Manifoldjs Quick Start

Hosted Web Apps bring the best of the web to store apps with minimal effort.  It allows you to extend the reach of your webapp into the native app space.  Until now, the experience for developing hosted apps has varied from platform to platform.  ManifoldJS changes that by putting the focus on the W3C Manifest for Web Apps – a standards-driven, open source approach for creating apps.

Getting Started

Installing Manifoldjs is easy, if you already have node.js installed, simply use the command:

> npm install manifoldjs –g


Once installed you can have an app ready for the store in a few easy steps.

Step One:  generate you application projects.  This is as simple as using the command:

> manifoldjs

Manifoldjs will look on your site for a W3C manifest and generate your projects from it.  If you don’t have one already, don’t worry, we will still generate the apps, and build a manifest for you.


Step 2:  Test your apps.  Although hosted apps generally behave just like they do in the corresponding browser (see table below)

Andorid > 4.4 Chrome mobile browser
Android < 4.4 Android mobile browser
Windows 10 Microsoft Edge browser
Windows 8.1 IE11
iOS Safari Mobile
Chrome OS Chrome Desktop Browser
FireFox OS FireFox Desktop Browser


You can also test them in each of the environments directly.  See the readme in each platform folder for instruction, but here is a sample:

Windows 10(installs app locally):

> manifoldjs run windows10

Android (in emulator):

> manifoldjs run Android

iOS (in emulator):

open the app in xCode then run the app


Step three: prepare the app package.  For iOS and Android, you will need to open the code in the corispoding editor, you can follow the diretions in each read me or the Manifoldjs Website.


Cloud Appx Packaging

New in Manifoldjs verison 0.4.0 you can now build your appx from any platform, even if you don’t have any windows tools installed.  Before packaging your appx, you’ll want to go to the Microsoft dev center and reserve your app name.  They will then provide you a few app ID info for your manifest before you update (look under app management / info).  Then use the manifoldjs package too:

> manifoldjs package yourWin10ManifestDir yourAppxNameAndPath

From there you’re ready to upload to the store.  This works on any platform: Mac, linux, Windows 10, even Windows 7.


Follow Manifoldjs on GitHub and give me feedback or tell me about your Manifoldjs apps on the Twitter.

Jeff Burtoft Written by: