There are probably millions of applications that you can install on your computer, no matter what operating system you use. There are billions of web pages found online, many of which are services. What if you wanted to run a web application as a desktop app? It’s possible to do, you know. I’m going to tell you about a couple of different ways to make this happen.
First off, we have an application that was recently launched by Mozilla – Prism. No more wading through web browser windows and tabs just to read your email or check your Facebook feed. Prism apps run directly on your desktop and can be accessed just like any other application.
So why would you want to use this? There are many reasons. It’s a time-saver, for one. When you have a lot to do, every extra step takes away more time you could use elsewhere. Using Prism takes a step or two out of each equation. It can also be more stable. Even though the web browsers of today are usually fairly stable – they DO occasionally crash. Elminate that problem completely by running your applications right on your desktop. You can even configure these things to run when you start your computer, instead of waiting to connect to the Internet and loading a web page.
You don’t even need to have Firefox installed to run Prism!
If you run Mac OS X, I have another recommendation for you. Fluid is similar to Prism – but a whole lot more. Fluid gives any WebApp a home on your Mac OS X desktop complete with Dock icon, standard menu bar, logical separation from your other web browsing activity, and many, many other goodies. Use Fluid to run YouTube, GTalk, Flickr, Basecamp, Delicious, .Mac webmail, or any other WebApp as a separate Mac desktop application.
Fluid itself is a very small application. When launched, Fluid displays a little tiny window where you specify the URL of a WebApp you’d like to run in a Site Specific Browser. Provide an application name, specify a Location and an Icon, click ‘Create’ and you’ll be prompted to launch the new native Mac app you’ve just created.
If you have other recommendations for other cool desktop or web services, drop me a line! I’ll share them with the world.
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