Tools for Transparency: Fluid for Mac


Fluid is a compelling Mac-based application that allows you to turn almost any website into its own ‘app.’

What does that mean, exactly? Basically, Fluid is a program that allows you to remove a few steps from the process of launching and accessing frequently used web-based tools and services. For example, I use a browser-based, social media service called Cotweet on a daily basis, but I would prefer to not keep it open in a tab in my browser, where it could be easily closed or open me up to Endless Tab Syndrome. Fluid allows me to create a Cotweet application, which means I can have a separate application window open for the tool, allowing me to keep Cotweet on a separate desktop on my Mac or to quickly launch it from the dock as needed.

It’s very simple to create your own Fluid application:

Enter the website’s URL, provide a name, and optionally choose an icon. Click “Create”, and within seconds your chosen website has a permanent home on your Mac as a real Mac application that appears in your Dock.

The service is free to use but for $5 you can access a few more features:

  1. Separate cookie storage (usually cookies are shared with Safari)
  2. Minimize app to the menu bar instead of the dock
  3. Userscripts or Userstyles
  4. Lion Full Screen mode

What do you think of Fluid? I understand Chrome for PC has a comparable feature but it doesn’t work on Mac yet. Have you found other services like Fluid which you prefer?