- Web apps are faster and lighter compared to native desktop applications. And also web apps are platform-independent and you can convert any website into web apps
- In the latest version of the MacOS (17 and later), Apple added support for creating web apps natively on the Mac. You can also use other methods to create web apps on your Mac.
- Web apps sit right next to desktop applications. They are accessed from the home screen, Spotlight search and you can add them to the doc.
Web apps provide an easier and faster way to access websites. They work similarly to desktop or mobile apps and provide a seamless experience. Web apps don’t need to be installed, are lightweight, and use less storage. This makes web apps the ideal choice for most people.
There are many ways you can create web apps and add them to your home screen. If you’re using a Mac, you can use native methods and other popular third-party tools like Flotato or Fluid to create web apps and add them to the Start screen.
In this guide, we’ll introduce you to several methods that you can use to easily create web apps and add them to your Mac’s Start screen.
Table of Contents
What Are Web Apps?
Web apps, short for web applications, run on a web server and are accessed through the web browser over the Internet. Unlike traditional applications, web apps don’t need to be installed on your device. They are platform-independent and can run on different operating systems, such as Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS.
How Web Apps Work in macOS
- Creating a Web App: Apple recently introduced support for creating web apps on the Mac. You can also use third-party tools to create web apps from websites.
- Using the Web App: Web apps can be used independently and work just like other desktop apps on Mac. You can open web apps in a window. The web app also supports Mission Control and Stage Manager just like any other app. Web apps can also be opened from Launchpad or Spotlight search. The web app includes a simplified toolbar with navigation buttons.
- Navigation within the Web App: You can navigate anywhere on the website, but when you click a link outside the host page, the linked web page opens in your default web browser. Some apps also let you set external links to open within the web app.
- Website Logins and Notifications: If you were logged in to your account on the Safari website or any other default website you’re currently using, you’ll remain logged in to the web app. If a website supports web push notifications and you’ve signed up for them, you’ll receive push notifications in the web app. You can also control notifications through focus mode.
- Privacy and Security: Apple has also added options that let you control web apps’ access to camera, microphone, and location in System Settings -> Privacy and Security, just like native apps on your Mac.
- Create Multiple Web Apps: You can convert multiple websites into web apps and add them to the Home screen.
How to Create Safari Web Apps in macOS Sonoma (Native Method)
In the latest version of macOS (macOS 17 or later), Apple has added support for creating web apps using the Safari browser. Without using a third-party app, you can create a web app from the settings. The web app will be added directly to your Dock, and you can access the website from the web app using the Safari browser. At the time of writing, Safari is the only browser that supports web app creation. To create:
How to create web apps using Safari
- Open the Safari web browser on your Mac and navigate to the website you want to add as a web app.
- Click the Share icon at the top and the click the Add to Dock option.
- Rename the site name if you want and click on the Add button. The web app is added to the Home screen.
- The site will automatically be added to your Dock as a web app. You can click the icon to open the website. The web page will open in a new window.
Alternate Ways to Add Web Apps to Your macOS Home Screen
Native web app support is only available on macOS 17 or later. If your device is running an earlier version and you want to add web apps to your home screen, you can use alternative methods to add web apps to the home screen. There are many third-party apps that you can use to create web apps and add them to the Start screen.
Add Web Apps Using Fluid
Fluid is a popular external tool that lets you create a desktop app by simply pasting the website URL. Fluid is free to use. There is also a premium version that offers additional features. Here’s how to create web apps with Fluid:
How to use Fluid to create a Web app
- Download Fuild from the official website.: Open your favorite browser and enter the URL: https://fluidapp.com/. Click on the Free Download button to download it for free
- Install the app: Open the downloads folder on your Mac and double-click on the zip file to start installing the app on your Mac.
- Copy the URL of the website: To create a web app, you first need to copy the URL of the website you want to create. You can do this from any web browser.
- Create web app:Open the Fluid app on your Mac. In the URL field, paste the URL you copied from the browser. Enter the name of the website. Choose where you want to install the web app. Most people prefer to install it on the desktop, as it’s easier to access then. Finally, select the app’s logo. You can choose the website favicon as the logo or use any image as the logo and click the “Create” button.
- Use the web app: The web app will be automatically added to your desktop or the location you choose. To add it to the dock, drag and drop the icon into your dock.
Create Web App Using Google Chrome Extension
Applicationize is another popular tool for creating and adding web apps to your Mac home screen using the Google Chrome browser. The tool creates a Google Chrome extension based on the URL of the website. You can simply download the extension, add it to the Google Chrome browser, and create a web app. Applicationize is free and requires a Google Chrome browser to create web apps. Here’s how to create web apps with Applicationize.
How to use Applicationize to create a Web app
- Download Google Chrome browser on your Mac if you don’t have Chrome browser installed on your device.
- Open Google Chrome and visit the Applicationize.me website at URL: https://applicationize.me/now.
- Enter the URL of the website you want to convert to an app.
- If you want, you can add a unique icon. If you don’t, the tool will use the default website favicon as the logo for the web app.
- You can specify the name of the web app. If you don’t want to, you can leave it as it is and choose a color for your app. This will be the color of the borders and title bar of the web app.
- Click the Download button to download your app. This will actually download a Chrome extension.
- Open a new tab in the Google Chrome browser and go to chrome://extensions and toggle on the developer options. Alternatively, you can click on the three-dot menu>More Tools>Extensions
- Now drag and drop the downloaded extension file. This will install your custom web app.
- To add the web app to the app screen, go to the URL: chrome://apps. Here, you’ll see the apps that are installed in your Google Chrome browser. Find the web app you just installed, right-click on the app, and select Create Shortcut.
- The app will then be installed on your device. You can use Spotlight on your Mac to find the app. Or, find the location of the app and drag and drop the web app onto your desktop for faster access.
Explore and Create Web Apps With Flotato
Flotato is the best option if you want to turn the most visited websites into web apps. The tool offers a complete web app collection of the websites we use the most in our everyday life. These include YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Wikipedia and many more. The app also allows users to create their own web app by using the website’s URL. To use:
How to use Flotato to create a web app
- Download Flotato from the official website and install the app on your device.
- When you open the app, you will immediately see the list of web apps that are already available in the app. You can select any app and click the Get button. The web app will be automatically installed on your device.
- You can create your own desktop app. Click on Start under Make your own app, enter the URL and name of the web app, and select the version. You can choose mobile and desktop versions and click on add to create the web app.
- The web app will be created automatically and added to the list of applications. You can simply tap on the icon to open the web app.
- Drag and drop the app to add it to the home screen. To delete, open the Flotato app on your Mac, select the app, and click the delete icon to delete the app. If the app is not available, you can use the traditional method to uninstall web apps on your Mac.
Create Web Apps With Advanced Customisation Options
Unite offers various customization features to personalize the web application. The app allows you to enhance the appearance of the web app and offers a number of features, such as hiding app window options, changing the tiles and color of the web app, adding a native auto-refresh feature, and more. It also supports dark mode, bookmarks, ad blocking, picture-in-picture mode, smart whitelisting, and more. Similar to other apps, you can simply enter the URL, and the app will automatically create a web app.
How to use Unite to create a web app on Mac
- Open your favorite browser and visit the official Unite website at https://www.bzgapps.com/unite
- Click on the download button to download the Unite app and install it on your device
- Open the app, enter the website URL and title, change the app color if you want, and click the Create Unite app button.
- The application will now be created. In the free trial version, you can create three apps. To customize the app, open the app and go to Settings (click ⌘ , , ) and change the app’s appearance and behavior, add shortcuts, and more.
How to Delete Web Apps on Mac
You can use the traditional uninstall methods on your Mac to delete web apps. Here are two simple methods you can use to uninstall web apps from your Mac.
- Uninstall Web apps using Trash: To uninstall the web app, open Finder > Applications, select the web app you want to delete, press Command + Delete, and then empty the Trash. The web app will be removed from the device.
- Uninstall Web with Launchpad: Click the Launchpad icon in your Mac’s Dock, find the web app you want to delete, click and hold the web app until it starts to wiggle, click X in the upper-left corner of the app icon, and then click Delete.
Advantages and Limitations of the Web Apps on Mac
- Platform Independent: Web apps are platform independent. They can be used from any device with a web browser and an active Internet connection.
- Ease of access: Unlike traditional desktop applications, web apps don’t need to be installed. This saves space and also the process of installing an application.
- Lighter and Faster: Compared to traditional desktop applications, web apps are faster and lighter. In addition, users always have the latest version when they open the app since updates to web apps happen on the server side.
- Convert any website into a web app: You can turn any website into a web app. Similar to desktop and mobile apps, they’re located on your home screen or on the doc. You can just tap on the icon of the website to open it.
Limitations of web apps
- Need an active internet connection: Most web apps require an internet connection to function. If the user has a poor or no internet connection, he/she will not be able to access the web app.
- Performance: Web apps are faster and lighter compared to native apps, but this depends on the speed of the user’s internet connection and the efficiency of the browser rendering.
- Limited functionality: The biggest drawback of web apps is their limited functionality. Compared to native apps, web apps have fewer features.
- Browser compatibility: Although web apps are platform-independent, you may still face problems if the web app is not compatible with the browser you are using.
The Simple Guide to Adding Web Apps to Your Home Screen
Apple is finally making it easier to access and navigate web pages. In macOS Sonoma, Apple’s latest version of the Mac OS, Apple has added the ability to create custom Web apps for any Website you visit with Safari. The new support makes accessing websites on the Mac faster and more convenient, along with other benefits that web apps generally offer. We hope you find this guide helpful. You can use simple methods to create, customize, and add web apps to your Mac home screen.
FAQs on Creating Web Apps on Mac
1. What is the difference between a web app and a Progressive web app?
A web app is basically a website that is designed to function like a traditional desktop application. Web apps are accessed through any web browser and don’t need to be downloaded or installed on your device. Progressive Web App (PWA), on the other hand, is a type of web app that uses modern web technologies to provide an experience similar to an app. Similar to Native Apps, Progressive Web Apps are installed on your device and can be accessed from the home screen without having to open the browser first.
Some highlights of the Progressive Web Apps
- Offline capabilities: PWAs can work offline or on low-quality networks by storing information with service workers, which is a script that your browser runs in the background.
- Responsiveness: PWAs are designed to work on any device, regardless of screen size.
- App-like feel: PWAs offer a full-screen experience and can be launched from the device’s home screen, much like native apps.
- Background updates: Service workers in PWAs can update the app’s resources in the background, ensuring that the user always has the latest version.
- Push notifications: PWAs can send push notifications, just like native apps.
2. Can I remove web apps from my Mac home screen?
Yes, you can remove web apps from your Mac home screen. Right-click on the web app and click Remove or Exit. This will remove the web app from the Mac Start screen. To uninstall the web app completely, you can use the traditional uninstallation methods that we have described above.
3. Do web apps on my home screen impact the performance of my Mac?
Web apps are lighter and faster compared to native desktop apps, and furthermore, adding web apps to the Start screen does not affect Mac performance.