Syncing browsing between mobile and computer

Imagine the scene.

You are sat at your computer, reading a fascinating article online.

You’re about halfway through reading it when something comes up and you need to leave your desk.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could finish reading the page on your mobile? (Without needing to remember how you found the webpage, or what the URL is?)

With this Firefox extension, you can. 🙂


When Firefox properly release their new mobile browser, and Weave starts to deliver on the promise of browser data in the cloud, then this sort of thing will all come out of the box.

But this hack might help fill the gap while we wait for that.

I will write a few posts explaining how I implemented some of the more interesting bits of this, but in the meantime I thought I’d start by showing the end result.

What you do

screenshotClick on the toolbar icon showing the mobile phone with the arrow going into it.

The page currently open in Firefox will be sent to your mobile phone and opened in Pocket Internet Explorer.

Or, coming back the other way…

screenshotClick on the toolbar icon showing the mobile phone with the arrow coming out from it.

The page currently open in Pocket Internet Explorer will be received from your mobile phone and opened on your computer in Firefox.

After all, why keep reading something on a two-inch screen when you get back your computer? Move it to your computer and finish reading something there.

What it needs

The hack has been written to use:

  • Firefox – I’m using Firefox 3, but it should run on Firefox 2 as well
  • Windows Mobile – I’m using Pocket Internet Explorer on a Windows Mobile 6 phone, but it should work with WM5 as well
  • ActiveSync – I don’t make my own connection to the mobile, instead using RAPI to reuse an existing ActiveSync connection. (Which makes this all sadly rather Windows-specific)

How to install it

You need the Firefox extension (v0.6).

If you unzip the archive, you’ll find a Firefox extension xpi file inside which you can open with Firefox to install.

(Unfortunately my web host won’t let me host .xpi files, so I’m putting it in a zip as a workaround)

In order to get the current page from the mobile, I also need to run some code on the phone. This needs to be installed using this Windows Mobile extension.

(Sending a web page from your computer to your mobile will work fine without this – you need the bit of code on the phone to go back the other way.)

Known limitations

Pages are transferred by URL, so if a website redirects mobile browsers to a different page, then you might not end up with the same page on your phone that you had on your computer. (E.g. if you are looking at then click on the toolbar button, it’ll probably be that gets opened on your phone).

If you have your Firefox in a sandbox to limit it’s administrative privileges, (e.g. you run it with something like DropMyRights) then you might need to fiddle with the executables that the Firefox extension runs, otherwise they may not be allowed to run.

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8 Responses to “Syncing browsing between mobile and computer”

  1. […] Schrit für Schritt-Anleitung und Download der Applikationen (engl.) […]

  2. Henri Ilkola says:

    I dont have buttons at all in firefox but the choises are in tools menu ?

  3. Martin Reznicek says:

    Is any hope that will soon compilation this great firefox extension compatible with actual 3.5.2 version of Firefox?

  4. dale says:

    @Martin – Many thanks for the kind comment. I’m still on Firefox 3.0.13, so I hadn’t thought about upgrading the extension.

    I’ve not got time to do this at the moment, but I’ve added it to my to-do list.

    Kind regards, D

  5. dale says:

    @Martin – I’ve updated the plugin for Firefox 3.5 now.

  6. Moleman says:

    Works on Firefox 3.5.7 and a HTC Diamond. I could send the url from the page to the Diamond.

  7. […] te kunnen doen moet je de Firefox Extentie van Blade Sync installeren, en een 6kB cab op je mobiel Syncing browsing between mobile and computer dale lane Bijgevoegde […]