ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE
Only a day after Microsoft postponed (see yesterday's post) including PC-to-PC synchronization in it's upcoming Windows Vista, Google makes available a new extension for Firefox browsers called the "Google Browser Sync".
As they describe it:
"Google Browser Sync for Firefox is an extension that continuously synchronizes your browser settings – including bookmarks, history, persistent cookies, and saved passwords – across your computers. It also allows you to restore open tabs and windows across different machines and browser sessions. For more info, please visit our FAQ."
This is a feature I asked for in a post just last August:
"I don't know about you, but my biggest frustration is that whenever I use a different computer, I have to re-create all by personalization of the Firefox browser, including all the groups of bookmarks after downloading Firefox to that new machine."
Looks like Google was listening to me, huh?
Having installed Google Browser Sync now on two Macs and a Windows XP laptop, I find the feature works as advertised. After a few minutes of set-up time on each machine, the extension introduces a minor delay whenever a Firefox browser is launched, as it connects to Google's server for the centralized data.
But after that, the service works as promised. It also offers to restore the browser to it's last known session, with all the pages and tabs that you had open.
More improvements are promised by Google, but for now, I'll give the company full marks for an increasingly essential synchronization feature done well.
As the Unofficial Apple Weblog, TUAW.com notes, this new Google extension also competes with Apple's .Mac service, which for $99 a year offers Mac-to-Mac syncing, amongst other features (see separate post).
Now, Microsoft, about that PC-to-PC syncing feature...