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Web Application Manifests: Starting in Chrome 39, Manifests let developers wrap metadata about a Web application into a single file, reducing duplication and saving a bit of bandwidth. Adding apps to the homescreen is as easy as defining a title, landing page, default orientation, and multiple icons depending on size and screen density.

Source: Chrome 39 beta arrives with new developer features, including JavaScript Generators and Web Animations control (Oct 9, 2014)


When should we as professionals begin implementing this feature? I'm a bit unclear on what it is --- will all websites need to migrate to this, or only "Web Applications." For example would a blog or company info type of website need this in the immediate, or for now is it only for web applications with heavy mobile usage? I see the page references Default Orientation which leads me to believe it's more for Web Apps currently.

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    I'd say "not yet" based on the warnings on the top of the page: "Implementors need to be aware that this specification is extremely unstable. Implementors who are not taking part in the discussions will find the specification changing out from under them in incompatible ways.". If Chrome's the only browser currently implementing this, you're still going to need to implement the fallbacks anyway for now... – Zhaph - Ben Duguid Oct 17 '14 at 14:12
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While the Editors Draft has been updated even as recently as yesterday (17-Nov-2014), the last Working Draft was published nearly a year ago (Dec-2013) and will be unstable, potentially completely incompatible with each next draft/phase and would not yet be deemed ready for use.

I would certainly suggest you hold off implementation until it reaches the Candidate Recommendation (CR) phase - those who introduce features into browsers and devices will be waiting until this time.

You can keep checking the status if you wish by watching the Maturity column on the W3C Standards for Web Applications on Mobile: Current State and Roadmap page, where you can see this feature is currently not yet supported by any major browsers.

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