Android Faux App

I am trying to set up a faux app for an android device. Can you please help me do the following:

  1. Remove the chrome from my HTML page
  2. Create a springboard faux app on my android phone, from my URL
  3. Display the HTML URL as a faux app inside a native looking experience

Hey Jonathan,

You’re essentially trying to encourage your users to do this:

There isn’t a way to automatically do these things since it’s important that folks know the URL of the site they’re visiting. This is important for security of the web.

But if you want to actually create an app and distribute it, I recommend looking into Phonegap Build: There might be better solutions than that which other forums members can recommend, but that seems like a powerful tool for building what you’re hoping to do.

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You’ve 3 options according to me:

1 (easier): Create a service worker. Look for it on the internet. You can create a basic servie worker. Once Chrome detects it, it gives users an option to add the app to the homescreen. What it does is, it places your favicon in the app drawer o the Android phone and thus, it feels like a native app. It doesn’t show the URL, etc. Might get your work done. However, it can’t really be customised much. On the other hand, you don’t just get an Android app, you get an app that can be installed on all operating systems on which Chrome runs. Bonus: You can use this great tool from Microsoft: (Not tried by myself).

2 (difficult): You can use Android Studio to make an app. Look for WebView implementation in Android. I had made once, I can share the source code, but, it’s useful only if you know Java. However, it’s a completely native Android app and thus, you can customise it the way you want.

3 (easy, not recommended): There are services like AppYet, etc., which can let you created an Android app with the URL of the website, but, it includes a lot of unwanted code and thus, the generated APK size is like 10MB (whereas, the one I made myself summed up in 2MB). There are a lot of unwanted and not-needed elements in such apps. Also, it’s not really very customisable. But, it can get the job done.


This would be super useful if you could share it :fireworks:

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Yeah, sure, I’d love to. However, this would take some time. My laptop is busy rendering a 3D animation and then, I have to test if the app works fine with all the latest Android SDKs. Consider a day or two for al this.


It worked!

I used the apple meta tag that removes chrome (in my HTML). Then I made sure it was set to “black translucent status bar,” in Hype, prior to publishing as an HTML doc.

Then, when in the browser, I hit an action over flow and saved a shortcut to home. Zero issues! In fact, I caught myself using it as a real phone experiment because it looked so real.

The only consideration is that I was using the latest Pixel phone you can buy.

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So, yeah, it’s finally done.

Here’s the source code: (78.7 KB)

While most of the part is pretty much straightforward, and I’ve commented the parts that I thought needed clarification or were important to customization, there are 2 important things to note:

  1. The project is pre-configured with OneSignal for push notifications. If someone wants to use it, please make sure to read their docs and update the specific parts (like app-id, etc.) accordingly.

  2. The project also contains Firebase integration. Thus, in order to use it, it’s recommended to update the google-services.json file with the project specific one.

The code is by no means perfect, it’s just a one that just works. I am not a professional programmer and I have written the app by just searching stuff on Google and StackOverflow.

Then again, I have updated all the dependencies required by the project to the most recent ones at the moment, and the app’s working fine.



Any chance we could have a github repo for this, to keep it up to date with latest dependencies and sdk’s?


That’s an interesting idea, probably something interesting to take up in these lockdown days. However, I do not have a great experice in creating and managing a GitHub repo. Also it’s now ages since I las touched Android Studio. So, this might take some time. If someone else can come up with one till then, that’d be great, or, I’ll do it as soon as possible.

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This seems like a great starting point for Android development, though it doesn’t have Firebase integration. It was updated just a couple days ago. And it provides information on how to structure the app for either local HTML files, or loading from a remote URL:

I followed the instructions and boom, I have an app that loads a webpage (I modified line 24 in and used:

Screenshot 2020-04-14 at 11.05.23 AM


I have done a test. It works very well.
Need some adjustments here and there (fonts, resolution).
Thank you for finding and sharing this.

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