While there are Twhirl, Twitterific and other great Twitter applications, some of us still prefer Twitter’s standard online interface. We might like it’s design or it’s feature simplicity. Whatever the reason, we might like to have Twitter or any other social network we use open in our browser. The problems start when you end up running your browser just for your social network, with more tabs open that is safe or sane. Oh, and let’s not forget the random site crashing and causing you to lose your data which was in another tab.
On the Desktop, Please
Say hello to Fluid. It’s a free Mac OS X application that helps you create SBBs (site specific browsers), which basically means running your favorite web application (Twitter or Shout’Em for example) as one native to OS X.
The setup is quite straightforward and takes only a few minutes. You specify the URL, give the application a name and optionally choose an icon. You can find hundreds of icons on the Fluid icon Flickr group. While most are quite basic, some of them are absolutely brilliant. If you use Google’s web applications, Chris Ivarson’s icon repository features icons for Google Reader, Google Docs, Facebook, etc.
The Dock and Beyond
As any other OS X application, your Fluid powered Twitter application will be able to appear in your dock. For more popular applications such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Facebook and Flickr, Fluid displays the “unread message count” dock badges just like Apple Mail. Some added features this little, yet useful application supports:
- Tiny-URL support for quick linking;
- Browsing history, identical to that of Safari;
- Popup blocker;
- Growl notification support;
- Cover-flow view style photo browser.
If you love your web applications and aren’t satisfied with existing desktop applications for whatever reason, get Fluid. We’ve also prepared a Shout’Em PNG icon if you want to use Prism to make your very own desktop Shout’Em application.