This specification defines a JSON-based file format that provides developers with a centralized place to put metadata associated with a web application. This metadata includes, but is not limited to, the web application's name, links to icons, as well as the preferred URL to open when a user launches the web application. The manifest also allows developers to declare a default screen orientation for their web application, as well as providing the ability to set the display mode for the application (e.g., in fullscreen). Additionally, the manifest allows a developer to "scope" a web application to a URL. This restricts the URLs to which the manifest is applied and provides a means to "deep link" into a web application from other applications.

Using this metadata, user agents can provide developers with means to create user experiences that are more comparable to that of a native application.

Web Application Manifest

A manifest is a [[JSON]] document that contains startup parameters and application defaults for when a web application is launched.

As a manifest is JSON, this specification relies on the types defined in [[JSON]] specification: namely object, array, string, and boolean. Strict type checking is not enforced by this specification. Instead, each member's definition specifies the steps required to process a particular member and what to do when a type does not match what is expected.

A manifest has an associated manifest URL, which is the [[URL]] from which the manifest was fetched.

A [=manifest=] can have any of the following members at its root, all of which are optional. The members can appear in any order.

Examples

This section shows how developers can make use of the various features of this specification.

Typical structure

The following shows a typical manifest.

            {
              "lang": "en",
              "dir": "ltr",
              "name": "Super Racer 3000",
              "short_name": "Racer3K",
              "icons": [{
                "src": "icon/lowres.webp",
                "sizes": "64x64",
                "type": "image/webp"
              }, {
                "src": "icon/lowres.png",
                "sizes": "64x64"
              }, {
                "src": "icon/hd_hi",
                "sizes": "128x128"
              }],
              "scope": "/",
              "start_url": "/start.html",
              "display": "fullscreen",
              "orientation": "landscape",
              "theme_color": "aliceblue",
              "background_color": "red"
            }
          

Using a `link` element to link to a manifest

The example also shows how to use the [=link type "manifest"=] and how to use other [^meta^] and [^link^] elements to give the web application a fallback name and set of icons.

            <!doctype>
            <html>
            <title>Racer 3K</title>

            <!-- Startup configuration -->
            <link rel="manifest" href="manifest.webmanifest">

            <!-- Fallback application metadata for legacy browsers -->
            <meta name="application-name" content="Racer3K">
            <link rel="icon" sizes="16x16 32x32 48x48" href="lo_def.ico">
            <link rel="icon" sizes="512x512" href="hi_def.png">
          

Declaring multiple icons

In the following example, the developer has made the following choices about the icons associated with the web application:

  • The developer has included two icons at the same size, but in two different formats. One is explicitly marked as WebP through the `type` member. If the user agent doesn't support WebP, it falls back to the second icon of the same size. The MIME type of this icon can then be either determined via a HTTP header, or can be sniffed by the user agent once the first few bytes of the icon are received.
  • The developer wants to use an SVG for greater than or equal to 257x257px. They've found that the SVG file looks too blurry at small sizes, even on high-density screens. To deal with this problem, the developer includes an SVG icon that is only used when the dimensions are at least 257px. Otherwise, the user agent uses the ICO file (hd_hi.ico), which includes a gamut of raster icons individually tailored for small display sizes.
            {
              "icons": [
                {
                  "src": "icon/lowres.webp",
                  "sizes": "48x48",
                  "type": "image/webp"
                },{
                  "src": "icon/lowres",
                  "sizes": "48x48"
                },{
                  "src": "icon/hd_hi.ico",
                  "sizes": "72x72 96x96 128x128 256x256"
                },{
                  "src": "icon/hd_hi.svg",
                  "sizes": "257x257"
                }]
            }
          

Creating shortcuts

In the following example, the developer has included two shortcuts. Assuming the manifest's URL is https://example.com/manifest.webmanifest:

  • The first shortcut would be displayed with the text "Play Later". If the operating system supports icons for context menu items and it also supports SVG images for that purpose, the user agent would present https://example.com/icons/play-later.svg next to the text. When launched, the user agent would instantiate a new top-level browsing context and navigate to https://example.com/play-later.
  • The second shortcut would be displayed with the text "Subscriptions". When launched, the user agent would instantiate a new top-level browsing context and navigate to https://example.com/subscriptions?sort=desc.
            {
              "shortcuts": [
                {
                  "name": "Play Later",
                  "description": "View the list of podcasts you saved for later",
                  "url": "/play-later",
                  "icons": [
                    {
                      "src": "/icons/play-later.svg",
                      "type": "image/svg+xml"
                    }
                  ]
                },
                {
                  "name": "Subscriptions",
                  "description": "View the list of podcasts you listen to",
                  "url": "/subscriptions?sort=desc"
                }
              ]
            }
          

Understanding "scope"

The [=manifest/scope=] member tells the browser which documents are part of a web application, and which are not - and hence, to which set of web pages the manifest is "[=applied=]" when the user navigates around a web site.

For example, `{"scope": "/"}` means that the manifest applies to every document in an origin. On the other hand, `{"scope": "/racer/"}` means that only documents within the path "/racer/" are [=URL/within scope=]: so "/racer/race1.html", "/racer/race2.html", etc. would all be [=URL/within scope=], but "/elsewhere/" and anything at the root "/" would be "out of scope" and the manifest wouldn't apply to documents in those paths. Only one scope path is supported. See [[[#nav-scope]]] for the technical details.

[=Applying=] a manifest means that any members that affect presentation found in the manifest will come into effect, such as display "fullscreen", or applying a particular screen orientation. As long as the application is navigated to URLs that are [=URL/within scope=], the browser will continue to apply the manifest. However, navigating the web applications "out of scope" will cause the manifest to no longer be applied, and the browser will apply its own defaults. This will cause, for example, the application to no longer be displayed in fullscreen, and instead be displayed as a regular web page in a browser tab. It's left up to implementers to decide how to deal with web pages being navigated in and out of scope. See [[[#applying]]] for the technical details.

Finally, as it's possible that a user can install a web application from any document within an origin, it's good practice to always declare a [=manifest/scope=] member in a manifest. If the [=manifest/scope=] member is missing from the manifest, then the path of the [=manifest/start_url=] member is used as a fallback. And if the [=manifest/start_url=] member is also missing, then the document URL from which the web application is installed gets used as the scope. To be sure you don't get any unexpected navigation behavior, always include a [=manifest/scope=] member preferably set to `"/"`.

`dir` member

The [=manifest's=] dir member specifies the base direction for the localizable members of the manifest. The [=manifest/dir=] member's value can be set to one of the text-direction values.

The localizable members are:

The text-direction values are the following, implying that the value of the localizable members is by default:

"ltr"
Left-to-right text.
"rtl"
Right-to-left text.
"auto" (default)
No explicit directionality.

When displaying the localizable members to an end-user, the use agent SHOULD:

  1. If the base direction is ltr or rtl, override Rule P3 of [[BIDI]], setting the paragraph embedding level to 0 if the base direction is ltr, or 1 if the base direction is rtl.
  2. Otherwise the base direction is "[=auto=]", in which case determine the text's direction by applying Rule P1 of [[BIDI]].

To process the `dir` member, given [=object=] |json:JSON| and [=ordered map=] |manifest:ordered map|:

  1. If the type of |json|["dir"] is not [=string=], or if |json|["dir"] doesn't match one of the [=text-direction values=], return.
  2. Set |manifest|["dir"] to |json|["dir"].

`lang` member

The [=manifest's=] lang member is a string in the form of a language tag that specifies the primary language for the values of the manifest's localizable members (as knowing the language can also help with directionality).

A language tag is a string that matches the production of a `Language-Tag` defined in the [[BCP47]] specifications (see the IANA Language Subtag Registry for an authoritative list of possible values). That is, a language range is composed of one or more subtags that are delimited by a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS ("-"). For example, the '`en-AU`' language range represents English as spoken in Australia, and '`fr-CA`' represents French as spoken in Canada. Language tags that meet the validity criteria of [[RFC5646]] section 2.2.9 that can be verified without reference to the IANA Language Subtag Registry are considered structurally valid.

To process the `lang` member, given [=object=] |json:JSON| and [=ordered map=] |manifest:ordered map|:

  1. If the type of |json|["lang"] is not [=string=], return.
  2. If calling IsStructurallyValidLanguageTag with |json|["lang"] returns `false`, return.
  3. Set |manifest|["lang"] to the result of calling the CanonicalizeUnicodeLocaleId abstract operation with |json|["lang"].

`name` member

The [=manifest's=] name member is a string that represents the name of the web application as it is usually displayed to the user (e.g., amongst a list of other applications, or as a label for an icon).

The [=manifest/name=] member serves as the accessible name of an [=installed web application=].

When [=processing a manifest=], the [=process a text member=] algorithm is used to process the [=manifest/name=] member.

`short_name` member

The [=manifest's=] short_name member is a string that represents a short version of the name of the web application. It is intended to be used where there is insufficient space to display the full name of the web application.

When [=processing a manifest=], the [=process a text member=] algorithm is used to process the [=manifest/short_name=] member.

`scope` member

The [=manifest's=] scope member is a string that represents the [=manifest/navigation scope=] of this web application's application context.

To process the `scope` member, given [=object=] |json:JSON| and [=ordered map=] |manifest:ordered map|:

  1. Set |manifest|["scope"] to the result of [=URL Parser|parsing=] "." with |manifest|["start_url"] as the base URL.
  2. If |json|["scope"] is the empty string, then return.
  3. Let |scope:URL| be the result of [=URL Parser|parsing=] |json|["scope"] with |manifest URL| as the base URL.
  4. If |scope| is failure, return.
  5. If |manifest|["start_url"] is not [=URL/within scope=] of |scope URL|, return.
  6. Otherwise, set |manifest|["scope"] to |scope|.

`icons` member

The [=manifest's=] icons member are images that serve as iconic representations of the web application in various contexts. For example, they can be used to represent the web application amongst a list of other applications, or to integrate the web application with an OS's task switcher and/or system preferences.

If there are multiple equally appropriate images in [=manifest/icons=], a user agent MUST use the last one declared in order at the time that the user agent collected the list of [=manifest/icons=]. If the user agent tries to use an icon but that icon is determined, upon closer examination, to be inappropriate (e.g. because its content type is unsupported), then the user agent MUST try the next-most-appropriate icon as determined by examining the [=manifest image resource=]'s members.

`display` member

The [=manifest's=] display member represents the developer's preferred display mode for the web application. Its value is one of the display modes values.

To process the `display` member, given [=object=] |json:JSON| and [=ordered map=] |manifest:ordered map|:

  1. If the type of |json|["display"] is not [=string=], return.
  2. If |json|["display"] doesn't match one of the [=display modes values=], return.
  3. Set |manifest|["display"] to |json|["display"].

`orientation` member

The [=manifest's=] orientation member is a string that serves as the default screen orientation for all top-level browsing contexts of the web application. The possible values are those of the {{OrientationLockType}} enum, which in this specification are referred to as the orientation values (i.e., "any", "natural", "landscape", "portrait", "portrait-primary", "portrait-secondary", "landscape-primary", or "landscape-secondary").

If the user agent supports the value of the [=manifest/orientation=] member as the default screen orientation, then that serves as the default screen orientation for the life of the web application (unless overridden by some other means at runtime). This means that the user agent MUST return the orientation to the default screen orientation any time the orientation is unlocked [[SCREEN-ORIENTATION]] or the top-level browsing context is navigated.

Although the specification relies on the [[SCREEN-ORIENTATION]]'s {{OrientationLockType}}, it is OPTIONAL for a user agent to implement the [[SCREEN-ORIENTATION]] API. Supporting the [[SCREEN-ORIENTATION]] API is, of course, encouraged.

Certain UI/UX concerns and/or platform conventions will mean that some screen orientations and display modes cannot be used together. Which orientations and display modes cannot be used together is left to the discretion of implementers. For example, for some user agents, it might not make sense to change the default screen orientation of an application while in `browser` display mode.

Once the web application is running, other means can change the orientation of a top-level browsing context (such as via [[SCREEN-ORIENTATION]] API).

To process the `orientation` member, given JSON |json:JSON| and [=ordered map=] |manifest:ordered map|:

  1. If the type of |json|["orientation"] is not [=string=], return.
  2. If |json|["orientation"] doesn't match one of the [=orientation values=], return.
  3. Set |manifest|["orientation"] to |json|["orientation"].

`start_url` member

The [=manifest's=] start_url member is a string that represents the start URL , which is URL that the developer would prefer the user agent load when the user launches the web application (e.g., when the user clicks on the icon of the web application from a device's application menu or homescreen).

The [=manifest/start_url=] member is purely advisory, and a user agent MAY ignore it or provide the end-user the choice not to make use of it. A user agent MAY also allow the end-user to modify the URL when, for instance, a bookmark for the web application is being created or any time thereafter.

To process the `start_url` member, given [=object=] |json:JSON|, [=ordered map=] |manifest:ordered map|, [=URL=] |manifest URL:URL|, and [=URL=] |document URL:URL|:

  1. If the type of |json|["start_url"] is not [=string=], return.
  2. If |json|["start_url"] is the empty string, return.
  3. Let |start URL:URL| be the result of [=URL Parser|parsing=] |json|["start_url"], using |manifest URL| as the base URL.
  4. If |start URL| is failure, return.
  5. If |start URL| is not same origin as document URL, return.
  6. Otherwise, set |manifest|["start_url"] to |start URL|.

Privacy consideration: [=manifest/start_url=] tracking

It's conceivable that the [=manifest/start_url=] could be crafted to indicate that the application was launched from outside the browser (e.g., `"start_url": "index.html?launcher=homescreen"`). This can be useful for analytics and possibly other customizations. However, it is also conceivable that developers could encode strings into the start_url that uniquely identify the user (e.g., a server assigned UUID). This is fingerprinting/privacy sensitive information that the user might not be aware of.

Given the above, it is RECOMMENDED that, upon installation, or any time thereafter, a user agent allows the user to inspect and, if necessary, modify the start URL of an application.

`theme_color` member

The [=manifest's=] theme_color member serves as the default theme color for an application context. What constitutes a theme color is defined in [[HTML]].

If the user agent honors the value of the [=manifest/theme_color=] member as the default theme color, then that color serves as the theme color for all browsing contexts to which the manifest is applied. However, a document may override the default theme color through the inclusion of a valid [[HTML]] [^meta^] element whose [^meta/name^] attribute value is `"theme-color"`.

The user agent MAY ignore the theme color's [=alpha component=] based on the context. For example, in most environments, the theme color cannot be transparent.

Implementors MAY override the value defined by the [=manifest/theme_color=] member to support prefers-color-scheme.

When [=processing a manifest=], the [=process a color member=] algorithm is used to process the [=manifest/theme_color=] member.

`related_applications` member

A related application is an application accessible to the underlying application platform that has a relationship with the web application.

The [=manifest's=] related_applications member lists related applications and serves as an indication of such a relationship between web application and related applications. This relationship is unidirectional and unless a listed application claims the same relationship, the user agent MUST NOT assume a bi-directional endorsement.

Example of usages of the `related_applications` could be a crawler that would use that information to gather more information about the web application or a browser that could suggest a listed application as an alternative if the user wants to install the web application.

To process the `related_applications` member, given [=object=] |json:JSON| and [=ordered map=] |manifest:ordered map|:

  1. Let |relatedApplications:list| be a new [=list=].
  2. Set |manifest|["related_applications"] to |relatedApplications|.
  3. If the type of |json|["related_applications"] is not [=array=], return.
  4. [=list/For each=] app of |json|["related_applications"]:
    1. If neither app["id"] nor app["url"] are missing:
      1. Set app["url"] to the result of running process the `url` member of an application given app["url"].
      2. [=list/append=] app to relatedApplications.
  5. Set relatedApplications.

`prefer_related_applications` member

The [=manifest's=] `prefer_related_applications` member is a [=boolean=] that is used as a hint for the user agent to say that related applications should be preferred over the web application. If the `prefer_related_applications` member is set to `true`, and the user agent wants to suggest to install the web application, the user agent might want to suggest installing one of the related applications instead.

`background_color` member

The [=manifest's=] `background_color` member describes the expected background color of the web application. It repeats what is already available in the application stylesheet but can be used by the user agent to draw the background color of a web application for which the manifest is known before the files are actually available, whether they are fetched from the network or retrieved from disk.

The [=manifest/background_color=] member is only meant to improve the user experience while a web application is loading and MUST NOT be used by the user agent as the background color when the web application's stylesheet is available.

Implementors MAY override the value defined by the [=manifest/background_color=] member to support prefers-color-scheme.

When [=processing a manifest=], the [=process a color member=] algorithm is used to process [=manifest/background_color=] member.

`shortcuts` member

The [=manifest's=] shortcuts member is an [=array=] of shortcut items that provide access to key tasks within a web application.

How shortcuts are presented, and how many of them are shown to the user, is at the discretion of the user agent and/or operating system.

To process the `shortcuts` member, given [=object=] |json:JSON|, |manifest:ordered map|, and |manifest URL:URL|:

  1. Let |processedShortcuts:list| be a new [=list=].
  2. Set |manifest|["shortcuts"] to |processedShortcuts|.
  3. If the type of |json|["shortcuts"] is not [=array=], return.
  4. [=list/For each=] |entry:object| of |json|["shortcuts"]:
    1. Let |shortcut:Ordered map| be [=process a shortcut=] with |entry|.
    2. If |shortcut| is failure, continue.
    3. [=list/Append=] |shortcut| to |processedShortcuts|.

A user agent SHOULD expose shortcuts via interactions that are consistent with exposure of an application icon's context menu in the host operating system (e.g., right click, long press). A user agent SHOULD render the shortcuts in the same order as they are provided in the manifest. A user agent SHOULD represent the shortcuts in a manner consistent with exposure of an application icon's context menu in the host operating system. A user agent MAY truncate the list of shortcuts presented in order to remain consistent with the conventions or limitations of the host operating system.

Manifest life-cycle

This section defines algorithms for [=processing a manifest=], and applying a manifest.

A user agent MUST support the [=link type "manifest"=] and the associated steps for how to fetch and process the linked resource.

Processing the manifest

When instructed to ignore, the user agent MUST act as if whatever manifest, member, or value caused the condition is absent.

The following algorithm provides an extension point: other specifications that add new members to the manifest are encouraged to hook themselves into this specification at this point in the algorithm. They SHOULD NOT modify the existing values already in the manifest object.

The extension point is meant to help avoid issues related to monkey patching.

The steps for processing a manifest are given by the following algorithm. The algorithm takes [^link^] |el:HTMLLinkElement| and a [=Response=] |response|.

  1. Let |json| be the result of [=parse JSON from bytes=] |response|'s [=response/body=].
  2. If the |json| is a parsing exception, or the type of |json| is not [=object=]:
    1. Set |json:object| to an empty [=object=] (i.e., equivalent of JSON parsing the string `"{}"`).
  3. Let |manifest| be a new [=ordered map=] «[ "display" → "browser", "dir" → "auto", "start_url" → |document URL| ]».
  4. [=Process the `dir` member=] passing |json| and |manifest|.
  5. [=Process the `lang` member=] passing |json| and |manifest|.
  6. [=list/For each=] |member:string| of [=list=] « "name", "short_name" »:
    1. [=Process a text member=] passing |json|, |manifest|, and |member|.
  7. [=Process a text member=] passing |json|, |manifest|, and "short_name".
  8. [=Process the `start_url` member=] passing |json|, |manifest|, |manifest URL|, and document URL.
  9. [=Process the `scope` member=] passing |json|, |manifest|, and |manifest URL|.
  10. [=list/For each=] |member:string| of [=list=] « "theme_color", "background_color" »:
    1. [=Process a color member=] passing |json|, |manifest|, and |member|.
  11. [=Process the `display` member=] passing |json| and |manifest|.
  12. [=Process image resources=] passing |json|["icons"], |manifest|, |manifest URL|, and "icons".
  13. [=Process the `orientation` member=] passing |json|, |manifest|.
  14. [=Process the `related_applications` member=] passing |json| and |manifest|.
  15. [=Process the `shortcuts` member=] passing |json|, |manifest|, and |manifest URL|.
  16. Extension point: process any proprietary and/or other supported members at this point in the algorithm.
  17. Let [=document=]'s processed manifest be |manifest|.

Processing color members

Only [=sRGB=] colors, and colors the user agent can convert to [=sRGB=] without any outside knowledge (e.g., `"AliceBlue"`), are supported. For example, `lab(…)` or `color(display-p3, …)` can be converted to [=sRGB=] without outside knowledge, but `color(--custom-profile, …)` would require finding a matching "@color-profile" rule which cannot be specified in the manifest.

To process a color member, using JSON |json:JSON|, [=ordered map=] |map:ordered map|, and [=string=] |member:string|:

  1. If the type of |json|[member] is not [=string=], return.
  2. Let |color| be the result of [=CSS/parsing=] the value of |json|[member] as a CSS color.
  3. If |color| is failure, return.
  4. If |color| can be converted to [=sRGB=] using solely information the user agent inherently knows, then convert |color| to [=sRGB=].
  5. If |color| is not [=sRGB=] color, return.
  6. Set |map|[member] to |color|.

Processing text members

To process a text member, given [=object=] |json:JSON|, [=ordered map=] |map:ordered map|, and [=string=] |member:string|:

  1. If the type of |json|[|member|] is not [=string=], return.
  2. Set |map|[member] to the value of |json|[|member|].

Applying the manifest

A [=Document/processed manifest=] is applied to a top-level browsing context, meaning that the members of the [=Document/processed manifest=] are affecting the presentation or behavior of a browsing context.

A top-level browsing context that has a manifest applied to it is referred to as an application context.

If an application context is created as a result of the user agent being asked to navigate to a deep link, the user agent MUST immediately navigate to the deep link with historyHandling set to "`replace`". Otherwise, when the application context is created, the user agent MUST immediately navigate to the start URL with historyHandling set to "`replace`".

The appropriate time to apply a manifest is when the application context is created and before [=navigate|navigation=] to the start URL begins.

Updating the manifest

Manifest image resources

Each manifest image resource is an [=image resource=] that is conceptually part of a web application, suitable to use in various contexts depending on the semantics of the member that is using the object (e.g., an icon that is part of an application menu, etc.).

A [=manifest image resource=] differs from a [=image resource=] in that it can have an additional [=manifest image resource/purpose=] member.

User agents MAY modify the images associated with an [=manifest image resource=] to better match the platform’s visual style before displaying it to the user, for example by rounding the corners or painting it in a specific color. It is recommended that developers prepare their image resources for such scenarios to avoid losing important information through, e.g., change of color or clipped corners.

`purpose` member

The purpose member is an unordered set of unique space-separated tokens. The allowed values are the icon purposes.

When a [=manifest image resource=] is used as an icon, a developer can hint that the image is intended to serve some special purpose in the context of the host OS (i.e., for better integration). User agents SHOULD NOT use an icon other than for its stated icon purpose.

For example, an icon with purpose "monochrome" could be used as a badge or pinned icon with a solid fill, visually distinct from an application's full color launch icon. The user agent uses the value of the [=manifest image resource/purpose=] member as a hint to determine where and how an [=manifest image resource/purpose=] is displayed. Unless declared otherwise by the developer, a user agent can use an icon for [=any|any purpose=].

The icon purposes are as follows:

"monochrome"
A user agent can present this icon where a monochrome icon with a solid fill is needed. The color information in the icon is discarded and only the alpha data is used. The icon can then be used by the user agent like a mask over any solid fill.
"maskable"
The image is designed with icon masks and safe zone in mind, such that any part of the image that is outside the safe zone can safely be ignored and masked away by the user agent.
"any" (default)
The user agent is free to display the icon in any context.

If an icon contains multiple purposes, it could be used for any of those purposes. If none of the stated purposes are recognized, the icon is totally ignored. For example, if an icon has purpose `"monochrome fizzbuzz"`, then it could be used as a monochrome icon, as `"monochrome"` is a valid purpose. However, if an icon just has the purpose `"fizzbuzz"`, then it will be ignored.

To determine the purpose of an image, given [=object=] |json:image|:

  1. If the type of |json|["purpose"] is not [=string=]:
    1. Return [=set=] « "any" ».
  2. Let |keywords:list<string>| be the result of [=split on ASCII whitespace=] |json|["purpose"].
  3. Let |purposes:set| be new [=set=].
  4. [=set/For each=] |keyword:string| of |keywords|:
    1. If |keyword| is not one of the [=icon purposes=], then [=iteration/continue=].
    2. Otherwise, [=set/append=] |keyword| to |purposes|.
  5. If |purposes| [=list/is empty=], then return failure.
  6. Return |purposes|.

Content security policy

The security policy that governs whether a user agent can fetch an icon image is governed by the `img-src` directive [[CSP3]] associated with the manifest's owner {{Document}}.

Icon masks and safe zone

Some platforms have their own preferred icon shape, but as web applications should work across multiple platforms, it is possible to indicate that an icon can have a user-agent-specified mask applied by adding the maskable purpose. This allows the platform to ensure that the icon looks well integrated with the platform, and even apply different masks and background colors in different places throughout the platform.

The safe zone is the area within a maskable icon which is guaranteed to always be visible, regardless of user agent preferences. It is defined as a circle with center point in the center of the icon and with a radius of 2/5 (40%) of the icon size, which means the smaller of the icon width and height, in case the icon is not square.

Designers of maskable icons will want to make sure that all important parts are within the safe zone.

safe zone illustrated
The safe zone is a centrally positioned circle, with radius 2/5 (40%) of the minimum of the icon's width and height.

All pixels in this zone are guaranteed to be seen in all masks. Pixels outside the safe zone are not guaranteed to (but can) be visible depending on the applied mask.

The user agent MAY apply a mask of any size, making any pixels that are more than 2/5ths of the image size (minimum of width and height if non-square) away from the center (the safe zone) transparent.

The user agent MUST NOT make any pixel within the safe zone transparent.

The user agent MAY enlarge the icon by adding additional padding.

If the icon contains transparent pixels, the user agent MUST composite the icon onto a solid fill (e.g., white) of the user agent's choice.

It is suggested that designers avoid using transparent pixels in maskable icons.

Examples of masks

By staying inside the safe zone, most icons will have around 10% padding on the top, bottom, right and left with no content or non-essential content, such as an icon background. It is suggested that developers check their icon when all but the safe zone is masked out.

Icons with "maskable" purpose

An icon over a checkerboard background
Image The base image with transparent background
An icon in a purple circle (40% of the size) over a yellow background
Safe zone Circle with radius 2/5 (40%) of the icon size

Mask examples

An icon inside a rounded yellow square on a purple background
Rounded square Android
An icon inside an extremely rounded yellow square on a purple background
Squircle Android
An icon inside a rounded yellow circle on a purple background
Circle Android
An icon inside a somewhat rounded yellow square on a purple background
Rounded square iOS
An icon on a yellow background
Fullbleed Windows

Monochrome icons and solid fills

Some platforms enforce that icons be displayed with a solid fill such as a single color, where only the transparency of the icon can be declared in a [=manifest=]. As web applications need to work across multiple platforms, it is possible to indicate that an icon can have an user-agent-specified color applied by adding the monochrome purpose. This allows the platform to ensure that the icon looks well integrated with the platform, and even apply different colors and padding in different places throughout the platform.

When presenting a monochrome icon, the user agent MUST NOT independently display the red component, green component, or blue component of a pixel. The user agent SHOULD display each pixel with its original alpha value, but with a red, green, and blue value of the user agent's choosing. It is RECOMMENDED that the user agent use the same color value for all pixels.

Designers of monochrome icons could set all pixels to black and only use transparency to create a silhouette of their icon.

The user agent MAY enlarge the icon by adding additional padding.

The user agent MAY add a background of any color behind transparent pixels, and SHOULD ensure that the background has sufficient contrast with the icon.

Example usage of monochrome icons

Usage examples

A black icon over a checkerboard background
Image The base image with no color.
A dark gradient icon over a checkerboard background
Gradient fill The image filled in with a gradient.
A dark yellow icon over a light gray background
Solid color fill with padding Filled in with the theme color from the manifest.

Processing image resources

To process image resources, given [=array=] |images:array|, [=ordered map=] |map:ordered map|, |manifest URL:URL| and [=string=] |member:string|:

  1. Let |imageResources:List<Image Resources>| be a new [=list=].
  2. Set |map|[member] to |imageResources|.
  3. If the type of |images| is not [=array=], return.
  4. [=list/For each=] |potential image:Manifest image resource| of |images|:
    1. Let |image:ordered map| be the result of running [=process an image resource from JSON=] given |potential image| and |manifest URL|.
    2. If |image| is failure, [=iteration/continue=].
    3. Let |purposes:set| be [=determine the purpose of an image=] passing |potential image|.
    4. If |purposes| is failure, [=iteration/continue=].
    5. Set |image|["purpose"] to |purposes|.
    6. [=list/Append=] |image| to |imageResources|.

Shortcut items

Each shortcut item is an [=object=] that represents a link to a key task or page within a web app. It has the following members:

A user agent can use these members to assemble a context menu to be displayed by the operating system when a user engages with the web app's icon. When the user invokes a shortcut from the operating system menu, the user agent SHOULD run launching a shortcut.

`name` member

The [=shortcut item's=] name member is a string that represents the name of the shortcut as it is usually displayed to the user in a context menu.

`short_name` member

The [=shortcut item's=] short_name member is a string that represents a short version of the name of the shortcut. It is intended to be used where there is insufficient space to display the full name of the shortcut.

`description` member

The [=shortcut item's=] description member is a string that allows the developer to describe the purpose of the shortcut. User agents MAY expose this information to assistive technology.

`url` member

The [=shortcut item's=] url member is a URL [=manifest/within scope=] of a [=Document/processed manifest=] that opens when the associated shortcut is activated.

Privacy and security considerations

It's conceivable that any [=shortcut item/url=] could be crafted to indicate that the application was launched from outside the browser (e.g., `"url": "/task/?from=homescreen"`). It is also conceivable that developers could encode strings into the [=shortcut item/url=] that uniquely identify the user (e.g., a server assigned UUID). This is fingerprinting/privacy sensitive information that the user might not be aware of.

`icons` member

The shortcut item's icons member serve as iconic representations of the shortcut in various contexts.

Launching a shortcut

When shortcut item shortcut having manifest is invoked, run the following steps:

  1. Let url be shortcut.url.
  2. Let browsing context be the result of creating a new top-level browsing context.
  3. Navigate browsing context to url.

Processing shortcut items

To process a shortcut, given [=object=] |item:object|:

  1. If the type of |item| is not [=object=], return failure.
  2. If |item|["name"] is missing or |item|["name"] is the empty string, return failure.
  3. If the type of |item|["url"] is not [=string=], return failure.
  4. Let |url:URL| be the result of [=URL Parser|parsing=] |item|["url"] with |manifest URL| as the base URL.
  5. If |url| is failure, return failure.
  6. If |url| is not [=manifest/within scope=] of |manifest URL|, return failure.
  7. Let |shortcut:ordered map| be |ordered map| «[ "url" → |url|, "name" → |item|["name"] ]».
  8. [=Process image resources=] passing |item|["icons"], |shortcut|, |manifest URL|, and "icons".
  9. Return |shortcut|.

External application resource

Each external application resource represents an application related to the web application.

An [=external application resource=] can have the following members, some of which are required to be a [=valid external application resource=]:

A valid external application resource MUST have [=external application resource/platform=] member, and either an [=external application resource/url=] or an [=external application resource/id=] member (or both).

`platform` member

The platform member represents the [=platform=] this [=external application resource=] is associated with. A platform represents a software distribution ecosystem or possibly an operating system. This specification does not define the particular values for the platform member.

`url` member

An [=external application resource's=] url member is the URL where the application can be found.

To process the `url` member of an application:

  1. If application URL is missing, return null.
  2. Otherwise, [=URL Parser|parse=] application URL and if the result is not failure, return the result. Otherwise return null.

`id` member

An [=external application resource's=] id member represents the id which is used to represent the application on the platform.

`min_version` member

An [=external application resource's=] min_version member represents the minimum version of the application that is considered related to this web app. This version is a string with platform-specific syntax and semantics.

`fingerprints` member

An [=external application resource's=] fingerprints member represents an array of [=fingerprints=].

A fingerprint represents a set of cryptographic fingerprints used for verifying the application. A fingerprint has the following two members: type and value. Each of these are strings, but their syntax and semantics are platform-defined.

Installable web applications

A common use case of a manifest is for a user agent to install a web application; whereby the user agent provides the end-user with a means of instantiating a new top-level browsing context that has the manifest's members applied to it. A web application that is installed is known as a installed web application. That is, the manifest's members, or their defaults, are in effect on the top-level browsing context. This distinguishes an installed web application from a traditional bookmark, as opening a web page from a traditional bookmark will not have the manifest's properties applied to it.

For example, on user agents that support installation, a web application could be presented and launched in a way that, to the end-user, is indistinguishable from native applications: such as appearing as a labeled icon on the home screen, launcher, or start menu. When launched, the manifest is applied by the user agent to the top-level browsing context prior to the start URL being loaded. This gives the user agent an opportunity to apply the relevant values of the manifest, possibly changing the display mode and screen orientation of the web application. Alternatively, and again as an example, the user agent could install the web application into a list of bookmarks within the user agent itself.

A [=document=] is installable if it's a [=top-level browsing context=] and the user agent deems it to be installable (e.g., see [[[#installability-signals]]]).

Application's name

The application's name is derived from either the [=manifest/name=] member or [=manifest/short_name=] member.

When either the [=manifest/name=] member or the [=manifest/short_name=] member is missing, empty, or the wrong type, a user agent MAY use the [=manifest/name=] member as a fallback for the [=manifest/short_name=] member or [=manifest/short_name=] member as the fallback for the [=manifest/name=] member.

If the [=manifest/name=] and [=manifest/short_name=] members are missing, empty, or the wrong type, a user agent MAY fallback to the {{Document}} to find suitable replacements for missing manifest members (e.g., using `application-name` in place of [=manifest/name=] or [=manifest/short_name=]). Alternatively, the user agent SHOULD assign a default name (e.g., "Untitled") that follows platform conventions. Alternatively, a user agent MAY allow the end-user to input some text that can serve as the application's name.

When both the [=manifest/name=] and [=manifest/short_name=] members are present, it is left up to implementations to decide which member is best suited for the space available (e.g., the [=manifest/short_name=] member might be better suited for the space available underneath an icon).

Privacy and security considerations

It is RECOMMENDED that UI that affords the end user the ability to install a web application also allows inspecting the icon, name, start URL, origin, etc. pertaining to a web application. This is to give an end-user an opportunity to make a conscious decision to approve, and possibly modify, the information pertaining to the web application before installing it. This also gives the end-user an opportunity to discern if the web application is spoofing another web application, by, for example, using an unexpected icon or name.

It is RECOMMENDED that user agents prevent other applications from determining which applications are installed on the system (e.g., via a timing attack on the user agent's cache). This could be done by, for example, invalidating from the user agent's cache the resources linked to from the manifest (for example, icons) after a web application is installed - or by using an entirely different cache from that used for regular web browsing.

Installability signals

By design, this specification does not provide developers with an explicit API to "install" a web application. Instead, a manifest can serve as an installability signal to a user agent that a web application can be installed.

Examples of installability signals for a web application:

This list is not exhaustive and some installability signals might not apply to all user agents. How a user agent makes use of these installability signals to determine if a web application can be installed is left to implementers.

Uninstallation

User agents SHOULD provide a mechanism for the user to remove an installed web application application.

It is RECOMMENDED that at the time of removal, the user agent also present the user with an opportunity to revoke other persistent data and settings associated with the application, such as permissions and persistent storage.

Display modes

A display mode represents how the web application is being presented within the context of an OS (e.g., in fullscreen, etc.). Display modes correspond to user interface (UI) metaphors and functionality in use on a given platform. The UI conventions of the display modes are purely advisory and implementers are free to interpret them how they best see fit.

Once a user agent [=applies=] a particular display mode to an application context, it becomes the default display mode for the top-level browsing context (i.e., it is used as the display mode when the window is navigated). The user agent MAY override the default display mode for security reasons (e.g., the top-level browsing context is navigated to another origin) and/or the user agent MAY provide the user with a means of switching to another display mode.

When the [=manifest/display=] member is missing, or if there is no valid [=manifest/display=] member, the user agent uses the browser display mode as the default display mode. As such, the user agent MUST support the browser display mode.

Every [=display mode=] has a fallback chain, which is a list of [=display modes=]. The [=fallback chain=] for:

  1. [=browser=] is «».
  2. [=minimal-ui=] is « "[=browser=]" ».
  3. [=standalone=] is « "[=minimal-ui=]", "[=browser=]" ».
  4. [=fullscreen=] is « "[=standalone=]", "[=minimal-ui=]", "[=browser=]" ».

The steps for determining the web app's chosen display mode is given by the following algorithm. The algorithm takes a [=Document/processed manifest=] |manifest:processed manifest| and returns a [=display mode=].

  1. Extension point: process any proprietary and/or other supported display modes at this point in the algorithm.
  2. If the user agent supports |manifest|["display"], then return |manifest|["display"].
  3. [=list/For each=] |fallback_mode| of the [=fallback chain=] of |manifest|["display"]:
    1. If the user agent supports the |fallback_mode|, then return |fallback_mode|.

The above loop is guaranteed to return a value before the assertion, due to the fact that {{browser}} is in every mode's [=fallback chain=], and the requirement that all user agents support the {{browser}} [=display mode=].

The display modes values are:

"fullscreen"
Opens the web application without any user agent chrome and takes up the entirety of the available display area.
"standalone"
Opens the web application to look and feel like a standalone native application. This can include the application having a different window, its own icon in the application launcher, etc. In this mode, the user agent will exclude standard browser UI elements such as an URL bar, but can include other system UI elements such as a status bar and/or system back button.
"minimal-ui"
This mode is similar to standalone, but provides the end-user with some means to access a minimal set of UI elements for controlling navigation (i.e., back, forward, reload, and perhaps some way of viewing the document's address). A user agent can include other platform specific UI elements, such as "share" and "print" buttons or whatever is customary on the platform and user agent.
"browser" (default)
Opens the web application using the platform-specific convention for opening hyperlinks in the user agent (e.g., in a browser tab or a new window).

The fullscreen display mode is orthogonal to, and works independently of, the [[[FULLSCREEN]]]. The fullscreen display mode affects the fullscreen state of the browser window, while the [[FULLSCREEN]] API operates on an element contained within the viewport. As such, a web application can have its display mode set to fullscreen, while `document.fullScreenElement` returns `null`, and `fullscreenEnabled` returns `false`.

Privacy and security considerations

When the web application is running, it is RECOMMENDED that the user agent provides the end-user a means to access common information about the web application, such as the origin, start and/or current URL, granted permissions, and associated icon. How such information is exposed to end-users is left up to implementers.

Additionally, when applying a manifest that sets the display mode to anything except "browser", it is RECOMMENDED that the user agent clearly indicate to the end-user that their are leaving the normal browsing context of a web browser. Ideally, launching or switching to a web application is performed in a manner that is consistent with launching or switching to other applications in the host platform. For example, a long and obvious animated transition, or speaking the text "Launching application X".

The `'display-mode'` media feature

Name: display-mode
For: @media
Value: fullscreen | standalone | minimal-ui | browser
Type: discrete

The `display-mode` media feature represents, via a CSS media query [[MEDIAQ]], the display mode of the web application. This media feature applies to the top-level browsing context and any child browsing contexts. Child browsing contexts reflect the display mode of the top-level browsing context.

A user agent MUST expose the '`display-mode`' media feature irrespective of whether a manifest is being applied to a browsing context. For example, if the end-user puts the whole user agent into fullscreen, then the user agent would reflect this change to CSS and scripts via the '`display-mode`' media feature.

A user agent MUST reflect the applied display mode of the web application via a CSS media query [[MEDIAQ]].

Examples

An example in CSS:

            @media all and (display-mode: minimal-ui) {
              /* ... */
            }
            @media all and (display-mode: standalone) {
              /* ... */
            }
          

Accessing the display-mode media feature in ECMAScript through `matchMedia()` of [[CSSOM-VIEW]]:

            const standalone = matchMedia( '(display-mode: standalone)' );

            standalone.onchange = (e) => {
              /* handle changes to display mode */
            }

            if (standalone.matches) {
              /* do standalone things */
            }
          

Privacy and security considerations

The `'display-mode'` media feature allows an origin access to aspects of a user’s local computing environment and, together with the `display` member, allows an origin some measure of control over a user agent’s native UI: Through a CSS media query, a script can know the display mode of a web application. An attacker could, in such a case, exploit the fact that an application is being displayed in fullscreen to mimic the user interface of another application.

Privacy and security considerations

This specification does not directly deal with high-value data. However, installed web applications and their data could be seen as "high value" (particularly from a privacy perspective).

As the manifest format is JSON and will commonly be encoded using [[UNICODE]], the security considerations described in [[JSON]] and [[UNICODE-SECURITY]] apply. In addition, because there is no way to prevent developers from including custom/unrestrained data in a manifest, implementors need to impose their own implementation-specific limits on the values of otherwise unconstrained member types, e.g. to prevent denial of service attacks, to guard against running out of memory, or to work around platform-specific limitations.

Web applications will generally contain ECMAScript, HTML, CSS files, and other media, which are executed in a sand-boxed environment. As such, implementors need to be aware of the security implications for the types they support. Specifically, implementors need to consider the security implications outlined in at least the following specifications: [[CSS-MIME]], [[ECMAScript-MIME]], [[HTML]].

As web applications can contain content that is able to simultaneously interact with the local device and a remote host, implementors need to consider the privacy implications resulting from exposing private information to a remote host. Mitigation and in-depth defensive measures are an implementation responsibility and not prescribed by this specification. However, in designing these measures, implementors are advised to enable user awareness of information sharing, and to provide easy access to interfaces that enable revocation of permissions.

As this specification allows for the declaration of URLs within certain members of a manifest, implementors need to consider the security considerations discussed in the [[URL]] specification. Implementations intending to display IRIs and IDNA addresses found in the manifest are strongly encouraged to follow the security advice given in [[UNICODE-SECURITY]].

Developers need to be aware of the security considerations discussed throughout the [[CSP3]] specification, particularly in relation to making `data:` a valid source for the purpose of inlining a manifest. Doing so can enable XSS attacks by allowing a manifest to be included directly in the document itself; this is best avoided completely.

IANA considerations

The following registrations are for community review and will be submitted to the IESG for review, approval, and registration with IANA.

Media type registration

This section contains the required text for MIME media type registration with IANA.

The application manifest MIME type is `application/manifest+json`.

If the protocol over which the manifest is transferred supports the [[MIME-TYPES]] specification (e.g. HTTP), it is RECOMMENDED that the manifest be labeled with the [=application manifest MIME type=].

Type name:
application
Subtype name:
manifest+json
Required parameters:
N/A
Optional parameters:
N/A
Encoding considerations:
Same as for application/json
Privacy and security considerations:
See [[[#priv-sec]]].
Applications that use this MIME type:
Web browsers
Additional information:
Magic number(s):
N/A
File extension(s):
.webmanifest
Macintosh file type code(s):
TEXT
Person & email address to contact for further information:
The Web Applications Working Group can be contacted at public-webapps@w3.org.
Intended usage:
COMMON
Restrictions on usage:
none
Author:
W3C's Web Applications Working Group.
Change controller:
W3C.

Link relation type registration

A request to register the `manifest` link relation type been submitted to IANA.

Relation Name:
manifest
Description:
Links to a manifest. A manifest provides developers with a centralized place to put metadata associated with a web application.
Reference:
https://www.w3.org/TR/appmanifest/
Notes:
See [=link type "manifest"=] for details about how a manifest is [=fetched=].

There is only one class of product that can claim conformance to this specification: a [=user agent=].

Although this specification is primarily targeted at web browsers, it is feasible that other software could also implement this specification in a conforming manner. For instance, search engines, or crawlers, could find and process manifests to build up catalogs of sites that potentially work as installable web applications.

Extensibility

This specification is designed to be extensible. Other specifications are encouraged to define new members for the manifest. However, in doing so, please follow the conventions used in this specification. In particular, use the extension point to hook into the steps for processing a manifest. Also, be sure to specify the steps for processing your particular member in the manner set forth in this specification. This will help keep this part of the platform consistent.

To allow the community to easily find extensions, please add your extensions to the Extensions Registry.

When specifying a new member, don't override or monkey patch anything defined in this specification. Also, don't assume your member will be processed before or after any other member. Keep your new member, and its processing, atomic and self contained. Note also that implementations are free to ignore any member they do not recognize or support.

If you are writing a specification and temporarily want to patch this specification to help implementations along, file a bug so the community is informed of what you are trying to do.

Proprietary manifest members

Although proprietary extensions are undesirable, they can't realistically be avoided. As such, the RECOMMENDED way to add a new proprietary manifest member as an extension is to use a vendor prefix.

We encourage implementors to add proprietary extensions to our Extensions Registry. This allows the community to track what extensions vendors and/or the web community have defined and documented. Periodically, we will consider those extensions for standardization.

The following is an example of three hypothetical vendor extensions.

            {
              ...
              "webkit_fancy_feature": "some/url/img",
              "moz_awesome_thing": { ... },
              "vendor_example_site_verification": "KEY_9864D0966935"
              ...
            }
          

Incubations

Extensions to this specification are being incubated in parallel by the Web Community, some of which are shipping in multiple browsers. If two or more browser engines end up supporting an incubated feature, then those features will become part of this specification in the future - allowing them to become a standard the Web Platform:

`BeforeInstallPrompt` and `window.onappinstalled` event
The `BeforeInstallPrompt` event and `window.onappinstalled` event were originally part of this specification. However, they were removed from the specification because they did not have support from two or more implementers. You can now find them in the `BeforeInstallPrompt` event and `window.onappinstalled` repository at the WICG.
`share_target` member
The `share_target` member registers a web application as "target" for share actions (e.g., for sharing a text, a URL, or a file). The `share_target` member is part of the Web Share Target specification, being incubated at the WICG.

Application Information

Several members of the Web App Manifest provide additional metadata related to how the web application may be presented in the context of a digital storefront, installation dialog, or other surfaces where the web application may be marketed or distributed. In an effort to support these use cases better, the following members have been moved into [[[manifest-app-info]]]:

Relationship to HTML's `link` and `meta` elements

An extensive discussion of why we chose to use JSON instead of HTML `meta`/`link` tags for this specification is available on GitHub and on the www-tag list. Below is a short summary of the key points raised in those discussions.

The document format defined in this specification provides a unified means of encapsulating metadata about a Web application in a way that we hope will avoid existing pitfalls with both proprietary and [[HTML]]'s `meta`/`link` tags. Those pitfalls include:

Although it would be unrealistic to think that this specification won't bring its own set of problems, externalizing this data in the form of a manifest solves the problems described above. These problems are solved by:

In addition, standardizing the functionality currently provided by the various `meta` tag-based solutions within the manifest solves the problem of having tproprietary and standard [[HTML]] tags that all achieve the same thing. Of course, this hinges on the standard actually getting implemented by browsers and those browsers getting widely deployed to users: if this happens, the Web community might be able to retire many of the proprietary `meta` tags plaguing the Web at the time of writing. More information about the proprietary tags can be found in the Use Cases and Requirements for Installable Web Apps .

Lastly, this specification does not make the standardized solutions found in [[HTML]] redundant. When members like the `name` or `icons` is missing from the manifest, user agents can search in a manifest's owner [[HTML]] document for things like icons and the application name (or a user agent might even fallback to proprietary tags/metadata, if they are present in a document).

JSON Schema

Developers interested in validating manifest documents can find an unofficial JSON schema for the manifest format at schemastore.org. It is licensed under Apache 2.0. It is kindly maintained by Mads Kristensen. If you find any issues with the JSON schema, please file a bug at the SchemaStore repository on GitHub.

Internationalization

It is expected that authors will localize the content of a manifest by using one of the following options:

Dynamically setting the language:
This can include, for instance, asking the end-user what their preferred language is and dynamically adding or replacing the manifest link relationship to the document based on that language preference (e.g., using a URL like "manifest.php?lang=fr").
Using content-negotiation, or geotargeting, etc. on the server:
The server that hosts the web application could attempt to predetermine the end-user's language by using geotargeting or by using content negotiation (e.g., using [[RFC7540]]'s "`Accept-Language`" header, or even a custom HTTP header).

Given the options above, developers need to be mindful of the end-user's privacy with respect to their preferred language: When the end-user has explicitly indicated their language preference to a web application (i.e., when not just using the user-agent default language settings), sending the end-user's preferred language in the clear over the wire is generally not OK. Doing so would reveal personal information about an end-user. As such, developers are encouraged to use [[TLS]] to reduce the chances of pervasive monitoring of their Web applications [[RFC7258]].

Use Cases and Requirements

This document attempts to address the Use Cases and Requirements for Installable Web Apps.

Change log

The following are some significant changes that were made since First Public Working Draft:

Acknowledgements

This document reuses text from the [[HTML]] specification, as permitted by the license of that specification.

Dave Raggett and Dominique Hazael-Massieux contributed to this specification via the HTML5Apps project.

Claudio Gomboli for icon example images.

Indiana University Bloomington security researchers have contributed to this specification by reporting potential risks related to out-of-scope navigation.