Category Filter

How to Add Web Clips to iOS?

A Web Clip looks like any iOS app, with a name and icon. On opening a web clip, it will take you to a website. To make it clearer for you, let us start with an example. While trying to add a web clip profile, you entered the label as “Hexnode UEM”, provided the URL https://www.hexnode.com/ and selected an icon of your choice. Then, an ‘app’ named “Hexnode UEM” will be displayed (with the icon you chose) along with other app icons on the home screen of the end-users device, this will take you to https://www.hexnode.com/ when opened.

How Web Clip differs from a Web App?

A web clip looks similar to an app, and it is placed among other apps on the home screen of the iOS device. On opening the web clip, the corresponding URL will open up in Safari, or the user will be redirected to other apps through the Safari browser to access the URL.

Unlike web clips, web apps can only be added to the device via the web apps kiosk policy. If a web app is configured to open in the Safari Browser, it will appear as bookmarks in the browser. However, if the web apps are configured to open in the Hexnode Browser Lite, the web apps will be displayed as apps on the kiosk home screen. Opening the app opens the URL in the Hexnode Browser Lite.

Web clip and app on an iOS device screen
A web clip “Wikipedia” to the end of the app list

Upload web clip in Hexnode

To set up a web clip using Hexnode UEM configuration policy,

  1. Navigate to the Apps tab in your Hexnode Portal.
  2. Select +Add Apps > Web app.
  3. Input Name to be displayed, URL of the page, the Icon to be displayed on the iOS device, and select a Category to which the Web Clip belongs.
  4. Click Done.


Notes:

  • Web Clips can be opened in web browsers like Safari, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. By default, this is Safari.
  • Web Clips are available in the Pro, Enterprise, Ultimate, and Ultra editions of Hexnode.
  • On iOS devices running 11.3 and later, Web clips can be added to the dock while customizing the Home Screen Layout.

Special Cases

Not all web clips have to be a website. For example, a web clip can be a frequently used telephone number to which you want to call or text regularly. Or, it can be the facetime link of person to whom you want to constantly connect to, etc.

Let’s look at the types of web clips that can be added to Hexnode and how they can be accessed using the iOS devices in detail.

  • Opening web clips via Chrome or Firefox browser

    To open a web clip using Chrome, use the prefix: “googlechrome://” or “googlechromes://” instead of “http://” or “https://” while uploading the web clip in the Hexnode MDM portal. For example: “googlechrome://www.hexnode.com/”

    For Firefox, add the prefix “firefox://open-url?url=” to the website URL while uploading the web clip in Hexnode. For example: “firefox://open-url?url=https:// www.hexnode.com/”.

  • Deploy PDFs or videos to iOS devices via web clips

    PDFs or video files with external-facing URLs can be added as web clips on the device. On clicking on the app icon, the file will open in the Safari browser.

    To add a PDF or video file as a web clip, provide an external-facing URL in the URL field while adding the web clip. For example: “https://www.hexnode.com/mobile-device-management/resources/introduction-to-hexnode-uem.pdf/”.

  • Deploy mail addresses to the device

    Mail addresses of people you want to regularly connect to can be added as a web clip on the home screen of the device. On opening the app, the user will be redirected to the “Compose Mail” page on the device’s Mail app. The recipient’s address will be auto-filled with the email address added as the web clip.

    To add a mail address as a web clip, provide the URL in the format “mailto:emailaddress”. For example: “mailto:janedoe@acme.com”.

    Notes:

    The user should be signed in to the mail app for this feature to work. Else the user will be asked to sign in on opening the web app.

  • Add contact as a web clip

    A contact number can be added as a web clip in Hexnode. The web clip for adding a contact can be customized to make a call or compose an SMS when clicking on the app icon.

    To make a phone call to the contact number, add the URL in Hexnode in the format “tel://contactnumber”. For example: “tel://1-415-636-7555”. On clicking the app icon, the user will be redirected to the Safari app and will be prompted to make the call.

    To compose an SMS, add the URL in the format “sms://contactnumber”. For example: “sms://1-415-636-7555”. This web clip will redirect the user to the new message page on the messages app with the “To” address filled in.

  • Deploy locations to the device

    A single specific location of the device can be added as web clips. This clip will open the specified location in the Maps app on the device.

    The URL of the web clip should begin with “http://maps.apple.com/?” followed by the corresponding Apple Maps parameter. For example: http://maps.apple.com/?address=111+Pine+St+%231225,+San+Francisco,+CA+94111,+USA.

  • Distribute YouTube links as web clips

    To add a YouTube video link as a web clip, add the URLs as regular HTTP links targeted to the YouTube server. For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy6hk6Y7VHQ. On the device, the link will open in Safari itself. If the page is swiped down, the user will be prompted to open the link in the YouTube app. Agree to this prompt if the app is installed on the device.

  • Deploy iTunes music files to devices

    An iTunes music file can be added as a web clip on the device. Create the music file link using the iTunes Link Maker services and add the URL as the web clip in Hexnode.

  • Make a FaceTime call via web clips

    Add the FaceTime ID of the user you want to connect via FaceTime as the web clip URL in Hexnode. The URL should be of the format “facetime://facetimeid”. On opening the web clip, a FaceTime call to the ID will be automatically initiated.

  • Deploy FTP site links to the devices

    To open an FTP site on clicking the web clip, add the FTP server URL in the format “ftp://serverurl” as the URL of the web clip in Hexnode.

  • Deploy an iBooks file to the devices

    To open a specific book from the iBooks library, add the book file as a web clip on the device. To add an iBook file as a web clip in Hexnode, the URL should be in the format “books://assetid/ID”. For example: “ibooks://assetid/1446266036”.

  • Deploy iCloud shared documents to the devices

    Create a web clip with the URL prefix “shareddocuments://” followed by the URL of the shared document. The web clip will open up in the Files app on the device.

  • Deploy an App Store app link to the devices

    The link of a specific app on the Apple App Store can be displayed as a web app on the device. Add a web app with the URL prefix “itms-apps://” to achieve this. Example URL: “itms-apps://itunes.apple.com/app/id1105383443”.

Add configured web clip to iOS devices

Wondering how to add the web clip configuration profile to a device or a group? Here’s how.

  1. Navigate to Policies Tab in your Hexnode Portal.
  2. Edit an existing Policy or create a new policy.
  3. Select iOS > App Management > Web Clips > Configure > +Add Webclip.
  4. Select the Web app that was previously added to Hexnode and click Done.
    Further, you can customize the Web clip settings on the device by configuring the following options:
    • Precomposed icon: Enable this option to prevent adding shine to the Web Clip icon displayed on the Home screen. Applicable to iOS 6 and earlier.
    • Removable: This option is enabled by default. Uncheck this option to make the Web clip app icon non-removable from the device. To remove the Web clip from the device, disassociate the policy settings from it.
    • Full Screen: If this option is checked, the URL of the web clip is opened as a web app with no search bars, URLs, or bookmarks.
  5. Select Policy Targets > +Add Devices and choose the device.
  6. Click Save.

What happens at the device end?

The Web Clip will be added to the device home screen once the policy is associated. On clicking the web clip icon, the saved website will open in Safari browser.

Exception:


As the Web clip gets added to the Apple devices, it shows up with the Web clip icon configured while uploading it to the Hexnode portal. However, with specific URLs, once the Web clip is launched, the icon on the Web clip might get replaced with the website icon. This can be avoided by configuring the full screen for the Web clip in the associated policy. Select the policy and check the ‘Full Screen’ option against the chosen web clip.

add web clip configuration on an iOS device