Using Web Applications as Native Desktop Applications in Windows

Ever felt the need to install some useful web applications as native desktop applications in Windows? Well, I’ve always been on the lookout for desktop version of some well known online applications like TweetDeck for instance. While the web version of it is quite good, I prefer to use the desktop version and since there is none available (atleast officially from TweetDeck), I decided to look out online for options.

I came across this command line tool called Nativefier, which is written in JavaScript and uses Electron to make native applications for Windows, Mac and Linux. It gives you an app like experience, and can preserve configuration and settings.

How to Install Nativefier ?

  • Install the latest version of Node.js from here. I would recommed you install the latest LTS version.
  • Verify node is installed using
C:\Users\sundeep>node -v
v8.11.4
  • Install Nativefier
npm install -g nativefier
  • Verify Nativefier is installed using
C:\Users\sundeep>nativefier -v
v7.6.7

Install the desktop version of a Web site

  • In my case, I will try to install the desktop version of TweetDeck website.
nativefier --name “TweetDeck” “https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/”

This will download a bunch of files from the TweetDeck website and will also download the Electron app, if it is not already installed. The generated native application would be created in a folder with the application name, in this case TweetDeck. You can open the folder, locate the executable and execute it. This will open up the application as a desktop client.

That’s it!! You can go ahead and create a desktop shortcut to this executable. The great part is that all the applications generated using Nativefier are portable. You can easily carry them around with all their configuration. This makes sure you have your data everywhere and prevents you from logging again and again. You could read up more on Nativefier here.

Hope this was useful!!

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