Many web designers and developers use multiple browsers throughout the course of their development for many different reasons—cross-browser compatibility checks being just one. I’ve always been frustrated when moving from one browser to the next—never feeling at home in anything other than Firefox. Some of this is due to plug-in dependencies and UI familiarity, but bookmarks and stored passwords have been the main problems I’ve encountered.
So how have I solved my problems with multiple-browser use?
Before I get too far into writing this post, let me address the obvious question. Why didn’t I just use LastPass for both Password and Bookmark Sync since they offer both services? Honestly, I must say I haven’t even considered LastPass for Password Sync primarily because 1Password is such a dominate competitor. Everyone I know that is a trusted colleague or industry professional is either using 1Password or has highly recommended it. To support that argument, after using if for a few weeks I completely agree that it’s an amazing piece of software that’s perfect for what it is designed to do.
Moving on, let’s take a closer look at the two services and see exactly how they’ve solved my problem, and may solve yours.
Xmarks by LastPass
This is an amazing online service that was recently acquired by LastPass. The online bookmark synchronization service has worked flawlessly across Firefox, Safari and Chrome over the last couple of weeks. Setup is quick and easy, just create an online account and install the appropriate browser plugin. The service then works silently in the background synchronizing your bookmarks like you’ve never seen before.
Why is this service better than something like Delicious?
The reason I prefer Xmarks to Delicious is simply because Xmarks works with your bookmarks naturally as intended by each browser. It’s so well integrated that you fail to notice the bookmarks were not generated in the separate browsers individually. I’ve never felt that with Delicious—it always seemed like an add-on, and Xmarks doesn’t. In addition, Xmarks still gives you all the great features that Delicious or any other online bookmarking system provides so you don’t feel like you’re losing anything by using them.
If you haven’t checked out Xmarks by LastPass, head over to: http://www.xmarks.com and look over their services. It’s free, so there is no risk.
1Password by Agile
I must admit that I started using 1Password before considering how it would assist me in my multiple-browser use, but I’ve come to appreciate it even more in that capacity since I purchased it.
I’ve never been all that confident in allowing my browser to store passwords locally—never really trusting that my data was secure. However, it wasn’t my insecurity or fear of being exploited that was the driving force behind my purchase of 1Password. The main reason I started using 1Password was simple the fact that I started to accumulate more passwords than I could easily manage.
As a full time freelance designer and developer the accumulation of passwords and secure data is attained at an unbelievable rate. Knowing that I couldn’t possibly continue to remember every client password, cms admin password, api code and so on… I decided it was time to start using 1Password to keep from having to reference my client files so frequently. Let me just say, it’s been a real time saver!
Because of 1Password’s ability to store and autofill not only passwords, but various other data types—I’ve been able to limit my dependency on client files almost completely except to update or make changes.
More importantly, and to the point of this article, 1Password has made multiple-browser use almost entirely seamless. The convenience of having one application managing my passwords across all browsers has made a huge impact in my ability and to work efficiently with multiple-browsers.
For more information on 1Password and it’s features, go to: http://agilewebsolutions.com/onepassword
Last and least, I know what you are thinking. Why not use Agile’s AllBookmarks app?
Really. Don’t bother. I’m not even going to link to it, lol.