The Progressive Web App (PWA) Web Manifest File

The Progressive Web App (PWA) Web Manifest File

Web manifests are a way to describe your PWA to the browser. The values are used to drive the home screen launch and install experiences.

A web manifest file provides meta data to the browser, telling it how to theme the add to home screen experience so your brand is properly representing after you earn the deeper customer relationship. You also control how your PWA is launched form the homescreen.

Native apps have enjoyed a natural advantage over web sites because their icons are on the homescreen, after they have been installed. After an app is downloaded from the app store its icon is added to the user’s homescreen. This presence not only makes access to the app easier, it represents a deeper engagement between the customer and the business.

Don't confuse the web manifest file with the appCache manifest file. They serve two completely different purposes. The appCache describes how a web site should cache assets.

The web manifest is a JSON file containing a series of properties used to describe the progressive web app to the platform. The platform knows how to find the manifest because it is referenced in the HEAD.

The primary properties are name, short_name and icons. These are used to compose the home screen icon and title.

Two name fields are provided so you can provide a full name and a name to be used when space is limited. This way your brand name is not truncated.

For more details on the icons, please refer to the baseline icon set article.

Before I dive into the web manifest properties I want to remind you to visit PWA Starter to generate your web manifest file and icons.

progressive web app

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