to top

Web Apps

Figure 1. You can make your web content available to users in two ways: in a traditional web browser and in an Android application, by including a WebView in the layout.

There are essentially two ways to deliver an application on Android: as a client-side application (developed using the Android SDK and installed on user devices in an APK) or as a web application (developed using web standards and accessed through a web browser—there's nothing to install on user devices).

If you chose to provide a web-based app for Android-powered devices, you can rest assured that major web browsers for Android (and the WebView framework) allow you to specify viewport and style properties that make your web pages appear at the proper size and scale on all screen configurations.

Figure 1 illustrates how you can provide access to your web pages from either a web browser or your your own Android app. However, you shouldn't develop an Android app simply as a means to view your web site. Rather, the web pages you embed in your Android app should be designed especially for that environment. You can even define an interface between your Android application and your web pages that allows JavaScript in the web pages to call upon APIs in your Android application—providing Android APIs to your web-based application.

To start developing web pages for Android-powered devices, see the following documents:

Supporting Different Screens from Web Apps
How to properly size your web app on Android-powered devices and support multiple screen densities. The information in this document is important if you're building a web application that you at least expect to be available on Android-powered devices (which you should assume for anything you publish on the web), but especially if you're targeting mobile devices or using WebView.
Building Web Apps in WebView
How to embed web pages into your Android application using WebView and bind JavaScript to Android APIs.
Debugging Web Apps
How to debug web apps using JavaScript Console APIs.
Best Practices for Web Apps
A list of practices you should follow, in order to provide an effective web application on Android-powered devices.