iPhone Firmware 2.1 Allows Users to Launch iPhone Web Apps in Full-Screen Mode [Updated]

iPhone Firmware 2.1

We had published an article which covered quite a few undocumented features in iPhone firmware 2.1 that did not make it to the release notes.

However, Apple Insider reader has revealed a nice feature that seems to have slipped our radar.

iPhone users now have the ability to launch iPhone Web apps in full-screen mode without the Safari toolbar thus making an iPhone Web App look and feel like a native iPhone application.

Apple Insider reader, Clancy, believes that the feature was released in iPhone firmware 2.1 and works only for those iPhone Web Apps that have been developed for the full-screen mode. He has been kind enough to create a demo iPhone web app to demonstrate how this feature works.

  • Load the demo app in iPhone’s Safari browser by clicking this link.
  • Hit the "+" button at the base of the Safari app.
  • Select "Add to Home Screen".
  • Save the App to the Home Screen.
  • Tap the icon that was just saved to your Home Screen.
  • The demo App should load in full screen without iPhone Safari’s toolbar.

You will notice that after relaunching the iPhone web app from the Home screen, it feels like a native iPhone app without Safari’s toolbar, just that there is some lag as the user interface gets downloaded.

You can see the screen shots below that demonstrate this feature:

Saving a Web app to the Home Screen

Launching an iPhone Web app in full-screen mode

Did you observe this feature in an earlier version of iPhone firmware? We would love to hear your views on this undocumented feature.


The ever-resourceful folks at Daring Fireball point out that you can enable an iPhone web app to open in full-screen mode by including this meta tag:

<meta name="apple-mobile-web-app-capable" content="yes" />

If you add this meta tag and use the add to Home Screen feature, it will launch an iPhone web app as a standalone app, without iPhone Safari’s toolbar. 

iPhone developers can refer to this guide for more details.

[via Apple Insider]

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