How to make webapps fullscreen again on iOS 4.3 – UPDATED

Written by Alex Wolkov

When apple released iOS 4.3 they bragged about faster javascript engine and many blogs around the web cried wolf.

Many people have felt that apple intentionally bringing the web apps down, to make native apps the ones a user chooses.

When 4.3 was released I have also noticed then a lot of webapps I have had ‘installed’ on my homescreen seem to have become plain shortcuts.

They would open up in safari instead of on their own like before, they weren’t full screened and they would refresh on beginning.

Basically this mean  that saving a page to the homescreen just became a bookmark on the homescreen rather then a full “webapp” like before.

Many great  webapps I used on daily basis like thomas fuch’s everytimezone.com

Even in his screen shot fo the app you can see it’s fullscreened.

BUT THEN…

I read about a gamesforcats.com site and went there to install an app for my cat. Turns out  that it’s a web app. And it’s fullscreened. WTF right?

I went on to investigate.

Turns out apple added a new meta tag that specifies whether this app is webapp capable or not!



This was new and before adding a meta of



did the trick of making a website to a web app.

Sad that this was quetly done and broke all other webapps out there , apps that didn’t update or didn’t know about the new method.

But I’m glad my ability to make “webapps” is back!!

UPDATE :

Turns out this “webapp” mode is also discoverable by JS 🙂

window.navigator.standalone

So you can actually know if a user runs your app in fullscreen and if not bug him to do so by all sorts of pointy arrows and notifications 😉