After noticing that my laptop was getting noticeably slower a few years ago, I begun looking into the source of the problem. What I found was that my web browser was sucking up an inordinate amount of memory due to having so many browser tabs open. It turns out this is a common problem, as a lot of people were doing what I was doing: keeping things like Gmail or Twitter open all the time in a browser tab. A simple solution is to just not keep it open all the time, but I found a method which I started adopting, which was to convert web apps which I use a lot into local applications.

The tool which I found to do this was a Github project called Epichrome. It’s an Applescript-based Mac application which create a Google Chrome-based app wrapper for any website that you select. As a result, you have whichever web apps you commonly use that look and act like local apps.

This solution worked great for me, but when a few people asked me about it, they got confused by Github, and found that it wasn’t so easy to use. Fortunately, there’s now a better alternative, called Flotato. It is functionally equivalent to Epichrome, just much more user friendly. It’s free but there’s a paid upgrade which is optional, and probably unnecessary. One difference between Flotato and Epichrome is that Flotato runs using Safari webkit, which is faster and more battery efficient on Macs.

Here’s an image of what these apps look like in the Mac menu bar. Both Mixcloud and Habitica are web apps made into local apps.

Added this to my list of daily productivity apps, linked below.