I’ve been using a couple of applications to synchronize my use of the web lately and I’m really enjoying it. As someone who uses Windows for work and a Mac for everything else, this is a particularly challenging problem.
Google Browser Sync synchronizes multiple copies of Firefox across computers. It keeps track of cookies, passwords, bookmarks, history, and window status from one session to the next, and makes it a lot easier for me to keep track of what I’m doing on the Web. It has the incidental advantage of remembering the state of the browser the last time I had it open on the same computer. I know there were some other efforts to do this, but Google put it on a lot of people’s radar and is the reason I tried it. Personally, I find this to be the single greatest improvement in the browsing experience since the invention of tabs.
To manage my RSS reading across systems, I’ve been using Bloglines. It works really well, but it is kind of homely and I really missed using Net Newswire on the Mac. I finally decided to try using Net Newswire in concern with News Gator online, which allowed me to sync my subscriptions between the application on the Mac and the website on the PC. I’ve been very happy with this solution as well.
What’s interesting is that, of course, the idea and reality of sychronization have been around for years. Yahoo does a pretty good job of syncing with Outlook, for example. But both of these implementations are notable for their simplicity and utility, and the fact that they unify the experience on my Mac and my PC. And I want more just like them.
Originally published on my blog at JupiterResearch.