Native Alpha lets you transform any website into a native fullscreen web app on Android

Native Alpha lets you transform any website into a native fullscreen web app on Android

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A native application may offer richer integration with the underlying OS thanks to having access to more APIs, but running a web-based application comes with its own set of benefits. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) can not only improve the mobile experience but can also behave closely to regular Android applications thanks to the WebAPK standard. While many browsers allow you to transform your favorite site into a web app, making a proper PWA requires some work from the web developer’s end as well. Moreover, power users have very little freedom to customize the PWA generation process.

XDA Junior Member cylonid has created an interesting app called Native Alpha (stylized as Native α) that allows you to modify different parameters during PWA creation. The most useful feature of this app is it can show any website in a native, borderless fullscreen window—even ones without a valid Progressive Web App manifest. In case you want to fiddle with cookies or JavaScript-related settings on a per-site basis, you may find Native Alpha quite handy. By default, the app relies on the built-in Android WebView, but it permits you to choose a different WebView provider if you have root access. For example, you can set an AdBlock Plus custom WebView using Native Alpha so that the resulting PWA is free of ads.

Here is a rundown of the features offered by Native Alpha:

  • Show any website in a borderless full-screen window using Android System WebView.
  • Offers to create home screen shortcuts and retrieves icons in suitable resolution.
  • Various settings (JavaScript, Cookies, Third-Party-Cookies, Caching) can be set for every web app individually
  • Navigation with multi-touch gestures while browsing.
  • Opt-in adblock using an AdBlock Plus custom webview.
  • Less memory footprint and no privacy-invading app permissions in comparison to native apps
  • Dark mode for Android 10+

The app requires Android Oreo or newer due to the use of modern shortcut APIs, but the developer has plans to add legacy shortcut support later. Native Alpha itself is open source, and the source code is available on the developer’s GitHub profile.

Native Alpha for Android: Download ||| XDA Discussion Thread