What are Desktop Web Apps?

We've taken Chrome's Progressive Web App feature (also available in Edge) and given it a little Wavebox boost.  Progressive Web Apps are websites that are installed on your computer, so they behave more like 'native' apps than browser tabs - the apps are independent of the browser - you don't need to have the browser running - and there is no address bar or tabs to clutter things up. Features and benefits of Progressive Web Apps include;

  • Open from the dock/taskbar
  • Open from Launchpad (mac) Application Launcher (Linux) and Desktop (Windows)
  • App icon appears in the OS switcher (Cmd+Tab, Alt+Tab)
  • Separate window with minimal UI - no address bar, tabs, etc
  • Support for all Chrome Web Store extensions
  • More efficient than running Electron apps for each app.

How to Create your First Desktop Web App

🤓 Wavebox Desktop Web App feature is currently available on Windows and Linux.  Need DWAs for macOS? Contact support for additional instructions.

1. Install any Website or URL as an App

  • Click on the Desktop Web App icon in the titlebar (9 small squares top-right).
  • Click on the gray + icon to open the App Directory
  • Find an app in the Directory, or click on 'Add any Website' to paste any URL
  • From the Add screen, you can:
  • Give the App a Name
  • Upload a custom Icon (template available soon)
  • Select a Space or create a new one
  • Choose the app's Title Bar color
  • Then click on 'Done' to install the app.

2. Launch the App

  • On Windows, the icon appears on the Desktop, and you can right-click to 'Pin to Taskbar.'
  • On Linux, the icon is added to your Application List, and then right-click to 'Add to Favorites.'
  • On mac, the icon appears in Launchpad.  Launch the app so it appears in the Dock, then right-click to 'Options > Keep in Dock.'
  • In Wavebox, you can click the Desktop Web App icon top-right to open the app launcher.
  • You can also add a Desktop Web App widget to any dashboard and launch your apps.

3. What Does it Look Like?

  • The app will open in its own resizable/movable window with a titlebar
  • Note that there is no address bar tempting you to start random searches
  • The interface doesn't support tabs either, so no multi-tasking!
  • Extensions are available by clicking on the jigsaw icon at the top-right
  • The burger menu top-right reveals a limited number of settings.
  • However, the right-click menu is supported, so if you want to save a page in your existing Wavebox workflow, you can. e.g., send to a dashboard, open in a new tab, save as an app, etc

4. Edit the App Settings

  • Click on the Desktop Web App icon top-right to open the window, then right-click on any app icon followed by 'Settings.'
  • You can edit the app name, icon, space, and notification sound anytime.
  • Make any changes in the pop-up window, then click on 'Done.'  The changes will appear right away.
  • You can also visit Wavebox://apps in any Wavebox tab to manage all the apps you've installed on your computer.