How to Use Web Apps in macOS Sonoma

Web apps, which have been available as a choice on the iPhone for a considerable time, have now made their way to macOS.


macos Sonoma web app

macOS Sonoma introduces an additional functionality to the Safari web browser known as web apps. Similar to the long-standing capability on iPhone and iPad devices, web apps on macOS Sonoma allow users to save single-site mini browsers on their Macs, enabling convenient access to specific websites whenever desired.

Web apps offer numerous benefits and serve various purposes. Nevertheless, it is important to note that they do have certain limitations. In this article, we will delve into the functionality of Safari web apps in macOS Sonoma and explore the compelling reasons why incorporating them into your browsing experience can be advantageous.

What Are Web Apps?

Web apps are small files that enable users to access a website using Safari. These files do not include Safari itself; rather, they are preference files that occupy approximately 25K of disk space and run Safari in a separate window. Once you save a web app in Safari, you can launch it and browse the saved website.

Web apps provide users with the ability to access all the content available on the website from which they were saved. However, they do not support opening links to other websites. If you click on a link that leads to a different site, it will open in Safari. Additionally, web apps do not allow the addition of tabs for browsing.

How To Add a Website to the Dock as an App in macOS Sonoma

If you want to add your favorite website to your Dock, just follow these steps.

  1. In macOS Sonoma, navigate to the web page in Safari.
  2. From the menu bar, click File and Add to Dock.
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  1. Or click the Share button and select Add to Dock.
macos sonoma web apps
  1. Within the same window, you also have the option to make changes to the name of the web app. Once everything is how you want it, click the blue Add button.
macos sonoma web apps

The Dock and the Applications folder, both located inside your Home folder (the folder with a house icon and your username), are where you can find web apps. Even if you remove a web app from the Dock, you can still access it from the Applications folder. Alternatively, you have the flexibility to move the web app to any desired location, such as a different folder or even the Desktop, for convenient and speedy access.

You can also launch web apps via Mission Control, Spotlight, or any application launcher.

macos sonoma web apps

Why Should You Use Web Apps?

Instead of having multiple tabs open in Safari, web apps provide a convenient way to access specific websites by creating mini-browsers dedicated to each site. For instance, if you frequently use Twitch or Discord, you might find it useful to have these services as web apps. This approach offers easy access to banking or financial services, and you can even create web apps for news sites to stay updated.

Web apps feature extremely streamlined interfaces, omitting elements such as address bars, bookmarks, and browsing history. However, you can still navigate within a web app using the Back and Forward buttons during your browsing session.

One advantage of web apps is that they maintain separate cookies from Safari. This means you can log into one account in Safari and a different account in a web app if needed. When you create a web app, Safari transfers cookies for that specific site to the web app, allowing you to utilize settings and identifiers. In most cases, you will remain logged into the web app if you were already logged into the site when creating the web app (this depends on whether the site stores authentication state in the cookie). Alternatively, you can log out and then log in with different credentials.

Web apps have the capability to automatically fill in passwords and other information from your iCloud Keychain, ensuring a seamless website browsing experience, similar to using full Safari.

You can enable notifications for web apps, just as you would for any website in Safari. Additionally, web apps support Focus modes, allowing you to customize notification preferences based on your specific focus or priority.