I've been using Fluid for a few months, and I really like it!

It lets you generate a standalone macOS application that is just a window hardcoded to a particular web page. This means it gets its own dock icon instead of just being one of your web browser's windows or tabs, but more importantly, it does not share cookie data with other browsers.

So, for example, I have a Fluid app that loads the Tweetdeck web site, and it stays logged in to Twitter, but my regular browser is logged out, avoiding all kinds of tracking fuckery.

I'm also using it for Mastodon, because all of the macOS Mastodon apps are way less usable than the web site, but now I have the web site behaving like an app, and handing off clicked links to the "real" browser.

But even more useful is that you can have multiple apps with different logins, so if you have more than one account on a site, you don't have to keep logging out and back in to context-switch. You just generate a different app for each of them.

Previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , , , ,

23 Responses:

  1. c says:

    if you have an m1 mac, you can also install any of the iPhone mastodon apps from the app store :p

    deff a bit wonky tho

  2. Jason Whaley says:

    I'm a fan of how chrome does this (disclaimer, I'm not a Chrome user).

    On any tab: Top Right Hamburger Menu -> More Tools -> Create Shortcut -> Check "Open in New Window"

    Which does the same thing as Fluid, but without requiring the extra app.

    • JWSGeek says:

      I use PWAs primarily, too.

      But JWZ had a requirement that he didn't want any browser tracking and needed multiple logins.

      With the PWA approach, it shared cookies/storage (and therefore logins) with the main browser.

      App-makers like Fluid and Flotato avoid that by having independent persistence.

  3. is there an easy way to configure the OS to open set URLs in Fluid?

    For example, if I create a “Facebook” app that loads the FB homepage, I’d like every click that points to an FB url to open in my app instead.

  4. Sean says:

    I’ve found https://choosy.app/ helpful for ensuring links open in the appropriate Fluid app rather than the default web browser. For example, you can configure Choosy such that clicking a Mastodon link in an email opens the link in your Mastodon Fluid app.

  5. SB says:

    I'm also a big fan of Fluid and have recommended it often.  While it does still work, it seems to be mostly abandoned and I worry that it'll break at the mercy of Apple's whims.
    I've been testing Unite 4 (BZG) but it's only advantage is that it's more recently updated.

  6. trog says:

    Neat - is there a Windows version of this? I remember there was a Mozilla tool you could use that did something similar - you could application-ise individual websites & it worked really well before they discontinued it. Mozilla Prism I think?

    • phuzz says:

      The poor-man's version, if you only need one particular web page, is to set that as your homepage in Edge.
      It's not like you were using it for anything else right? ;)

    • db48x says:

      You remember correctly. It’s a shame they killed it.

    • Edge (and Chrome, I think) let you create ‘app’ shortcuts for websites - see here. It removes address bar and tabs, so does an ok job of what Fluid does.

      • trog says:

        Ah interesting, thanks!! I'd prefer to be doing it in Firefox but for a bunch of stuff Chrome/Edge will be fine.

  7. Zach says:

    I've had good experience with Tweetenhttps://tweetenapp.com/, which is almost the same thing as Tweetdeck wrapped in a Fluid app, but with a few extra fixes and improvements (emoji picker, easy way to download videos, configurable notifications).

  8. d says:

    But even more useful is that you can have multiple apps with different logins, so if you have more than one account on a site, you don't have to keep logging out and back in to context-switch.

    This is what got me to make the switch back to Firefox from Chrome a few years ago. Multi-Account Containers + Temporary Containers means I get this plus even my regular browsing is isolated on a per-tab basis. Each new tab I open has a clean session, no cookies etc. If I want to be logged in, I open a tab in a named container created for that app.

    • Frank McConnell says:

      This. And you can even set up other profiles in Firefox for further isolation and configuration.

      I use Fluid too but have been tending toward Firefox for this sort of thing lately.

    • Jonathan says:

      I do this, but filing off the other browser ui stuff would be nice too.

  9. sid77 says:

    does it inject any JS into the website when running it?

  10. Mark Gardner says:

    I'm not sure Fluid is still maintained; I see folks have pinged the developer about bugs on Twitter and only occasionally received a response, usually along the lines of "yeah, that's a known issue."

    A couple of current alternatives are Coherence and Unite. The former will create apps using the engine from an installed Chromium-based browser, the latter from Safari’s WebKit 2. Each has advantages and tradeoffs. I've been happy with the WebKit-based Unite for most things and Coherence for when I need a site-specific browser app that benefits from a web extension like a password manager.

    They're paid products, though, not sure if that's a dealbreaker for you.

  11. Daniel15 says:

    If you use Chrome, this feature is built-in to it, and you don't have to install a separate app for it. It supports multiple profiles, too. In the menu, go to More Tools then Create Shortcut, and check the "Open as window" box. If you want to use a separate profile, just click Create Shortcut  while you're using that profile.

    I wish Firefox containers supported this, too.

  • Previously