There’s an App for That (That You Made)

When I am doing just about any kind of reading or film watching, I find that having my iPhone or iPad handy is really about having Wikipedia handy.

(If you haven’t donated yet, you should. Do it now. Give them $5. $10. It’s easy. I’ll wait. Really. No, really, I’ll wait. Go donate something.)

Occasionally I have my MacBook with me, and I actually find myself looking for the Wikipedia app that’s on my phone and tablet. Crazy, yes, but when you want to look something up quickly, it really is nice to go straight to where you want to go.

With that in mind, I would like to thank Andy Ihnatko for point out how easy it is to create desktop web apps in the latest iteration of the Mac OS, Lion. How easy?

This easy:

1. Launch Automator.

2. Click on create a new App.

3. Find and drag the “Get Specified URLs” action into your workflow. (Just type the name into the search box until Automator finds it for you.)

4., Paste in the URL of the site you want to view.

5. Find and drag the “Website Popup” action into the workflow. Choose a size for the window.

6. Save. Done.

Here is what you get:

Wikipedia app in the dock

And it pops up this:

Wikipedia on the Desktop