June 07, 2006

Google Follows Apple's iSync With Browser Tool

Google looks like they're releasing tools out of their labs just about every day now, and this evening was no exception. After business hours today, the Google Blog updated us to let us know they'd issued a Firefox plugin that would synchronize browser information across multiple computers, and tie the two machines together based on your Google ID.

While very useful for Firefox users (myself included), Apple has offered identical functionality within their .Mac suite through iSync for a long time. I share bookmarks between Safari on my home laptop and the work computer, and through iSync, I also can synchronize my AddressBook and schedule through iCal. For Google this is less necessary, as their tools are Web based apps in the first place, and won't need synching, as they lack an offline component.

I installed the Google Browser Sync tool on the home Mac, and like any other Firefox plugin, it installed after relaunching the application, where I was asked to login with my user ID and password, and to choose a specific pin. From there, I could opt to synchronize bookmarks, application history, cookies, and could even synchronize open windows or tabs between the two machines. For me... that's a bit too much, but the bookmark and password synching could be very useful.

The Google Browser Sync Interface
(Click Images for Larger Size)

It's not exactly search, but it's yet another way for Google to get further involved with your computing interface lifestyle. The company's new mantra must be that if it can be enhanced through a Web app, then get it done, and don't ask questions.

Listening to ''The Mix - Volume 3 - CD2'', by Blank & Jones (Play Count: 5)