AMITIAE - Wednesday 26 February 2014

Cassandra: Packaging your Own Web Favourites on iOS Devices

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


With the news that Microsoft is creating unauthorised apps by packaging websites without the permission of site owners - a move that Jim Dalrymple calls, "slimy" - it may be useful to remind iPhone users (and users of other iOS devices) that you can do pretty much the same for free. This feature predates the iTunes App Store.

If there is a site that you visit often, or may like for other reasons, such as eXtensions, when the page is loaded in the Safari browser on the device, look at the controls on the bottom of the screen: left/right arrows, bookmarks, pages opened and, in the middle of the scree, Export. That is the square with the Up arrow.

Web icon Web icon Web icon

Press that icon and a number of options are revealed, including AirDop, Mail, Twitter, Facebook and some local controls near the bottom of the screen. One of these is "Add to Home Screen", which creates an icon and a name for this, with the URL: the direct link to the page.

touch icon If the site owner is aware of this feature, a site icon is already available - a 59 x 59 .PNG image - and this is displayed as an app icon when the user presses the Add option at the top right of the screen.

touch icon

When I want to access the page that lists my recent articles, I just click on the icon, Safari open automatically and the page is loaded. This applies to any web page opened on an iOS device: even Microsoft's.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.



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