Creating a Site-specific Browser for FreeAgent

Learn to create a version of FreeAgent that lives on your desktop.

A new technology which has caught our attention recently is the Site-specific Browser (SSB). It's a simple idea which allows you to take a web application of your choice — such as FreeAgent, Gmail or Flickr — and make to act like a traditional, standalone desktop application with the browser menu and address bar removed, and with its own icon in the dock (if you're a Mac user) or in the task bar or Start Menu (if you're on Windows).

Why should I do this?

The main advantages to creating an SSB for a website are simplicity and convenience. If there's a site you use frequently, creating an SSB will allow you to make a single click on an icon to launch or switch to the application without the need to use your browser. Once your SSB is up and running, you can easily switch between running applications using the Dock (Mac) or Task Bar (Windows) just like you do with all your other apps. And it looks fantastic too — here's a FreeAgent SSB running on OSX:

FreeAgent SSB OSX desktop icon

FreeAgent SSB OSX dock icon

I like the sound of this, how do I do it?

MacOS Users

All you need to do is install a simple application which will create an SSB application for you, based on a URL. If you're a Mac user, download and install Fluid.

Windows Users

The Google Chrome browser has a built-in function that creates a Site Specific Browser, which can be activated by visiting FreeAgent then clicking the Chrome "Wrench" icon, and going to Tools then choosing Create Application Shortcuts.

A finishing touch

If you're sold and want to create an SSB for FreeAgent, we've got a fancy icon to give the application a slick, professional look. You can grab it here.

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