Xmarks, a cross-browser bookmark synchronization service, is now available on Android devices as a free plug-in for the Dolphin HD Browser. After installation and configuration, the plug-in will pull in web bookmarks from a user’s Xmarks account and mirror desktop browser bookmarks with those on an Android handset or tablet. While the plug-in is free, it requires an Xmarks premium account, currently priced at $12 per year.
The useful Xmarks service nearly shut down this past September, but gained a new lease on life when it was acquired by LastPass earlier this month. For people who use multiple computers and even different browsers on those computers, Xmarks is superb for bookmark management. On the desktop, Xmarks currently supports Microsoft Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, so for most mainstream web users, the service has you covered.
To be sure, Xmarks isn’t the first to merge and manage bookmarks between desktops and smartphones; I looked at Mozilla’s Firefox for Maemo early this year, and the mobile browser synchronized bookmarks using Mozilla’s Weave platform. I expect similar solutions to follow in the footsteps of Mozilla and Xmarks; with a growing reliance on mobile devices, we want the personal data and preferences from desktops to automatically follow us on handhelds.
Since I’m a dedicated Google Chrome user on the desktop, I’m already using Google to sync my bookmarks, as the Dolphin HD Browser already supports that functionality. I won’t be using the new Xmarks plug-in as a result, but I can see why Xmarks users would: it’s a pain to manage bookmarks in multiple places.
I do, however, use the Dolphin HD Browser, at least on my Galaxy Tab device, and I recommend any Android device owner give it a try. It’s full-featured, supports extensions and runs much faster on my Tab than the native, Samsung-customized browser. Here’s a video look at Dolphin HD on the HTC Evo 4G if you’re not sure it’s worth a download, although if you’re an Xmarks user, you probably need a little less convincing to try the browser now.
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