Progressive Web Apps or PWA is a useful technology for website owners to offer the site as an app. For example, Google does not offer desktop apps for Gmail and YouTube. You can use PWA in Chrome and Edge to convert these websites to app shortcuts. It also works on both Windows and Mac versions of the browsers. Apple also already offering this feature on Safari iPhone to add the site on homepage as an app. Good news is that Apple introduced the Web Apps feature for Safari Mac browser in macOS 14 version and here is how you can use that.
Create Web Apps in Safari Mac
First, make sure you are using the macOS version (14 Sonoma or later) and Safari version 17 or later.
- Launch Safari browser and open your favorite website that you want to convert as an app.
- Go to “File” menu and select “Add to Dock…” option.
- You will see a “Add to Dock” pop-up in which Safari will automatically pick the website’s icon, title and the URL. If you want, change the title and click on “Add” button.
- Now the site will be added as an app in your Dock. Safari also will add the site icon in the Launchpad.
Using Web Apps from Dock
If you have multiple apps added in the Dock, hover the mouse over an app icon to see its name. This is the name you have entered as a title when creating the app. Click on the app icon from Dock or Launchpad to launch it. Remember, you do not need to open Safari for accessing the app. The site will open as an app on its own window.
- The app will be clutter free without tabs and other default Safari browser options.
- You can click the Safari icon showing on top right corner of the app to open the site in Safari browser.
- It is possible to navigate back and forth using the arrow icons showing on top left of the app window.
Whenever you open the site in Safari, you will see a notification to open it in an app like the way you see on your iPhone.
Customizing Web App
The app created will have menu items similar to any other macOS apps like Safari or Finder. This means even when you close the app, it will be always running in the background. There are few options you can customize from the app’s menu and settings.
- Go to “App Name > Settings” or press “Command and Comma” keys to open app’s settings. In my case, it is “WebNots > Settings…” since I have named the app as WebNots. You should see the name you have provided instead of WebNots.
- Under “General” tab, you can change the app name, enable or disable navigation control arrows and colors in title bar.
- Go to “Privacy” tab where you can clear website data and open privacy settings to change the permission provided to the site. For example, you can remove the microphone or camera access provided to the site.
Using Menus and Shortcuts
The app menu items have similar options like the Safari app.
- For example, you can go to “View” menu and select “Hide Toolbar” to remove the top title bar from the app window. Alternatively, use “Option + Command + T” keyboard shortcuts to show or hide the app title bar.
- Since the app does not have controls to stop or reload the page, you should go to “View” menu and select “Stop” or “Reload Page” options for that. Or use “Command + Dot” and “Command + R” shortcuts for stopping and reloading the pages within the app.
- If you want to open multiple pages of the site, then press “Command + N” to create another instance and navigate to a different page.
- Press “Command + Q” or select the quit option form app menu to completely close the Web App.
Where Can I Find Safari Apps?
If you have removed a Web App from Dock, you can always access it from the Launchpad. Otherwise, you can find all Web Apps created by Safari under “Macintosh HD > Users > Username > Applications” folder.
Deleting Web Apps Created with Safari
Keeping too many app icons in the Dock will easily distract you. If you have created too many Web Apps, then follow one of the below options:
- Right-click (or Control + Click) on the app icon in Dock and select “Options > Remove from Dock”. This will only remove the app icon from Dock without deleting it. You can anytime add it back from Launchpad.
- For completely deleting an app, open Launchpad and drag the app icon to Trash. Alternatively, right-click on the app icon from Dock and go to “Options > Show in Finder”. This will open Finder where you can select multiple apps and delete them all at once.
Web Apps in Safari is a cool feature to add websites as an app. You can add Reddit, Quora, Stack Overflow or any of your favorite site in dock and launchpad for quick access. The best part is that the apps will work without opening Safari and in clutter free interface. Website owners also do not need to worry about creating a separate app for Mac App Store anymore.