With the transition in mobile computing in our society over the past decade from clunky and not overly convenient to something you could finally call truly *mobile* (pocket sized) and powerful enough to be worthy of being called *computing* it is no surprise how widely used data phones have become. I only got my first data phone, an iPhone 4, this last October and I cannot believe how much it has changed many aspects of my life. Largely it has replaced my need for a laptop and music player (previously used for portable email, internet, chatting, music, etc.. plus it’s a phone!). I’ve also found having the internet in your pocket makes information infinity more accessible then before. (Side note- too bad the only thing the iPhone does poorly is -be a phone-, shameful apple :/. The ear piece is so ineffective that without using the headphones it is almost impossible to hear anything through the phone’s speaker.)
*Ahem*, so back on topic.. with this greater reliance on these devices some disparity has grown with inconsistent user data between the workstations in use and their mobile devices. Many companies have put in considerable effects to curb this problem such as the iPhone syncing through iTunes (another side note- why must a phone that does 100 things besides music do all it’s syncing in a MUSIC PROGRAM? Once again apple, you are making no sense), or with blackberry they have their propriety messaging system and the ability to push calendars and emails from an outlook server to the phone. One more recent push has been in the area of browsers with Mozilla’s offering of Firefox Sync, and Firefox Home. Using Firefox Sync one can store to a server (all automated, is in the browser as an addon) the bookmarks, history, and recent or last open tabs from their Firefox browser to be stored on the Mozilla servers for retrieval. Firefox home allows read only access to all that information on an iPhone.
My last post said I would give some project details so here they are: For my work term this summer at CDOT our goal is to bring that same functionality to Blackberry devices that Mozilla has added to iPhone (to start we are focusing on BB OS 5 and 6, both screen sizes, keyboard and touch interfaces… but not tablets). We have called the project BerrySync for now and we are looking through the established FF Home and FF Sync work. (our wiki of project info may be found here: http://zenit.senecac.on.ca/wiki/index.php/BerrySync!) We are still mapping out a lot of features but our current plan is this:
- Make sure we can do the same cryto that Mozilla is using
- Try to connect with their servers successfully / authenticate with them… and retrieve the Firefox sync data for one user
- Work at producing an interface to use that data in a meaningful way
This is obviously a simplification and there is a lot we need to account for. Currently we are busy planning out what we would like to see the application do while researching a lot on the technologies we need to interact with.
Excited to see how this project progresses in the coming weeks.