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Google+ requires a Google Profile — and right now, Google Apps users don’t have access to a Google Profile. That will change in the future, but for now it can cause some annoyances for users who have Google Apps accounts. Google does allow users to switch between accounts, but this process isn’t foolproof.
There is a solution: Create a Google+ desktop app. Using a Mac app like Fluid or a Firefox extension,WebRunner, you can create a separate, buttonless web browser dedicated solely to Google+. This browser can then be launched just like any other app.
When Google Buzz debuted in 2010, we put together a similar guide. The steps for making a Google+ app are much the same, using WebRunner in place of the now-discontinued Mozilla Prism.
With Firefox 5 (Mac, Windows, Linux)
In Firefox 5, go to the WebRunner project page and install the extension. Restart Firefox.
Navigate to Google+ in your web browser. Under the Tools menu in the application bar, select “Create WebRunner App” and fill out the box as follows.
You can use/create your own desktop icon.
Now you can launch and use Google+ from your applications folder or dock.
Mac Users With Fluid
The basic Mac app Fluid is free. For $4.99 you can get additional features, including the ability to store cookies separately from Safari — meaning that the Google accounts you use in Safari won’t affect what accounts you are using in the web app — and the ability to use user scripts.
To create a robust Google+ desktop app in Fluid, follow these steps:
- Download and install Fluid.
- Open Fluid and fill out the settings as seen here. For the image icon, you can choose anything you want.
- That’s it! Launch the app and you will have your own Google+ instance.
To customize Fluid with more features, like the ability to use separate cookies (a must for Google Apps users) and to add a special userscript that will let you know when you have notifications, follow these additional steps. This requires spending $4.99 on a license to Fluid, but it can be used for lots of different sites.
- Open Preferences in your Google+ app (from the main application menu, select Preferences) and go to the “Security” section.
- Fill out the settings as seen below.
- Restart your app.
To add a special dock notification, we found this userscript from developer James Farwell. To install it, simply select “Userscripts” from the Window menu in the application bar.
Then add a new preset and fill it in as so:
For the text of the script, just copy and paste James’s code from userscripts.org.
Windows and Linux users can follow these instructions :
- To create an Application Shortcut, navigate to the page you want to access and then go to the wrench menu.
- Select Tools, then select “Create Application Shortcut.”
- Then designate where you want a shortcut to be created.
- Now, when you launch that shortcut, you’ll be taken to that page.