Good friends are hard to come by. New good friends are difficult to find. Gimme an amen, brothers and sisters, me and my Mac have a new friend.
For 60 days and nights I’ve been watching this slick little app perform something that I failed to perform the previous half dozen years. Sync up all our bookmarks. Different browsers. Family Macs, office Mac, and even lowly PCs.
Syncing The Unsyncable
Managing a few hundred bookmarks in Safari is not much fun. But it’s funner than doing the same task in Firefox (don’t get me started on Google’s anemic Chrome).
The real problem has always been keeping bookmarks the same in all the major browsers.
Ugh. Bookmark management is not fun.
Fortunately, the Mac has a few apps that handle bookmark synchronization. Even more fortunate is my 60 day test using Xmarks on multiple Macs, PCs, and multiple browsers.
Get ready for the future of the cloud. It’s here now and Xmarks is a good example of how it’ll work.
Xmarks The Bookmark Spot
When it works, Xmarks syncs my Mac’s Safari bookmarks to someplace in the cloud. Or, if you’re paranoid about security (and if everyone’s out to get you, paranoia is the right attitude) other places known to you.
So, you manage bookmarks in Safari, and Xmarks just sits there and syncs them up to the cloud which syncs the bookmarks up to other browsers on Macs or PCs. What is not to like? Did I mention Xmarks is free?
A Bad History Rescued By Capitalism
Xmarks used to be Foxmarks, which was a Firefox add on. I tried it a few years ago and found it priced right but anemic and sporadic and non-sciatic. Foxmarks became Xmarks and Xmarks became financially troubled because it’s hard to make much money when what you do is liked and loved and used and mostly free and priced on the honor system.
Capitalism to the rescue. Xmarks was acquired by LastPass, the last password people, and now it lives again. For now.
Xmarks resides as a Preference Pane in your Mac’s System Preferences app. Settings are simple and straightforward. Set up a free or Premium account (back to capitalism) and set up Xmarks on your other Macs or PCs and let the synchronization gospel be sung on your Mac’s screen (or, PCs, if you’re from that religion—not that there’s anything wrong with that).
For the past two months, nothing has happened except all my Mac’s Safari bookmarks have been synchronized nice and tidy between our various family and office Macs, and between a couple of PCs. We use Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and where applicable, the inexplicable Internet Explorer.
Not one gotcha or glitch or hiccup. Did I mention that Xmarks is free? There’s even an iPhone Xmarks app for iPhone and iPad, but going commercial has privileges, and Xmarks must collect money from you to be a member of their Premium Club, to the tune of the enormously outrageously non-free amount of a dollar month. Yes, $12 annually.
The Comeback App Kid
Xmarks also does BlackBerry, Android, and browser-based bookmarks. There’s multiple profiles, and even password synchronization capability. Since Brett Favre and Tom Brady and the San Diego Chargers and the Yankees didn’t manage a comeback, I nominate Xmarks for the Comeback of the Year Award. All those in favor, say, “aye, matey!”