With the Web Share API, web apps are able to use the same system-provided share capabilities as native apps. The Web Share API makes it possible for web apps to share links, text, and files to other apps installed on the device in the same way as native apps.

Concepts and usage #

System-level share target picker with an installed PWA as an option.System-level share target picker with an installed PWA as an option.

Capabilities and limitations #

Web share has the following capabilities and limitations:

  • It can only be used on a site that supports HTTPS.
  • It must be invoked in response to a user action such as a click. Invoking it through the onload handler is impossible.
  • It can share, URLs, text, or files.
  • As of mid 2020, it is only available on Safari and on Android in Chromium forks. See MDN for details.

Sharing links and text #

To share links and text, use the share() method, which is a promise-based method with a required properties object. To keep the browser from throwing a TypeError, the object must contain at least one of the following properties: titletexturl or files. You can, for example, share text without a URL or vice versa. Allowing all three members expands the flexibility of use cases. Imagine if after running the code below, the user chose an email application as the target. The title parameter might become the email subject, the text, the message body, and the files, the attachments.

if (navigator.share) {
    title: 'web.dev',
    text: 'Check out web.dev.',
    url: 'https://web.dev/',
    .then(() => console.log('Successful share'))
    .catch((error) => console.log('Error sharing', error));

If your site has multiple URLs for the same content, share the page’s canonical URL instead of the current URL. Instead of sharing document.location.href, you would check for a canonical URL <meta> tag in the page’s <head> and share that. This will provide a better experience to the user. Not only does it avoid redirects, but it also ensures that a shared URL serves the correct user experience for a particular client. For example, if a friend shares a mobile URL and you look at it on a desktop computer, you should see a desktop version:

let url = document.location.href;
const canonicalElement = document.querySelector('link[rel=canonical]');
if (canonicalElement !== null) {
    url = canonicalElement.href;
navigator.share({url: url});

#api #app #web share api

Share like a Native App with the Web Share API
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