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As you can see, adding a custom icon to the Home screen isn’t a limitation of iOS, but the process is clumsy. If Google were to implement this feature, it would need to be convoluted and pass off the final task to Safari. I think even the biggest Apple fan would have to admit that Cupertino is doing something wrong here. They need to allow any browser to create Home Screen icons. Their current practice is anti-competitive and also hurts their own customers.
Add an Open in Chrome Bookmarklet to Safari
Launch Safari and open any web page. Tap on the Share Sheet button and then tap Add Bookmark. Tap on Save to create the Bookmark. Next, tap on the Bookmarks icon on the top left of Safari. Tap Edit on the bottom of the Bookmarks panel, then tap on the Bookmark you just created. Name the Bookmark “Open in Chrome”. Copy and paste the following code into the address field and then tap Done on the keyboard:
Tap Done at the bottom of the Bookmarks panel. You can now open any Safari window in Chrome, simply by tapping the Bookmarks button and then tapping the “Open in Chrome” Bookmark. It’s a great way to bypass Safari when a stock Apple app opens something in its default browser.
Apple Needs to Embrace the Open Web
As you can see, Apple’s business practices have clearly impacted the overall quality of iOS. I like Apple devices. I think they make the best devices. Unfortunately, users have to put up with some annoyances, mainly due to competition. iOS would only improve if they allowed third parties to access some of their proprietary APIs, such as the ability to create Home Screen icons. Your iPhone and iPad would also be much better if Apple allowed third-party web rendering engines, such as Google’s Chromium. WebKit is woefully inadequate and unstable. I use Chrome on my Mac and on my iOS devices. Unfortunately, Chrome for iOS is really just Safari with a different skin. I do prefer Chrome’s features and find it to be slightly more stable than Safari. If Google could port their Chromium engine to iOS, it would be even better.