Webapps are great, but sometimes you’d like something separate from your browser. For that, OS X Lion has a “website popup” feature built-in to Automator that sticks webapps in their own desktop window.
Previously mentioned Fluid makes some pretty great desktop webapps, but if you’d rather not download extra software or pay the $US5, Lion’s version of Automator has a very cool tool built-in. To create your own site-specific browser with Automator:
- Open up Automator and choose “App” at the first menu that pops up.
- Search for the “Get Specified URLs” action in the left sidebar and drag it to your workflow. Add the URL of the webapp you want on your desktop.
- Add the “Website Popup” action to your workflow. From here you can choose the default size of the webapp’s window, as well as the user agent you use to access it – this way, if you want a smaller version of an app, you can try setting the user agent to “iPhone” to get the mobile site (as shown below).
Save your app in /Applications and whenever you open it up, it’ll open up in its own little window. It’s perfect for things like Remember the Milk, Google Music, or even a little feed of your favourite technology blog (ahem). Hit the link for more details and variations on how to set it up.
Making Desktop Webapps in Lion [Andy Ihnatko’s Celestial Waste of Bandwidth]