Web apps can now use protocol handlers in Microsoft Edge

Microsoft has announced that web applications will now be able to use protocol handlers in Microsoft Edge, starting with Microsoft Edge 96. The latest feature will allow installed web applications (or PWAs) to navigate through predefined or custom protocols. Installed web applications will also be able to register with the operating system as protocol handlers and launch once a particular protocol is called.

If your web application has the ability to register as a protocol handler, it will have “better integration with the operating system and can be configured to open specific protocols.” It can also be set as the default handler, which means if you are developing a web application that is an email client, you can offer users the option to make it the default application for generating new emails .

Additionally, you can produce custom schemas that your web application can handle by registering protocols prefixed with web+. It can serve as a useful resource in case you need to navigate to a URL where “the set of safelist schemes doesn’t match the bill”.

In order to register your installed web application as a protocol handler, you must use the protocol_handlers field in the manifest file. If the protocol-handlers field is available in the manifest, then the web application will be registered as a protocol handler for the protocols defined in the collection, upon installation.

Protocol handlers support Windows, Linux, and Mac. The blog post mentions that Microsoft “contributed to this work for the Chromium open source project” and that the feature is also available in other Chromium-based browsers.

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