Unlike our ‘friends’ running on iOS, as Android users we have a choice of whichever default app we want. We can use a different gallery app, a choice of music players and whatever web browser we want. As such, Android offers up Firefox, Opera and Google Chrome as well as many more specific web browsers. Opera has recently been making a push to become a bigger player on Android, and with their latest release on Android they offer many features not available elsewhere. In their latest Dev release of Opera for Android however, they’re bringing a much requested feature to Google’s platform; the ability to install web apps to your homescreen.
This new approach fits in nicely with Opera’s focus on emerging markets. Opera Mini has been empowering users on slow connections and those with small data allowances by compressing and speeding up loading time for years now. Web apps will allow users to get access to the services and websites that they love, without having to give up precious internal storage to these apps. In a quick demonstration on their Dev site, Opera demonstrate just how easy it is to add a web page or web app to your homescreen, all you have to do is select the new menu entry when on a website. It works well, and makes the web feel a little more accessible.
This sort of thing reminds us of Google’s change of merging apps and Chrome tabs in the multitasking menu. However, this is a different approach, and instead of clogging up the multitasking menu, it will give users control over what websites have access to their homescreens. Now, web developers will have to make a few tweaks to their site, but it’s very easy to do and Opera have detailed the process on their announcement. Those interested can take a look at the source link for both a download link for the latest Dev release for Android as well as instructions to make sure your site works as it should when people launch it as an app.