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?


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".

  • 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 '19 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 '19 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 '19 at 14:58

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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