Convert any website into a standalone app

By on June 24, 2011
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Change your favorite web apps into standalone software.

Websites like Google Docs, Gmail, Pandora, Campfire, Hootsuite, Seesmic web etc. have blurred the lines between desktop apps and sites. So, if you use them regularly then there are options that you can actually take them out of your browser to convert them into real standalone apps. These software are: Chrome, Prism and Fluid.

You may ask that what is the difference between an internet shortcut and apps created through these software. The answer is that this will make the app independent of your browser window, secondly you will have options to remove the browser toolbars, menus, location/url bar, back or forward buttons etc. this will make the site appear like its running on its own rather than inside a browser. so lets see how you can accomplish it using the mentioned three software.

1. Google Chrome

Chrome has a built-in option for this. Open the site you want to convert into standalone, then click the wrench icon, click Tools, select Create Application shortcut, here you will get options to where to place the shortcut, press Create to finalize. This will create your tab-less, menu-bar less application shortcut. One problem I found with using this Chrome feature is that when you open any link from Chrome app, then it is forced open in Google Chrome browser even if it is not your default browser.

2. Fluid

This is standalone app rather than a browser based feature. But Fluid app is Mac OS X exclusive and convert any website into a Mac app. Although there is a free version of this software but for more options you will need to buy the pro version.

3. Mozilla Prism

Prism is a Firefox extension / standalone software from mozilla which will do same thing. The Prism Firefox extension is not updated to run with latest or beta build firefox versions, but you can use standalone version to convert any website into application even if you donot have firefox. Just give it url and select from many options of what toolbars you want to hide or place the software in notification tray area. etc create shortcut for standalone app from software.

Overall I prefer Prism as it gives you more customization option, you can use the extension as well as downloadable Prism app to make sites into app. And all its features are free unlike Fluid pro version.


About

Dad in the day, Gamer by night. Loves everything Geek. By profession an Engineer but my hobby has been Video gaming on PC since 1989.

Comments
  • steven meyer

    Would be a good thing to mention, that your Chrome solution is not working on Mac.

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