Living life as a Google user, part two: History repeats itself
On Tuesday, I started my "Living life as a Google user" series. The first post was about my replacement apps and services for Apple's Reminders; I solved that problem with Google Tasks and a handy note app.
Today's installment has to do with a task that I perform much more often than setting reminders for myself: browsing the web. I'm the kind of nerd who likes to keep everything as in-sync as possible so I can easily switch between the devices that I use on a daily basis, and since I do a lot of work in the browser, it just makes sense that I'd like all of my bookmarks, history, and settings to be the same across all of them.
Apple's iOS features the Safari browser. There's also a desktop version, which means that users of iOS Safari and desktop Safari can sync some information across their devices. Luckily for me, Google has a similar situation with Chrome – provided you're using an Ice Cream Sandwich phone. Again, I'm a lucky guy, as my Galaxy Nexus does indeed run ICS. Read on past the break to find out how well it's working for a guy who's used to the way it worked on iOS.
I use exclusively Macs for my desktop computing needs. You're probably thinking that isn't important, but it is: I've yet to connect my Android device to either of my Macs. Because of this, I needed a way to wirelessly sync my browser's history, bookmarks, and settings. With Google Chrome, I can do just that.
This is a screenshot of Chrome on my MacBook Pro. As you can see, all of those settings are checked, meaning that they will continuously sync with my other devices as they change.
These are two screenshots from my Galaxy Nexus. All of my bookmarks are synced from my Macs to the phone. The right screenshot shows the bookmarks that are synced, while the right shows at what time the sync took place. Mannuel is my Mac mini. I use it while I'm in my home office, so that's why it hasn't synced for 17 hours.
Meanwhile, my MacBook Pro is the computer I used to type most of this post up. As such, every time something changed in Chrome on my laptop, the changes would transfer over to my phone.
The syncs are completely transparent to the user, so I can just type away and be safe in assuming that all of what I've done will be on my phone before I leave my house. It's incredibly simple to set up: just make sure all of the settings you see in my desktop Chrome screenshot are checked, download Chrome to your ICS device, and – voilà – you'll have synced information!
My Galaxy Nexus has been with me for about two weeks already. In that time, I've learned that Google services are some of the many things that make Android devices fantastic. Chrome syncing is no exception; the way it syncs everything wirelessly without any input from me is such a nice way to sync. Remember, I'm a forgetful person. All in all, I'm missing absolutely nothing from iOS in the browser department.
There are still some more services I need to replace – namely Photo Stream – but I'm fairly confident that Google has what I'm looking for. Tune in next time to see what I'm using in lieu of Apple's photo service!