keeping chrome firefox and safari synced is hard. browser wars are good. and bad. now with the launch of a dev build of chrome for the mac and linux there is now a decent choice of fast browsers on mac. one problem is how to keep all the data synced between all the browsers.

I use safari, firefox and now chrome on my mac and I use ie7, ie8, firefox, safari, opera and chrome at work (im a web developer – I need to check it all works properly)

i need a way to keep things synced between all of the browsers. I use Xmarks to keep all my bookmarks synced between all the platforms. it pretty decent  – you basically make an account and it will store all your bookmarks in the clouds and syncs all your browsers to the clouds data. so if I add a new bookmark in chrome at work its available in all my other browsers.

all you need to do is top open your browser and goto xmarks.com and downoad the plugin for that browser. then sync it to the server – there are a few options –

  • keep the stuff on the server, discard stuff in the browser
  • discard the stuff on the server, replace it with the stuff in the browser
  • keep the stuff on the server and merge it with the stuff in the browser
  • merge the stuff in the server with the stuff in the browser

basically I had all my bookmarks in firefox so I kept the data on the server and replaced the data in safari and chrome with the data on the server.

if you only use firefox, accross multiple machines then it can sync your passwords aswell =) – im waiting for this feature to be added to safari and chrome and ie so that I can have all my logins and all my bookmarks on all my machines.

pretty cool.

now, if like me you have a lot of addons in firefox then it becomes bloated and slow. its good for developing, but not for browsing (especially as firebug and Yslow make the browser crawl – even when they are disabled!) – after trying safari as my default browser for a week I really like some of the features, but really dislike others – I need a way to make it behave the way I like – same now goes for chrome.

basically I want them to behave like I make my firefox behave – I dont use keyword shortcuts – I want to be able to type anything into the address bar and it to perform a google search. I have cmd+L built into my muscular memory – its a reflex. hell, its an instinct now – im not going to change this even if I wanted to. so I have to make safari behave like this (chrome already does =)

I also like the new tab feature in chrome and safari – I dont need to use it in firefox as im only going to use it for development work now, but im sure I could get a plugin (how would I keep them in sync accross all my browsers ??)

I dont like ads. I have used adblock for years. im not going to give up on that. I need to get chrome and safari to block adverts.

there are a couple of options for safari – most of them use inputmanager hacks. not good – to make them work on snow leopard you need to run safari in 32 bit mode. unless you use a proxy like Glimmerblocker or privoxy. these would make chrome and safari (and indeed firefox) not need a plugin to block ads. it might make my browsers more responsive overall (ill have a look into them right now)

sofar in this list I have –

  • xmarks.com – syncing all your bookmarks in firefox, safari, chrome, and ie
  • there is no good option for blocking adverts across every browser, unless you use a proxy. on every machine. gads.
  • you cant sync your passwords properly – you could use lastpass, but thats adding another addon to every browser – – you could use the import feature in chrome, but its not in the mac dev version yet =( and it would mean that you couldnt add new stuff to chrome and have it appear in the other browsers id prefer to wait till xmarks implement it (if they ever do) – in safari goto preferences -> security -> tick the box next to auto fill username and password fields (now I need to fill the data in safari’s passwords database!)
  • cant figure out a way to get google searches from the addressbar in safari =)

guess im sticking to my bloated slow firefox just now =(