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I have a Chrome application which, at some point, I added to my home screen and it was behaving like a real application: there was no Chrome toolbar (for the URL and other settings). The icon was also a "native one" (the difference will be clear in a second).

For various reasons I removed it from my home screen and also upgraded to Pie (I am not sure if this matters).

I then tried to re-create the "app" by adding, from Chrome, a shortcut to my home screen. This is how it looks now:

enter image description here

Please note the Chrome thumbnail which was not there previously.

The app itself does not look "native" anymore:

enter image description here

The part between the status bar and the blue line used not to be there, completely hiding the fact that this is a web page running in Chrome.

What is the correct way to get back this "native app" behaviour?

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You wait for the web app developer to implement Chrome's WebAPK on Android feature/requirements.

From the following post: How to Remove Chrome Logo from PWA App Home Screen Link (Android O Preview)

Digging through the comments on the accepted answer from Anand dated Dec 17, 2018:

If you are asking how to avoid chrome icon, as long as your went [sic] app is fully qualifies PWA to be installed as APK, new versions of chrome won't add that icon. I've tested with chrome version 70 in Android pie . If it's a mere web page, failing to meet key PWA criteria or non PWA, chrome might add chrome icon to indicate it's a web link(depending on chrome version again)

Further research on details led me down a rabbit hole of what features exist on Chrome vs Android and the meaning of 'install' to home screen, which while it does somewhat affect end-user behavioral expectations, the implementation details are off-topic for this site.

If you can live with icon badging, you may want to try your site/webapp with Firefox for Android and see if the app UI still retains the undesirable "header".

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  • Thank you. Are you aware of changes in the API which would led to a page being PWA-compatible to lose this compatibility when going from Oreo to Pie?
    – WoJ
    Mar 25, 2019 at 7:08
  • Honestly I wouldn't know. Assuming that nothing changed on the site, looking through: developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/app-install-banners it does mention Meets a user engagement heuristic (currently, the user has interacted with the domain for at least 30 seconds) so you can try uninstalling, interact with site for more than a minute and try to reinstall and see if that helps. Otherwise its up to when you installed with x version of Chrome and now on y version of Chrome, Google has refined the requirements. Mar 25, 2019 at 16:32
  • Thanks for your help - it pushed me to the solution (which I posted as well for completeness). It was my fault and your pointer to the PWA standards made me release my mistake.
    – WoJ
    Mar 31, 2019 at 14:58
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The problem ended up being a lack of HTTPS. @Morisson's answer pushed me to the right direction and I realized, "temporary for testing purposes", that I have removed HTTPS for the site.

Back to HTTPS, I can create a PWA out of the site again.

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