Create Mac Apps From Web Pages With Fluid

If you’re a heavy web user like us you may find yourself having to run multiple browsers for different applications. In many instances it’s necessary to use different browsers to avoid conflicting logins or cookies. If you are a Google Apps user and you’re using Google+ you know exactly what I’m talking about! Since Google+ only allows  you to use your gmail.com address and not the email associated with Google Apps for your domain, you’ll need a new browser if you want your domain email open at the same time as Google+.

Enter Fluid, a nifty little app that allows you to create a Mac desktop app from a webpage (sorry, there is no Windows version). The pro version of Fluid (a steal at $4.99) includes some extra features, most important of which is the ability to utilize different cookie storage with each “app” you create.  It’s also nice to be able to more easily tab through separate app windows rather than having a sea of browser tabs to navigate.

Setting up an app is super simple, check out the video below and start creating apps!

So far I’ve created different apps for:

  • Google+
  • Google Apps Email
  • My CRM/Project Management System
Other good candidates that naturally lend themselves to Fluid include:
  • Facebook
  • Woopra
  • Google Music
  • Flickr
  • YouTube*
  • …use your imagination!

*We’re noticing some problems when setting up YouTube as an app. We’re working on a solution and will update the post when we have one.
[UPDATED]: When you log in to YouTube it rediriects you to a different URL (https://www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLoginAuth). The fix is quite easy, just add that url to your whitelist for that app by going to “Preferences > Whitelist” for the YouTube app your working in. More details can be found on the Fluid App Google Groups.

BIG thanks to the developer Todd Ditchendorf for being so responsive!

A Few Tips
  • When you create a new app search for an image/icon for use rather than using the website’s favicon, it’ll look better in your dock.
  • Choose the specific browser you want to use as your “user-agent” for the particular app you are running (Safari, IE, Firefox, …) if you need to.
  • If you are creating apps that need to avoid the login/cookie conflict, you’ll need to set the cookie settings to “Separate form Safari” for each individual app (it’s not a global setting since these are separate apps) in Preferences > Security > Cookie Storage.
Have fun creating apps and let us know what you think!

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