Web applications are all around the internet these days. Whether it your email, a to-do list or a social network, everybody offers their service as web-application that is accessible from a web browser. But if you are a person like me who prefers native applications for some essential web apps, then this guide is for you. We’ve covered a free service called Web2Desk which lets you convert any application to a native Windows/Linux/Mac application and download it.
What is Electron?
So what Web2Desk basically does is, takes a website as an input and then uses Nativefier to wrap it inside an Electron container which gives you a native application that a be used on all the platforms.
You can also use Nativefier on your computer, but for that, you must have Node.js installed. And also you must have a little knowledge about using command line tools. But you can entirely skip this and let Web2Desk handle that for you.
How to make a native Windows app for any website or web-app
To start creating an application, head over to Web2Desk. Enter the URL of the website/web-app you want to create a native application for. Now enter the applications name. It should automatically detect an icon for it; if the icon is not suitable, you can upload one. Now enter the email where you would wish to receive the download link and you are done.
Hit the Create Now button and the service would start building your application on its servers. Once the application has been compiled and ready to be downloaded, you will be notified by email. The estimated wait time usually is around 2-3 minutes for a Windows application.
You can either wait on the same page or open the link from your email to download the application. The download file size was around 45 MBs, and the application comes in a portable form factor. You can open the extracted contents and start your application from the executable file.
For more accessibility, you can pin the application to the taskbar or create shortcuts on Start Menu. Unfortunately, there is no option to create an installer variant, but you can use existing tools to create an installer for the downloaded application.
Remember that applications created with Web2Desk or Nativefier are running inside a Chromium window which is separate from your existing browser or other applications created with Nativefier. You can use these tools to your advantage if you have multiple accounts for one website and want to run them simultaneously.
Web2Desk also offers you some pre-compiled applications for some of the most popular web applications. These applications include Trello, Twitter, Asana, WhatsApp, Telegram, Spotify, etc.
Web2Desk is a great free service. It lets you easily convert your favorite web applications to native applications. I love this service so much that I have converted almost all my web applications such as Gmail, GitHub and even TheWindowsClub to a native application. They look outstanding on a computer and are great performance wise. Click here to go to Web2Desk.
- Tags: Developers