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E-Commerce Lab 2: Add to Homescreen


What you will do

  • Integrate the "Add to Homescreen" feature into the e-commerce app

What you should know

  • Basic JavaScript and HTML
  • Basic JSON

What you will need

1. Get set up

If you have a text editor that lets you open a project, then open the project folder in the ecommerce-demo folder. This will make it easier to stay organized. Otherwise, open the folder in your computer's file system. The project folder is where you will build the app.

If you have completed the previous E-Commerce lab, your app is already set up and you can skip to step 2.

If you did not complete lab 1, copy the contents of the lab2-add-to-homescreen folder and overwrite the contents of the project directory. Then run npm install in the command line at the project directory.

At the project directory, run npm run serve to build the application in dist. You must rebuild the application each time you want to test changes to your code. Open your browser and navigate to localhost:8080.

2. Write the manifest.json file

The web app manifest is a JSON file that lets you, the developer, control how your app appears to the user.

Paste the following contents into the app/manifest.json file:


  "name": "E-Commerce Demo",
  "short_name": "Demo",
  "icons": [{
        "src": "images/touch/icon-128x128.png",
        "sizes": "128x128",
        "type": "image/png"
      }, {
        "src": "images/touch/apple-touch-icon.png",
        "sizes": "152x152",
        "type": "image/png"
      }, {
        "src": "images/touch/ms-touch-icon-144x144-precomposed.png",
        "sizes": "144x144",
        "type": "image/png"
      }, {
        "src": "images/touch/chrome-touch-icon-192x192.png",
        "sizes": "192x192",
        "type": "image/png"
  "start_url": "/index.html?homescreen=1",
  "display": "standalone",
  "background_color": "#3E4EB8",
  "theme_color": "#2F3BA2"

Save the file.

3. Add to Homescreen elements for Safari on iOS

Replace TODO HS-3 in app/index.html with the following code:


<meta name="apple-mobile-web-app-capable" content="yes">
<meta name="apple-mobile-web-app-status-bar-style" content="black">
<meta name="apple-mobile-web-app-title" content="E-Commerce Demo">
<link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="images/touch/apple-touch-icon.png">

Save the file.


See Configuring Web Applications for a full explanation of each of these elements.

4. Add a tile icon for Windows

Replace TODO HS-4 in app/index.html with the following code:


<meta name="msapplication-TileImage" content="images/touch/ms-touch-icon-144x144-precomposed.png">
<meta name="msapplication-TileColor" content="#2F3BA2">

Save the file.


See the Pinned site metadata reference for an explanation of these elements.

5. Test it out

To test the app, close any open instances of the app running in your browser and stop the local server (ctrl+c) running in your terminal window.

Run the following in the command line to clean out the old files in the dist folder, rebuild it, and serve the app:

npm run serve

Open your browser to localhost:8080. Unregister the service worker and refresh the page.

If you have Chrome installed, you can test the Add to homescreen functionality from the browser. Open DevTools and inspect the manifest by going to Application. Then click Manifest in the navigation bar. Click Add to homescreen. You should see an "add this site to your shelf" message below the URL bar. This is the desktop equivalent of mobile's add to homescreen feature. If you can successfully trigger this prompt on desktop, then you can be assured that mobile users can add your app to their devices. Click Add to install the app on your device.


You've integrated the Add to homescreen functionality to the E-Commerce App.

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