A native application may offer richer integration with the underlying OS thanks to having access to more APIs, but running a web-based application comes with its own set of benefits. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) can not only improve the mobile experience but can also behave closely to regular Android applications thanks to the WebAPK standard. While many browsers allow you to transform your favorite site into a web app, making a proper PWA requires some work from the web developer’s end as well. Moreover, power users have very little freedom to customize the PWA generation process.
Here is a rundown of the features offered by Native Alpha:
- 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.
- 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+
The app requires Android Oreo or newer due to the use of modern shortcut APIs, but the developer has plans to add legacy shortcut support later. Native Alpha itself is open source, and the source code is available on the developer’s GitHub profile.