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Add a little Fluid to your Mac

Hey Mac Heads- just stumbled on a new Mac app that I think is really cool. It's called Fluid and is basically a way to make a web application into a desktop application. The tech they use is Webkit to create a Site Specific Browser (SSB). It is really simple to use and very practical. An app that fits this concept very well is GMAIL. With Fluid, you can create a desktop client for GMAIL so you are able to launch it without a browser. You have a good amount of customization and tweaking you can apply, even selecting the icon for your new desktop app. Coupled with Growl, you can have a desktop GMAIL experience without sacrificing everything you love about the web interface. 

This is how Fluid GMAIL looks like with some slight tweaking:

Another great feature of Fluid is the ability to take your SSB apps and load them as Menu Extras. This is useful for apps like Pandora and Twitter. When you do this, the app can be selected from the Mac Menu bar. Fluid also gives you the ability to choose what browser engine to render the SSB app with. What that means is you can choose Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera or iPhone versions of web pages. If the web application supports a mobile version of its site like Twitter or Facebook, you can choose for the Fluid app to run in that mode. I have done this with my Fluid Twitter application and embedded it in my menu and it works great! Pandora is a natural to run from the menu as well- listen to music without worrying about managing the app in your browser.  

Twitter and Pandora as a Menu Extra:


Pandora in Action: 

Twitter in Action: 

I currently have Fluid apps for GMAIL, Facebook, Netflix, Pandora, Twitter and YouTube. I have a few work web apps I converted as well. I actually posted this blog entry with a SquareSpace Fluid app and it works like a charm. I highly recommend you trying it out and adding it into your productivity lifestyle, I don't think you will be disappointed.  


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