘Add’.
Then, either tap and hold the app icon or tap ‘Add’ to the website to the homescreen.
The app icon for the website will be added to the home screen. You can move it around or delete it from the home screen like any other app. Depending on the website, when you open the site, it’ll either open in the browser or independently of it if it’s a PWA.
Adding a website to your Home Screen can make matters vastly simple for you. And whether you’re an iPhone or Android user, there’s an easy way to do it.