Chrome allows web sites to be added to your home screen, like Hermit, but that’s where the similarity ends. We believe Hermit offers superior customization and control that Chrome does not, while Chrome offers background app processing & push notifications that Hermit does not.
Chrome announced in February 2017 that Progressive Web Apps can now be added to your app drawer, just like a native app. This way, Web Apps can appear anywhere that Native Apps can.
We think this is a wonderful development, and happy that Chrome has chosen to pursue this path too!
At present, Chrome has not announced any kind of API or Developer Documentation about this feature, so we have no details to announce either.
In contrast, we have several reasons why we think integrating Hermit with this would not be in the best interests of all our users. Here’s why.
Chrome requires you to allow the installation of native apps from Untrusted Sources. We think this is a big security hole for most users. It is possible that future versions of this feature will not require this, but at present, we do not recommend that users turn off this important Android security feature in order to avoid getting malware on their phones.
We believe that the percentage of sites that satisfy all these criteria is very small at the moment. Of course this will change over time, but many major publishers’ Web sites are not compatible with this new feature right now.
Contrast that with Hermit, where every single Web site on the Web can be turned into a Lite App.
Apart from web app icons being available via the app drawer, we see no obvious improvements to the user experience that this feature provides.
All of the unique Hermit features that you have come to love and appreciate won’t work. Because web apps loaded this way will load in Chrome, not Hermit. Which means:
Although Hermit Lite Apps cannot be added to the App Drawer, they can be added as Shortcuts to any launcher. All launchers support adding Widgets, so consult your launcher’s documentation about how to add a Widget.
We are constantly looking for ways to improve the Hermit user experience, so if you have suggestions, definitely get in touch with us via email!