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New capabilities status

Web apps should be able to do anything native apps can. Google wants to make it possible for you to build and deliver apps on the open web that have never been possible before.

Updated

This is a living document and will be updated as features move between states.

The capabilities project is a cross-company effort at Google to make it possible for web apps to do anything native apps can, by exposing the capabilities of native platforms to the web platform, while maintaining user security, privacy, trust, and other core tenets of the web.

You can see the full list of new and potential capabilities at the Fugu API Tracker.

Capabilities available behind a flag

These APIs are only available behind a flag. They're experimental and still under development. They are not ready for use in production. There's a good chance there are bugs, that these APIs will break, or the API surface will change.

Capability Description
Shape Detection API The Shape Detection API opens up native implementations of shape detection services and exposes them through a set of JavaScript interfaces.
Updated January 10, 2020

Capabilities available as an origin trial

These APIs are available as an origin trial in Chrome. Origin trials provide an opportunity for Chrome to validate experimental features and APIs, and make it possible for you to provide feedback on their usability and effectiveness in broader deployment.

Opting into an origin trial allows you to build demos and prototypes that your beta testing users can try for the duration of the trial without requiring them to flip any special flags in their browser. There's more info on origin trials in the Origin Trials Guide for Web Developers.

Capability Description
Content Indexing API Your PWA might cache articles and media files, but how will your users know that your pages work while offline? The Content Indexing API is one answer to this question currently in an origin trial. Once the index is populated with content from your PWA, as well as any other installed PWAs, it will show up in dedicated areas of supported browsers.
Updated December 12, 2019
Native File System API The Native File System API (formerly known as the Writable Files API) enables developers to build powerful web apps that interact with files on the user's local device, like IDEs, photo and video editors, text editors, and more. After a user grants a web app access, this API allows web apps to read or save changes directly to files and folders on the user's device.
Updated November 26, 2019
Notification Triggers Notification Triggers let you schedule notifications in advance, so that the operating system will deliver the notification at the right time - even if there is no network connectivity, or the device is in battery saver mode.
Updated December 12, 2019
Serial API The Web Serial API provides a way for websites to read from and write to a serial device with scripts. The API bridges the web and the physical world by allowing websites to communicate with serial devices, such as microcontrollers and 3D printers.
Updated March 1, 2020
SMS Receiver API Finding, memorizing, and typing OTPs sent via SMS is cumbersome. The SMS Receiver API simplifies the OTP workflow for users.
Updated October 7, 2019
Wake Lock API To avoid draining the battery, most devices will quickly fall asleep when left idle. While this is fine most of the time, there are some applications that need to keep the screen or the device awake in order to complete some work. The Wake Lock API provides a way to prevent the device from dimming or locking the screen or prevent the device from going to sleep when an application needs to keep running.
Updated February 21, 2020
Web NFC Web NFC provides sites the ability to read and write to NFC tags when they are in close proximity to the user's device. For example, museums and art galleries could display additional information about a display when the user touches their device to an NFC card near the exhibit; or an inventory management web app could read or write data to an NFC tag on a container to update information on its contents.
Updated December 12, 2019

Capabilities available in stable

The following APIs have graduated from origin trial and are available in the latest version of Chrome, and in many cases other Chromium based browsers.

Capability Description
Badging API The Badging API allows web apps to set an application-wide badge, shown in an operating-system-specific place associated with the application, such as the shelf or home screen. Badging makes it easy to subtly notify the user that there is some new activity that might require their attention, or it can be used to indicate a small amount of information, such as an unread count.
Despite a stable version of the spec shipping in Chrome 81, an origin trial is running in Chrome 79 and Chrome 81 until September 15, 2020.
Updated March 16, 2020
Async Clipboard API (images) The Asynchronous Clipboard API makes it possible to read and write text or image data to the clipboard, without blocking the main thread.
Updated February 26, 2020
Contact Picker API The Contact Picker API is an on-demand picker that allows users to select entries from their contact list and share limited details of the selected entries with a website. It allows users to share only what they want, when they want, and makes it easier for users to reach and connect with their friends and family.
Updated January 10, 2020
Get Installed Related Apps API The Get Installed Related Apps API is a web platform API that allows your web app to check to see if your native app is installed on the users device, and vice versa.
Updated December 18, 2019
Periodic Background Sync API Periodic Background Sync enables web applications to periodically synchronize data in the background, bringing web apps closer to the behavior of a native app.
Updated December 18, 2019
Web Share With the Web Share API, web apps are able to use the same system-provided share capabilities as native apps. The Web Share API makes it possible for web apps to share links, text, and files to other apps installed on the device in the same way as native apps.
Updated November 8, 2019
Web Share Target The Web Share Target API allows installed web apps to register with the underlying OS as a share target to receive shared content from either the Web Share API or system events, like the OS-level share button.
Updated November 8, 2019

Suggest a new capability

Do you have a suggestion for a capability you think Chrome should consider? Tell us about it by filing a new feature request. Please be sure to include as much detail as you can, such as the problem you're trying to solve, suggested use cases, and anything else that might be helpful.

Want to try some of these new capabilities? Check out the Web Capabilities Codelab.

Last updated: Improve article