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October 3, 2013

Add Shortcuts to Web Apps in Chrome for Android

The latest release of Chrome Beta for Android lets you add to the home screen a shortcut to the page you're currently visiting. Until now, you had to bookmark the page, go to the new tab page, long tap the bookmark and select "add to home screen". If you use the latest Chrome Beta, you can open the Chrome menu and tap "add to home screen".

There's even a bonus feature: "Sites launched in this way will open in a normal Chrome for Android window, unless they include the mobile-web-app-capable meta tag. Those sites will instead open in a special fullscreen Chrome for Android window that doesn't display tabs, buttons, menus, or the Omnibox. Try adding a shortcut to to see this in action."

This is a good news for web apps fans and it's nice to see that a feature that was available in iPhoneOS 1.x finally finds its way to the mobile Chrome. Unfortunately, Chrome for iOS won't add a similar feature because third-party iOS apps can't add shortcuts.

Another new feature integrates Chrome with Google Wallet. "requestAutocomplete() makes it easier for users to fill out online forms by offering web developers programmatic access to the browser's autocomplete information (with the user's explicit permission). For this first release, we've made it work for web payments. On sites with requestAutocomplete(), users will be able to either use their existing payment data stored with the browser or enter new details through a browser-provided interface." This works in Chrome Beta for Android, Windows, and Chrome OS.

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