[APP][8.0+] Native Alpha - Transform any website into native fullscreen web apps

Search This thread

cylonid

Member
Jul 13, 2020
30
54
Hey, after a longer development break, I have finished a bunch of new features :)
  • Support for camera and microphone access
  • Support for mailto and tel hyperlinks
  • Support for file picker dialogs
  • Support for DRM-protected content
  • Enhanced support for video playback
  • Enabled for usage with non-internet addresses
  • Color theme will from now on always follow system settings

In addition, the long awaited sandbox feature is finally here!
I had to invest many hours to get this ready and have it user-friendly, so I decided that this feature will not be offered as separated APK but as paid download on Google Play:


The full list of Native Alpha Plus features:
  • Sandbox containers: Web Apps are loaded in fully separated sandboxes, cookies or other data are not shared with other Web Apps
  • Kiosk Mode: Fullscreen with menubars hidden
  • Experimental "Force Dark Mode" also available for websites (configurable with respect to day-time)
 
  • Like
Reactions: stephtban

MrManson666

Senior Member
Jul 7, 2011
132
15
Really cool app! Thank you so much :)

Just a quick question: As Adblock Plus is a bit controversial... would it be possible to change to Ublock Origin?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Keule-Tm

cylonid

Member
Jul 13, 2020
30
54
As Adblock Plus is a bit controversial... would it be possible to change to Ublock Origin?
If it were that easy, I would have already done that. In short: Adblock Plus has a ready-to-use library for Android WebView, others don't. Bringing Ublock Origin to Android WebView is a major task on its own and way beyond the scope of this app. The only known Chromium-based Android browser with extension support is Kiwi which is very controversial itself ;)

Still, never say never. There are ways to get proper extension support to Native Alpha but that requires me to start virtually from scratch - and so far I focused on bringing new features to the current implementation.

Is there any way to share a link of the website that is opened? 🙂
Not yet, but this will definitely be implemented.
 

Danizer

Member
Dec 26, 2015
35
3
Firstly thanku for this beautiful app.
Secondly, I'm having an issue. I have created Amazon Music webapp from Native alpha. But whenever I close the Amazon Music webapp it again asks me for login. It asks me to login everytime I closes the app ( closing means removing app from the recent menu)
 

cylonid

Member
Jul 13, 2020
30
54
Firstly thanku for this beautiful app.
Secondly, I'm having an issue. I have created Amazon Music webapp from Native alpha. But whenever I close the Amazon Music webapp it again asks me for login. It asks me to login everytime I closes the app ( closing means removing app from the recent menu)
I cannot reproduce this. When I create a Web App pointing to "music.amazon.de" and login, the login is persistent.
Perhaps your privacy settings are too strict?
E.g., you cannot disable cookies if you want to keep login data.
 

Danizer

Member
Dec 26, 2015
35
3
I cannot reproduce this. When I create a Web App pointing to "music.amazon.de" and login, the login is persistent.
Perhaps your privacy settings are too strict?
E.g., you cannot disable cookies if you want to keep login data.
It's now resolved, Don't know what was causing this issue but I just deleted and re-created the webapp. (All the settings of the Webapp are still same)
 

cylonid

Member
Jul 13, 2020
30
54
Is there any way to share a link of the website that is opened? 🙂

Sharing is now part of the new context menu feature in the newest release v1.3.0.

Full changelog:
  • Resolved unusual going back behaviour on certain websites
  • Added support for Google OAuth-enabled sites
  • Context Menu: Long-press context menu with several options (Share, going back/forward, reload...)
  • Added pinch-to-zoom setting
  • Added option to freely set start URL of Web Apps to support non-standard URLs (expert settings)
  • Build for x86 and x86_64 platform included
  • Several bugfixes and general improvements

Native Alpha Plus-only:
  • Biometric Access Protection: For every Web App, you can enable access protection (Fingerprint + fallback to lockscreen PIN)
  • Further enhancements for Dark Mode
Available via IzzyOnDroid and GitHub, Google should follow soon 🙂️
 
  • Like
Reactions: Seosam

dysphasi

Member
Feb 10, 2008
33
0
Is there a way to create / adapt the created home-screen shortcuts so that they don't display a small 'native alpha' sub icon/badge in the lower right corner?

Would be great to be able to create shortcuts that look like regular apps :)


Thanks for all your hard work!
 

dysphasi

Member
Feb 10, 2008
33
0
Thank you for the response.

I’ll have. a look into different launchers out there. There seem to be a few mentions of various apps working around the shortcut badge ‘issue’ by making use of widgets to do so. Though this seems more geared toward non web-app shortcuts.

Unless I’m mistaken I don’t think lawnchair / neo launcher don’t have an option to remove the badge unless there’s a non-GUI means of doing this…. So I’ll take a look at smart launcher.

Fair enough re: the means of displaying the icon. I can edit/make my own icons.

Be grand if you were to work out a way of getting around these two items at some point in the future.

Thanks again for your efforts!
 

Top Liked Posts

  • There are no posts matching your filters.
  • 14
    Native Alpha for Android
    logo.png


    Features
    • 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+

    Paid Features
    • Sandbox containers: Web Apps are loaded in fully separated sandboxes, cookies or other data are not shared with other Web Apps
    • Kiosk Mode: Fullscreen with menubars hidden
    • Experimental "Force Dark Mode" also available for websites (configurable with respect to day-time)
    • Biometric Access Protection: For every Web App, you can enable access protection (Fingerprint + fallback to lockscreen PIN)

    Download Options
    Latest version: 1.3.0


    Paid Download

    FAQ
    Q: Why is it not possible to find an icon for a certain website?
    A: This problem can occur due to multiple reasons. In most cases, the website does not offer a high-resolution icon. If you are a website maintainer and your website icon cannot be found, look at realfavicongenerator.net for further information. If you think it should work, feel free to post the URL and I will look into it.
    Q: Why would I need this app if any mobile browser can do the same?
    A: Mobile browsers usually only are able to create shortcuts which give a native, borderless fullscreen experience if the website has a Progressive Web App (PWA) manifest. Unfortunately, most websites do not offer this feature yet.
    Q: Can I keep multiple log-in sessions of the same website?
    A: Yes, this is possible using the sandbox feature of Native Alpha Plus.
    Q: Why isn't the sandbox feature in Native Alpha Plus enabled by default?
    A: The sandboxing approach is recommended for specific usage rather than general usage because it can limit the performance of the application and increase the disk usage. Therefore, use it for privacy-invasive websites or websites where you want to be logged in twice, but not for any website just because you can.
    Q: IIs this app a dedicated web browser with its own browser engine?
    A: No. As stated, this app relies on the system built-in Android WebView in order to display the website. For privacy reasons, you can opt to use alternative webviews such as Bromite on rooted phones. Always make sure to use to most recent version of any WebView implementation you use!
    Q: In constrast to your promise, this app has a large memory footprint!
    A: This is because Native Alpha makes use of caching in the same way your browser app does, i.e., it saves web content locally on your device. Then it can be loaded faster if you visit the same page again. I will look into a way for better cache management. In the meantime, you can either delete cache regularly yourself or set the "Clear cache after usage" setting in the global settings if memory footprint is a concern for you. However, then websites will take a longer time to load because everything has to be loaded from net.

    A list of used open-source libraries can be found inside the app ("About" section).

    Screenshots
    mainScreen.png
    addWebApp.png
    webAppSettings.png


    License
    Native Alpha is Free Software: You can use, study share and improve it at your
    will. Specifically you can redistribute and/or modify it under the terms of the
    GNU General Public License as
    published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.


    End user license agreement
    THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
    7
    New release

    Hi,
    I just released a new version on GitHub.
    Changelog:
    • HTTP connection handling: Added an option "Allow HTTP" on Web App level. Upon establishing a HTTP connection for the first time, the user gets a prompt and can decide to allow HTTP within the currently opened Web App (i.e., the user will not get prompted again).
    • SSL error handling: Alert dialog is shown, the user is advised to leave.
    • Data savings: Added options to send "Save-data" HTTP header and to block the loading of images.
    • Redesigned and restructured the Web App Settings + Global Settings page.
    • Added PayPal donation button to About page.

    Next up: Improve test coverage, prepare the app for F-Droid release.
    Stay tuned for further improvements ;)
    7
    Hi, Can you please add 'Backup' and 'Restore' feature? If we have to reinstall the app it will be easy to get all the saved webapps back. Thanks for sharing.
    Dont't worry, that feature will be coming for sure. After all, I really need it myself ;)

    Thanks for all the positive feedback and suggestions, I will release a new version with HTTP support and a few other things on Wednesday or Thursday this week.
    5
    New release v0.83

    I published a new version on GitHub today.

    Changes:
    • Multiple Web Apps will be kept open in background (similar to opened tabs in a mobile browser). This behaviour is limited by system settings and your device's RAM.
    • Backup & Restore of Native Alpha settings + Web Apps
    • Refined "Go Back" behaviour to get back to Native Alpha Main Screen from an openend Web App.
    • New multi-touch gesture (two-finger down) to reload page.

    I have no news regarding F-Droid, unfortunately nobody had a look at my addition request so far. Some requests I looked over were open for weeks or even months, so this is expected I guess. Eventually, I will probably also put the app on Google Play but I would like to sort out a few things before releasing it to a wider public (like support for file downloads, use location permission to support GMaps/OpenStreetMap, custom icons etc.)
    4
    Awesome app!
    Can you add an option to add a custom icon to websites?
    Yes, custom icons are already on my backlog :)

    I submitted the app to F-Droid today, but I suppose it can take a while until they actually confirm the inclusion in their repo. Anyway, I will continue to offer the APK on GitHub at least until I implemented the backup/import settings feature so early adopters can switch from GitHub to F-Droid deployment easily.