A WebAPK is an APK which is installed by “Add to Home screen” in the Chrome app menu provided that the website meets the requirements.

Sample site which meets WebAPK requirements


Code layout

  • shell_apk/ - Code for APK which is generated by the Chrome server. Not compiled into Chrome.
  • libs/client/ - Library which is compiled into Chrome. Useful if another browser implemented WebAPKs.
  • libs/common/ - Library with code which is used by both WebAPK shell and Chrome. WebAPK shell and Chrome might use different versions of the library.
  • libs/runtime_library/ - Library which is stored in the Chrome APK's assets and which is extracted from the Chrome APK by the WebAPK at runtime. This approach ensures that the majority of the WebAPK logic is shared and can be updated as often as CHrome, without the need for updating each individual WebAPK.

Installing WebAPK from Chrome Developer Build

To enable a developer build of Chrome to install WebAPKs run the following commands:

adb root
adb shell am broadcast -a com.google.gservices.intent.action.GSERVICES_OVERRIDE -e finsky.webapk.do_webapk_install_package_check false
adb shell am broadcast -a com.google.gservices.intent.action.GSERVICES_OVERRIDE -e finsky.webapk.do_webapk_install_signing_check false

Building WebAPK shell locally

It is possible to build a test WebAPK and bypass the generation on the WebAPK server.

On Android, build
On ChromeOS, build

Both can be customized via shell_apk/manifest/bound_manifest_config.json

To make a locally built WebAPK launch Chrome in ‘WebAPK mode’:

  1. Set the --skip-webapk-verification Chrome command line flag

  2. Ensure that the ‘scope_url_*’ parameters in bound_manifest_config.json match a directory which contains the ‘start_url’ parameter. In 99% of test cases the other parameters can use arbitrary URL origins.


    "intent_filters": {
      "scope_url_scheme": "https",
      "scope_url_host": "foo.com",
      "scope_url_path_type": "android:pathPrefix",
      "scope_url_path": "/bar/"
    "start_url": "https://foo.com/bar/baz/start.html",