Fluid is a Mac OS X app that lets you create your own Mac apps by simply entering a URL and app name. These site-specific browser (SSB) apps are called Fluid Apps, and the video below shows how quick and easy Fluid is to use.
Fluid App Examples
Fluid Apps are really handy for chat rooms, email programs, and other web applications. Personally, I have 4 Fluid Apps on my Mac OS X Lion 10.7.4:
- 3 separate apps for each WPMU DEV Live Support chat room:
- Plugins and general code support discussion
- Theme and design discussion
- General WordPress and BuddyPress discussion
- PageLines Live, which is a Campfire chat room
- Note: Campfire chats might need the $4.99 version of Fluid App, to specify that cookies should be kept separate from Safari
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Increase Productivity and Organization
One of the great things about having a stand-alone app instead of another browser window is the ability to make it open at startup. With Campfire chats where you don’t see chat room history while you’re away, you can just leave your Fluid App open all day and come back later to read the public discussions.
Other ways to use Fluid Apps include:
- Reduce Clutter: Closing your browser’s 30 open tabs while leaving your chat room open
- Application Switching: Use application switching keyboard shortcuts (like Command + Tab) instead of hunting for that browser tab with your mouse
- Don’t lose your work: Don’t accidentally close your browser because of forgetting one of your tabs needed to stay open
- Get immediate notifications: Some web apps support Mac “dock badges”, which display your unread message count
Custom Fluid Apps Icons
The Fluid Apps Flickr group is a great to find custom Fluid Apps icons. I’ve found using the favicon sufficient for my needs, but more creative folks or those with multiple Fluid Apps with the same favicon would definitely benefit from custom icons. Just download your chosen icon to your Mac’s hard drive, then drag the image to the Fluid App when creating it.
If you want to create your own image to use as a Fluid App icon, the suggested image size is 512 x 512.
If your app’s URL or icon needs to change, just open the app and go to Preferences > General. Click around and you’ll find a lot of other great settings.
Support for Fluid is available at the FluidApp Google Group.
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Credit: First and last images sourced from fluidapp.com