This is neat. How would you like the ability to create your own standalone webapps on your Mac OS X desktop? In other words, what if you could turn any website into a Mac desktop application?
Fluid can do just that.
Download Fluid – requires OS 10.5 or later
In seconds, Fluid can take a given website – such as Gmail, Google Docs, Facebook, eBay, YouTube, or whatever you want – and package it into its own Site Specific Browser (SSB). The SSBs can then run as complete and independent Cocoa applications, complete with their own dock icons and menu bars! Fluid SSBs are based on Safari’s WebKit rendering engine.
Creating your own SSB is simple: just launch Fluid and fill in the URL and the name of the App you wish to create.
Choose a place to save your new App (defaults to Applications). If you wish to attach a picture for the Dock icon, you may do so. Otherwise, Fluid will grab the site’s favicon.
Note: Here's a good place to hunt for Fluid App icons.
Here is my new Gmail SSB. Notice the application name and the custom icon in the Dock.
That’s all there is to it. In this example, Gmail runs as its own self-contained browser App on my desktop. Pretty slick.
With a few extra clicks, you can turn any Fluid App into a Menu item. Just look under the Application name in the menu and click on Convert to MenuExtra SSB.
The App will disappear from the Dock and relaunch as a Menu item.
Because Fluid Apps are based on WebKit, you can even browse sites using Cover Flow. Neat!
Fluid may seem like a novelty, but if there is a website that you tend to leave open most of the time, Fluid can come in handy. Because it’s self-contained, you don’t have to worry about a random browser crash taking down all your open sites.
Fluid itself requires Mac OS 10.5 or greater, but I see no reason why the Apps it creates won’t run on 10.4 or earlier.