14 December 2018
How I've found a nice way to package web app into super small 'native' app

Nativifier vs Go webview

I love the web, I am a web developer at heart, that’s why the first time I discovered Electron it was like discovering a superpower. What, I can build “native” apps and they are cross platform, and I can use the power of node and have access to the filesystem?! My mind and heart were racing. Since that time I build some apps for personal usage for myself, friends and sometimes clients. Lately it became even simpler, since I found Nativefier. It’s a simple app that does most of the magic for you - if you have a webapp ready, or want to package any webapp as a native app - just call a command:


And that’s it, you have a new, shiny app, that you can run locally without any browser…well with one browser - Chromonium, which is a legacy that burdens you with 70 to more then 100 megabytes of size. It didn’t bother me…what’s a hundred megs, when you are using 500gb drive. The revelation and the downside came to me, when my wife asked me to build her a specific timer, which I did, no problem with my good friend Electron… I sent her a link to download the app, and she looked at me like I am a moron… “128 megs for a simple timer…really”… That was quite embarrassing, so I decided to check out alternatives, and what I’ve found was quite interesting.

Enter zserge/webview, a simple golang app, which can be used to build webviews.

Like this:

	package main

	import ""

	func main() {
			"", 800, 600, true)

Then just build the program, run it…and here you go, 4.8 megabytes instead of hundred…That is quite an improvement.

Still I had to build the app package for osx by hand, which was still worth it. There was one downside - built into an app - for some reason everything was blurry, which was solved by quick search, the solution:

Create Info.plist with attribute:


And this is how you get super small “native” web app.

Here you can find full example of the mentioned Todoist app : Todoist-go