Hybrid WebApps

Users of the Mac have been given an interesting amalgam of old and new, a combination of a traditional application and a webapp: Mailplane. It looks to be a wrapper for Gmail which mildly extends its functionality and desktop integrations, specifically in the areas of attachments and account management.

Webapps are great because they are on the web. The web also limits how much these webapps can be integrated with the desktop. Perhaps concocting a quick wrapper hybrid like this is the way forward? Perhaps not in the case of Gmail, where accessing your mail via a thirdparty email application using IMAP would be a smoother experience. Even so, I’d like to speculate that Google will be extending the base-functionality of Chrome, so that application shortcuts could mimic this behavior.

3 thoughts on “Hybrid WebApps”

  1. James says:

    If you like Mailplane, then you should definitely check out Fluid. Fluid is basically a webapp wrapper, like Mailplane, but for all webapps. Since it’s not limited to just one particular webapp, Fluid’s setup is slightly more complicated with less webapp-specific features than Mailplane, but it’s free.

    Their catchphrase really sums up the reason for using something like Fluid, “Your web browser is for web browsing.”

  2. Joen says:

    Good links there.

    To be quite honest, mailplane is just an example of the idea I find fascinating: adding advanced / high-end functionality to webapps. The great thing about webapps is they live in the cloud with your documents, and they are inherently cross platform. The bad thing is you rarely have access to advanced features such as drag and drop from the desktop, system tray/dock notification integration and performance 3D. Whether it’s Adobe Air, Microsoft Silverlight, Quicktime X or Google Sandox that’ll bring this to fruition remains to be seen. Perhaps mailplane is a step on the way!

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